By Casey Liss
Clarkson on Manuals

I’ve spoken about my love of manual transmissions in the past. Drivers like myself that prefer them are a dying breed. Jeremy Clarkson, of Top Gear, has written a post with some thoughts of his own:

It was convenience that killed off the LP, and yet more convenience that heralded the demise - in about a month - of the CD. Because when a better idea comes along, it’s incredible how quickly it takes off. One minute, you had a phone on your hall table. The next, you didn’t. Because it was in your pocket, or on your wrist.

Oh, I know there will be some snuffly noses and damp handkerchiefs from the purists. But look at it this way: when we are all driving hybrid cars that can find their way around by themselves and sipping fuel in the same way that a vicar sips his tea at an old lady’s funeral, there’s nothing to stop people who crave the past driving a big V8 with a manual 'box and a longwave radio.

In the same way that today the horse is completely useless. You can’t even eat it. But the countryside is full every weekend with people using them just for fun.

In my brain, I know that Jeremy is right. Advancements such as the dual-clutch gearbox have nearly all the benefits of a traditional manual transmission, with almost no drawbacks.

My heart, however, will always love a traditional manual. I will always love the challenge of gracefully using three pedals with only two feet. What I said in 2010 still holds true, four years later:

Thanks to Aaron McLeod for sending me the link.

Quick programming note: eagle-eyed bat-eared (?) listeners of Analog(ue) #18 will recognize this as the post that I didn’t think was worth posting. Enough of you were kind enough to ask for it, so, here it is. :)