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Is it a cult?? Stick-shifters (if there are any) unite....

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https://carshowsafari.com/interview-with-stick-shifters-of-america/

I don't know if I'll join, but I would like to see standard shift stay alive for those who would learn to love it, or already do.  To me, driving an automatic is boring, my mind wanders.  With a stick, you (meaning me) tend to pay more attention to the road, and you "participate" in translating revs into motion.  Maybe it figures why I prefer a tiller to a wheel.

Thinking back, I don't believe I've ever owned an automatic-- if i remember it correctly, it's been VW beetle, then Peugeot 404, then Fiat, then VW Rabbit, then Camry, then Honda Accord, then Corolla, and now (and it took some searching with dealerships) a new Nissan Versa with a stick.  Surprisingly nice little car for the price, and the 2020 Versa is a newer model than the semi-dorky previous iterations, looks more like a junior Altima now.  Subcompact econoboxes aren't that powerful, so stick makes driving more interesting.  I've left out motorcycles, all Honda, and one Indian  back in high school, two buddies and I fixed up a 1948 Chief.  All "standard", obviously.  The Indian had a treadle-type ("suicide") clutch, and a tank-shifter, three speeds.

My wife has had a couple of automatics, but mostly sticks (first car was an MGB she shared with her sister), and more recently, for a while had an Acura RSX-S type, also known as "cheap speed", what a rocket, til it died in a flood (New Orleans, it happens), I almost cried.  Our kid is also pure stick, at least so far.  Bless them both.

Other advantages:  dead battery? you can bump-start it by pushing it then popping the clutch, no waiting for a jump, or for AAA.  Brakes failed? (okay, this never happens but humor me) keep downshifting until you're going slow, if your clutch can stand it.

It weighs less than an automatic.

It's cheaper to buy a than an automatic, quite a bit actually. 

Car thieves (other than very old car thieves) don't know how to drive it.

In Europe, Central America, and I don't know where else, stick is mostly what they have anyway.  The valet at a Houston hotel, from Mexico, came back with the keys and a big smile, "stick shift!!".  Yup.

Okay, the bad, it'll be harder to sell used, but I usually keep a car a long time so not that much a disadvantage.

 

Okay, I doubt I've convinced anybody, but well, I tried...

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My wife has a 2003 Saab with manual transmission, and we both love to drive it.  Fortunately, it's still going strong, as there are just not any sporty manuals left (they are all toggle or paddle when not automatic).

Sadly, we both have come to the conclusion that our kids will never learn stick.

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i started driving farm tractors when I was about 14 years old.  That is a great way to learn about clutches and shifting. 

100% agree stick shifts offer a better driving experience.   

There is some cliche about stick shifts and anti-theft devices that I won't repeat.  

 

 

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I grew up driving stick in the UK, as automatics were almost unheard of.

I have one of the few 6-speed sticks on the US market, a 2016 VW Golf R. 

It's just so much fun up the twisties here in NorCal, and as you say, makes you participate in the driving.  It keeps your attention level on the job at hand.  Being able to drop two cogs and floor it instantly to join a freeway in front of that truck is a major safety feature too.

Ellen de Generes said it right. "If what you're doing requires both hands, both eyes and at least one foot, it might be an idea to have your brain involved as well."

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I had a 73 Chevy van to tow my Star back in the 80's and that was the only automatic I have owned.  My 70 Ghia was an auto stick, but I have since dropped a 4 speed in it, much more fun to drive.  There is a facebook page I believe something like save our 4 speed or something like that.

 

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Archaic tech created a hundred years ago to overcome some the many disadvantages of the equally archaic internal combustion engine. A pointless cult. 

Do real farm tractors still have clutches? Crashboxes? Really? Painful.

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We rented a sort  of Jeep like car in Granada.  Not only was it right hand drive but a 4 speed too.  Since I am left handed and still drove a stick I was elected driver.  Took a while to get adjusted to keep left, but the shifting was no problem.

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jesus, automatics are the least of your worries.  I had to rent a truck on the weekend, an up trim Ram.  I had to look in the book to open the fucking gas door! (park, off, press on door a third of the way back).  it went into "auto park" twice, i'm still not sure exactly what i did to get it out of "auto park".  and that's just "mandatory convenience" stuff, the trend is that you won't actually drive at all...strap yourself into a box, enter a destination and sit there until you arrive, now that's fucking terrifying.

