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  #91  
Old 07-09-2014, 08:38 AM
Frantz Frantz is offline
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As a former commuter in the city of Atlanta with a 5 spped Mustang I can dispell the notion that its just too hard to use in traffic. As a formerly young person who didn't think it was distracted driving to text (back when it was legal so you didn't have to be distracted hiding your phone) I can also say that you can use tech while shifting just fine, and now we have voice controls its cake. Only one person mentioned that in Europe and Australia manuals are still the norm, so the "bitterness" is not quite what it seems. Sadly I'm left to think Americans are just lazy. No new trucks wmanual because the research money can be used to make more improvements to the auto trans. Also.... There is this poor assumption by dealers that all manually equipted cars other than Mustang must be very spartan. Look at the 1.0 ecoboost we focus.... You can't even add sat radio!
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  #92  
Old 07-09-2014, 10:22 AM
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I agree with Frantz about Americans simply being lazy. Manuel's little article borrows a lot of what has been said in this thread, including my own comment that half of Americans can't even swim. He says he's lost faith in the human race, but I think it is more of an American thing. In Europe, there are large numbers of people who ride bicycles to work, and walking is not viewed as a major inconvenience.

There is massive public outcry when there is talk about serving healthy school lunches because we like our supersized fries, 72 ounce Cokes, and deep fried bacon-wrapped Snickers bars. And we can just get them at the drive thru window without having to even walk up to the counter at Mickey D's.... And pinched school budgets usually cause the loss of gym classes and after-school sports. Kids play video games instead.

Our culture is creating a generation of obese, unfit, and physically unskilled people who view any kind of physical activity as work to be avoided. I remember having to actually walk across the room to change the TV channel. And I own 2 stick shift vehicles in addition to my '02 E150 which is clearly an automatic.

The "it's too hard to drive different sticks" thing is a common excuse. My wife exclusively owned stick shift cars before I met her (in her 30's at the time) and worked at a TV station and ASKED to drive the 18 foot box trucks when they did remote shoots because she perceived it as FUN. (And I enjoyed driving the big UHaul trucks with sticks when we moved.) I owned 2 stick shift vehicles at the time, including my '78 F100 and a SAAB 900, and she had a SAAB Sonett wiith a sticks, and we just drove 'em all... I don't remember either of us complaining.

And we can both swim.

George
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  #93  
Old 07-09-2014, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoGeorge View Post
I agree with Frantz about Americans simply being lazy. Manuel's little article borrows a lot of what has been said in this thread, including my own comment that half of Americans can't even swim. He says he's lost faith in the human race, but I think it is more of an American thing. In Europe, there are large numbers of people who ride bicycles to work, and walking is not viewed as a major inconvenience.

There is massive public outcry when there is talk about serving healthy school lunches because we like our supersized fries, 72 ounce Cokes, and deep fried bacon-wrapped Snickers bars. And we can just get them at the drive thru window without having to even walk up to the counter at Mickey D's....

Our culture is creating a generation of obese, unfit, and physically unskilled people who view any kind of physical activity as work to be avoided. I remember having to actually walk across the room to change the TV channel. And I own 2 stick shift vehicles in addition to my '02 E150 which is clearly an automatic.

The "it's too hard to drive different sticks" thing is a common excuse. My wife exclusively owned stick shift cars before I met her (in her 30's at the time) and worked at a TV station and ASKED to drive the 18 foot box trucks when they did remote shoots because she perceived it as FUN. (And I enjoyed driving the big UHaul trucks with sticks when we moved.) I owned 2 stick shift vehicles at the time, including my '78 F100 and a SAAB 900, and she had a SAAB Sonett wiith a sticks, and we just drove 'em all... I don't remember either of us complaining.

And we can both swim.

