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Thread: The demise of the stick shift

  1. #36
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    you live in michigan, are from michigan in fact, proudly so on both counts; yet you drive vw's and shop for toyotas?
    Yeah. What I’m not, is brand loyal. (Although I do love my Filson shirt!) My F150 is my first repeat of a manufacturer. (I had a Ranger when I first graduated from college.) Of course, I’ve owned far fewer vehicles than most who post here.
    \"A little too tall, coulda used a few pounds...\"

  2. #37
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    I'd love to learn how to drive one of those trucks as shown in #8. Sort'ta similar to when we chose a power boat to replace our sailing yawl and I went with a single, large dia, low RPM prop instead of a steerable IO or twin, because I envied what Maine Lobster men do with their boats.

    One interesting not about old Automatic trannies in cars. Back in the late 1950's I spent a summer working for a guy running a low-budget ice cream truck fleet. His sales vehicles were all early-50's Studebakers with the tops cut off, an old refrigerator lying on its back crosswise where the back seat used to be, and the opening then closed with a panel cut from the original top. These cars were a bitch to drive on rainy days. He pointed out that in South Bend Studebaker parts were super-cheap. The surprise was that his tow truck (always busy due to the fleet of junk) was another junk Studebaker with a crane replacing the trunk lid, powered by a V-8/Borg-Warner Automatic tranny (sales fleet was all flat-head sixes). He claimed it was a LOT stouter than any of the Stude manual trannies.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Quote Originally Posted by carioca1232001 View Post
    Similar story, a mint new Toyota Yaris (900/1100 cc engine) that we hired in Lisbon (2011) and which we parked on a very steep hill beside our hotel in Oporto, Portugal. (The grade on London´s Highgate Hill is no match for it)

    'Between a rock and a hard place', we decide on driving it again only for the purpose of returning it at Oporto airport.

    Our soundest decision ever, as the clutch smoked to high heaven on that last, but demanding manoeuvre.
    Huh, I lived over there for a long time and autos were never popular because of the presumed high gas consumtion. Remember that gas is is a lot more expensive in the EU.
    Going back a bit.. Some NY friends were complaining about the Citröen Visa they rented. Sounded odd. They were amazed that it had the flat twin air cooled unit out of the 2CV.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    One of my few automatics was my ‘57 Bel Air in high school. Most Chevys of that era had Powerglide trannies. This one had a Turboglide which was a continuous action torque converter. It never shifted, just gradually changed ratio.

    Last edited by ron ll; 03-03-2018 at 04:00 PM.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    I've never owned an automatic-driven plenty though.I really don't want a slushbox even though they have improved massively of late.I see them only as an improvement if your driving is confined to stop-start traffic.Over here if you pass your test in an automatic you are limited to only driving that type of car where the mastery of a manual transmission gets you the right to drive both.I suppose a part of it is our winding roads and correct use of the available torque can get you from A to B sooner than just aiming down the road.Paddle shifts seem to be neither fish nor fowl,regardless of how quickly they engage the next ratio and the local used car dealers have reservations about dual clutch systems and potential warranty costs.These concerns come to the fore if you are trying to trade one in.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    wow, did your car also have the rochester fuel injection system?
    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    One of my few automatics was my ‘57 Bel Air in high school. Most Chevys of that era had Powerglide trannies. This one had a Turboglide which was a continuous action torque converter. It never shifted, just gradually changed ratio.

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    "The demise of the stick shift" - a peculiarly North American problem ?

    Looking at my family's cars:

    - My sons share a Fiat Panda. Manual transmission, 5 forward & 1 reverse gear
    - My wife's Skoda Yeti, also manual. Six forward gears, one reverse
    - My 1983 Land Rover 110, very manual (3 levers, not counting diff lock); 12 forward, 2 reverse (High/Low Ratio and overdrive on 3rd & 4th in low & high)

    There are probably more automatics around in UK than 20 years ago, but 'stick shift' still predominates.

