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Old 01-26-2009, 12:57 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,783,990 times
Reputation: 29355

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Well, fact of the matter is, automatics now account for over 80% of new car sales. I think it's safe to say that Americans have the lowest ratio of stick-shift-capable drivers of any nation with a substantial automotive fleet. Or perhaps any nation, period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfrisco View Post
Sticks suck here in Dirty Jersey with all the traffic, plus the resale value is horrible. Try to sell a car with a stick--good luck!.
Stick shift cars suffer no greater loss of resale value than automatics do since the automatic/to-manual ratio in both markets generally reflect the preference of the buying public. In fact in some cases (WRX, DSMs), having a manual transmission substantially increases the resale value. I was recently shopping for a used WRX. I eventually learned that every time I came across a deal that sounded too good to be true on first inspection, a more detailed investigation would reveal that it was an automatic.
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:02 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,783,990 times
Reputation: 29355
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
My mother was born in 1908. She learned to drive (obviously) using a stick shift. The interesting part is that he clutch in the car she learned on did not work so she had to figure out how fast to get the engine running so the car would shift without a clutch. That's knowing how to drive a stick!
I rarely use the clutch when shifting, though that's a habit I should probably get out of because it's hard on the synchros, and they're a lot more expensive to replace than a clutch.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:08 AM
 
13,457 posts, read 14,445,292 times
Reputation: 7635
Quote:
Originally Posted by city_data91 View Post
..... The only people I know that drive stick are old people that learned to drive when stick was popular and rednecks that think they're Nascar drivers.

You may need to get out more.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:10 AM
 
13,457 posts, read 14,445,292 times
Reputation: 7635
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Well, fact of the matter is, automatics now account for over 80% of new car sales. I think it's safe to say that Americans have the lowest ratio of stick-shift-capable drivers of any nation with a substantial automotive fleet. Or perhaps any nation, period.


Stick shift cars suffer no greater loss of resale value than automatics do since the automatic/to-manual ratio in both markets generally reflect the preference of the buying public. In fact in some cases (WRX, DSMs), having a manual transmission substantially increases the resale value. I was recently shopping for a used WRX. I eventually learned that every time I came across a deal that sounded too good to be true on first inspection, a more detailed investigation would reveal that it was an automatic.
A WRX automatic? Why?
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:24 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 18,878,100 times
Reputation: 9894
Most of the vehicles I've owned or driven have had manual transmissions. I really don't mind driving a stick; in fact I rather enjoyed it. I felt like I was truly "driving" instead of sitting in an easy chair in front of a video game. As a trucker, I started out with 9-speeds and Super 10s and have driven strictly automatics the last 9 years. The automatics are impressive; I've never really had to override the "auto"; even heavily loaded out in the Western U.S. I do miss being able to start out in 3rd gear to get some traction when I'm lightly loaded or empty. The new "posi-traction" rear ends aren't worth a nickle, IMHO.

However, I REALLY don't miss "clutch leg" in slow-moving traffic. With both of our personal vehicles automatics, I may never get to drive a manual again...sigh.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Beautiful place in Virginia
2,658 posts, read 10,239,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Internet nut View Post
I recently traveled to Costa Rica and attempted to rent a car. After all the paperwork was filled out the man took me to my car. It was manual transmission! I told him I did not know how to drive a stick shift car. He acted like I was crazy and then told me that in this small tourist town, that was the only car they rented. They told me I would have to go to the Capital City, San Jose CR if I wanted to rent an automatic transmission. Even there only a few cars are automatic.

He acted like I was the only American he ever met who did not know how to drive a stick shift car. I am in my 50s and have driven since I was 16 years old.

Do you drive a stick shift car? What percent of Americans could drive one who have a drivers license?
Manual transmission is common in Central and South America, Europe and Asia. Automatics are by special request.

