Why Stick Shifts Are Going Extinct

Discussion in 'Andy's Off Topic Forum' started by sglowrider, Apr 20, 2020.

  1. sglowrider

    sglowrider Hall of Famer
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  2. i'vegotwinners

    i'vegotwinners All-American
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    they totally buried the lead regarding electrics

    still don't see how gears wouldn't be useful in an electric to optimize energy use though..

    not sure i grasp the consistent torque of an electric motor thing, (would swear experience tells me otherwise), or makes moot the inertia factor on gears, and the relationship of wheel rpms vs motor rpms on energy use..

    that said, manuals can't go totally extinct fast enough for me. (hard to believe they are even still made).

    A), manuals are significantly more dangerous imo, because they introduce a human error factor into every gear change, where a human error at the wrong time can result in a crash.

    B), the insistence in putting tach gauges in many instrument clusters, which totally screws up the cluster, to accommodate the maybe couple percent of cars with manuals that don't need them anyway, but claim them as somehow useful. (does anyone with a manual use the tach vs feel to shift).
     
  3. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon Hall of Famer
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    A - I disagree that manuals are "more dangerous." Especially today. Simply because you must pay attention to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission. Two hands. Two feet. You're engaged all the time. In today's world of distracted and texting drivers, I'll take my chances with someone driving a stick shift any day.

    B - Probably not in general driving, but in "spirited" driving? I've always though that a prominent tachometer in a car with an automatic transmission was sort of comical, but it does have a place in a manual. And some of the newer hybrid transmissions as well.

    Personally, I'm pretty bummed about manuals disappearing. When I bought my "weekend" car a couple of years back I specifically had to go out of State to get it it a manual. I know there are some people that just can't wait for the world to be filled with autonomous boxes shuttling people around. Some of us still like to drive for the love of driving.
     
  4. mcmurtry66

    mcmurtry66 Senior
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    Yeah i'm with you - unlikely you're looking at your phone when driving a stick. i too am a big fan of stick shifts. i had an audi stick that was a blast to drive. many, many years ago my family had a triumph spitfire that i learned to drive a stick on. it had the wooden stick shift and wood dash. it was a neat looking little car but was a complete piece of shit. no power steering. but it was the old school stick that wasn't forgiving at all. if you could drive it you could drive any stick shift as the modern stick shift cars are simple to drive. i know you can get a new 911 in a stick but they're heavy bucks
     
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  5. VanPastorMan

    VanPastorMan Hall of Famer
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    This video reminded me of my first car which was a Chevrolet Spectrum. I was engaged to get married and gave my wife to be $2,000 as a down payment because if she had it in her name the insurance was cheaper. I really must have trusted her because she could have changed her mind on the wedding. lol. Anyways the car was a stick shift and she didn't know how to drive one so I took her out in the country around Bunker Hill Indiana. We were both stationed at Grissom AFB together at the time. My fiance was behind the wheel and we were on this county road. She gets to a stop sign and then kills the car because she let off the clutch. This guy on a motorcycle drives up next to us and says, "Trying to teach the ole lady how to drive a stick". He then laughs out loud and rides off.
     
  6. outside shooter

    outside shooter Hall of Famer
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    I started mastering the use of a clutch on the farm, when I was 5 years old. First on a tractor (John Deere 420, which had a seat that dropped really low) and then on a Willys Jeep that we used off road, on the farm when we would hunt for a calving heifer who didn't come in or go look for breaks in the fence.

    It annoys me that buying sticks is usually not even an option, for affordable everyday use cars. I love it when I can rent a stick in Europe. Though I'd have to say that in Ireland the stick took some getting used to, shifting left-handed due to the right-side wheel.
     
  7. Cream&Crimson

    Cream&Crimson All-American
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    I disagree that manual transmissions are inherently more dangerous.

    I have two cars: a 1991 Mazda Miata 5 speed manual, and a 2015 Honda Accord Coupe EXL-V6 with a 6-speed manual transmission.

    First, before going on I will admit to being tired of driving my Honda. I bought that particular car because it was the last year that Honda made the Accord Coupe, and I think it may well have also been the last year they produced the manual transmission though I may be wrong on that. Anyway, it's a sweet car. All black. Leather. All options. I love the car because it was a brilliant cross between performance, and Honda Accord practicality. And if I'm feeling it, I can have fun driving it because it has plenty of power and that manual tranny let's you really get on it when you want to.

    I'm fully engaged in the driving experience when driving that car. If I'm not, the car immediately lets me know because I didn't choose the best gear for down- or up-shifting. You have to be engaged to drive it.

    But I am getting tired of driving that car, and the main reason is the manual transmission. I've had a few Hondas with manual transmissions, and they've never been the easiest to drive. I'm ready to go to something a little more mindless for my daily driver.

