Shortly after I turned 16 and got my license, I got my first car. It was an old Dodge Charger with high mileage and an ugly gold paint job tinged with rust. To top it off, it had a manual transmission. When I first got the car I couldn’t even move it one foot before I stalled it and caused myself and my passenger (sorry Mom) to violently rock back and forth. Eventually I mastered first gear and finally got out of the driveway. However, I still remember many harrowing moments of stopping on a hill or at a traffic light and praying that I could get the car moving again without stalling it. Looking back at that time in my life, I now consider mastering the stick shift as a rite of passage. That is why it always surprises me to hear of adults who can not drive a manual transmission. So if you do not know how to drive a stick, perhaps one of these 10 reasons will entice you to give it a try!
1. Bragging Rights – There are those who can drive a stick and those who can’t. It always feels good to be part of the group that can.
2. Fun Factor – Driving a stick breaks up the boredom of driving. The only exception to this is if you are driving in stop and go traffic. Then you just end up with a sore left leg from shifting.
3. It’s Empowering - Especially if you are a woman.
4. It’s a Necessity – What if an emergency arises and the only vehicle available is a stick shift? Hey, it could happen.
5. Save Money - Vehicles with a manual transmission typically get better gas mileage than those with an automatic transmission. Even purchasing a vehicle with a stick shift is cheaper than purchasing the same vehicle with an automatic transmission.
6. It’s Therapeutic - Instead of getting angry at the crazy drivers on the road around you, just focus on the symphony of sounds that down-shifting and up-shifting create. Or just down-shift and speed right pass the maniacs.
7. Nostalgia - When the first Model T rolled off of the assembly line it housed a manual transmission. Now vehicles with automatic transmissions far out number the amount of vehicles with manual transmissions.
8. Greater Vehicle Control – If you are a control freak, this is just one more thing you can have control over.
9. Less Breaking - With a stick shift you can reduce the amount of times you need to use your brakes by down-shifting. This is especially helpful in the Winter on slippery roads.
10. To Become a Nascar Driver - This one may be a bit of a stretch, but I am not aware of any cars in Nascar that are automatics.