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When I go to work, I leave my car unlocked with the keys in it. Do I worry?  No... it’s a manual.  Millennial anti-theft device. (Ditto with the house... I’ve always lived just rural enough that if someone wanted to break in the house, there would be nothing to stop them, and then I’d just have to replace the door, too.  When I sold my first house, went through the closing.  At the end, everything signed, new owners say “Now it’s time for the keys!” Uhhhhhh, oops.  Gave them a random key I had laying around.  No idea what it went to, but never heard anything about it so I guess they figured it out).

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My kid learned stick on a 98 honda, just gave that to a needy fam...  I am gonna be 51.  Have a stick 525I.  Love it.  Always had stick growing up  First auto was for me mum, 90's VW passat...  IMHO, with all the electronics involved, anything that is above mid price is kind of dumb to have auto.  WIth the CPU controlling everything now anyway, why would you want to get less performance from a heavier system and why on earth would you want a human to control said system when 1 fuck up will throw all the tolerances off.  Plus everything is elect shift/fly by wire anyway, so you are not really shifting anyway.  And that Clutch.  Just another thing that will break and have to be replace in 50K mi.  

Now that said.  

There Absolutely should be a low cost manual option out there, It should be a midsize sedan and also should have manual windows, door locks and mirrors.  No shit to break YMMV.  But with electronics being what they are, the general public so stuck on Auto and the general elk unwilling to learn something new..  Well, Change aint a coming..  

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What kills me is the car companies charge extra for the auto while the manuals cost them so much more to make.  My GF has a Beetle with a manual so I get my fix in often enough.  I took my driving test in a manual.  

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I tried to teach my daughter how to drive my 5 speed stick jeep wrangler. 

it was the first car she'd ever driven. She actually did pretty well.  I started her off with just the pedals and me shifting left handed. 

a sorta semi-automatic ... then we got her arm involved and she got it. 

 

When she went back to her mom's and got put in drivers ed, all they had were automatics and she never picked the stick back up again. 

a shame really. 

I grew up in VWs. My first car was a BMW 2002tii with a manual. next an MGB-GT.. and a slew of other Eurocars until I got my first big Murican truck. a Jeep J10 with a 3 speed manual. that thing could pull a house over in 4W low. I wish I could drop a manual in my XK8. that would definitely up the fun coefficient a few tenths.. 

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I own 2, 87 Pajero, and 93 300ZX T/T.  Both are a blast to drive.  The only time I appreciated an automatic was driving in bumper to bumper traffic for an hour each way - the jeep was 1st, 2nd, neutral, 1st, 2nd, neutral, etc 

I learned to drive on a stick shift when I was 13 - backing a boat down the ramp and launching/retrieving the boat.  My Dad's only word of advice - "leave the window down so you can swim out if you f*ck it up...)

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2 minutes ago, NaClH20 said:

When I go to work, I leave my car unlocked with the keys in it. Do I worry?  No... it’s a manual.  Millennial anti-theft device. (Ditto with the house... I’ve always lived just rural enough that if someone wanted to break in the house, there would be nothing to stop them, and then I’d just have to replace the door, too.  When I sold my first house, went through the closing.  At the end, everything signed, new owners say “Now it’s time for the keys!” Uhhhhhh, oops.  Gave them a random key I had laying around.  No idea what it went to, but never heard anything about it so I guess they figured it out).

Your note resonates.  I live somewhere that I can and have left the garage door open overnight with some good stuff there.  No issue.  I regularly leave doors unlocked.  All locks do is keep honest people honest.  My brother when his car wouldn't start would leave his keys in the ignition hoping that the thief would get it running and the cops would then find it.

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12 minutes ago, chester said:

jesus, automatics are the least of your worries.  I had to rent a truck on the weekend, an up trim Ram.  I had to look in the book to open the fucking gas door! (park, off, press on door a third of the way back).  it went into "auto park" twice, i'm still not sure exactly what i did to get it out of "auto park".  and that's just "mandatory convenience" stuff, the trend is that you won't actually drive at all...strap yourself into a box, enter a destination and sit there until you arrive, now that's fucking terrifying.

Had a loaner BMW a couple months ago.  2020 X1, so not a crazy car(wanted the m5 sedan, but it was a free recall repair so they weren't so open to that... :) ) , but my god.  As soon as I got out of the parking lot, I had to sit on the side of the road for 10 mins with the manual to turn all the safety shit off.  And I own a fucking BMW, So I know the system.  

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Missus BB and elder daughter are all stick shifters!  I was going to have to switch, when a bulging arthritic great toe was giving me some pain when using the stiff clutch in the WRX, but since I got a stretchy New Balance shoe, it is much better, and no discomfort when shifting anymore.  Daughter is about to trade her manual Jetta for a new one and both our cars and our truck are manual.  I might have to join that club, just to get that sticker! LOL!

