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Old 11-12-2015, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Columbia, SC & Augusta, GA
899 posts, read 834,297 times
Reputation: 1021

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I know for a fact that I can't and won't!

Quote:
Do You Drive Stick? Fans of Manual Transmission Can’t Let Go
Fans can’t reverse trend, no matter how tightly they clutch manual transmissions

By
ZUSHA ELINSON
Nov. 9, 2015 8:52 p.m. ET

Alan Macey is clutching the past. Three years ago, he persuaded his wife to ditch the family automatic for a car with a manual transmission, once commonly known as the stick shift.

“I had just had enough of driving this soulless refrigerator,” he said.

But the 33-year-old Michigan man, a designer at Jeep, part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, knows only too well the downshifting fortunes of the stick.

The proportion of cars and light trucks in the U.S. sold with manual transmissions has fallen to around 7% in 2014 from 35% in 1980, according to WardsAuto, which keeps data on car manufacturing and sales.

The decline is expected to accelerate as high-performance sports cars, once holdouts, increasingly shift to hybrid automatics.

While some young buyers still crave the clutch, most are disinclined to manually shift gears, according to Clay Voorhees, an associate professor at Michigan State University, who studies the attitude of millennials toward cars.

“The high of getting the Facebook update outweighs the emotional high of experiencing the G-forces of going around a corner,” Mr. Voorhees said. In other words, he explained, “Driving a manual is going to make you less able to text or check your phone.”

Mr. Macey is among those in the minority. “We find joy in those fleeting moments between ratios; the crescendo of rpm, the gentle click of the gate, the building inertia in our chest as the drivetrain becomes whole again,” he wrote in a manifesto that helped give birth to The Manual Gearbox Preservation Society, a movement in the making whose Facebook page has 27 likes.

With advances in automatic-transmission technology, stick-shift adherents confess that their oft-used arguments about fuel economy and performance are starting to slip like a worn clutch. A proliferation of gears means automatics are now better able to keep engines in their “sweet spots” where they run most efficiently, said Ed Hellwig, executive editor at Edmunds.Com.

Stick supporters instead fall back on describing the intangible feeling of downshifting around a corner. Or they point out that learning how to drive a stick-shift car—a true lesson in fits and starts—pays off when renting a car in Europe, where the manual transmission remains popular.

There also is the benefit of theft deterrence. This summer, for example, 24-year-old college student Bert Sainsbury discovered his 1991 Honda Accord had been stolen in Logan, Utah. Mr. Sainsbury jumped into a friend’s car to search and soon spotted the Accord, he said, “bouncing back and forth like the guy does not know how to drive a stick.”

The erratic driver turned out to be Alexander Katz, 19 years old, who pleaded guilty to third-degree felony joy riding and two other charges in July, prosecutors said. Mr. Katz’s girlfriend told police he had difficulty operating the manual transmission, the police report said, and she “attempted to teach him how to drive it.” They left the car behind, police said, and called a taxi.

Reached by phone, Mr. Katz disputed the police account, saying he actually knows how to drive a stick. He acknowledged, however, that the skill’s general decline in the U.S. was “a serious issue.”

Three-pedal purists have made an impact on the high-end sports-car market. Used Ferraris and Lamborghinis with manuals now sell for $15,000 to $20,000 more than those with paddle-shift gear boxes, which have no clutch pedal and small paddle-shaped shifters, said Ted Taormina, who repairs exotic sports cars in San Carlos, Calif.

On a recent afternoon on U.S. Highway 101 in Silicon Valley, Mr. Taormina gunned the 500-horsepower engine of a Shelby Cobra as he released the clutch, thrusting the car forward with such force it seemed it might take flight.

“If there are no more manufacturers building cars with manual gearboxes, people are going to start making their own,” Mr. Taormina said over the whipping sounds of the wind and growl of the motor.

Sellers catering to the Silicon Valley elite have learned that wealthy tech entrepreneurs crave such flashy rides, but some have the skills of a Utah joy-rider. The chief executive of a well-known technology company recently bought a $95,000 replica Cobra, Mr. Taormina said, even though the buyer had very little experience driving a manual transmission.

Mr. Taormina showed the executive the ropes and advised, “It’s like riding a bike, a little rough in the beginning, but you’ll get used to it.” The executive didn’t respond to requests for comment and a representative declined to comment.

