Where Did All The Manuals Go?

These days everything is meant to be easier and simpler. We have microwaves that could cook a turkey in about 30 minutes and home computers that can turn every light, camera, security system or whatever else on or off by the touch of a button. Things have become much simpler for car buyers as well. Every car these days has some electronic feature that turns the engine on at the push of a button or opens the doors with your key. All of that is fine and dandy, but now everything has turned to automatic. I understand the want for Formula 1 style transmission with paddle shifters, but why a straight automatic or automatic with paddles? Why be a little bitch and buy an automatic with paddles attached to it when you can get a manual that is so much more fun and rewarding? I know some of you may be saying, “well I can’t drive or don’t want to drive a manual”, well good then don’t, but don’t take the enthusiasm out of driving a car. If you don’t want to drive a manual why in the hell would you want to drive a wannabe?

I for shits and giggles the other day went online drooling over some Lamborghini’s and some other cars that I enjoy. I was dismayed and pissed to find two different things. Every Lambo I looked at had the E-Gear transmission (which is, as I am told by some Lamborghini owners, is worthless and slow to react) and most of the other cars were automatics with some sort of queer ass manual shift mode. Can’t anyone drive a manual anymore? When did exotic and exotic type sports cars become just chick magnets? Who wants to just tool around thinking they are the shit listening to the latest hot hip-hop beat to drop and be dressed in the latest and greatest fashion but have no real intent to use anything that you have under the beautiful skin of your automobile?

I have a great friend of mine (who happens to also be an inspirer for RawAutos.com) who owns a Ferrari F-430 Spyder, Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder and a Porsche Cayenne. This guy also lives in a house that is amazingly big and beautiful in every way. Most importantly you would never know that he owns any of these types of things. He dresses normally, acts not at all outlandish and is one of the most intelligent and intellectual people I have ever come across. Even more so his Ferrari and Lamborghini are… survey says… that’s right you guessed it, manuals. He said he never did find much interest in the F-1 style transmissions that he drove from Ferrari and Lamborghini because they were less fun than the 6-speed variants.

I am proud to say that pretty much all of the great friends I associate myself with enjoy the cars they have. They drive manuals and most of them track their cars too. Further more they despise the jack holes that want to be cool in an extremely nice car and don’t use anything that it has and is an automatic. I made mention earlier to the flashy guy looking for girls in his car, that does speak to my one of my best friends, but at least he drives a manual, isn’t afraid to drive the piss out of it and even better wants to track it one day. I regret to say though that my mom and my oldest brother don’t know how to drive manuals and don’t really care. Even worse my dad doesn’t want to drive a manual anymore as he is tired of it. How do you know you have grown old? When you don’t want to drive a manual anymore, hell even my 75 year old grandfather still loves driving a stick when he can. My dad has recently been looking at purchasing another Corvette and everyone that he wants to buy as an automatic. Oh but wait, not just an automatic, but it has paddles too OOOOO!!! Let me stop and thank the good Lord above. I love Corvettes but not one with paddles.

There is a reason why the Z06 doesn’t come in anything but a manual. Same goes for the Mazdaspeed cars. I would still consider a Ferrari F-1 transmission car, BMW M with SMG and any other sort of real Formula 1 style transmission to be a manual because they do still have clutches, just no pedal. Why though has Porsche gone to more automatics? I understand when cars are so fast they need some sort of sequential transmission for the owners to be able to drive them and not die in the first 15 minutes of ownership. But is that what all things automotive have come to? Something to make it simpler to drive around the mall parking lot with your stunna shades on trying to be awesome without worrying that you may stall out?

I guess I will never understand why everything has to be automatic these days. I personally find it easier and much more convenient to drive a manual. I like driving it in town and on the highway. It is more fun and can reward me in many ways including getting better gas mileage. I have a love for girls who drive a stick too. Two of the greatest girls and best friends I have both drive manual transmissions, and that is very sexy and really cool. Why is it that those girls drive manuals and some of the guys I know don’t and won’t? What has America come to?