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17 minutes ago, NaClH20 said:

When I go to work, I leave my car unlocked with the keys in it. Do I worry?  No... it’s a manual.  Millennial anti-theft device. (Ditto with the house... I’ve always lived just rural enough that if someone wanted to break in the house, there would be nothing to stop them, and then I’d just have to replace the door, too.  When I sold my first house, went through the closing.  At the end, everything signed, new owners say “Now it’s time for the keys!” Uhhhhhh, oops.  Gave them a random key I had laying around.  No idea what it went to, but never heard anything about it so I guess they figured it out).

 

LOL!!  I was a Real Estate Broker nearly 30 years in a beautiful, semi-rural area between the lower CT River, and Long Island Sound.  There were countless closings where the Sellers did not have keys any more, because they never locked their homes!!  I do lock the cars, since there is stuff to steal in them, like the radar-lidar detector on the dash of the WRX.  And we lock the house when we are out of town.  Friend in Chester, the next town over had her Audi SUV stolen out of her open garage door, with the keys in it, including her car keys, a week or two ago.  This was a quite wooded dead end street on 2 acre lots.  Cops said more than a couple had been lifted that night in the overall area.  Occasionally crooks from New Haven or Hartford will hit the area.  

EDIT:  Not positive, but I believe that some cars with manuals DO cost more than autos, because they make and sell so few of them.

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14 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

What kills me is the car companies charge extra for the auto while the manuals cost them so much more to make.  My GF has a Beetle with a manual so I get my fix in often enough.  I took my driving test in a manual.  

Do shops still charge more for disc brake jobs than for drums?

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25 minutes ago, sailm8 said:

We rented a sort  of Jeep like car in Granada.  Not only was it right hand drive but a 4 speed too.  Since I am left handed and still drove a stick I was elected driver.  Took a while to get adjusted to keep left, but the shifting was no problem.

did the same thing in St Lucia a few times , and then again in england,  I'm a righty, so shifting with the left hand was troublesome for a bit,  I went from first to third more times than I could count.  wife kept me on my toes in regard to staying in the proper lanes... (usually by screaming in fear)

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2 minutes ago, Marcjsmith said:

did the same thing in St Lucia a few times , and then again in england,  I'm a righty, so shifting with the left hand was troublesome for a bit,  I went from first to third more times than I could count.  wife kept me on my toes in regard to staying in the proper lanes... (usually by screaming in fear)

 

Never had a problem switching for LHD to RHD, or driving on the left. First time was summer of 1980 when I was living on Ex-Tenacious, War Baby owned by Warren Brown and docked at RBYC.  Then much later when we visited England, then Ireland, and Scotland.

 

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3 minutes ago, Marcjsmith said:

did the same thing in St Lucia a few times , and then again in england,  I'm a righty, so shifting with the left hand was troublesome for a bit,  I went from first to third more times than I could count.  wife kept me on my toes in regard to staying in the proper lanes... (usually by screaming in fear)

There wasn't a lot of screaming until the first roundabout.  Some honking too.

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Between the wife and I we have never owned an auto in over 37 years of driving. When I started driving we always believed that autos were for old people and  people that couldn’t drive very well. Now in South Africa about 99% of people on the roads can’t drive very well!  Currently have 3 Subies, don’t know what we will replace any of them with as there is a definite trend towards auto boxes or CVT.

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4 minutes ago, sailm8 said:

There wasn't a lot of screaming until the first roundabout.  Some honking too.

I lived in England for a while and owned and drove a car there. 

I assumed that when the locals were yelling "KEY  PLEFT" that it was type of friendly greeting.  

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20 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

Your note resonates.  I live somewhere that I can and have left the garage door open overnight with some good stuff there.  No issue.  I regularly leave doors unlocked.  All locks do is keep honest people honest.  My brother when his car wouldn't start would leave his keys in the ignition hoping that the thief would get it running and the cops would then find it.

I think about it time to time, especially now with a rapidly escalating local drug epidemic. Still, a few houses down, a while back, someone had a little too much booze, a little too much pot.  Decided it was a good idea to go walk in the house across the street.  Where a state cop lives.  No harm, really, and I can live with that level of criminality.  You hear about things, though, and they seem to inch closer every year.

Back to the thread at hand:

My uncle has a Ferrari 360 that is, unfortunately, an F1 transmission.  I have to say it does have its advantages and I could possibly see why one would want such a thing, but around here there’s nowhere to drive it to that level of performance and it might be more engaging with a stick.  He’s got a 550, too,  that is a classic Ferrari gated manual, but it doesn’t work right now.  I’d love to compare the two, even if they are rather different cars if same era.

