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The End of Manual Labor?

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  • The End of Manual Labor?

    This article almost made me shed a tear. I too, am quite the stick-shift purist. I love the involvement of the manual. That's all I've ever owned, and when I rent cars, I feel so bored driving. This article, however, makes a good case for some of the new automatics. I am one of the only 7.7% of drivers who drive a manual. What's sad is that hardly any kids these days even know how. I think that makes them more lousy, unaware drivers. (Just my opinion)

    Read this article and tell me what your thoughts are. I know this isn't politics or anything too serious, but for some bizarre reason, it struck a chord with me.
    http://editorial.autos.msn.com/artic...umentid=656470
    "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

  • #2
    Re: The End of Manual Labor?

    My car has a triptronic transmission that totally rocks. It's not *quite* as immediate as full manual, and there's a horsepower loss, but it gives me the control of a manual with the ability to put it in full auto so I can drink a cup of coffee or just generally not go insane in rush-hour traffic.

    Edit: oh, I should have read the article first. Yeah that's what I drive. Not an M, but same tranny.

    I will say this: I've also driven a G35 and its version of the same transmission drove me crazy. Too slow in the shifts. So all triptronics are not alike. Someday I shall drive a Porsche with this, and my money is that it shifts so fast it feels like a mule kicking you.

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    • #3
      Re: The End of Manual Labor?

      Originally posted by leejo View Post
      Someday I shall drive a Porsche with this, and my money is that it shifts so fast it feels like a mule kicking you.
      This is true. I've driven many a Porsche, and the 911 Turbo with the auto was crazy. It accelerates so hard, it quite literally sucks you to the back of the seat like nothing you've ever felt. You pull some g's in that sucker. I've also driven the 911 Turbo with a manual, and it's true that it's so fast, it's tough to keep up with the shifts fast enough to actualize it's full potential. I, however, am realistically going to be buying a used NON-turbo 911 in the next year or two, so the manual will be preferable for me. They're quick, but not near as fast as the Turbo model, so after driving both auto and manual in non-turbo as well, the manuals better for that one IMO.

      I guess it depends on what kind of power your car has. My daily driver is a Mazda 3. Not exactly a power demon by any stretch of the imagination. Fun, but not fast. It only has 160hp, so I need the manual to ring every little ounce of power out of it. I rented an automatic 3 last week while mine was in the shop, and it felt SO much slower. Only a crappy 4 speed auto. It had "manual" shifting, but it was nothing like the sweet VW/Audi/BMW autos.
      "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

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      • #4
        Re: The End of Manual Labor?

        I hate you for your first paragraph.

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        • #5
          Re: The End of Manual Labor?

          Lol. No need to be too jealous. It's because I used to work at the Porsche dealership in San Antonio to get help get me through college. Best college job...ever! :D
          At the dealership, I drove every sort of car under the sun. Porsches, BMW's, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, you name it. My favorite part of the job was delivering these cars to their new owners, then picking up their trade and driving those back to the dealership. We dealt with the San Antonio Spurs players all the time, and I'd usually get to drive their cars before they ever saw them. I even got to pick up Sean Elliot's brand new M5 from the car audio place when it was finished getting a custom stereo system, then took it to him. I drove Tim Duncan's brand new "seal gray" turbo 911 before he saw it. It was the first 2001 Turbo to be delivered in Texas. Good times.

          I loved it. Some people get jealous seeing rich people enjoy these types of cars, but not me. It was and still is fantastic motivation to become successful someday and buy a car like that for myself. When I quit my job there to join the Air Force, I told my boss that the next time he'd see me in that dealership would be when I was buying a Porsche for myself. He liked hearing that, and told me that he knew I could do it. I can't wait to see the crew there again when I'm buying it. :)

          Here's a link to a video I just saw on MSN that pretty much resonates how I feel about sticks.
          http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=...a-5118fbcb7fdc
          "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

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          • #6
            Re: The End of Manual Labor?

            This conversation should be moved to the Political Corner / Obama Corner of the sandbox.. War's heart touching story of a man and his dream is one that would make any conservative person cry..and a not so conservative call you a greedy bastage.. but I digress..
            Good Work..
            |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
            ..now where did I put my keys?

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            • #7
              Re: The End of Manual Labor?

              I got my first Manual Transmission car just a few months ago, and for me a big factor was price. The standard issue Automatics that we've been seeing for years add about 1K to sticker price and don't keep up with a good Manual driver in fuel economy and power. The high-end Automatics mentioned in the article can match or even exceed a good Manual driver, but they range from 2K to 4K extra cash up front. As long as I'm still in a position to watch every dollar I spend, I'll take the Manual and enjoy feeling in control of the car, thank you very much.

              On the other hand, at some point in the future when I have much more income to waste, I won't mind going back to an automatic. So my opinion is that Manuals should still have a secure position on entry-level cars for some time, at least until the price level of Automatics drops enough to be competitive.

