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The Scientist’s Guide to Manual Transmission Snobbery

If you’re a snitch of any sort, I need you to stop reading this right now. I’m sorry, but what follows is strictly for the people who never ran to the teacher when they were children. So if you have snitch-like tendencies, just hit the “back” button on your browser and read another one of the great features we are running today. Thanks in advance.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2020/02/11/scientists-guide-to-manual-transmission-snobbery

I’ve been driving manual transmission cars in LA traffic for 36 years–I really don’t see the problem. Would an automatic be easier? Sure. So would hiring a chauffeur.

My '85 Prelude was better at cornering than accelerating, so I installed a Pep Boys-class device called a “Pass Master”. It was a vacuum switch that would shut off the A/C compressor when I floored it. Worked great.

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That picture… Is that a Cayman GT4 Clubsport? I read the specs and got very sad because that car’s transmission is a PDK Dual-clutch. Aren’t there any good manual transmission factory race cars out there? I mean, other than the MX-5 Cup and the Caterham Seven…?

What an effing waste of my time. You got the snobbery part right. Not much else.

I’ll tell you why some people like manuals over anything else. They are fun.

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I’ve had a problem for a while figuring out why even though this columnist is a good writer, I seldom enjoy anything he writes. Now it is quite clear - he’s a bicyclist, the natural enemy of all things automotive. Send him to HR for reprogramming :crazy_face:

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I agree. What a waste of my time. What is Hagerty up to putting out this nonsense?? This article can be summed up in one word.
SUCKS!!!

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I’m a lifelong Manual transmission car guy and cyclist. As such I get the connection between the precision and skill required in both endeavors and appreciate the writer’s perspective. What I absolutely don’t get is how someone can consider cyclists to be “enemies”. WTF? Like some man or woman riding a spindly 20 lb road-legal vehicle can, even remotely, present a threat to someone in their 3,000 lb. missile? This is the kind of attitude presented by the guy who broadsided me and almost ended my life while I was obeying every rule of the road. He wanted to make that my fault just for being there. Get a grip.

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I’ve had manual transmission cars for my entire existence. From my first car, a 1960 VW Bug, to my latest, a Ferrari 360 Spider and many in between. I had a 911 with a clutch that took 40 pounds of foot power to release. That one was a bear in traffic. I used to set it in a gear and idle along while people would pass me shouting insults. I had no choice. After 45 minutes of stop and go, I was worn out, sweating and ready to just jump ship. Then the traffic would clear and the 300 HP of that monster would make it fly.

It was a no brainer to choose a manual 360 over an F1 model. The “gated” shifter of the 360 makes a special clickity clack when shifting fast and being in control of the power curve just makes it all the more fun and interesting, vs. just stomping on the pedal and letting the computer do all the work.

I get what the author is saying about pleasing the inner caveman. I get it.

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enjoyable article and there are many similar tasks or processes I perform that I do in a less than efficient way because I enjoy doing it my way or using outdated, but more complex methods. Satisfaction sometimes trumps efficiency with personal decisions.

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With a standard stick you drive the car, with an automatic the car drives you. What’s the fun in that!

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I have to give this two thumbs down because there is nothing scientific here.
Enjoy your manual for classic or nostalgic value but manuals are over and will soon be unavailable in the new market. Get over it!!!

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Definitely drive a proper 3-pedal manual. Okay to ride a bicycle on occasion, even here in F-150 Utopiatown (aka Houston). But always, always have a snack before commenting.

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This article talked about bicycles for way too long. A brief mention and then a skip to the manual shifting part would have made for a much better article. I’m happy for him that he could do a 40 foot jump, but I don’t need to read about all of his two-wheel exploits. Cut to the chase. And what do the caveman analogies have to do with his message. He likes shifting - end of story.

By the way, let’s call sequential shifters what they really are - Automated Manuals. My Porsche has a PDK and I love shifting it manually with the paddles whenever I drive it. And I don’t have to fuss with a clutch pedal.

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Beautifully written explanation of what goes on in our heads!!! Nice work!

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According to the “build your own” steps on the Porsche website, the Cayman GT4 comes stock with a 6-speed manual. The automatics are added-cost options.

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As I get older I find that my fingers work better than my legs. I just cant shift faster with a clutch than I can witb the paddles. Stuck in traffic has become a monumental problem

Clif

As I sit here reading these posts i can not help but wonder how many “manual” only drivers still crank their engine by hand to get it started? Basically, the existence of the third pedal is a throw-back to yesterday. My recently acquired C7, a 2017 Stingray coupe, has the 8 speed automatic transmission with paddle shift. While it is not dual clutch I am not concerned as it still goes up and down gears faster than I am able. When the manual transmission is being shifted it is not producing power to the wheels, the vehicle is decellorating! Imagine having to find additional speed to account for that lost while changing gears. Slowing down trying to go faster? I never realized how much I was giving away every time I shifter gears manually. I am beginning to understand that transmissions are designed to get the mass moving, and they are not designed to get that mass stopped or slowed. That is why the devices known as brakes were developed. Brakes are far more effective than transmissions for controlling speed. Brake systems are cheaper and easier to repair and/or replace and they are designed to do what they do. Advancements in technology have made certain items obsolete, The third pedal is as obsolete as the engine crank, why still use it?

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Great article, maybe because I ski race, ride bikes and race cars. I am as good or better then any other guy on any given day. Perhaps that is why I keep coming back for more competitive fun. Shift what and how you like because unless you drive a shiftless electric car it’s all good fun for gear heads (including bikes).

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Fun article, Jack. There is certainly some joy in exercising a skill, even if it becomes superfluous.

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Insightful and well written. I yearn for my Borg Warner T10 youth…
Jmar