Essentials, Journal

Manual Transmission

I’ve been driving a vehicle with a manual transmission for more than a decade. Having said that, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t know what that is. These days they’re increasingly rare. Put simply: Most cars are considered “automatic” because they change gears… well, automatically. And a manual transmission requires that the gears are shifted manually by the driver.

If you didn’t already know this, then it may sound complicated, but it really isn’t. To be honest, I don’t know a great deal more about cars than how to check the oil or change a tire. And I can still drive a stick.

Speaking of the gear stick, that’s what makes driving a manual so fun. It puts you in tune with the car (no pun intended). You learn to hear or, better yet, feel when it’s time to shift gears. This can be especially exhilarating amidst rapid acceleration and/ or on curvy mountain roads.

However, there is a problem with loving manuals. I purchased my last sedan in 2016, and the vehicle was in a lot with other cars that had been marked down. I’m not entirely sure, but it could be that these cars are no longer considered hot commodities. They might be going out of style, but that’s a shame, in my opinion.

I’m a fan of classic cars, and, typically, they must have a manual transmission. But, in the future, this feature will be obsolete if for no other reason than cars will be self-driving. So, it would seem that being increasingly separated from our mode of transport is an inevitability.

I realize it may be safer, but the future puts a kink in my plan to one day own a sports car with a manual speed transmission. Fortunately, I’m not a complete Luddite, so losing the gear stick won’t be downright devastating. I can look forward to whatever comes next… like quadcopters.

photo: Alok Sharma

This entry was posted in: Essentials, Journal

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Justin Meckes is a writer and filmmaker living in Durham, NC. His stories have been published in various online journals and magazines. He has ghostwritten a sci-fi novel and is the author of several children's books. You can reach him by sending an email to contact@justinmeckes.com.