A Stick Shift Is "In" Again

Boy, automatic transmission was the bomb in its heyday. None of that pounding clutch and shifting gears manually. For a few dollars extra, automatic transmission would do all the work for you and provide a smoother ride.

We’ve come a long way, baby.

Sticks are it, again, with collectors and connoisseurs, and people are dropping some heavy coin to possess what was once either sporty or pedestrian. In today’s world, there are more electric cars sold than cars with manual transmissions.

Last month at auction, a 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano went home for $652,500.New, it sold for $313,000.

Michael Morgan builds transmissions in Houston for My Transmission Experts, and says you don’t need to go high end to get the high of four on the floor. “Mustangs, Camaros, some of your Chrysler products,” he ticks off effortlessly. “Generally ’66 through ’72, the Muscle Car years.” They still hold a special appeal for some car collectors. “They’re fun to drive,” Morgan smiles. “The power is all in your hand.”

It was about a decade again auto manufacturers developed a quick-shifting, super-efficient dual-clutch automatic transmission and that was all she wrote for the appeal of manual transmissions.

Some owners of an old four on the floor call it the best anti-theft device available -- because so few people know how to drive one.

photo: Getty Images

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