When I got my license, I basically inherited my dad's '72 Bronco with the famed 3 on the tree. That always confused my friends. After that it was only and ever manual transmissions for me and my eventual wife for nearly 30 years. I was a big fan of the late 80's and early 90's WRC homologation models (like the 323 GTX, Galant VR4, Isuzu Impulse RS, etc) In college I bought an '88 Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo (GT4 to the rest of the world). A few years later I replaced it with a '91 All-Trac Turbo. Both of these were great fun for bombing up to the ski hill sideways. After that it was all manual Subarus for a few different models, including two we still own; '00 Impreza RS, '05 Legacy GT Wagon (rare in 5MT form). Both we purchased new. The final manual left in my current fleet is an '88 Toyota MR Supercharged.
As an aside, I never thought I could hate a MT in a car, but there was one exception; the Gen4 Outback with the 6MT. Subaru was lazy and just plopped the same transmission from the Turbo Legacy. The end result was a terrible match of gear ratios to an under powered 2.5L 4cyl. Loaded down and traveling over mountain passes was pure agony. I really think I would have preferred the AT or CVT in that thing. OOF!
I am proud to say both my kids learned how to drive stick. My daughter never grew an interest beyond maybe the novelty. But after a couple of years, my 19 year old son finally get's why it's a magical thing. I seriously doubt he has even met anybody in his peer group that could drive one. It's too bad.
Don't own, but renting one was a highlight on a trip to the UK. It took me a while to get used to extending my left arm fully out for the 1-2 gate. Shortly after picking up the car I meant to shift down to 2nd to squirt through a roundabout, only to find out I was in 4th and almost got rear-ended. That was a Nissan Juke Sport I think they called it; turbo diesel with a 6MT. Super fun.
Anyway, thanks for the non-pinball diversion.
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