Step On The Clutch, Change Gear, Release The Clutch, Rinse, Repeat

For all the pushing we do for manual transmissions, I'll be the first to admit that an automatic is better for ease and convenience. That being said, don't you think this guy is exaggerating just a little bit?


Look, I get it, it's the 1940's and you're too busy fighting off the Nazis to be bothered to shift your own transmission. Especially when you're driving an Oldsmobile from way back in the day that seemed large enough to share a chassis with a Sherman tank and the shifter is mounted on the steering column.

You also might not think an automatic transmission was a big deal, but it was a relatively new innovation at the time, with the 1939 Olds Hydra-matic becoming the first to really reach the masses in a popular passenger car.


But fourteen steps? If you're shifting properly changing a gear should be as close to one full-body coordinated motion, like throwing a Dire Straits record or swinging a cricket bat (I've been watching Shaun of the Dead, good movie, I highly recommend it, although I actually think Hot Fuzz was better. Am I the only one to think Hot Fuzz was better? It just seemed to flow a bit better. Though I have a hard time reconciling Nick Frost's characters in each movie. What were we talking about? Oldsmobiles, or something, right? Yeah, Oldsmobiles).

I'm pretty sure this guy would've been stalling that car constantly, popping the clutch out in first gear like that. So I suppose they're maybe even being a bit generous, with the 14 steps, as they're eliminating all those steps when he inevitably needs to turn the car back on.

When watching this ad, see if you can hang on through past the Zen-like repetition of shifting technique for what could've made this ad a contender for our list of the most sexist car ads of all time.


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You can't take the shift demonstration literally. It's the 1939 version of this.