If you want to add a little geeky flair to your car (and elicit laughter from anyone who rides shotgun), this quick project is a good use for an old or broken flight stick: pop off the shift cover in your car’s centre console and replace it with a joystick. It may not add functionality, but it will make driving more fun.
The project itself was easy, as the author over at GeekGreek points out. All he had to do was remove the shift grip and slide the cover down, exposing the column. The joystick (a 1991 era serial-port model) body was actually two halves that screwed together, so he opened them, removed some of the extra plastic, and put it over the column, attached them with a little epoxy, and screwed the halves back together. That was all there was to it.
Interestingly enough, the actual buttons on the top are intact and still click when you push them. As Hackaday notes, it would be pretty cool if those buttons connected to something, like the horn, the lights, or even start the engine. One of their commenters even pointed out someone who did the same thing with a Thrustmaster joystick and did connect up the buttons (see the second and third pages of the thread for photos and video) to cruise control and a few other features, so the possibilities are there.
You can go cosmetic, or take it all the way and make it functional — either way, the choice is yours. Besides, it will make an interesting story to tell the next time a friend or coworker hops in the passenger seat.
Manual Transmission for Gamers [Hackaday]