The Scientist’s Guide to Manual Transmission Snobbery

Exactly, and that’s why I no longer ride on the streets. I’ll head to the rail trails, and fortunately we have an entire network of trails here (provided I drive 35 minutes north). Cagers (car/truck drivers) either are blind to us, or feel we don’t belong on “their” roads. I won’t even ride a maxi scooter (or motorcycle) for that same reason–drivers don’t see them, and now that they are even more distracted with their phones in their laps, I don’t have a death wish.

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snobbery is when you have a sixteen-speed triple clutch slushbox driven by a computer chip programmed by some lab gnome based upon reams of charts created by a team of public relations hacks enamoured with anything smacks of a Gallup poll, all because the driver is too snobbish to sully his hands with a gear shift knob save for starting and stopping;

Perhaps snobbery is a description like yours over how current automatic transmissions came to be. Snobbery often flies in the face of facts. Can’t wait to hear the theories on how power brakes and steering came to be.

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Yeah…you tell ‘em! Stupid disc brakes, EFI and padded dashes. Sure like to find the lab gnome who thought up this silly modern lighting. Sealed beams worked fine…at least for the first few feet and until they didn’t work.
And I hate having to sully my hands with lap and shoulder belts.


The driver behind you may have been just plain stupid or an inconsiderate tailgater. Several months ago I saw a guy tailgating a Ford two-door model A. He was looking frustrated as the Ford driver was probably already at top speed.


"…he’s a bicyclist, the natural enemy of all things automotive. " Huh? How so? I have been a bike rider for over 50 years, a driver for almost 50 (including my current Z28, and Mustang GT convertible with stick), and a motorcyclist for 43 years. I do not consider these to be mutually exclusive in any way.

Or, were you just joking?

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You do you and don’t worry about what other people think. My best friend was an amazing driver and I think he was in his 30’s when I taught him to drive stick. The only thing that managed to make him less of a car enthusiast was dying so you keep doing you and be happy, who cares what other people think.

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Maybe you missed my earlier post on this thread?

I raced bikes at the Kenosha Velodrome in the 70’s, and if you are a cyclist you KNOW why most drivers want to wish them into the corn. YOU may obey the law, but I’m sure you’re familiar with the Spandex Mafia racing through red lights yelling, “CLEAR!!!” to the bike behind them, passing you 5-6 times in a row (in as many blocks), because you stopped at the 4-Way Stop signs and they barely slowed. Then there’s the ones riding staggered on a 45MPH highway at under 10MPH because they have a RIGHT to the lane. Then there’s the ones shooting off the sidewalk to cross a street and crashing into you as you turn right. One started screaming at me and running around my van and grabbing the door handle to, “teach me something” until I got out (I’m only 5’8") and let my adrenalin rush-foo go up against his. “Strong in this one rush-foo was” said Yoda. I’d have gotten his entire bike up his butt if a few good Samaritans hadn’t gotten me down and sat on me until I promised to be good. At least they made good witnesses in small claims court. Am I biased? Yeah, maybe, but I didn’t know until this morning that you rode, so it didn’t affect my critique

Mr.Volshen [Feb13] perfectly summed up this article with a 4 sentence remark.

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Thoroughly enjoyable article. Nice work, Jack. I’m a fan of your writing and your insights are spot on. :+1:t5: :muscle:t5: :metal:t5:

Agree. Let’s just repost Mr. Volshen’s succinct response for posterity and hopefully ‘Rambling Jack’ gets a hint.


Feb 13

I really tried to read the whole article, but didn’t seem to be getting any closer to a point. So I gave up after a few paragraphs. It seems that the author has trouble shifting his car while patting himself on the back with one hand, and holding a list of his accomplishments in the other. I recommend he gets an autonomous car and switches to writing poetry.

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Interesting that you have two of the 1800ES cars, one of each of the variations. And I think a case to the point is that Hagerty’s valuation tool puts a 25% deduction on the value of automatic. One young friend of mine acquired an automatic, drove my manual and the following year, his was also a manual.

Hi David. no question that the 4 speed overdrive makes the ES a different car from the auto. thanks for your input. Roger

Wow, what a waste of time reading this article.

I can’t believe no one has commented on the superior handling and control a MT vehicle has over the automatic tranny while driving on ice and snow. Downshifting to regain control of a sliding car is more effective than anti-skid brakes any day. But then ABS brakes werer made for AT vehicles and so many people have never driven a MT vehicle to even know the difference.

I know because while commuting to work yesterday at 62.5 mph on our freeway I hit a stretch of sheer ice. I let off the gas, downshifted and applied the brakes, downshifted and applied the brakes. The ABS brakes were of little use but I was able to get the car stopped before colliding with the vehicles stopped in both lanes ahead of me. Not so lucky for the MB SLK 280 behind me. He hit the rear corner of my Subaru Impreza in the right lane before entering the ditch and got stuck. While the car was sitting in the ditch it was totalled by an SUV that entered the ditch even faster than he did and came to rest on the railroad tracks that parallel the freeway. Dollars to donuts both of those cars were auto trannies.
That was before a light pickup truck rear-ended the vehicle beside me in the left lane. What a disaster.
Not to mention the other cars that were swerving all over the place behind me.
Yet everyone wants an AT.

HAIL to the manual transmission. May we never lose the option.

A physician friend, OB/GYN specialist put it this way:

When it comes to making babies, improved technology such as in-vitro fertilization can be very helpful.

However, there’s a lot to be said for the sheer pleasure of the old-fashioned method!

He’s a sad sack who I think aspired to be Peter Egan, only Gen X edgier. He’s pretentious to no end, and the master of the humble brag”: I’ve been riding and racing bikes at a “half decent level” for 35 years, I can clear 40’ jumps, yadda yadda. Who cares? Not your boss, who takes care of himself but just goes about his business. Not this reader, or most commenting here.
Sports require strength and balance to succeed? Which ones? Oh, cycling, skateboarding, you know, “extreme sports”, like parkour…wait, you actually used the word parkour in 2020. Then you dared mention gymnastics and Greco as if they are in the same category. Please, go find some x-games reruns and leave us alone.
Also, we don’t care about your racing exploits either, especially since you admit you don’t race to win, based on your transmission choice. So, what is your point anyway? Like, what value-add do you bring?
It certainly isn’t automotive knowledge. You made that clear by trying to claim a FWD, V6 Japanese compact is the contemporary version of a “muscle car”. Not, you know a Hemi Charger or Challenger (especially the SRT), or the Chevy SS (which was available at the time), or the Mustang or Camaro.
Time to find a real job. Sell cars or give driving lessons or follow your obvious dream, sell everything, get a stripped down 10 speed, cut the bars down, and make like Kevin Bacon and deliver packages in NYC.

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Well, I did play some decent backgammon at the Lake Geneva Playboy Club in the late '70s (and never tripped over the doubling cube), and years later I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express…:wink: