- Let the manual transmission die
If people are unwilling to order the vehicle they want and only settle for the instant gratification provided from whatever is on the lot then it is their fault manufacturers offer fewer and fewer options with a manual transmission.
I'm not talking about having a dozens of them, but having NONE or just perhaps ONE available on the lot.
Thing is that even a half way savvy store will stock a few manuals, but even looking for Civic manuals is a daunting task unless you are on the coasts, to not stock at least a couple of manuals seems to be stupid and shortsighted, worst thing if you don't see it you can probably do a dealer trade to one that has a customer for it.
So again, if people actually purchased manuals in any kind of meaningful numbers we’d stock them. It’s in fact that simple.
The main reason I bought my car, was that it was on the lot and a manual. The dealer had an ATS sedan and coupe in manual. They were the only two manual ATSs on dealer lots at the time in all of Ontario.
I remain adamant that Detroit killed the manual transmission for one simple reason: keeping the 3 speeds around long after they should have adapted to modern 4 and 5 speed transmissions. Threes had horrendous gear spacing and the powerband's of 60s engines wasn't nearly as wide and generous as modern engines. This wasn't a problem with a large V8, but it was in a large car/truck with a 6 or a small 8. Keep in mind that 3 speeds had been in use since the 1920s!, albeit without any syncromesh.
Why does this matter? Because although some cars ad optional 4 speeds, they were nearly as much money as the optional autos, which were especially desirable as A: it was new, exiting technology and B: power steering wasn't commonly equipped until the mid-60s. Thus only hardcore enthusiasts paid extra for optional 4 speeds, rather than simply offering the good transmission standard.
Even into the 70ies some cars simply didn't have a 4 speed standard, or at all. (Maverick, Vega, Gremlin/Pacer/Hornet). Guess that's your punishment for buying a small car. Of course Detroit adapted modern 5 speeds by the 80s but by that time gas was cheap again and manuals were associated with cheap, low end cars which many Boomers still believe to this day.
Oh, and to all of you people saying "put up or shut up brah", some of us are young. I can afford a new car (a decent car, not something ridiculous like a Versa or Mirage) but that has only been the case recently. People here like to say were living in a "golden age" of enthusiast cars, but IMO that's only true if you can afford a 55K car. I can't, and 90% of people under 30 can't-why do you think I buy used? In 1985-1995, you had scores and dozens of enthusiast cars that were affordable: Fox Mustang GT, Mazda MX-3 and MX-6, Prelude, S12 200SX, FB RX7, S13 240SX, the infamous Diamond Star coupes, AE86, Corolla GTS, I could go on... Just watch Motorweek retro reviews! There are a handful of affordable enthusiast cars sub 30K today, and they're mostly excellent cars, but our choices get more and more diminished every year all across the price spectrum.
Last edited by 88c900t; 08-13-2019 at 08:09 AM.
Regarding buying what's on the lot vs ordering, I've bought 4 new manual equipped cars (1 Mazda, 3 VW) and not a single one of them was on the lot. I'm more than fine with waiting to get exactly what I want. A car is something one should have for a while, thus I don't understand peoples aversion to ordering something and having it come a few months later. If I wrote off my car and the dealer had no manuals I'd buy a beater to drive while I waited.