Circa 1962: In the podunk north Jersey 'burb that he grew up in, he knew one thing for truth: He'd soon be wagging the first Hurst shifter in town. Out in the driveway on a warm morning, he was hacking a hole in the floor of his '55 210 to make room for his new friend. By noon, boy howdy, he'd have three-by-the-knee, not three-on-the-Tree. He supposed it implied that he'd moved up a little in the food chain, but he'd bought the rugged contraption because he knew it would be hands-down better than the best of anything else from the infant aftermarket. Prior, he'd painlessly put a hot 283 into his '39 Merc using a Hurst motor mount. No cutting or welding. No broken fingers. No stitches in the forehead.

Besides the enormity of the crude yawn he'd made in the floorboard (yes, he measured once and cut twice), what stuck most in his cranium was the psychedelic split shift knob. The stick was forged flat and instead of a ball or a T-handle at business end there was something that reminded me of a yo-yo, two plastic halves the size of a silver dollar and suffused with trippy pink, green, and yellow held to the flat part of the stick by a single screw. It was far out, man. Lucky for him, the big rubber boot was just slightly bigger than the bay window he'd hacked out of the Chevy's spine. Because Hurst had assembled the device with tough, proven parts and positive, adjustable throw-stops, it was eons better than the factory crap.

By the early '60s, his shifters were in OEM parts bins and company founder George Hurst was very happily neck deep in the surge of Detroit muscle car iron, celebrating their exciting, affordable forms as rolling billboards for the company, modifying them through specific paint and interior treatment and including the largest engines the factories offered (the 455-inch Hurst/Olds).

Hurst always infused its progeny with an upscale vibe. Among the company's repertoire, Pontiac, Dodge, Plymouth, Oldsmobile, American Motors, Buick, Chrysler, Jeep, and an International Harvester or two ... but nary a Chevrolet on the hook. Already there were too many others doing the Camaro to death.

Circa 2010: Now look. People are swarming the '10 Camaro. Beyond the obvious attraction, it offers great raw material from its well-executed Zeta platform, independent rear suspension, killer motor, and a refined build quality that previous Camaros sorely lacked. The car feels vault-strong, light on its feet (despite a 2-ton running weight), and inherently ready to absorb serious influx of power with just minor modifications. A dozen or more tuners are very busy these days, brewing bubbling squadrons of seriously endowed F-bodies. The object of this particular lesson is a Series 4 SS, to rekindle the spirit and demonstrate the upscale nature of the Hurst specialty car legacy. Series 2 and other non-Series versions are offered as well.

What you see is black, white, or silver finished off with black stripe/overlay on white or the reverse on black cars. To us, the Hurst graphics and badges are somewhat ostentatious but thankfully there are only two of them, plus a small reminder on one side of the grille. All Hurst Camaros are trimmed with a minimal, streamlined Hurst RSpeed spoiler. You and your best pal and maybe an ocelot or two lower into firmly padded leather throughout. The seats are top-stitched and embroidered logos hover near. The exclusive "sequentially numbered" badge (50-car maximum build) will forever remind that this is no ordinary SS.