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Old 07-22-2012, 12:41 PM   #1
Malibooya
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Save the Manuals (Malibooya's Project Thread)

This forum has stepped up to help a few times before, and I'm hoping it will again.

As some of you may know from previous threads/posts, I'm a journalist (currently I have a stint with Newsday - here's a clip: clicky. I usually work in the tech and auto sections.

Now, with that said, I'm also getting my Master's at the same time. To get that, however, I need to do a "capstone" - a Master's thesis. The story I'm working on is the disappearance on the manual transmission from mainstream cars - I know FFers have big opinions on this. My piece is in broadcast form, meaning I'm shooting video to be aired for television later this year. Right now the expected runtime is 7-10 minutes, but it's still in planning stages. Here's an example of the show: http://www.cuny.tv/show/219west

Where does FF come in? Well, I want to interview people who are still holding onto the stick, even though this country is quickly killing the option (last year, only ~5% of new cars bought were manuals). I'm going to be working on this until November, but I want to make it as awesome as possible; whatever you're doing with you car - drag, autocross, DD, etc. - I want to capture it on film and talk about this. A group of fanatics like this community could really make for a colorful piece, though I don't want to limit it to just Focuses - Mustangs, Camaros, whatever ya got as long as it's stick.

I've already got plans to interview some non-Fanatics in York, PA come August, to give you all an idea of how much I'll travel - as long as you're in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic, I'm game to drive.

So, what do you say FF?


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Old 07-22-2012, 01:57 PM   #2
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I'd be down for a phone interview! None of my vehicles are auto tranny. And if you want a glaring contrast, look at the motorcycle community. I only know of one motorcycle that even has an option for an auto tranny, which is a joke to anyone who rides seriously. :P
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:31 AM   #3
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I'd be down for a phone interview! None of my vehicles are auto tranny. And if you want a glaring contrast, look at the motorcycle community. I only know of one motorcycle that even has an option for an auto tranny, which is a joke to anyone who rides seriously. :P
So riders with disabilities aren't serious riders and should just give up riding? There's definitely a market for clutchless motorcycles. A niche market yes, but there's still a market for them.

There's also more than 1 modern day motorcycle available that is clutchless - Honda, Aprilia and Yamaha all offer such options.


At our dealer (Subaru) we have about 80 new cars in stock. 3 are manuals - an STI, a Forester and an Impreza. We can't give away the mtx Impreza and we can't keep the CVT Impreza on the lot. Most are sold before they even arrive. There's a distinct lack of interest in the manuals, as many auto (mostly CVTs) produce higher fuel economy numbers. We also see the general attitude from parents who don't want to have their kid drive a manual or even learn to do it. The common reason we hear? It's another "distraction" for their child. I was taught on a stick and it was the only option I had if I wanted to drive one of my folk's cars. Learn to drive the stick, or walk.


My current car is my 29th vehicle, 25 of which have been passenger cars. All previous 24 passenger cars were manuals. I went with a DSG with my current car, but kept an open mind when I was looking, as I would have taken a manual. But my car came long, the color, bodystyle and mileage I wanted, and it happened to be a DSG.

Is it as "engaging" as a true manual? Nope. Is it fun to drive? Absolutely. Is it easier on my janky left knee in my stop n go commute to work? Definitely. Would I go with a good DSG again? In a heartbeat.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:52 AM   #4
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Is driving a manual a distraction or would it force the kid to pay more attention to his driving? He won't be texting and yakking on his cell and eating cheeseburgers.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:01 AM   #5
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Is driving a manual a distraction or would it force the kid to pay more attention to his driving? He won't be texting and yakking on his cell and eating cheeseburgers.
Oh, I totally agree with you. Everyone is too busy texting while driving and parents today seem too afraid to set boundries. I think a lot figure "the kid is going to text, regardless of what I say" so in their mind, a manual would be a distraction. Some people just aren't too bright.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:35 AM   #6
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Is driving a manual a distraction or would it force the kid to pay more attention to his driving? He won't be texting and yakking on his cell and eating cheeseburgers.
meh. not unless you're in fifth. i still eat while i drive and roll through the gears. as for texting, it's either at a stop light or a one word text in fifth (or any place safe from other people). I don't understand why people say it keeps the texting away, if you're not shifting constantly like you were in a race it really doesn't matter. but why text when you have something enjoyable to drive?
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Old 07-22-2012, 03:16 PM   #7
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I'm in DownEast Maine, and I would be happy to chat/meet with you to discuss. I have owned at least one motor vehicle since 1966, all of which had manual transmissions. I have driven cars and trucks with automatics (mostly rental and loaner vehicles) but have not yet driven a DSG. I have chosen manual transmission vehicles because of the improved vehicle control, (especially in winter) economy, and involvement in the driving process. All five of my children/step children grew up with, and learned to drive manuals, all but one still own at least one manual, one has three!
Whether or not I can help you, good luck with your project. I applaud your determination to continue your education. Never stop learning!
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:17 PM   #8
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I'm mostly an 'auto' guy, although I have owned manuals.
My girls, OTOH, prefer sticks.

First daughter started with an auto '96 Probe GT, then moved to a manual '04 ZX-3.

Daughter #2 started with a manual '91 Camry, and is now driving a '04 Mazda RX-8 with a 6-speed.

Unfortunately for your project, we're all on the left coast.

Marshall
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:09 PM   #9
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My girls, OTOH, prefer sticks.
Single?
Pics?


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Old 07-23-2012, 03:22 PM   #10
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Single?
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