George
I don't think it is as much lazy as spoiled, I have had several manual vehicles in my years, loved every one of them. But, there is a huge difference in driving my old '89 Mustang LX, rowing through the gears in traffic and pulling a 30' trailer loaded to the gills. Not saying it's impossible, obviously it isn't, but it is a lot easier with a modern auto transmission, especially the New Fords with HSA, not sure if you could even get that with a manual.
In so much as European drivers are concerned, there aren't a lot of pick up trucks, their emission standards dictate vehicle design, a majority of vehicles are very small, small displacement and yes they have a lot of manuals, out of necessity IMHO, easier to get performance from a 1 liter, 3 cylinder diesel with a manual transmission. A lot ride bicycles, true enough, have you been to some European cities, the older ones? The streets are so small and narrow it is faster and cheaper to ride a bicycle or scooter, most American cars wouldn't fit, much less a Ford truck. Also fuel is so expensive in Europe, I would probably ride a bike too, if I lived in a congested city.
Anyway, I have no issue with a manual, but even if Ford had the option, I would still check the box beside the automatic. Has nothing to do with being lazy. I agree with modern society producing unfit, lazy people. But I don't think that had a lot to do with auto manufacturers backing away from manuals. I mean I don't consider driving a stick as "physical activity". Even a lot of "supercar" manufacturers or going more towards a dual clutch system (basically paddle shifters) that is more automatic than manual simply because it's more efficient speed wise, and most all of those are across the pond in Europe. And those cars are built with one intended purpose.
Anyway, not being sarcastic or whatever, just voicing my opinion.
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  #94  
Old 07-09-2014, 11:31 AM
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I don't find your post sarcastic in the least, Mitch, and agree with many of your points. Europe is definitely different from the US, and yes, I have been there (once). Although pickups are not common in Europe, small vans like the Transit Connect and even the larger (but narrower) Sprinters are common--and in Europe, many of those vehicles have sticks.

However I feel about it, I agree that sticks are becoming less common in the US. I remember it was a "badge of honor" to drive a stick well.

I agree that pulling a 30' trailer is much more sensible with an automatic.
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  #95  
Old 07-09-2014, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoGeorge View Post
I don't find your post sarcastic in the least, Mitch, and agree with many of your points. Europe is definitely different from the US, and yes, I have been there (once). Although pickups are not common in Europe, small vans like the Transit Connect and even the larger (but narrower) Sprinters are common--and in Europe, many of those vehicles have sticks.

However I feel about it, I agree that sticks are becoming less common in the US. I remember it was a "badge of honor" to drive a stick well.

I agree that pulling a 30' trailer is much more sensible with an automatic.
To elaborate further along this line of discussion, all automakers, US and otherwise, due to emissions standards, will be making vehicles a lot lighter just to keep up with MPG requirements. I see a lot more aluminum, more spartan interiors, which will seem "cheap" initially and a lot more use of small diesel engines. Most small displacement engines these days have phenomenal performance for what they are, they only thing left is to shed weight. Along with all of that, we will see more manuals in smaller passenger cars here in the U.S., I don't think that will carry over to the bigger trucks though. I can see a "tax" for those of us that opt to own a large truck....ain't progress great.......
On edit: you are absolutely correct about today's society being lazy, a lot of our young people have been conditioned to think they are entitled, that hard work and thrift is not the way to get ahead, I dare to say that if breathing wasn't an involuntary muscle response, a large portion would suffocate.
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  #96  
Old 07-09-2014, 12:09 PM
ManuelCarrillo3 ManuelCarrillo3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoGeorge View Post
I agree with Frantz about Americans simply being lazy. Manuel's little article borrows a lot of what has been said in this thread, including my own comment that half of Americans can't even swim. He says he's lost faith in the human race, but I think it is more of an American thing. In Europe, there are large numbers of people who ride bicycles to work, and walking is not viewed as a major inconvenience.
Thanks for the swimming statistic, YoGeorge
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  #97  
Old 07-09-2014, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RigTrash601 View Post
On edit: you are absolutely correct about today's society being lazy, a lot of our young people have been conditioned to think they are entitled, that hard work and thrift is not the way to get ahead, I dare to say that if breathing wasn't an involuntary muscle response, a large portion would suffocate.
Your comment made my day. There's a good chance a few people will manage to do that anyway.
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  #98  
Old 07-09-2014, 12:51 PM
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The unfortunate truth of technology is that - as it improves, it becomes less interesting to all but purists of any given subject matter.

The more 'friendly', convenient and comfortable a vehicle is, the less engaging it is likely to be... short of vehicles designed specifically for enthusiasts. It becomes an appliance, and the best appliances are designed to be taken for granted. The better it is, the less we have to think about it. When is the last time you actually had a conversation about a toaster? The same goes coffee makers, computers and telephones.

Someone might argue "but my I'phone is amazing!..." It is, but for different reasons. Here, we've taken a computer... which previously required an advanced degree to operate... shrunk it down to fit in your pocket, and made it so that playing Angry Birds is as easy as making a phone call. The only time most people have to actually think about their phone is when it's ringing... or when it breaks. Hence.... => Appliance (I noticed a few days ago that my Android phone does more neat stuff than the flippy thing Captain Kirk carries.)

My initial response was more emotional: "You'll have to pry my stick shift from my cold... dead.... etc etc"

While laziness may contribute to the decline of the manual more quickly here than in Europe, it's just a matter of time before Europe catches up with us.

Laziness is a contributing factor, it is not the root cause.

