Skip to comments.End of the manual transmission?
Posted on 05/02/2012 1:50:24 PM PDT by Sopater
Go to any given dealership with 100 new cars.
On average, just four of the 2012 models will have manual gearboxes.
The trend of the vanishing third pedal is nothing new, notes The Detroit News.
Even a decade ago, just 8.5 percent of 2002 models were manuals. The papers own automotive reporter even confesses she never learned to drive a stick shift until it essentially became a job requirement.
Its more than a little contradictory to automotive reviews (including many youll read here) extolling the pleasure of enthusiastic driving with a true manual gearbox. Likewise, purists gravitate to manuals for tackling their favorite twisting road or occasional track day. Its the original form of in-car connectivity.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
They do screw around with the gearing between m/t and a/t, typically to make the manual “faster” rather than more efficient.
Cars with stick shifts are almost “theft proof”. The young thugs never learned to drive a standard transmission.
The thing with stick shifts is that its difficult to drink and drive.
Depends on your basic skill set....
Automatics need to be banned....for the children.
They’ve been saying manuals are dead for a long time. But there’s enough of us that won’t drive automatics to keep them going, we just get to be more selective. The good news is most of the brands that don’t make manuals also don’t make cars worth buying.
My first car was an MGA. Boy did I have fun with that car!
Never owned an automatic, probably never will. The kind of cars I like will always be offered with a stick, unless our friends in DC outlaw them.
As it stands now, a stick might very well be a theft deterrent, as so few people can drive them any more.
“Since manuals are more fuel efficient you would think there would be more.”
Exactly, my C5 Corvette with a 6 speed manual transmission routinely gets 32 to 34 MPG at 70 mph on my “commute’” from the SF Bay Area down to Monterey. FYI most, if not all of the new Corvettes do not have a gas guzzler tax, and several models have between 500 and 640 Hp.
I had an 86 F-250 with 460 and a Borg Warner T-19 manual. I did several things to improve performance including dual exhausts, pre 1967 valve timing gear and since the carb always gave trouble, replaced it with an Edelbrock performance carb.
I am not sure the Edelbrock gave any more horsepower but it sure was smoother running.
The only problem was the gear ratios were awful. First was so low that it ran out of RPM’s before you got any speed at all. Second was nearly as low. When you finally got it into 3rd it would really go then high was about right. It had an extremely good high end.
I would much rather have had an automatic but didn’t realize it until I had already bought it.
I’ve owned 21 cars. 9 were manuals, 11 automatics. Some were old jalopies, a few were V-8 muscle cars (one Camaro, one Mustang, both stick), one was a 4-cylinder economy car (stick shift) and some were just sensible transportation. I learned to drive on a ‘stick shift’ and still like the control of a manual transmission but unless I’m driving a performance car it isn’t all that important. Today I drive a well-equipped late model Honda Civic with a 5-speed automatic. Smooth, efficient and very practical for that particular car. The old ‘slush boxes’ are ancient history. Modern automatics are infinitely superior to the automatics of even 20 years ago. However, if a buyer prefers a manual transmission they should be available and probably will remain so, specifically in ‘economy’ and ‘performance’ vehicles. To each his own.
” The last car I owned with an automatic transmission was a 1971 Pontiac Firebird “
The only car I personally owned and drove with an automatic was a 1969 Pontiac Firebird . Before that I had a 67 SS Camaro , and a 73 Z-28 which was a lemon so I dumped it after less than a year . After that owned 2 Toyota Celicas with 5 speeds and an MGB with a 4 . My wife does all the driving here in Japan and we have owned Hondas with autos for years now .
“Glad to see another MGB owner here!”
I’ve never owned an MGB, but I did drive my uncle’s ‘67 MGB-GT a couple times. I already had my Miata by then, but it was still pretty fun.
Part of why I own a Miata is because I wanted an MGB back in my college years.
My father has joked that driving a stick shift has saved his car from being stolen more than once - none of the young thugs could figure it out.
I haven’t owned a stick shift car in 19 years, but I still have a craving for another. I miss shifting on turns and off the line. I guess I better get one soon.
“The thing with stick shifts is that its difficult to drink and drive.”
Not when you’ve had enough practice! Back in my pizza delivery days, I could handle a cheeseburger and a 5-speed while cradling a Super Big Gulp between my legs. And this was in a Chevrolet Sprint; to keep that thing moving with anything resembling authority you practically had to row it with the shifter.
“Exactly, my C5 Corvette with a 6 speed manual transmission routinely gets 32 to 34 MPG at 70 mph on my commute from the SF Bay Area down to Monterey.”
Interesting... you’re not “commuting” to Laguna Seca by any chance, are you? :)
and roll a J at the same time?
I’ve owned about 6 or 7 MT cars and about the same AT cars. I’ve had to rebuild 4 of the AT’s, Never had any trouble with the MT’s except for the occasional clutch job, which is to be expected.
The 5 speed manual trans in my class 1 car cost 25 grand.
Nah, I draw the line at smoking dope while driving. :D
I learned to drive a stick on the three on the tree. What a frigging adventure. Now that takes skill and it is a lost art unless you are over 40.
When I tell kids today about that they think I was making it up.
And when I tell them I had a 1967 Chevy Bel Air with a two speed automatic and floor vents, and the 327 engine mounts where cables, they are gobsmacked.
