I love manual. Always have. I’d rather drive a car than just steer it. I’m not against progress. The reason I bought the specific 71 MG that I did was because the dual SU carbs had been replaced by a two-barrel Weber and the points in the distributor by magnets in an electronic ignition (no drying out damp distributor caps on a moist September morning).
My regular cars have always been 2-liters and underpowered. Without a stick, my Rav-4 and Hyundai Tucson would have been undriveable. Something no one has mentioned about downshifting is the reduced need to replace your brakes. I have a 13-year old Hyundai and have only replaced the brakes twice in all that time.
So the manual/auto debate is about enjoying your ride. If you have to be in the car, you might as well be having fun. There is something very British in the ‘vrrroooomm’ noise the MG makes slowing down from third to second. You hear it in the seat of your pants and it never fails to make me smile.
Everybody should stop arguing and enjoy your ride. By the way, I bicycle commuted for 40 years and still ride, so don’t begrudge me the damn 18 inches of dust and broken glass encrusted, sewer-grated pavement I need. If you can’t drive on the remaining ten feet of lane, stay off the road. I’m one less car ahead of you at the next intersection and my old 12-speed means there more cheap gas for you.
Enjoy the road, play nice, share and don’t forget to smile. It’s contagious.