Sports-car salesmen in Silicon Valley describe test drives with prospective buyers stuck in the passenger seat because they hadn’t mastered the stick. Yet, they still made the sale.

Driving instructors are still asked to pass along the dying art of heel-and-toe driving. Graham Gullett, who has a driving school in Atlanta, argues that people who drive manual transmissions are more engaged and pay closer attention to the road.
Do You Drive Stick? Fans of Manual Transmission Can

Save the Manuals: https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheManuals/

The Manual Gearbox Preservation Society: https://www.facebook.com/ManualTrans...vationSociety/
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:35 AM
 
12,859 posts, read 7,614,884 times
Reputation: 13491
I tried to compromise on one car with my wife and got a GTI with DSG which is as close to a manual as any automatic gets. Sold it a year and a half later to go back to 2 cars so I could have a manual again.
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
2,983 posts, read 2,229,861 times
Reputation: 4552
I prefer manuals in small engine cars, and automatics in luxury cars or drag cars (or for towing). I have both an automatic car (740i Sport) and a manual car (MINI Cooper) right now, and an automatic in my 2500 Suburban tow rig. My last Mustang was a manual, but it could have been an automatic just as easily and been just as fast.

My wife drives a 6 speed manual car, and even my grandma drove a manual transmission car. It's not difficult and manual drivers need to get over acting special for doing so, as anyone can easily do it if they wanted to. I mean, if it's so easy my grandma can do it, you're not a special snowflake at all.

I've had fun cars that had automatics, and not-fun cars with manuals. The type of transmission wasn't the deciding factor in what was fun. Heck, my first car was a 3 on the tree manual and it was not fun at all. My second car was a big block musclecar with a built automatic and it was very fun.
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:55 AM
 
3,039 posts, read 2,105,051 times
Reputation: 3762
I drive a 4 banger with a stick and will drive a vehicle with a stick as long as I can. I desire a Taurus SHO with a stick, that would be fun.
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:56 AM
 
5,720 posts, read 6,229,464 times
Reputation: 10736
I'd like to see the number of vehicles on the road reduced by making totally non-synchronized manual transmissions mandatory.

Can't double-clutch every shift, up and down? Call a cab.
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
11,029 posts, read 25,866,138 times
Reputation: 5402
I will tell you one thing the Current Chevy SS with the Manual 6-speed will be worth something someday or ateast hold it value well much like the late 00's Pontiac G8 GT/GXP
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Old 11-12-2015, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,145 posts, read 21,029,566 times
Reputation: 14071
The (somewhat conspiratorial) goal is to put EVERYONE on the road in a self-driving car under centralized control... that way traffic accidents will be vastly reduced and existing roads will be able to double their capacity while reducing gridlock at the same time.

THAT will be the last nail in the coffin for manuals... and it's only 5 or 10 years away.
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Old 11-12-2015, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Outskirts of Gray Court, and love it!
4,417 posts, read 3,790,679 times
Reputation: 4868
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpm1 View Post
I drive a 4 banger with a stick and will drive a vehicle with a stick as long as I can. I desire a Taurus SHO with a stick, that would be fun.
Had I think a 90, maybe 89 cant recall, and yes, it was fun!!!
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Old 11-12-2015, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC & Augusta, GA
899 posts, read 834,297 times
Reputation: 1021
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
The (somewhat conspiratorial) goal is to put EVERYONE on the road in a self-driving car under centralized control... that way traffic accidents will be vastly reduced and existing roads will be able to double their capacity while reducing gridlock at the same time.

THAT will be the last nail in the coffin for manuals... and it's only 5 or 10 years away.
I want to think and hope that gas powered cars will be around for future generations to enjoy. There is always a new generation of classic/old car enthusiasts, and without their cars, I would think that they would be unable to live a happy life. I know I wouldn't be able to be happy.
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Old 11-12-2015, 12:22 PM
 
Location: IN>Germany>ND>OH>TX>CA>N/VA
2,735 posts, read 3,114,431 times
Reputation: 10684
I'd have gotten my motor home with a stick if it would have been available. My wife and I have three cars, and they are all manuals. Even though I have to drive 60 miles a day in DC traffic I still prefer going through the gears. Automatics are indeed soulless (as per the quoted article) IMHO.
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