I usually book well in advance. Otherwise, I hire a driver.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:36 AM
 
Location: California
10,091 posts, read 35,789,338 times
Reputation: 22072
Quote:
Originally Posted by city_data91 View Post
I don't see the point of learning to drive stick. Modern cars these days have automatic and it's just easier to drive automatic. I never learned to drive stick, mainly because I never had a chance or need to. The only people I know that drive stick are old people that learned to drive when stick was popular and rednecks that think they're Nascar drivers.
LOL... Your missing out on the "fun" part of driving. You obviously don't know too many sports car drivers!
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:52 AM
 
Location: Maine!
469 posts, read 1,631,357 times
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city data 91, if you've never learned how to drive stick, you don't know what you're missing.

we've lived overseas for a better part of a decade and drove manual, now that we're back stateside, we have automatics. . .we miss driving manually. our next vehicle(s) are definitely having a stick. there's just more to it. i agree with a couple of previous posters that you're more in tune to the road than you are with an automatic.

those that say that hilly roads are a pain, "BAH!" it becomes second nature. i looked forward to hilly roads when driving stick.

and to repeat the consensus of stick drivers everywhere: they're just more fun!!

p.s. we're not "old" drivers either. nor NASCAR fans. we enjoy driving and automatics take the fun out of it, IMO.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:12 AM
 
Location: occupied east coast
824 posts, read 1,848,541 times
Reputation: 1621
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez Nuttz View Post
I believe mid 1971 was the last of those. We've been discussing it in the thread about personal luxury coupes on here.

I've never driven a "3 on the tree" but it's my understanding the shift pattern is something like this:

R----2
--N--
1----3

And I believe R is towards the sunvisor, 1 is towards the bottom of the floorboard/seat, and 2 is toward the windshield and 3 towards the pedals...does anyone know if this sounds right?

And I also believe to get the shifter into R or 1 you have to pull the shifter towards you in N.....

I'll just say this....for a long time I've wanted to find myself a 2000-2002 Z28 Camaro, but I swear every one I run across is an automatic.

And to the person who said autos bring more than manuals....I say that does apply to most cars...but I will also say out of all the Z28's I found, the autos were usually cheaper than the manuals. Probably because there's a major abundance of auto Z28's and not as many manuals. Same applies to 2000-2002 Trans AM's.


Deez, You have the pattern exactly right.

As for the person who asked when "three on the tree" were discontinued.

I am not sure, but my best friend bought a "new in the box" 1971 Chevy Malibu with it.

My manuals have all had floor mounted shifters, including my THREE speed floor mount 1969 Ford Mustang. I'm sure there were not many three speeds.

In fact, there was a time that Three speed was "standard" and four speeds were the option.

Edit, My last thought is to the poster who opined that you have to "think about shifting all of the time". This is not true, you don't think about it at all, it becomes instinct. It is done by sound and feel, I have not even looked at my tach in years. To be frank, I don't even know if it works.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Cold Frozen North
1,928 posts, read 4,521,272 times
Reputation: 1266
I've owned stick shift cars in various flavors for over 30 years now. Of the 11 cars I presently own, 3 are stick shifts. My daily driver is a stick and I love it. Plus both my 2002 Trans-am and 1996 Corvette are 6-speed sticks. At this point, I prefer a stick over an automatic. I really like the control you have over the engine and power train. Plus, on the highway you get better mileage and feel the engine is more connected to the drive wheels. Would I want a stick on my Cadillac, heck no; not that type of car. But for either sports cars, hot rods/muscle cars and economy cars, depending on the person it's the way to go.

Now if you want to have real fun, try driving an 18-speed Fuller-Eaton transmission in a semi-tractor. Not only do you have lots of gear ratios to choose from, but the transmission is non-synchronized. You either double-clutch or learn how to 'float' gears. I wouldn't mind having a car with a non-sync transmission, but that definitely takes some expertise and being in tune with the power train. Yep, I love driving my big rig just for fun on the weekends and that type of shifting makes for some fun.
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