    But that '91 Miata - omg. What a fun car to drive. The gearing is perfect, the clutch is perfect, it's a pure pleasure to drive. I bust that car out only on warm days when it's suitable to drive with the top down. If it's not that nice out, then that car doesn't come out of the garage. People like to crack on Miatas and say they're not a true sports car. I understand what they're saying, but I'll also maintain that I've never had a more fun car to drive and it's mostly because of that superior clutch and gearing. Driving that car is like butter.
     
    7 Cream&Crimson, Apr 20, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
  8. iubud

    iubud Hall of Famer
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    Have you driven a manual transmission? In daily driving, you don't even think about shifting. You also don't need a tach. With experience, you can feel and hear when higher revs aren't giving you more acceleration.

    I learned early on a 4 speed manual. I learned when passing a car to downshift and mash down on the accelerator. My car has a manual mode and I always pass in manual mode. It is safer than allowing the slushbox to eventually downshift.
     
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  9. sglowrider

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    Manual transmission is for the more skilled drivers or those who actually enjoy or take pride in driving. Its most critical when taking a fast corner -- whether a rear-wheel or front-wheel drive the acceleration into and out of the corner differs. But nevertheless its much safer doing a fast corner than in an auto -- even with the DSPs.You feel one with the car, all limbs involved in the movement.

    For those who just love flash cars to be seen in or straight-line dragsters, then a DSP transmission would suffice. But my dream drives have always been through twisty country drives. And auto transmissions are just too dangerous. Plus you will get car sick with all that braking.

    Imagine these drives with an auto :


    Feckin' friend of mine nearly killed me on this drive on Snake Pass with his Civic Type R or at least I saw my life flash past me a couple of time.




     
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  10. sglowrider

    sglowrider Hall of Famer
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    Miata has to be one of the best cars ever built. Couldn't find fault with it other than its a tad under-powered. But that wasn't its point.
    You could throw the car about and it behaved exactly what you expected. Predictable. Perfectly balanced. More importantly, the most fun car I have ever driven.
     
  11. cosmickid

    cosmickid All-American
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    Somebody ought to put that sentiment into a song... The lyrics could go something like this...

    "I got a sixty-nine Chevy with a 396
    Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor
    She's waiting tonight down in the parking lot
    Outside the Seven-Eleven store

    Me and my partner Sonny built her straight out of scratch
    And he rides with me from town to town
    We only run for the money got no strings attached
    We shut 'em up and then we shut 'em down

    Tonight, tonight the strip's just right
    I wanna blow 'em off in my first heat
    Summer's here and the time is right
    For goin' racin' in the street"...
     
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  12. sglowrider

    sglowrider Hall of Famer
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    I have always felt that listening to the gear change in the F&F franchise or other car movies painful to listen to. The 'thump' sound.... :eek::eek:

     
  13. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon Hall of Famer
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    That was gold. There were even several automatics in there.
     
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  14. outside shooter

    outside shooter Hall of Famer
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    A red Mazda Miata has been on my wife's bucket list since forever. One more year of Ivy league tuition payments and it may actually be a reality.
     
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  15. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon Hall of Famer
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    See, now I own a two seat drop top, with a manual transmission. It only comes out on sunny days. It's almost three years old and only has 10,000 miles on it. It's not an MX-5, but an Abarth 124 Spider, which is a cousin. I still get shit for driving a girly car. WTF. I'll drop this article here, for lack of anywhere else.

    When did two seat sports cars stop being manly?
     
  16. i'vegotwinners

    i'vegotwinners All-American
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    been yrs, but i've driven many manual cars/trucks over the yrs.. (and owned two manual motorcycles back in the day).

    manual transmissions suck, and they are more dangerous, especially in city traffic.
     
  17. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon Hall of Famer
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    Because, you say so?
     
  18. UncleMark

    UncleMark Hall of Famer
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    No one has mentioned the advantages of manual trannys in snow and ice. That's where they make all the difference in my experience. In those conditions you need to apply and unapply torque precisely and immediately. Can't do that with an automatic. It may not be as glaring a difference as it once was with all the electronic controls, but I have to believe there still is a difference.
     
  19. sglowrider

    sglowrider Hall of Famer
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    I blame women for that. My dad had an Austin Healey frog-eye, MGs before he met my mum. Then it was sedans after that. I bet he must have looked at us kids with a tinge of bitterness at some stage -- and died never having owned another 2 door sports car ever again.
    Ironically it was my mum who had two-door sports cars (325 and a 500SL)
     
  20. sglowrider

    sglowrider Hall of Famer
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    Not sure how you can rock your way out when stuck in some snow using an auto or the new DSPs?
     
  21. tooold4

    tooold4 Freshman
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    Slushbox, what a perfect description.
     