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21 minutes ago, sailm8 said:

There wasn't a lot of screaming until the first roundabout.  Some honking too.

Reminded me on my honeymoon trip from Germany to Scotland. I had a Honda CRX sports coupe, very light, 6,500 revs, 5 gears (at that time a specialty). Once in the highlands the single track roads started. Overtaking was interesting. With a German left hand drive on English streets ... every drive off was feeling funny. So with overtaking on the very narrow roads - I carefully went to the right - and when my wife cried or her eyes seemed to pop out of her head - then it looked not be a good overtaking opportunity. When she looked relaxed I drove full on the right opposite track until I could see if the road was clear to nail it. Scary experience!!

Last time in England - with a new BMW - I used the navigation on full detail with the HUD - showing you exactly what lane you are supposed to be driving. Makes runabouts and crossings a cake...

My current BMW got stolen - and you hardly get any BMW with a manual gear shift. So I ordered my first automatic gearbox. Hard nut to swallow. I took the paddles option to click-shift on the steering wheel. Lets see if I do not get my will selecting gears. My brother did the same some years ago. He said that he tried the paddles only on day one. I hope I am different!

And on my boats - manual gears / dedicated reefs. No furling main. (Please do not be unpolite asking me how I reef my jib)

 

 

 

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I drove a buddies 47 Morgan a couple of months ago in the hills behind Santa Barbara. Right hand drive, with a none synchro manual gearbox that had first gear in the upper right...Actually really fun till it overheated. Apparently the older Morgans used something called a Hydro-Syphon to cool the engine as opposed to a water pump. Car design really has a come a long way in the last 70 years.

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20 minutes ago, NaClH20 said:

I think about it time to time, especially now with a rapidly escalating local drug epidemic. Still, a few houses down, a while back, someone had a little too much booze, a little too much pot.  Decided it was a good idea to go walk in the house across the street.  Where a state cop lives.  No harm, really, and I can live with that level of criminality.  You hear about things, though, and they seem to inch closer every year.

Back to the thread at hand:

My uncle has a Ferrari 360 that is, unfortunately, an F1 transmission.  I have to say it does have its advantages and I could possibly see why one would want such a thing, but around here there’s nowhere to drive it to that level of performance and it might be more engaging with a stick.  He’s got a 550, too,  that is a classic Ferrari gated manual, but it doesn’t work right now.  I’d love to compare the two, even if they are rather different cars if same era.

Does your uncle need another nephew?

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I learned to drive on a 1955 MG TD, born the same year as me....

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2008 Acura TL with a six speed.

Plan is to keep it running until it completely implodes, we both hate automatics.

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We have a late model manual CRV, will probably keep it until our first electric car, it’s the last CRV Honda made with a stick shift.

Also have an Isuzu ute, diesel manual, pre DPF...

They are both going to go until they die, not worth thinking about autos or diesel particulate filters.

My wife and I have always driven manuals, taught the boys to drive manuals, I like the sense of control over the drive wheels, an auto is like going downhill in neutral, no engine braking effect.

The gearbox on our CRV is a thing of beauty, six speed, clutch and shift are light as a feather, and with a VVT engine it’s quiet at low revs and a screamer over 3500.

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Both of my cars are manuals. Taught my kids how to drive stick, and my daughter taught her fiance how to drive stick - both of their cars are manuals.

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Drove an automatic (or an electric to be precise) for the first time this year. Stopping without shifting out of gear felt rather strange.

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Stop and go inner city rush hour or the dreaded 4 mph creep on the freeway—better with an automatic transmission.  Santa Cruz mountain roads on a weekday—much better with a manual.

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I'm going the other way.     I'm looking for a truck with an automatic. Backing while towing up a hill and the boat ramp have me convinced that the stick shift, with gearing for decent mileage, is a bust for towing. (big-rigs excluded obviously)

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1 hour ago, olaf hart said:

We have a late model manual CRV, will probably keep it until our first electric car, it’s the last CRV Honda made with a stick shift.

Also have an Isuzu ute, diesel manual, pre DPF...

They are both going to go until they die, not worth thinking about autos or diesel particulate filters.

My wife and I have always driven manuals, taught the boys to drive manuals, I like the sense of control over the drive wheels, an auto is like going downhill in neutral, no engine braking effect.

The gearbox on our CRV is a thing of beauty, six speed, clutch and shift are light as a feather, and with a VVT engine it’s quiet at low revs and a screamer over 3500.

 

Using the manual for braking by matching revs and downshifting greatly increases the life span of front brake pads, and tires.  Our '04 Beamer X3, 3.0, 6-speed got 60,000 miles from the first tires and pads.  I drove it for years, then handed to the Missus when I got the first Subie Crosstrek, then now the WRX.  Over 200,000 miles now and the only thing other than normal maintenance was rear springs, which is common at high miles.  A/C has been busted for a couple years, but Missus BB doesn't care, and is loathe for us to spend the grand for labor alone, let alone parts to replace the unit behind the firewall, up and behind the glove box....

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On a sailing site, and NOBODY mentioned the fun of jumping out of the vehicle at the ramp and jamming a chock under the tire?    People!  A  sailing site but no real life experience here?

Even if the parking break does hold there is a nice level of redundancy having a transmission that locks into park (though I saw a truck pulled out of the deep, still in park, when that failed).    

 

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21 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

Using the manual for braking by matching revs and downshifting greatly increases the life span of front brake pads, and tires.

Brake pads and tires are consumables, drivetrain and engine not so much. My first SAAB had freewheeling, no engine braking there. For me a manual transmission = driving, an automatic = transportation. I do prefer an auto for boat ramps. Clutches seem to last longer in the absence of teenage drivers. Best lesson I know for teaching how to drive a manual was to have the student get the vehicle going on a flat surface with no throttle. 

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5 minutes ago, cyclone said:

... Clutches seem to last longer in the absence of teenage drivers.

+100  Taught my son to drive on my 5-speed daily commuter.  Replaced the clutch right after that.

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52 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

Using the manual for braking by matching revs and downshifting greatly increases the life span of front brake pads, and tires.  

I can change brake pads and discs in an hour. Took me two days to change a clutch as it is an engine out job.

Gears make you go, brakes make you stop.

My kids are learning to drive in a Suzuki 4wd. I leave the hubs unlocked and put it in low range. They need to get to third gear just to hit walking speed.

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1 hour ago, billy backstay said:

Using the manual for braking by matching revs and downshifting greatly increases the life span of front brake pads, and tires.

Brakes are a hell of a lot cheaper and easier to replace than transmissions.

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I haven't owned a stick for 35 years and never missed it.

If you want to shift your own gears get an automatic with a J-Gate shifter or paddles - clutching every gear change did not elevate me.

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4 hours ago, sailm8 said:

We rented a sort  of Jeep like car in Granada.  Not only was it right hand drive but a 4 speed too.  Since I am left handed and still drove a stick I was elected driver.  Took a while to get adjusted to keep left, but the shifting was no problem.

Granada?

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I never drove an "Automatic", until I was in my late 30s.

 Now with thundering neuropathy in both feet, and both hands, I have come to appreciate the "automatic" ......  don't like it, but I appreciate it.

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3 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:
5 hours ago, sailm8 said:

We rented a sort  of Jeep like car in Granada.  Not only was it right hand drive but a 4 speed too.  Since I am left handed and still drove a stick I was elected driver.  Took a while to get adjusted to keep left, but the shifting was no problem.

Granada?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_in_Grenada

I thick he meante Grenada.                    :)

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3 minutes ago, chester said:

granaida..grenawda

Ist OK Chessey, com dowen, we stille love you                                    :)

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1 minute ago, cyclone said:

Granada

B625D1F9-5DB4-4763-8544-3838233D5509.thumb.jpeg.3b295044cf535288247025c5d9bc9eb8.jpeg

My dadde hadde oune, navey on navey on navey.  Qwite slicke at teh time.                   :)

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On Grenada they drive on the left... In Granada they drive on the right... Correct? It's in Spain... Grenada is an island nation in the Caribbean....

 But I had a left hand drive when I lived in Grenada, so I was always driving on the wrong side of the road..... But after years of driving home from bars in the USA after closing time, I was pretty used to that.....

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Learned to drive a mid 70's Toyota Hilux Ute around the farm at 9ish. Progressed to tractors for work at neighbouring properties and have never owned an auto. 

As technology has improved Autos are typically faster, more fuel efficient and a far better driving experience in my opinion. 

However, as noted up thread a manual in heavy traffic is a shitful experience. If that's your regular commute then it's the logical choice. For me, growing up in a rural area and living most of my life in a smaller town I can't see me giving up the manual.

Manuals are far more common in Australia than elsewhere but my experience else where is typically rentals so that may be biased. 

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Six year old Subaru WRX.

Six speed manual.

Lots of fun in the snow.

Only 100K Km on it so can not bring myself to change.

Lost

 

 

wrx.jpg

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53 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Brakes are a hell of a lot cheaper and easier to replace than transmissions.

