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Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by AeroFan_07, Sep 21, 2020.
That’s globalization, sooo good for the growth, ask your local economic theorist...
Add me to the list of people who like manual transmissions and are sad to see them go. My current car is manual and I love the feeling of control.
Oddly enough, way back in the 1970s I learned to drive in an automatic. One day, some years later, I was at work and my boss asked me to drive to the airport (some 70 miles away) to pick someone up. He tossed me the keys to the company vehicle. It was a manual transmission. I taught myself how to drive it on the way to the airport. Funny now. At the time it was not so funny... one part panic and one part pissed off. It never occurred to me to turn down the assignment.
When I had to be rushed to the hospital with a detonated appendix a few years ago, one of the Kids had to drive my car home. She had never driven a manual transmission, but had watched me do it enough that she figured out how. And now she has one of her own. The legacy lives on.
I traded in my 1956 Meteor Rideau two door hardtop in 1966 when I entered university. It was an auto. I bought a VW Beetle and the salesman promised to teach me to drive a manual when I picked the car up. His teaching was to show me the H pattern shift, toss me the keys and he left. I had to drive about20 miles home. It took forever. I got the clutch/shift down real quick but the thought of stopping on a hill scared the crap out of me. So each time I came to a hill I turned right....drove around in circles for a long while avoiding them by driving around the ones I could. But then the light bulb clicked and I finally learned (not to clutch/brake properly but) to time the light so I could hit the green at the top of the hill. Eventually I got the hang of it.
Those rear-engine VWs were more forgiving than most. I had a few — a ’58 Ghia, a ’56 Beetle, a ’62 panel van (doors on both sides; Boeing Co. surplus), and a ’66 passenger van. I recall compression starting the things (dead battery) singlehandedly. But I was much younger then.
The most difficulty I had with making my right foot operate two pedals at once (you know, like you gotta do when pointing uphill and starting from a dead stop), was in my ’65 Ford Econoline. There was a notorious four-way stop at Sixth and Yesler, in Seattle, where it has been known to rain. Cars stopped at that intersection dripped oil and other fluids, so the pavement got kinda slick sometimes. That light-weight but top-heavy rear-wheel-drive breadbox of a van would spin the tires climbing up Yesler from that stop. Speedo said 25 or more but I was moving at a crawl.
Yep, I know that part of the hill. I had a 64, 65, 66, & 67 Beetle, a 59 Ghia, and a 69 no window delivery van. I miss them and I can't remember why. Although I did rebuild the engine, on the side of road with just a rudimentary tool kit....but then they were like that.
It makes me just a little ill to see the prices those things fetch today. If I miss owning any of them, it’s mostly for that reason. Much as I love a long road trip, it might take some convincing to get me to travel coast-to-coast in a 36 hp VW.
They were kinda fun, though. And so simple and straightforward mechanically that the average owner could carry out his own repairs without totally messing things up.
I saw an almost mint red 1966 in a vintage car lot.....low mileage but the paint had oxidized badly (as red does) the ask was $6K US. I would still have my '67 except the engine mount rusted out and there is no coming back from that. And yeh, the only car I could jump start on flat ground, by myself.
Check out what sellers are asking for ’56 sunroof Beetles these days.
A friend had her early Karmann Ghia body put on a later pan. That was among the more extreme of the many changes she made to that thing. She put a mountain of money into it.
I've owned a '61, a '66, and a '63 Beetle, in that order. I lost track of the number of times I was able to fix a "road side" problem with a wire hanger, a roll of duct tape, and pliers, and drive the car home.
I’ve driven ’em with busted clutch cables. I don’t recommend the practice, but it can be done. You really gotta make yourself one with the drivetrain to do it more or less smoothly.
I have tried that and failed. I had an accellerator cable snap on the road in my 69 van. Just pieced it together with some wire I had in the tool kit...... I drove it another 15K miles and sold it....never did replace the cable.
Hyundai still makes Elantras (and others) in a stick. Decent size, zippy and can generally be had for $20k or less. Can't beat their 10-year warranty either!
I have a manual 2010 Sante Fe and would buy another in a blink if they still offered a manual. I need an SUV so my choices might be down to zero at this point.
I tried a 2016 Subaru Forester today with a 6-speed. It was ok. Rather agricultural in feel and seemed, oddly, slower overall than the CVT equipped car. My 2016 Outback with the 2.5L (Same engine ) and the CVT felt a lot quicker and much, much smoother.
Perhaps I'll just keep an auto/CVT of some sort and eventually pick up a Miata or even a motorcycle to enjoy more control. I sold my motorcycle several years back due primiarily to the increasing rate of people getting hurt/killed by "drivers" texting on thier phones whie driving.
Until I retired, I drove to work for 30 years in crushing rush hour traffic with manual transmissions, and wouldn't have it any other way . . . the trannies, not the crushing traffic.
I’ve been considering a second car, one just for fun, a nice enough used BMW Z3, maybe, or a Pontiac Solstice, which admittedly would be very selfish of me, seeing how it would be pretty much unusable to the wheelchair using member of this household. Add to that the expense of insuring and maintaining a second car and it would be hard to argue its practicality.
I maintain my motorcycle endorsement, but much as I am still compelled by the things, I can’t see myself ever again owning one.
It could be worse, or if you like very old cars, better. Have you ever heard of a crash gearbox and selecting gear by double declutching? Look it up.
The second car that I ever owned was called a Morris Oxford, it became known as a series two because the model shape would be changed every few years. The series two is actually quite famous, even though it was only sold in a few countries. If you have ever seen a film or documentary that depicts India, chances are you have seen a Morris Oxford series two. They were much loved by taxi drivers throughout the sub continent. The gears were manual and the gear lever was on the steering column. An under dash handbrake meant that the front seat could accommodate something known as a bench seat, one seat right the way across, door to door. It's why those taxi drivers loved them, you could cram in whole families.
My car developed a knocking noise, turned out to be a big end bearing shell. The car cost me £15 and I sold it for the same price, knocking sound and all. How I loved that car and that bench seat and what I got up to on it.
I haven't paid much attention to the Z3 in recent yrs but the early yrs didn't have much room or head clearance with the top up. They had a very long front end from the driver's perspective, and not much aft. Very reminiscent of driving a Triumph TR-3.