    Even the armoured vehicles I've driven were all pre-select !
    Nick

  8. #43
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Even in the 90s you got to choose when you wanted to go to overdrive in an automatic.
    Now they continually hunt for overdrive/top in D for fuel economy so you're often over geared and underpowered .
    That's why paddle shifts are worth having.
    Off to a car show.. I'll see how few gear shifts I can make in the mgc.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    New autos are vastly superior to those of the 60's & 70's & seem to get equal mileage #'s. Some are seemingly better, as the manuals are geared towards sport driving & have higher revs at a given speed.

    With more traffic, I find an auto preferable. I must admit that other than downshifting for a grade I never use the paddles or the shifter.

    New F150 V6's have 10 speed autos!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  10. #45
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    wow, did your car also have the rochester fuel injection system?
    No, it had three Stromberg 97s (chrome) when I got it. I suppose it could have had the injection package from the factory, but I don’t remember seeing any residual hints. Pretty much a stock 283 except for the Strombergs.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    When I hear about trucks with 20 speed manual transmissions I put on my engineers hat and ask, "Isn't there a better way to do this? What about diesel electric drive? The diesel engine is happiest running at constant speed, tuning a generator. An electric motor has enormous starting torque and excellent speed control. Best of both worlds, no?

    Also, there could be electric drive motors on the trailer(s).

    Has all of this been done?

  12. #47
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    My wife insisted on on a stick when she bought her present vehicle, as an employee of one and a retiree of another of the big three, she felt compelled to buy domestic. North American manual sedans are generally bare bones with none of the features she wanted, luckily she was in no hurry and could wait for a custom order. Ten grand in options and a six week delivery time got her what must be the most expensive Chevy Cruze ever made.

    We took it on a road trip to California in 2015, before heading back home , roughly the Detroit area, we took it to a Walmart to get the oil changed. Returning a hour later the car was in the same place we parked it and no oil change. The only employee that could drive stick was off that day. They did give us directions to a lube shop near by.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    I was 63 when I got my first automatic. I recently rented a near new Toyota Corolla that had a CVT automatic. Oddly it still shifted as if there were separate ratios, but worked flawlessly.
    As I get older I dont mind having an auto, I always considered manuals as a performance option, but modern DSG type transmissions can change gears a lot faster, although long term reliability is unlikely to be on the same scale as a good manual box.
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  14. #49
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Last month, Kate and I drove the entire circumference of the South Island, New Zealand—17 days in a Toyota HiAce camper van. Stick shift, of course. In the left hand. Steering wheel on the right, cause it’s New Zealand, and the stick is in the middle as usual. To be operated with your left hand.

    I am not prepared to admit exactly how many times I first accidentally flipped on the windshield wipers or started rolling down the window while absentmindedly fumbling to try to change gears, but I will say that every new skill requires practice, especially if you’ve done it the opposite way all of your life.

  15. #50
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Too right!

    The stick shift -- in the left hand!!! -- is a complicating factor when entering roundabouts "the wrong way".

    These days, when we rent in Ireland or England, we try to arrange an automatic transmission. It just simplifies things when you're trying to figure out which exit to take from the "other-way" roundabout -- when the GPS is :30 seconds late.

    Robin and I grew up on Standards. But when trying to navigate in Europe I've determined you should be ruthless about every possible way to simplify it all.

    And all male drivers there drive too aggressively. It's like they have to prove something about their testosterone.

    Anyway, we survived 1500 km in a Yaris in Spain with no detectable impacts.

    Dave

  16. #51
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Quote Originally Posted by ahp View Post
    When I hear about trucks with 20 speed manual transmissions I put on my engineers hat and ask, "Isn't there a better way to do this? What about diesel electric drive? The diesel engine is happiest running at constant speed, tuning a generator. An electric motor has enormous starting torque and excellent speed control. Best of both worlds, no?

    Also, there could be electric drive motors on the trailer(s).