I have never had to replace a transmission in hundreds of thousands of miles, in many manual trans vehicles, over nearly 50 years of driving them...YMMV..

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7 minutes ago, lostonsat said:

Six year old Subaru WRX.

Six speed manual.

Lots of fun in the snow.

Only 100K Km on it so can not bring myself to change.

Lost

 

 

wrx.jpg

None of that plastic skirting would last a season on these roads. The rims would be toast in 6 months as well.

 Nice looking car, but it needs paved roads to survive. (And I'm a huge Subaru fan)

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4 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:

None of that plastic skirting would last a season on these roads. The rims would be toast in 6 months as well.

 Nice looking car, but it needs paved roads to survive. (And I'm a huge Subaru fan)

I have steel wheels for winter and the skirting has survived numerous tests.

Gets driven hard on unpaved roads.

Lost

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I grew up on manuals, and when I first went home to visit my parents with my then girlfriend, now wife, I hired a manual.  I got her to have a go.  I could cope with the noises that the gearbox was producing, but when the smell of superheated metal got into the driving compartment I could not stand it any more and gently suggested that maybe I should drive from there. 

We have always owned an auto since then, but whenever we go away and hire a car, I choose a manual to keep in practice.  I am determined that the kids will learn on a manual.

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1 hour ago, cyclone said:

Granada

B625D1F9-5DB4-4763-8544-3838233D5509.thumb.jpeg.3b295044cf535288247025c5d9bc9eb8.jpeg

Hello Muddah

Hello Fahdah

Here I am at...

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1 hour ago, Mrleft8 said:

On Grenada they drive on the left... In Granada they drive on the right... Correct? It's in Spain... Grenada is an island nation in the Caribbean....

 But I had a left hand drive when I lived in Grenada, so I was always driving on the wrong side of the road..... But after years of driving home from bars in the USA after closing time, I was pretty used to that.....

As you probably remember, in the islands you drive up the middle.  That way you avoid all the sudden holes or culverts.  Negotiating  passing rights with oncoming vehicles is a matter of care and nicety.

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My first car was a series II Land Rover.  It had been used for ploughing and loads of other field work, and was pretty well wanked when I bought it for £50.

I'd not like to challenge an "average" US driver to work this one.

 

RRR 154R - 1977 Series III - 7 Seater - 15,700 miles ! - Land Rover Centre

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Had an existential crisis when buying my toy convertible last month. If it was to be a sports car did it need to be a manual? There actually were lots of autos available. We considered a MB SLK and we only found one with a stick. We finally decided on a Miata and it is a six speed. Really fun on the right road. We went to look at fall colours in central Ontario. There is an amazing little road between Gravenhurst and Bracebridge for any locals.

When we were off cruising the only places we rented vehicles were NZ, Oz, and South Africa. In all cases they were manuals and we drove on the left of course. Didn't prove to be a problem. Having the wheel on the right side made driving on the left seem quite natural. All of the transmissions were sufficiently 'broken in' that left hand shifting was not a problem.

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On my third VW bus, a '66, that I have had for 46 years.  Parked in the garage, not many kids know how to drive a stick, let alone know where reverse is,  sort of a "anti theft" device.  When I have to leave the bus overnight, I remove the distributer rotor.  Not many know where that is located, plus a Bosch centrifugal advance, not stock.

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I drive my wife's original 2000 Toyota 4Runner 5spd.  We had two manuals but after my wife thought that she tore her ACL (pregnancy allowed the ligament to stretch and then amazing go back to normal 2 months later), we decided one auto may be a good idea.  So we still have the 4Runner and were planning to replace it with a Tesla in the Spring (twenty years of ownership seems like enough) but now that we're both home working, we're kind of thinking of waiting. 

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2 hours ago, foamy1946 said:

On my third VW bus, a '66, that I have had for 46 years.  Parked in the garage, not many kids know how to drive a stick, let alone know where reverse is,  sort of a "anti theft" device.  When I have to leave the bus overnight, I remove the distributer rotor.  Not many know where that is located, plus a Bosch centrifugal advance, not stock.

Removing the rotor was a reliable method of ensuring a grounded kid did not sneak off in the car.

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3 hours ago, P_Wop said:

My first car was a series II Land Rover.  It had been used for ploughing and loads of other field work, and was pretty well wanked when I bought it for £50.

I'd not like to challenge an "average" US driver to work this one.

 

RRR 154R - 1977 Series III - 7 Seater - 15,700 miles ! - Land Rover Centre

Gear lever, you can just see the bottom of, (4 speed or later models 5 speed.)