On an related note - Lamborghini created a special edition with a manual transmission. The car is specifically not intended for the inexperienced or feint of heart. It is a fire breathing rear wheel drive homage to one of their retiring test drivers, who prized all the skills required to keep such machine pointed in a safe direction.
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  #99  
Old 07-09-2014, 01:20 PM
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Those are some sad figures.

I bought my Focus new in 08 and refused to get an automatic, the dealer actually had about a half dozen sitting on the lot. Kinda wish I could of had a manual in the van but the E4OD has been handling the tasks well
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  #100  
Old 07-09-2014, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T8R View Post
The unfortunate truth of technology is that - as it improves, it becomes less interesting to all but purists of any given subject matter.

The more 'friendly', convenient and comfortable a vehicle is, the less engaging it is likely to be... short of vehicles designed specifically for enthusiasts. It becomes an appliance, and the best appliances are designed to be taken for granted. The better it is, the less we have to think about it. When is the last time you actually had a conversation about a toaster? The same goes coffee makers, computers and telephones.

Someone might argue "but my I'phone is amazing!..." It is, but for different reasons. Here, we've taken a computer... which previously required an advanced degree to operate... shrunk it down to fit in your pocket, and made it so that playing Angry Birds is as easy as making a phone call. The only time most people have to actually think about their phone is when it's ringing... or when it breaks. Hence.... => Appliance (I noticed a few days ago that my Android phone does more neat stuff than the flippy thing Captain Kirk carries.)

My initial response was more emotional: "You'll have to pry my stick shift from my cold... dead.... etc etc"

While laziness may contribute to the decline of the manual more quickly here than in Europe, it's just a matter of time before Europe catches up with us.

Laziness is a contributing factor, it is not the root cause.

(On an related note - Lamborghini created a special edition with a manual transmission and rear well as an homage to one of their test drivers ... because while they're slower, they're more fun to drive.)
Yeah, I can't think of the name of that particular Lamborghini, but have you seen the Cesto Elemento? OMG, to be rich for a day.........
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  #101  
Old 07-09-2014, 08:16 PM
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Need to Cleanse My Automotive Soul

Hello all,

Nice thread, and very timely. I have owned several sticks over the years (old and new Mustangs, a three-on-the-tree F-100, three Mazdas, a Jetta, and three Ford Contuors (one base, one sport, one SVT). The feel and rhythm of driving a manual is comforting to me, for whatever reason.

Here's where I need some your understanding/forgiveness. I recently sold my automatic 1976 F-250 for a '85 Suburban. The deciding factor was that it was equipped with a manual transmission. After 25+ years of driving a Ford truck, it still weird for me to see a bowtie in my driveway, but the stick makes it worth it.

Anyway, I hope you all can see why I strayed.
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  #102  
Old 07-09-2014, 09:03 PM
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Its very true that we have big trucks common like no other country. But we have to be honest about the percentage that tow 30' trailers (or perform any duties that really require the size we have). Its a social choice to leave manuals behind. And the technology gives many good reasons to leave them behind but it doesn't change that most Americans simply don't like manuals. We have some of the most open roads but we pref to just cruise them. Perhaps the lack of start stop is as much to do with it as anything. I just would rather have a manual in 99% of situations and I buy 20+ year old cars so Ford doesn't and shouldn't listen to me and other used car buyers as we aren't their customers. But it still sucks.
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  #103  
Old 07-09-2014, 09:19 PM
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Both of my mustangs and my 76 and 94 pickups are manuals. If ford wants me to buy a newer truck than my 94 they will have to build another one with a stick. But I guess I'm in the minority, so they don't care. I drive an 89 mustang to work everyday b/c it's paid off easy to fix and cheap to keep running.
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  #104  
Old 07-09-2014, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo76 View Post
Both of my mustangs and my 76 and 94 pickups are manuals. If ford wants me to buy a newer truck than my 94 they will have to build another one with a stick. But I guess I'm in the minority, so they don't care. I drive an 89 mustang to work everyday b/c it's paid off easy to fix and cheap to keep running.
They don't care how many used Fords they sell. Unless you and thousands others had bought manuals while they were around there is no hope. The number of sales they lose by not offering a manual is so tiny it doesn't matter.
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  #105  
Old 07-09-2014, 10:02 PM
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Thank God and Willie G that my bikes are still straight shift! I recently parted ways with my 1983 F150. I'm already missing her, even though she was a PITA most of the time. Factory 4 speed in the floor w/granny gear, 351W naturally aspirated! My new found love is a 1992 F150 XL 4x4. Still getting to know her but I think we'll like each other...
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:02 PM
 
 
 
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