The last days of the Stick Shift


By CityFella,

Stick Shift, that’s what my mother used to call cars with manual gearbox.  In her day,you changed gears on the column not on the floor. Like the Mercury above.   In those days, all the cars had foot brakes.

You have to admire the skill of those people who lived in hilly environments back in those days.  My father said you needed three feet to drive a car.  I cant begin to imagine what is was like for drivers back in the day in San Francisco.   At the top of a very steep Jones Street between Post and California streets is a signal light.  Through the years  I’ve seen drivers in automatics panic as the light turned red .

American drivers abandoned the stick for cars with in automatic transmission in the fifties.  For many years the Europeans preferred the manual transmission over the automatic.   The manual transmission used to be more fuel efficient.   Today this is no longer true.

Today its about fuel economy.  The average car today has a six speed transmission. Chrysler builds a nine speed, not only improving fuel economy in there small cars, but there large cars and trucks.  In addition to the conventional transmissions,there are Continuously Variable Transmissions and Duel Clutch Transmissions.    Some cars are equipped with paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel . Allowing manual like control of an automatic transmissions without the clutch.

Manual gearboxes are rapidly disappearing.  In Europem Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini  have Dual Clutch Automatics.  A stick is not on option in the new Alfa Romeo.

If you want to shift it yourself you have to look to Germany, for now.    Stick shifts are available on American, Korean,and Japanese cars as long as you take a stripped down version.  Even Mazda, the Zoom Zoom company,  if you want a sunroof or the latest  infotainment system, there not available with a stick.

Americans automakers still have a sense of humor when it comes to manual gearboxes.  In America the world is flat.  You can get at stick in hot new Dodge Challenger Hellcat  however its emergency brake is on the floor.  Today, you can buy new Buick or Cadillac with a six speed gearbox, their emergency brake is an electronic button on the console.   Can we say,recall!

2015 Cadillac ATS

Were’s the Brake? 

If you want a gearbox with a good old fashion hand brake. The way god intended, and optioned up the way you want it. You’ll have to look to Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, Corvette, Dodge Viper and the Dodge Dart.

The world is rapidly changing.  The compact disc will soon finds its place besides records, and cassettes.   If you want a stick shift hurry…. you have a few years left .

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