The Porsche Carrera GT has a wood gearshift. Not because it needed one, but because it’s a link to the past, a link to the legendary 917. Automakers do this to pull at your heart strings, to make you forget practicality and tap into emotions, as Jack Baruth explains.

In the latest edition of Avoidable Contact, our man Baruth examines how small parts of cars are designed to have an emotional connection with the driver, but also how those parts in new cars aren’t necessarily the same as they once were.

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Bespoke pieces in Rolls Royces of today were off-the-shelf parts in the 1960s, wood dashes today are because of coach builders ages ago, the list goes on and on.

I’ll let Jack take it from here.