Driving twisty roads with the window down so I can hear that high-revving V8 wind as I blip up & down through the gears is one of life's greatest pleasures!
Give me an automatic with cruise control any day. My last manual transmission was a 1969 MGB. (I’ve got some motorcycles that are still standard shift, but all but one of the scooters are auto)
That was what we had as a Driver's Ed. car (likely with just a 6 cyl).
It was a trip to get it to merge smoothly onto the Long Island Expressway loaded with kids and the teacher (only those who already had had a license for a while were allowed to drive on the freeway).
What he said. ↑
Motor trend has this list for 2011
They are available!
Manuals have been disappearing for a long time ... anyone remember “three on the tree”? That was my personal favorite.
I’ve driven a 3 on a tree. Never saw a four. I love my 5-speed. Drives my wife nuts when she has to drive it.
I’ve driven lots of big trucks and buses. Double clutching is pretty tough. One of the buses I drive has an 8-speed. Pretty cool to spin a school but up to 80 mph.
As someone who has driven in both NYC and Chicago traffic with a manual tranny, I don’t agree an automatic is better.
When stopped I find I have to shift the auto to neutral anyway because the I find the vibrations annoying.
I was at a light next to a friend. We gunned the engines...I threw it into first, popped the clutch and raced away....in reverse.
If a m,anual trans won’t bolt up to a Transfer Case, is it of any real value?
They dont make them like that anymore. The engine got pulled for a street rod while the rest of the car got turned into a block.
I once had a Citroen DS21 with 4 plus reverse on the tree!
All my manual-transmission cars (and for that matter, all but one of the automatic cars) had the shifter on the floor, but I test-drove a ‘64 Falcon Ranchero with a 3-on-the-tree once during my second year of college. I was looking for a car to replace my ‘74 Pinto, which at the time burned almost as much oil as gas. It didn’t take long to get the hang of it.
But I wound up getting an ‘81 Honda Accord instead, which had a 5-speed.
Once when I was in high school or college, I was driving my mom and brothers somewhere in her station wagon with an automatic. (I had a VW Scirocco with a 4-speed) Getting off the freeway after 100 miles or so, I “clutched” the power brake pedal.
Had a college girlfriend who owned a MG Midget. The car you wore. I think they came in sizes, like 38R and 42L.
Maybe in the US, but not here in Europe. Almost every car, even top-of-the-line cars, come with manual transmissions. You can get automatic, of course, but here if you don’t know how to drive stick, you’re taking the bus.
Glad I learned when I did 22 years ago; a little late at 19 years old at the time, but better late then never.
My latest vehicle, a Kia Sportage, is the first automatic I've ever owned. The arthritis in my knees, hips, and lower back forced me out of the low slung Toyota Corollas I've owned since 1990.
In bad weather, I really miss the clutch and being able to choose my own gear.
I've owned my Kia for 3 years now, and when I called the dealer to find out how much a transmission/transaxle fluid and filter change would run, he informed me that there is no filter.
I think you're right... After a hundred thousand miles or so, it will be time to rebuild or replace the transmission!
However, I kept the 6-speed manual (a 2007 BMW 3-series hardtop convertible) to use as a second car, and to keep myself in practice with respect to "real" driving.
To look at it objectively, it is no longer true that manuals are faster, or more economical, than today's automatics. Ten years ago, yes, but no more. Still, the stick is more fun, and I wish my new ride had one.
No reason for a manual tranny in a vehicle other than a work truck these days. Automatics have improved to the point that mpg differences are negligible and they are a lot less likely to have problems than a clutch
Those clutch changes are fun aren’t they. Not really large expensive, but a pain in the ass
3 speed manual with overdrive. That actually meant 6 different gear ratios
Not familiar with those(and lot of others from then) Was the overdrive like a split shift rear axle?
“Id take a classic Chevy muscle car (i.e. 1971 Camaro) over anything off the production line these days anyway...”
What, in a straight line?
You might drive an Audi quattro, and feel differently. Quattro means full time 4 wheel drive.
Handling, no drama, speed and control. Many optional models and powerplants.
There are many smaller, high performance cars today which blow the doors off early muscle cars.
If all you want is noise, exhaust and spinning tires that is one thing, but if you see an AWD launch that is quite another.
I watched a street race between a 2wd BMW M3, and a Subaru AWD WRX STI. The Subaru won easily.
I once had a 1970 Chevy Malibu that had been, shall we say “worked on,” by the previous owner. That car would move, not like the anemic stuff one encounters today.
And it was downright good-looking, too.
I have nostalgia for the 60’s early 70’s from my teen years too. Face facts though, those Camaro’s, Mustangs and such would be blown off the road by todays cars. It’s not even close
Just an observation, but 9 and 11 do not add up to 21... ;-P
Its a scam. The no dip stick thing kills me. So even if you trust someone to flush the tranny you can’t even check the color or level. Backin the day you would have to check the level quite often after a flush to get the level just right.
I am not sure how it worked internally but there was a solenoid which jerked something inside the transmission into another final drive gear.
The overdrive was a switch you had to push manually. When it was on, all gears had a higher range. I actually had to replace the transmission in my old 55. I did not know much about them but can remember lying on the ground under that car with the transmission on my chest and stomach and having to insert it and the bolts before I could take the pressure off my body.
I was in a lot better shape back then.
I really did like the overdrive btw.