Saturday, July 07, 2018

Stirring with a manual gear shift

I am old enough to know how to double de clutch while changing gears when driving a truck like vehicle. But I have never owned a manual geared car. I think they are stupid and even now buses and concrete mixer trucks have fully automatic gears. There was a weird period where pre selector gears were used, which I never understood.

In England 2008 R's ex brother in law hired a car for us with automatic gears, as he knew that is what Australians drive. There was no need. R once had a manual VW Beetle and we both know how to drive manual gear change cars.

My father and uncle used to call Mother's father lazy for buying automatic cars in the 60s and 70s, well two of them. The second car he bought was a manual, but he returned to the showroom to change it to an automatic, and he used to drive an old truck with manual gears to the market. I bought the car from my grandmother after my grandfather died.

The passionate gear changers have fallen though. A few years ago Bone Doctor replaced her 4WD with another, this time an automatic. Sister was passionately anti automatic gears, but the car she bought this year is an automatic.

Now Daniel Bowen has bought an automatic. I remember commenting to him years ago that the manual gear change car he had just bought might not be so easy to sell when he wanted the next new car. Cars of the age he just traded in are almost worthless, so it was a moot point.

I think driving a manual car is rather like whisking egg whites for a meringue manually or with an electric whisk. There is a lot of stirring with your hand, along with so much wearing out of your left foot with all that clutch activity.

I can't think of any usual blog mate in the UK, surely not you Marie, or the US who would drive a manual car. Surely not Gattina? Maybe Gosia? Walt and Ken in France, I think their newest car is automatic, if not their old one.  I can only think of one person last standing who probably does drive a manual. Take a bow, Cro.

29 comments:

  1. For the first 30 years of my 60 year life, I drove only manual shift cars. Twas not until my accident when my left foot was pushed through the floor of my car, did I finally break down and buy an automatic. Now I only drive automatics, although I can still drive a standard. Just not my preference, nor that of my left foot!
    The Highlander is 4 wheel drive, automatic, with a snow gear, which is very useful when our snow gets deep!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maribeth, you are not the usual American to me, which is not an insult or compliment. So where were you for the first 30 years of your life that you drove manual cars? Snow gear and cars for extreme cold is a mystery to most Australians.

      Delete
  2. I am the proud owner of a stupid manual. ;) I can drive an automatic if required but I prefer not.

    The new Polo of The Other Half is an automatic but it can be driven as a manual just without the clutch.

    It also can drive itself with radar, which it prefers, Polo likes to be in charge. If you are the driver and you get too close to the car in front it gives you The Exclamation Point, and if you don't brake, it gives you a very loud beep, and gets ready to brake for you.

    New Polo is also apparently not a Take That fan, if you put shuffle on it won't play their songs. It might be that my Polo has complained while they are in the garage, as Take That is all that ever gets played in that car and has been since April 2017.

    More important than the gears is the small size of the Polo. Carparks are so small now, it is incredibly easy to park. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Snoskred, the Polo does my head in. I know about auto braking, but driving an auto as a manual as a manual, I do not. I think the Polo shuffle is very intelligent, unless it shows thirty year old videos of very hot bare chested Take That. Grind on with your gearstick, girlfriend. Do you burn out clutches?

      Delete
  3. I grew up on Cape Cod and my Dad was a summertime Police Officer. He was determined that I learn to drive a standard. He said, if you can drive a standard, you will never be stranded. Oh, how I bucked and stalled, when I learned. Soon I was a smooth shifter, and for many years I would not drive anything else. My pride and joy was a brand spanking new Ford Fiesta, standard shift, hatchback. At twenty two I was so proud and that car drove like a dream. That was until I was run over by a truck and my feet (left and right) got pushed through the floor. In any case, I recently drove a standard and I've still got it, I just admit to being lazy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maribeth, I had forgotten about the bucking and stalling that new drivers did, and the difficult hill starts. We had Ford Fiestas here.
      They weren't such great cars. Sad about the truck that crashed into you, with life long consequences.

      Delete
  4. I do drive an automatic but feel just as comfortable with a manual. I have friends who wouldn't dream of buying an automatic, they feel more 'in control' with manual gears.. did I mention I know some control freaks 😀

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grace, perhaps it is a control freak thing. I should know.

      Delete
  5. I don't see anything wrong with giving the left foot a little work to do, it's not going to be working the clutch every few seconds, no one changes gears that much surely?
    I thought many delivery trucks and semis still had gears to change? There was a big kerfuffle here recently over drivers coming down the hill to the city and relying on their brakes to slow down instead of down-changing the gears and this caused problems when many drivers experienced brake failure, because they'd worn out and smashed their trucks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, if you drive in Melbourne traffic, believe me your clutch will be going up and down every few seconds. I know that hill well. I think there is a run off or two for trucks. Automatics are increasingly appearing in vans and trucks. You can still change down gears for engine braking yourself with an automatic.

      Delete
  6. I've always driven a manual car. I love driving a manual car. To me...that is driving. I don't understand you saying manual is "stupid".

    "Driving" automatic...isn't driving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee, I suppose you don't drive much, if at all, in heavy traffic. I think there is enough to worry about on the roads without bothering with gear changing.

      Delete
    2. Abdrew....I have driven all over this state of Queensland...north to south and back again..east to west....all using manual drive cars.

      Changing gears is not worrying.

      And, please, don't assume. I do drive...there is no public transport here where I live...if I didn't drive...my manual car....I'd be home-bound, or dependent on others. And I do not like being dependent on anyone, other than myself.

      Delete
  7. Until I came to Australia I always drove manual cars as it was what was the norm in South Africa and Portugal. But now I love the automatic car and don't think I would go back to driving a manual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sami, nor would I. Europeans are very attached to their gear changing, but even there automatics are being sold in higher proportions.

      Delete
  8. What A Gr8 Post Mate!! Very Entertaining And So True.

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  9. Of course I drive a manual. Wouldn't think of using an automatic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, the English are impossible on this subject.

      Delete
  10. Our car, driven by himself, is a manual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, I bet if you drove, you would side with me.

      Delete
  11. I have never owned an automatic, but have driven them. No, it's manual for me; I love the feeling of control that it gives you. Anyway, could you imagine an automatic 2CV?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cro, I don't understand this extra control you think you have, but you are right about a 2CV. The Goddess came in auto here, not sure if there was a manual version, but I suppose there was.

      Delete
  12. We have automatics now, it's easier in heavy traffic over your way.
    My sports car I had was of course manual and I loved to make it roar or burn someone off at the lights way back - not practical today..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret, that is a privilege that young people no longer have. The thing of spinning the wheels and burning off someone was great. As I posted once, I got my Valiant up to 97 mph on a quiet country road. I was not a very responsible driver when I was young, and it seems nor were you.

      Delete
  13. I have a manual gear old car now, was cheap, the cheapest I could find after the other one fell to old age (300,000 miles and lots of problems). Craigslist bought and cheap because nobody wants a manual. Especially with freeways clogged in traffic jams, where you go a few inches and stop again. That's not fun in a manual. Plus you can't multi task with a manual. No more eating, phone use, driving, hair check....lol, I don't multi task when driving anyhow. All those caught texting while driving should be forced to drive a manual rest of days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strayer, I didn't realise yours in a manual. Interesting point about phone texting and one that never occured to me.

      Delete
  14. Hey, my car is a manual, I love driving a manual. That said, I think it is easier on my failing body to have an auto, so maybe my next car will be one. Reluctantly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fen, it is just so much easier.

      Delete