Stick with what works

An excerpt from the May 26th Wall Street Journal article,

"Stick with What Works", by Jonathan Welsh

"There is still something transcendental about manually shifting your way through a car's gear box--pulling it into fourth, throwing it into fifth as you control a rumbling machine.

This mighty high has flouted the odds. Over time, many other antiquated auto features have been ruthlessly abandoned--hand-crank starters and windows, carburetors and cassette decks. But stick-shifting has defiantly stuck around, joining ax throwing, rock climbing and ultramarathons as an activity people stubbornly enjoy despite its needless difficulty. Drivers choose to shift because it is an ever-rarer skill that is a challenge to learn and ---face it---fun to show-off.

While many car owners would love to kick back with a good book while the family minivan whisks their brood down the interstate, driving a stick appeals to those who seek tangible experiences in an era of digital assistants and apps for just about everything. These die-hards fear that the car, long a symbol of freedom and spontaneity, is becoming just another numbing high-tech appliance. Meanwhile, vehicles that still offer stick shifts telegraph an image of high performance, toughness, nostalgia and fun---all factors that can seduce new customers......."

".....But many people still buy stick shift cars for `emotional reasons.' Mr. Plucinsky said. `They enjoy the mechanical feedback, which is part of the fun of driving even if they are just commuting to work.'

There certainly is joy in changing gears in rhythm with the car. Some people get a tingle from the sound of the engine revving as they slide down into a lower gear while threading winding roads......."