Question of the week: Manual or automatic transmission?


It depends on the drivers preference, his health, and location. I own a C2 corvette and my wife owns a C5. I’ve got a 4 speed and she has a 6 speed. Nothing beats the thrill of going through the gears. I just can’t imagine having a sports car without a standard transmission.


Manual transmissions are just more fun! My dad taught me to drive a manual as soon as I was old enough to reach the pedals, and my son learned to drive a “stick” at age seven on my Model A. Although I have owned some automatics over the years, I’ve never been without at least one straight geared car.

Of course there is always the two speed planetary transmission in the Model T that sort of splits the difference between the two . . .


Automatics are for commuting. Manuals are for driving. Three manuals in this household, Subaru, '73 Triumph Spitfire and a 1980 Triumph TR7.
Wife drives a automatic, but she commutes.


BMW offered 6-spd sticks in their big 5-series cars up until about 8 years ago (7 series had them until probably 20 years ago). I stuck with them throughout. Now, I’m driving a Porsche Panamera S and still miss that third pedal; the manual mode paddles or lateral gear selector, just don’t come off well…but maybe it’s me, missing that left-foot stomp before engaging…


3 pedals of course for my fun cars!

I do have a 1969 GTO with an automatic, but that car more less found me.
If not for my 69 Z28 to keep life fun, the auto GTO would of been converted or swapped long ago.


Its a safety thing. If all vehicles had manual transmission, we could stop worrying about the older folks hitting the wrong pedal and plowing into your local grocery store!


I get it. Takes all kinds :0


It is getting harder to find new vehicles supplied with a manual transmission option.
I tried to get a manual on my Jeep. Not offered on the Cherokee.

My '50 Ford F1 is a 3 speed and I love driving a stick.
Taught my kids to drive a stick.


I strongly prefer a manual… and all my toy cars have 3 pedals. However, I bought an SUV with an auto to pull my boat… I’m OK with that.


I have had many manuals over the years, starting with my 63 Studebaker Lark Daytona with a 4 speed. Right now I have 2 C6 Corvettes both 6spd manuals and I love them. I hope to always have at least 1 manual in my garage.


Til death do us part. Three pedals every single day.


My wife, who was not my wife back then some thirty-five years ago had a friend of her parents who worked at the Linden Cadillac plant. Of course, at the time I had an ‘67 MG, a ‘59 Healy and a ‘71 Austin Marina.

Of course, he being a caddy fan told me to just wait until I was in my thirties, then I would want a big old bench seat, a super-tanker suspension and pinkie power steering like an episode of Kojak!

Nope. Now I drive an ‘80 TR8 and an ‘06 Triumph Speed Triple, which was also a whole lot of fun traversing the Lincoln Tunnel! Early in the morning, you get the canyon sounds of Manhattan and speed limit be damned, at least until the next light . . .

I will never give up until they plant me to bugle strains of Taps.


I am a Jaguar lover and have owned over 15. I presently have a 1970 Jaguar E-Type with a manual transmission. Years back I had a E-Type with an auto transmission and it just wasn’t the same. I would noty want to drive it if it didn’t have a 4-speed manual which is half the fun of owning and driving it


Manual! One factor seldom mentioned is the cost of automatics. They add quite a bit to the price of a car, especially those fancy new ones. You can get more car, new or used, if you get it with a manual. Modern clutches seldom wear out unless you are stupid about how you drive, so the old argument of the cost difference being offset by the inevitable clutch replacement really no longer applies.


No question here… even in a daily driver, a manual is the way to go. But with any kind of a car that’s intended first to be fun, an automatic ruins it for me, especially with an open-top car, or a vintage car (and that would include a pre-war body with post-war running gear, like my Shay Roadster). While I’m grateful for a good-paying job making automatic transmissions, and while a modern automatic is a fine machine and definitely not the slush-box of the seventies, I still don’t quite get why people think an automatic is worth the cost and complexity. And I like the need for engagement when driving a car with a clutch (pun intended).


Being a senior citizen I have owned many manuals and consider them fun to drive especially on twisty roads. I once was stuck in NJ traffic in my '82 olds with a 4-speed and it was torture. I do have a '64 M-B with a 4 speed that makes things more interesting and a '58 4 on the tree M-B 220 S which is okay. All my other vehicles are automatics and the way they build them today there isn’t a lot of difference.


Obviously the type of driving would have a huge impact on the choice of auto or manual, but banging gears in my 67 Nova is the only way to go for me.


Had a mix of auto and manual over the years. My wife and I both had manual cars and trucks when we were dating but as time progressed and kids came along, the regular cab 5spd truck and small coupe weren’t going to cut it as daily driver’s anymore. Now manual cars are more of an after work/weekend drive thing. But I have to admit the C6 in my F100 shifts beautifully and smoothly when cruising.


wtkern56 , I can explain the cost and complexity a little bit.
I strictly used to do 3 & 4 speeds, thought there was no other way, daily driver or even the trusty ole station wagon and even the lawn mower for a couple summers.
Now days it has to be an auto-and with a 'tude too.
Other days and times past, from 8-69 when I learned to drive, 4 spd hands down.
I’d give my left lug’s if my wife and I could actually use a clutch again.
She uses hand controls exclusively, and I have been moved to them over the last 10 years also.
I can walk but can’t feel my feet and lower legs-period, wife uses a wheelchair, since …July 1987.
I was devastated.
Until the day that lil Sebring Baby has showed me you can actually power brake a front wheel drive, and it even left it’s mark on some brand new cement.
Our '75 Dart Sport 318+ is where we are putting hand controls together now, and I’m sure the auto (A904) will be a lot of fun.
You can apply throttle and brake, when your ready to go just pull back and down and the next 1320 will be gone, put the brakes on, and wondered how you used to do it.
Don’t get me wrong, genetically I am supposed to shift gears with a clutch. Adapt, improvise, overcome: I/Baby, we have adapted to the only way it’s happening (and she cuts the Dart NO slack when she hammers it) and we’re good.
Wait till she sees how the TCI 904 works. Check 'em out at TCI, they are no longer the slop boxes of the 70’s, or worse-60’s, 50’s…
Does that help understand it a little?


My dailies have been automatic since 2005, having had my fill of being stuck in traffic and such. I recently bought a ‘79 Camaro, and I purposefully looked for a 4 speed. This car is for pleasure, after all!