    Has all of this been done?
    In locomotives, certainly.

    What are you doing about it?




  17. #52
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    If you have burned the clutch of a rental car in a week's time, you're very out of practice and need some lessons with additional practice on Mom's car.

    MT Ferraris and Porsches bring more money at resale time. The higher the trim, the more a manual is usually worth on those cars. The take rate for Porsche's manual cars remains considerably lower than for PDKs but Porsche will offer an MT for the foreseeable future especially for the enthusiast trims. The same seems true for my Lotus. Lotus charges extra for the automatic but the manual cars sell for more money even when new despite the lower list price. Beyond that there's clearly no performance benefits to be found in manual boxes except over (perhaps) CVTs which seem at a disadvantage from the start. On the track the best dual clutch transmissions are the way to go. Since enthusiasts enjoy the connection to the car that a manual brings and buy the car to have fun, in that singular instance the manual makes perfect sense. Nothing's changed in this equation for a decade or more.

    The latest generation of the DSG is really good. New PDK's are said to be even better. I've driven them and they're both seamless and smooth as automatics yet very efficient when you're snapping shifts while making big knots. But I probably wouldn't have one in my Porsche and definitely didn't want one in the Lotus.

    On the bike front, Honda has announced that the new Goldwing will be available with a dual clutch trans. It makes sense for that particular bike if you think about it. I'm not sure it will have a big take but if there's a bike that might be nice with an auto, the Goldwing is probably it.
    Last edited by Lew Barrett; 03-03-2018 at 07:27 PM.
    One of the most enduring qualities of an old wooden boat is the smell it imparts to your clothing.

  18. #53
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    My land rover is my first automatic. Everything up to the age of 45 was a stick. I still own two manual shifted cars. A 77 Fiat 124 Sport Spider that looks like it exploded in my garage (it's in parts) and an 87 Saab 900 Turbo that is waiting for warmer weather so I can replace the transmission in it.

    I used to drive a Mack Straight truck for a living. Not only did it need a county to make a uturn, but my left calf was noticeably stronger than my right by the time I was done with that job. Drove it in every major city from Boston to DC.
    In my work with the defendants (at the Nuremberg Trails 1945-1949)
    I was searching for the nature of evil and I now think I have come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It’s the one characteristic that connects all the
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    Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy.”

    Captain G. M. Gilbert, Army psychologist

  19. #54
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    One of my few automatics was my ‘57 Bel Air in high school. Most Chevys of that era had Powerglide trannies. This one had a Turboglide which was a continuous action torque converter. It never shifted, just gradually changed ratio.

    If my memory isn´t failing me...'Powerglide' as supplied optionally in Chevrolet cars of that vintage was replicated in post-war GM-owned Adam Opel and their 4-cylinder 'Rekords' of the early 60´s.

    Picking up the gear lever on the steering column saw an electric-clutch disengage the engine and gear-box...,....releasing it saw the clutch transfer power between the engine and the drive-train......there was no foot-operated clutch, just a foot-operated brake and accelerator.

  20. #55
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Driving a Model T, particularly one equipped with a high/low axle, is a whole new world of shifting gears.

    Jeff C

  21. #56
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Going down memory lane...I recall seeing Chevrolet 6-cylinder family-saloon cars prior to 1955 when there was a major body change, with Powerglide emblems affixed to the bodywork.

    My father bought himself a 1950 / 1951 Chevrolet RHD, 4-door, 6-cylinder family-saloon (dark blue top, off-white bottom) in Karachi, complete with flag-mast on the front mudguard from a foreign diplomat transferred elsewhere.

  22. #57
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    "If you have burned the clutch of a rental car in a week's time, you're very out of practice and need some lessons with additional practice on Mom's car. "

    Really?

  23. #58
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    My friend had a jeep. In total, it had 12 forward gears. As I recall, it had two transmissions. One had three gears, and one had four. It took two hands to engage them both. That was a bit too much shifting, IMO.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

  24. #59
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    All our kids can drive a stick shift but none of their friends can. At least no one borrows their vehicles. At one point my daughter was one of two people in her very large dorm that could drive a manual transmission car.