  22. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon Hall of Famer
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    I'm of a certain age, that being my 50's. I grew up always wanting an MG, a Triumph Spitfire, a Fiat Spider, an Alfa Romeo. Of course they all disappeared. I told my wife that one day I'd buy a two seat convertible. For years the options were the Miata, or something German, or something that cost $100K or more. When Fiat brought back the124 Spider with a Turbo 4 and a six speed manual I bought one sight unseen. I don't care if you a-holes think it's girly.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. MtPeter04

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    The reason stick shifts are going extinct is because they're impractical. Slow shifts, not enough gears, and too much effort to drive. I drove a jeep wrangler with a stick shift, and no ABS for about 8 years. Once i got to California and had to drive it to work everyday (about 20 miles one way), I realized it wasn't worth the effort. Add that to the fact that my left knee now clicks whenever I drive a stick, it's clear that newer technologies are far better. I drive a Golf GTI now that I can place into "manual mode" and it works well enough.

    If you're just looking for something to take out on the weekends and on the backroads, they're great. Aside from that, leave them to the dinosaurs.
     
  24. Cream&Crimson

    Cream&Crimson All-American
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    Generally agree and hence why I'm thinking I'll dump this Honda I have and get something easier to drive for my daily driver, and keep the Miata for weekend excursions to get my fix of hands-on driving.
     
  25. mcmurtry66

    mcmurtry66 Senior
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    That’s sharp.
     
  26. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon Hall of Famer
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    Or imagine this famous short 1976 French film being shot with an automatic. Of course, this may play into Winners not safe argument, but whatever...

     
  27. kkott

    kkott Hall of Famer
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    don't worry, it is.

    JK. Never caught the car bug, and wish I had. My favorite 2 features of a car: 1) it starts, 2) it's paid for. I drive a Toyota Avalon and it's perfect for me: roomy, comfortable, plenty of power, still gets 30mpg on the interstate and it's paid for and starts every time!

    As for stick shifts, I'll always be a manual "driver"... but it is kind of automatic!
     
  28. sglowrider

    sglowrider Hall of Famer
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    What a drive! I used to think the scene from Ronin was fantastic. A modern day stunt that can only be done by stick shift:


    Drifting in a four-wheel drive scooby must take some skills!
     
  29. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon Hall of Famer
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    And that's fine. Most people feel that way. Just like some people are really into food, while others, well a meal is just something they have to stop for so they don't die. I get it.

    I'm not a car guy, at least not in a gear head car guy sense. I just enjoy driving and gravitate towards vehicles that are fun to drive. Though yeah, we do have a godawful CUV in the garage. I hate that thing. Worst vehicle concept ever. It's like a giant clumsy sedan crossed with a tiny truck. Let's take the worst of both platforms and make one car from it. Brilliant.
     
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  30. kkott

    kkott Hall of Famer
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    I think that's the issue: I don't love to drive. I heard an interesting personality question one time: would you rather: 1) get to drive any car you choose daily, or 2) have a chaffeur? For me a no-brainer: a chaffeur would be heaven. It's generally about 50/50 in my experience, although as an insult to my manhood, guys usually tend to pick driving and women pick chaffeurs. Of course my ultimate desire is a chaffeur and riding in back with a woman, so I can deal with that! A woman chaffeur wouldn't hurt either. Bikini uniformed.

    Favorite cars/rides over time: my Mom had a sweet 70 mustang convertible (my sister totaled to end my dream of that being my car). One of my sisters first car was about a 74 camaro with t tops (she wrecked it too). A buddy had a 68 or 69 Firebird convertible in high school, that was awesome... until he wrecked it! We have a full-size shop pickup at work and I enjoy tooling around in it on a weekend, especially if I'm using it for a project, never having been a pickup guy. When I was a teen my elderly neighbors hot divorced daughter took me for a spin in her 300ZX with the ttops down and the wind blowing open her blouse. That's the chaffeur image I hold on to!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    30 kkott, Apr 23, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  31. sglowrider

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  32. i'vegotwinners

    i'vegotwinners All-American
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    Rube Goldbergization gone crazy.

    and car stereos used to have a base, treble, balance, and fader, knob, and if wanted to turn up the bass, you just reached over and turned up the bass knob and never had to take your eyes off the road. (it's all about the bass).

    now you have to go into a menu for any adjustment.

    and everything is now digital, so you have a finite adjustment levels parameter with a gap between each level, instead of infinite adjustment levels where you can get it just right as with analog.

    don't even get me going on digital microwaves.
     
    32 i'vegotwinners, Jun 24, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  33. Cream&Crimson

    Cream&Crimson All-American
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    My Miata is red :).

    I with you on the stereo controls. My Miata's radio has started going intermittent. I'm going to look for an original model on eBay to replace it with - don't want a modern radio in that car.
     
  34. sglowrider

    sglowrider Hall of Famer
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    Hate to break it to you IGW, very soon you may have to start talking to the machines.
     
  35. sglowrider

    sglowrider Hall of Famer
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    Good thing for the Miata is that the cabin is all within easy reach. Its not like a big stretch to get to the knobs. (I find the controls on the steering wheel a tad distracting and a bit insufficient for the music thingy.)
     
  36. i'vegotwinners

    i'vegotwinners All-American
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    not till the Cherry 2000 model comes out i won't.
     
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