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              • #8
                Re: The End of Manual Labor?

                goto europe and see how many manuals are floating around there...your hard pressed to find an auto

                |TG-IRR|

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                • #9
                  Re: The End of Manual Labor?

                  The logic and explanation and the "everything" behind getting a manual could turn into a huge post, for me.

                  So let me just say.... I've owned 14 different cars in my life, and probably less than 5 have ever been automatics. My first car was an auto, and the first car I bought was a stick, and I cannot stand driving an automatic. A big part of it is how much more the car coasts, and in the case of my Grand Prix GTP, I don't have to be annoyed by a transmission that hunts for gears (which is why I always kept it in Sport mode). I feel my car is never in the gear I want it, with an autotragic. A lot of modern tramissions upshift too early for my liking, for the sake of being more economical, but the mileage in the way I drive in mixed conditions never drops below the 75% percentile of it's MPG rating.

                  I prefer to have more control over my vehicle, and driving a stick is more fun and engaging and I feel my car is overall more responsive (apart from the obvious 100% mechanical connection between the engine and drivetrain). It's second nature and I think nothing of it when I drive, even in heavy traffic.
                  "But way back where I come from, we never mean to bother. We don't like to make our passions other peoples' concern." -Dar Williams
                  Former Captain of the 55th Infantry Division

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                  • #10
                    Re: The End of Manual Labor?

                    Originally posted by Beinseth View Post
                    goto europe and see how many manuals are floating around there...your hard pressed to find an auto
                    Quite true. I've rented 2 cars there. I rented a Peugot 206 in Spain, and rented a BMW 535 diesel wagon in Germany (which rocked on the autobahn). Both had sticks. Thank goodness I wasn't the typical young American who doesn't know how to drive stick. Is it wrong of me that I look at people as lesser drivers if they don't know how to drive stick?

                    Personal anecdote. Once I was a party and quite inebriated. I asked a friend to drive me home in my car, and since he didn't have his car, I said he could keep mine to take home. He said he didn't know how to drive stick. Needless, to say, I told him he wasn't a real man and ripped on him for not knowing how to REALLY drive. Now, I was drunk, so normally I wouldn't tell someone that, BUT it does sorta mirror my inner-most sentiments toward drivers. Am I alone here in my bigoted driving feelings? This is one issue my European friends can totally rip on Americans for, and I won't be offended one bit because it's true for the most part (~93%).

                    Oh yeah, and from my experience overseas...
                    German Drivers > American Drivers
                    by FAR!
                    "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

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                    • #11
                      Re: The End of Manual Labor?

                      I drive an '04 Impala with an automatic. I don't really need power, or responsiveness, so my only concern regarding the transmission is how much it costs and how efficient it is. Since I got this car effectively for free, I can't really complain in that department.

                      As to the spiritual component of driving stick, I view my car as a very fancy, expensive nuisance that I keep because it's significantly more convenient than public transit. I'd seriously consider getting a motorcycle if I could figure out how to A. use the bloody thing in winter and B. transport five people, two hundred pounds of misc. gear, and a dozen odd 4x8 OSB boards.

                      I used to have an 89' suburban, though. Still an automatic, slower than hell, never did shift out of second gear, but you could fit three people and about twelve tons of lumber in that thing. And it got about 12MPG. I miss that thing. There's something beautiful about knowing that you don't really have to obey traffic laws, you're just doing it because it would be too much trouble to pick someones sedan out of your bumper.

                      My feeling on exotics and sports cars is an indulgent incomprehension. The things I value in a car are passenger space, cargo space (did I mention that I moonlight in housebuilding) safety, reliability, and economy. An exotic is a car that I can't carry my family in, can't pick up my friends in, can't move equipment in, won't keep me safe in a wreck, won't get me out of snow bank, won't get someone else out of a snow bank, doesn't make a good camper, and so on and so on and so on. If someone else wants it, go ahead, but I've got no particular use for it.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The End of Manual Labor?

                        Yeah those trip tronic ones are cool
                        My mom has one
                        I want to learn how to drive both

                        Honestly, when is knowing how to drive both a bad thing?

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                        • #13
                          Re: The End of Manual Labor?

                          Im 17, learn to drive on a stick... My Dad knew what he was doing =P
                          First car is a stick, and I love it. I cant really compare it to a automatic since I don't have one, but driving them just makes me daze out and not really concentrate.



                          He who believes he knows the ending of things before they begin is either a very wise person or an idiot. Regardless, he is unhappy for he hast drove a knife into the heart of wonder. -Osten Ard

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                          • #14
                            Re: The End of Manual Labor?

                            Manual transmission all the way.


                            Sarcoma
                            Sarcoma.

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                            • #15
                              Re: The End of Manual Labor?

                              When we bought our last new car (PT cruiser)... it was the only stick shift PT cruiser in a 5 state region. AH!
                              "Sympathy means a lot, coming from Kulmar. I didn't think it was possible.
                              Good luck getting rid of your disease. If you're infected, though, stay away--I can't afford to be a zombie right now.
                              " Ednos


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