The Death Of Manuals Is A Boost For Collectors

Jun 29, 2021 3 min read
The Death Of Manuals Is A Boost For Collectors

Not that we feel like celebrating…

It’s no secret automotive enthusiasts love manual transmissions on just about any performance car. However, what does seem to be a shock to those in the mainstream of society, or at least journalism, is the fact collectors and enthusiasts are eagerly scooping up what 3-pedal cars are left. After all, we can see the end coming and the brave new world of only automatics doesn’t look so entertaining.

Proof manual transmissions also prevent car theft is right here.

This was a topic of discussion in a recent New York Times report. The author seems to think all the eagerness of buying cars with a stick shift comes from collectors, those looking to cash in on having one of the last manual transmissions offered to consumers. Sure, that’s always a factor, because having the last of something made or even one of the last is notable and boosts value on the open market. But what the report completely misses the mark on is how many enthusiasts who actually really drive their cars are scooping up just about anything entertaining with 3 pedals.

photo credit: Speed Digital

For most people, driving is viewed as a chore, something which has to be done but they would like to avoid, similar to how you might view doing the dishes or folding laundry. This would explain why so many get worked up about the possibilities of driverless cars, as if that would be the magical key to some utopian future. To enthusiasts that sounds like a fate worse than death. We actually like driving, preferably on a wide-open road instead of some congested 10-lane highway.

Yes, there are some enthusiasts who have been romanced away by the ultra-quick and effortless dual-clutch transmissions. There’s no debating that you can accelerate more quickly in most performance cars so equipped, but using a manual transmission provides a sense of connectedness between man and machine, bringing some extra soul into the driving experience non-enthusiasts just seem to not understand.

photo credit: Speed Digital

There’s the additional benefit of manual transmissions forcing you to be aware of the car, which heightens that spiritual link between vehicle and driver. Plus, you can’t be fiddling with your phone on Instagram while “driving” if you need to hold the steering wheel and switch gears at the same time. And that’s probably in part why people don’t want to drive stick shifts, because they get in the way of doing other things behind the wheel instead of actively engaging in the driving experience. That quite frankly is dangerous and sad, but it’s the way things are.

The New York Times report even highlights people doing manual transmission conversions in their performance cars which came from the factory with an automatic. This is probably incredibly perplexing to those who want everything to be technologically spoon fed to drivers in these modern times.

photo credit: Porsche

For many enthusiasts, preserving cars with a manual transmission is both a selfish and selfless activity. Yes, we want to hoard these special vehicles and keep them away from those who would rather be doing anything other than driving while behind the wheel. But we also want to preserve these hallowed rides and pass them down to enthusiasts of future generations so they can also learn the goodness of the third pedal.

This scooping up of 3-pedal cars, of course, means the values of just about anything with a manual transmission has risen as so many can see the writing on the wall. In other words, if you have such a vehicle, cherish it because getting another might be surprisingly costly.

Check out the New York Times article here.

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