  25. #60
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    I’ll probably always own one car with a stick. My M Roadster has one. Pedals are perfect for heel/toe.
    But a daily driver? The new dual clutch boxes are too good to ignore. Faster acceleration and better economy.
    My wifes 328d wagon has an 8 speed auto. Very smooth, quick shifts. Paddles for when you need a click down a couple of cogs to make a quick pass. The new boxes are a big part of better performance and economy. They make the old slush boxes feel really... slushy.
    Thinking a Golf R would be a really fun replacement for my 2001 330i. I’ll get the 7 speed DSG.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  26. #61
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    I've had stick shifts since 1963. Even before I courted her, my wife preferred stick shifts. They're great in the snow.

  27. #62
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    "If you have burned the clutch of a rental car in a week's time, you're very out of practice and need some lessons with additional practice on Mom's car. "

    Really?
    Yes, why do you think burning any clutch is acceptable?

    I've driven both, but 99% manual. Can one use the engine to slow down in an automatic? Most I've seen have D, 2, 1, R....Say you're doing 70MPH, and take an exit off the motorway (turnpike), can one use the engine to rev down to 50MPH?

  28. #63
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    I greatly prefer a stick, but it wasn't an option when I bought my Tiguan. The tentative plan for the next vehicle is something with a DSG if I can't get a manual.

    What are you doing about it?




  29. #64
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Yes, why do you think burning any clutch is acceptable?

    I've driven both, but 99% manual. Can one use the engine to slow down in an automatic? Most I've seen have D, 2, 1, R....
    Modern auto transmissions will also let you shift manually - so you can choose any one of the gears. For example - when my driveway is slippery, I start off in 1st & go to a max of 2nd - so it acts just like a standard as far as engine braking goes.

    In my 14 YO pickup, it is indeed D, 3, 2, 1. Selecting one of the lower gears will keep that gear as the max. So - even if you come to a stop with the selector in 3, it will shift from 1 to 2 to 3 & go no higher. Going down a grade with a load, I will drop it to 3 or 2 & get plenty of engine braking.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  30. #65
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Yes, why do you think burning any clutch is acceptable?

    I've driven both, but 99% manual. Can one use the engine to slow down in an automatic? Most I've seen have D, 2, 1, R....Say you're doing 70MPH, and take an exit off the motorway (turnpike), can one use the engine to rev down to 50MPH?
    My Honda truck has a button on the side of the shifter to allow a Downshift from Drive to D4—perfect for engine braking down ice and snow covered slick hills in a typical Michigan winter.

    Jeff C

  31. #66
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    talk about an assault on one's hearing
    and eyes. The last time I saw that shade of green was in the cockpit of an old DC-9. It was gross I thought.
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  32. #67
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    talk about an assault on one's hearing
    What bothered me was the way the driver stuck his hands through the wheel. One pothole & instant broken arm.

    Years ago driving manual steering, manual transmission buses, every month or so there would be a driver who broke a finger or two from holding on to the spokes instead of the rim.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  33. #68
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    ___

  34. #69
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    "If you have burned the clutch of a rental car in a week's time, you're very out of practice and need some lessons with additional practice on Mom's car. "


    If my Mom was actually part of this conversation, she'd chastise you for making gratuitous insults.

    She'd scold you severely.

    You'd crumble.

  35. #70
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    Default Re: The demise of the stick shift

    Always drove stick; my last was my Fiat 2000 Spider summer car from a few years back. When I went auto I thought I'd miss it, but with advancing age I find I don't.

    My honey and I are contemplating getting a summer car again next year, and we will probably do a stick Miata ( MX-5, EXCUUUUUSE MEEEE ) or possibly its Fiat 124 near-clone. Whidbey Island is a great place for one.
    Gerard>
    ​Freeland, WA

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