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Old 11-07-2011, 06:37 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
4,040 posts, read 2,234,858 times
Reputation: 2845

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wade52 View Post
It was in the midwest, but hundreds of miles from Omaha. It was a yellow "Ranch Wagon" with a 6 cyl engine.



Especially younger drivers.
Well, that would have been an incredible coincidence if I had bought your mom's car. But mine was a 4 door sedan with a 260 V-8.

It was a great little car....of course not little by today's standards. But I was young and couldn't stand it 'til I had myself saddled with a car payment for something new and sporty. So I traded it a year later for a new '71 Maverick "Grabber" - with a 3-speed manual on the floor.

Back then there were still a lot of sticks around - for a number of different reasons. One of which was that automatics were just beginning to evolve past the "slush-box" era. Still pretty primitive and inefficient. And lots of cars were still sold with very few options generally - far cry from today where so much more is standard equipment. I mean - can you even buy a car with manual windows any more? By contrast, they were extremely rare before at least the 80s in anything but high-end luxury models.

Last edited by CrownVic95; 11-07-2011 at 07:59 PM..
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
13,003 posts, read 14,357,240 times
Reputation: 8371
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc63 View Post
And there are no missed shifts AND the torquermultiplication of the torque converter makes launches much faster. Also there is no time wasted DURING the shift, allowing the engine to maintain HP (or if it's a turbo car, to maintain boost) DURING the shift.

Automatics are VERY good for accelleration when buiult up slightly and matched to the engine's output.

Small engine cars don't do well with automatics unless they are turbocharged. Big engine cars can be quicker with automatics than with manuals.
The fastest acceleration can be attained with manual transmissions. This will change in the near future, since computers are being used with automatic transmissions to do the shifting:
Bugatti Veyron Pictures, Specs, Price, Engine & Top Speed

Last edited by RayinAK; 11-07-2011 at 09:05 PM..
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,374 posts, read 57,184,856 times
Reputation: 25270
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayinAK View Post
I was not speaking of downshifting, but short-shifting to save fuel. I have no idea how one can short-shift with an automatic transmission since it's the computer working with the transmission/motor RPM that move the transmission from the low gears to the higher ones.
It seems you misunderstand the transmissions on Formula One cars. The shift action is automated but the driver still determines when the car shifts. Think of it like paddle shift in a regular car but without the option to put it in "automatic" mode. Fully automated shifting is banned in Formula One.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
13,003 posts, read 14,357,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
It seems you misunderstand the transmissions on Formula One cars. The shift action is automated but the driver still determines when the car shifts. Think of it like paddle shift in a regular car but without the option to put it in "automatic" mode. Fully automated shifting is banned in Formula One.
I was not very clear before. I was referring to the F1 races of over 20 years go about the time Serna died in a car crash.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,374 posts, read 57,184,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayinAK View Post
I was not very clear before. I was referring to the F1 races of over 20 years go about the time Serna died in a car crash.
Ayrton "Serna" died in the 1994 season -- and the gearboxes were semi-automatic back then too.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
13,003 posts, read 14,357,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Ayrton "Serna" died in the 1994 season -- and the gearboxes were semi-automatic back then too.
Perhaps. All I know is that in some of his races and being far ahead of the rest, he sometimes had to short-shift the rest of the way.

Last edited by RayinAK; 11-08-2011 at 12:56 AM..
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
13,003 posts, read 14,357,240 times
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Drover:

You are correct about the F1 transmission. The driver shifts the gears with a paddle or shifter by the steering wheel.
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Hickory, NC
1 posts, read 862 times
Reputation: 10
There are definite exceptions...I had to pay about $1200 more for a used BMW 330i with sport package than the others available as automatics, because all BMW 3 series sent to the USA are automatics unless some weirdo who wants to shift his gears orders one and puts up cash to ship it over...which means that those weirdos who aren't quite as affluent have to fight over those that come up for sale. It's all based on marketing forecasts (i.e. - American stereotypes).
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:04 AM
 
8,126 posts, read 3,068,524 times
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My reasons that Americans don't like manual anymore

-getting older
-getting fatter
-traffic congestion
-hard to shift and text at the same time
-hard to eat a big mac, text and shift at the same time
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:06 AM
 
Location: United States
220 posts, read 48,308 times
Reputation: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
I grew up in Europe and still visit; manual trans cars are still common there. In fact, last time I was in the UK, it was cheaper to rent a manual trans car than an automatic - do US rental agencies even rent manual vehicles, exotics excepted?

Anyhow - to this day I vastly prefer them. For many reasons:
More power and performance. (More fun!)
Better control in adverse or hilly conditions.
Cheaper - better gas mileage, less brake wear, much cheaper to replace - my 1995 Nissan beater pick-up with almost 250,000 miles still has the original clutch.
When my Chevy Venture needed a new transmission at 160,000 miles, the cost of having it done at a shop almost exceeded the value of the van; I sold it.

I've also owned a Saab Viggen and a Porsche 944S - both very nice sports cars and I cannot imagine them being nearly as much FUN to drive with an automatic! I adore driving, though.

The Advantages of Buying a Manual-Transmission Vehicle — Edmunds.com

"There is no question that manual transmissions "resonate with customers who still enjoy the act of driving," said Marie.
...To many people, driving is just getting from Point A to Point B. ... In recent years, consumers have been willing to pay more, get fewer miles per gallon and have less control of the vehicle all for the sake of convenience."

I've asked people I know and the most common reason they prefer automatics is because they're "easier to drive in traffic." Maybe it's because I'm used to driving a standard, I don't put any conscious thought into it; in fact it's automatic. LOL.

Is it a convenience factor? Are newer automatics better, cost-wise? (I haven't owned anything newer than ten years old in several years but the article I linked to suggests they are.)

An aside - I think driving a standard makes a person a better driver, because it's a bit more interactive. For several years back in the 1980s I drove a semi over the road; having 18 speeds does make you more conscious, especially when how you drive impacts fuel economy and your bottom line! (I was a company driver but got fuel bonuses.) Maybe I am an old fogey, but I also prefer stiffer steering and brakes and guages instead of warning lights; because it seems to me I pay more attention to the act of driving generally. I've driven hundreds of thousands of miles on several continents and different countries without an accident and I wonder if learning to drive in a more conscious, interactive way makes people more attentive drivers in general?
First of all, a lot of people don't know how to drive cars with manual transmissions anymore. I know a lot of them. And for some reason, they always seem to be unwilling to learn. I don't know why.

I also think that automatic transmissions have improved enough that there's not much of an economical advantage to driving a stick. So that incentive is out.

Add to that the fact that it's usually the lower-end models that have manual transmissions. We equate a manual tranny with being a cheap car.

Then there's the driveability factor. I love manual transmission vehicles. But I have found that city driving, with a manual transmission, can be a real pain in the butt. A lot of stop & go driving, and a lot of creeping at about 1/2 of 1 mile per hour. That's tough to do with a manual.
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