If you think that paddle shifters are a recent innovation, you might want to reconsider: the first-ever application was on the Bollée Type F Torpédo a century ago in 191, and that car is on display at the Le Mans circuit museum.
In the following years many manufacturers, such as Chrysler, Citroen, NSU and Mercedes-Benz, to name but a few, tried to do away with the clutch, torque converter and/or gear level but electronics were still a long way from reaching maturity and the companies didn't persist with the concept.
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