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An Entire Generation Is Missing One of The Great Joys of Being a Car Enthusiast

Name....that.......shifter! Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove
Name....that.......shifter! Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove

This generation has been losing out a lot on manual transmissions. Fewer and fewer cars come with them. Fewer and fewer drivers know how to use them. But there’s another joy that’s fading away: the satisfaction of seeing a car parked across the street, walking over, looking in the window and discovering that the car is not an automatic (lame) but a manual (hell yes).


I agree that not having manual transmissions available on new cars is a bummer for us as drivers. What a strange moment it was when you could get a Corolla with a third pedal but not a Porsche 911 GT3 a few years back. Again, this is a bummer for anyone in the market for a new or not-that-old car.


But the pleasure of discovery is not to be missed.

You see it on the other side of the parking lot. A BMW 530i. The E34 sedan with the 3.0-liter V8. It flashes across your mind as you take each step closer. It could be cool. It could be a dream. It could be the backroads cruiser of your wildest flights of fancy, if it, might it, could it really be...

Nah. Automatic. Dreams crushed. It’s a loafy car, living a life devoid of clutch kick u-turns and whatever other three-pedal mania you might desire.

A whole generation is being raised that’s not thinking about this distinction. Without even the possibility that, say, that Infiniti could even possibly come with a manual, there’s no hunt for the “good” ones with stick shifts.


This isn’t the greatest woe facing car culture, but it’s distinct, and I feel ever stranger every time I cross the street to see if, oh man, that Aston Martin Vantage, that Subaru Legacy, could it be?

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Anyone who posts an automatic car as a manual in an online ad should be sentenced to death.

There is no greater disappointment than finding the perfect vehicle. Everything is exactly how you want it to be and then the interior shot comes and its a fucking automatic. The people who do this are pure evil and we should not tolerate them in this world.