Red lever High and low range gears,,

Yellow lever 2 or 4 wheel drive,

And I think that's the Fairey Overdrive, black lever far left,

Giving you 16 or 20 forward speeds and 4 reverse..

You could have fitted  free wheeling front hubs to add to the complication..

Oh and the big black lever with the white button is your hand brake..

 

Being in the UK of course most cars are manual gearbox although the number of Autos is slowly increasing. I've only driven an auto a couple of times , both when the hire yard only had Auto's left.. mind you that normally meant I got a higher spec car as well.

So any arriving here from elsewhere and only used to an Auto, remember to specify that you want an auto from the hire yard.. 

 

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As a teenager, I drove a three-ton Dodge with dually's, 4 on the floor and a split rear axle across Canada a couple of times when touring with the rock band.  The most fun was drifting it around corners at city speeds - we never had the nerve to try drifting it at high speed. It looked like this but with a box on the back:

Big Dodge Trucks:'61-'71 Dodge Truck Website

We all drove it, and it was good fun learning how to use the split axle.  It became second nature after a while.  

Those days are gone, and will not come back.  

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3 hours ago, P_Wop said:

My first car was a series II Land Rover.  It had been used for ploughing and loads of other field work, and was pretty well wanked when I bought it for £50.

I'd not like to challenge an "average" US driver to work this one.

 

RRR 154R - 1977 Series III - 7 Seater - 15,700 miles ! - Land Rover Centre

That photo brings back many happy memories, however it is WAY cleaner than any of the Land Rovers I owned or drove.

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My current vehicle is a stick shift. 16 Subaru Crosstrek. Needs one more gear. I constantly catch myself reaching for it when I am already in 5th. really could have used a 6 speed, which I think they do now.

 

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18 hours ago, billy backstay said:

I learned to drive on a 1955 MG TD, born the same year as me....

1972 Triumph Spitfire for me..  but I was born earlier..

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13 hours ago, Tunnel Rat said:

I grew up on manuals, and when I first went home to visit my parents with my then girlfriend, now wife, I hired a manual.  I got her to have a go.  I could cope with the noises that the gearbox was producing, but when the smell of superheated metal got into the driving compartment I could not stand it any more and gently suggested that maybe I should drive from there. 

We have always owned an auto since then, but whenever we go away and hire a car, I choose a manual to keep in practice.  I am determined that the kids will learn on a manual.

My three daughters will all know how to drive manual and change a tire.

Eldest is 9, so still awhile before worrying about 'my' vehicles.

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c9f643a8192f5d4aa59cf2dd189e6242.jpg

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Well, I'm glad there are so many of us, maybe even a few under age 40 or so?

My '09 Corolla before the new Versa, was the base model, stick, manual locks, crank windows.  Sometimes referred to as  "Model A Ford".  I liked it though, thought it might be safer if I went off a pier and into the ocean since the crank windows might work wheras electrics might short out.  But as it turned out, I never drove into the ocean, or harbor, or lake.  So we'll never know ;-)

A vignette from my earlier days, the Peugeot 404 I had as a penniless grad school student, was "four on the tree".  At one point the gear change lever down on the transmission, stripped its teeth and would no longer rotate and move the gears longitudinally.  So all I had was second, neutral, and third.  No reverse either.  Lacking funds to fix it, for a while I drove it that way.  Okay for city driving (Boston) though parking was a challenge, I needed her on an upward hill to have "reverse".

This was also one of the last vehicles to have a slot in the front bumper and radiator housing, so you could crank-start it.  About the same time the gearshift selector went south, the starter motor began to wear out and wouldn't always respond.  So I crank-started her for a few days before scraping up funds for a rebuilt starter.  One time I was parked downtown where some old guys were sitting on a sidewalk bench and observing the world, as I  the put the crank in and got her idling.  One of them came over and almost had tears in his eyes, like "son, it's been so long since I've seen someone do that, thank you" or words to that effect.  

 

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15 minutes ago, nolatom said:

My '09 Corolla before the new Versa, was the base model, stick, manual locks, crank windows. 

 

Just had electric windows and cruise control aftermarket kits installed on the 02 Frontier, it's the bomb now!  Before I had to stock the truck to operate the passenger window, and it was impossible to keep at a steady highway speed.

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21 hours ago, jewingiv said:

Sadly, we both have come to the conclusion that our kids will never learn stick.

With ele cars who needs gears.

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I learned to drive my dads  '56 ford PU

I could drive us around everywhere we went

Until I stalled it

A couple days the 1st week ended w/o moving

 

 

Eventualy

Nothing more satisfying than running a 5speed w a brownie & splitshift rearend

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22 hours ago, jewingiv said:

Sadly, we both have come to the conclusion that our kids will never learn stick.

