It occurred to me the other day when I drive a manual transmission, I sometimes drive it so other people around me can’t help but notice. I rock it back and forth at a traffic light, accelerate high into the RPM range before an abrupt shift or maybe downshift and hold the gear for a long time. Why? Because I want people to know I’m driving a stick Toyota Tacoma. Yeah, but why Groosh!? Well, because I think I’m cool. With all the talk of “saving the manuals”, I’m walking the walk in a 2018 pickup truck. Plus I love driving sticks.
If you are driving an older classic sports car, it’s assumed it’s a manual transmission by most passerbys. Paddle shifters didn’t really become a thing until the 1990s on high end sport cars. They were used in face cars during the ’70s and 80’s before becoming the way around an F1 track by 1994. So when I say classic, I do mean older. Unless you think that the ’90s is old… and then my friend, you just made me feel old.
Will my driving style influence anybody into thinking they need a stick? Nope. Chances are pretty high it doesn’t even register that I’m using a three pedals. Although when I share with a car person my Tacoma is a stick, they usually respond with a nod of approval. I even came out of Costco to see a couple admiring my truck. They about lost their minds when I told them it was a stick shift.
Look, I totally get why as a society we moved away from manual transmission cars. But if I’m going to spend time going from A to B, I will happily row the gears. It’s the least I can do to show-n-tell one more person I’m devoted to stick shift with rear wheel drive.