 

We started our kids and a nephew learning on a Jeep Wrangler 4 cylinder stick that we kept at a Cottage Mom had on Prudence Island in Narragansett Bay, across from Portsmouth.  There was an old abandoned small airfield with flat concrete runways we used as streets.  Never forget when Nephew Aaron, around 14 or so, sidestepped the clutch and laid down rubber!  Scared the crap out of him!!

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VW bugs, (3)  VW GTI, (1)  MG Midgets (3) and a MGA  which I have had for 44 years. My last 3 daily drivers have all been automatics.

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Get an automatic and one of these Hurst shifters if you are serious about sticks on the floor.

image.thumb.png.fb5ee6edbfce9b80e3ae796a37b06e2e.png

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I don't know how to drive an automatic.

I also don't know how to get an automatical to rev up and also the power on in third gear when my options are, wait for a tow truck, or pound on the pickup briefly to get unstuck on a jobsite.

Driving an auto is also terrifying in slippery conditions.

Driving an auto in traffic is miserable as well.  JFC, I have to hold the brake the whole time?  Modern autos go straight into freewheel as well, so there's no engine braking.

 

Give me a standard transmission, an exhaust brake, and a diesel any day of the week.  There's so many more options to manipulate the vehicle.

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I learned to drive when I was 14 staying with a bachelor uncle in rural Washington...he used to have me move a old mack dump truck around on his property and some gravel roads..no power steering and and a 5 and 4 transmission with overdrive...the front gear lever had 5 forward gears and rev. the rear lever 4 gears and a 3rd gear lever for overdrive..you had to use the frt. lever for the 1 thru 5 then shift to neutral and the rear lever for 6 thru 9...i never used overdrive...I have never owned a automatic till I bought a Toyota T100 pick up in 1996 still own it

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On 10/21/2020 at 5:05 AM, shaggy said:

It should be a midsize sedan and also should have manual windows, door locks and mirrors

Sign me up 

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On 10/20/2020 at 2:37 PM, Bugsy said:

i started driving farm tractors when I was about 14 years old.  That is a great way to learn about clutches and shifting. 

100% agree stick shifts offer a better driving experience.   

There is some cliche about stick shifts and anti-theft devices that I won't repeat.  

 

 

I can't remember ever shifting gears in a tractor.  Look at the gear you are pulling, pick a gear and start working.  1 for a plow or disc, two for a planter, 3 if the gear is up.

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On 10/20/2020 at 3:07 PM, Bump-n-Grind said:

I tried to teach my daughter how to drive my 5 speed stick jeep wrangler. 

it was the first car she'd ever driven. She actually did pretty well.  I started her off with just the pedals and me shifting left handed. 

a sorta semi-automatic ... then we got her arm involved and she got it. 

 

When she went back to her mom's and got put in drivers ed, all they had were automatics and she never picked the stick back up again. 

a shame really. 

I grew up in VWs. My first car was a BMW 2002tii with a manual. next an MGB-GT.. and a slew of other Eurocars until I got my first big Murican truck. a Jeep J10 with a 3 speed manual. that thing could pull a house over in 4W low. I wish I could drop a manual in my XK8. that would definitely up the fun coefficient a few tenths.. 

I tried to teach my future wife to drive standard in an Alfa GTV.  She could not get the hang of mathcing throttle with the clutch grabbing, too touchy of an engine.  Later we bought a Peugot 504 diesel with a stick and she was off by herself on the first day.  You could drop the clutch without touching the throttle.  She has preferred a manual ever since.

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I do miss my '78 Alfa Spider Fastback.

SpiderVeloce.thumb.jpg.c00033d11d2a810e4139f6e3ac7e41b7.jpg

2 litre Veloce, 5 speed manual, just over 1,000 kgs and simply gorgeous.

The closest thing to a nice motorcycle, just drive it for the pleasure of driving.

 

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4 hours ago, Hatin' life said:

I don't know how to drive an automatic.

I also don't know how to get an automatical to rev up and also the power on in third gear when my options are, wait for a tow truck, or pound on the pickup briefly to get unstuck on a jobsite.

Driving an auto is also terrifying in slippery conditions.

Driving an auto in traffic is miserable as well.  JFC, I have to hold the brake the whole time?  Modern autos go straight into freewheel as well, so there's no engine braking.

 

Give me a standard transmission, an exhaust brake, and a diesel any day of the week.  There's so many more options to manipulate the vehicle.

https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1129566_2022-gmc-hummer-ev-price-specs-review-photos-info

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