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 precisely 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 exhilirating 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 heavily marked down lot. I’m not entirely sure but it could be that these cars are no longer considered hot commodities. In fact, they might be going out of style. That’s a shame, in my opinion.

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

I realize it may be safer but the future puts a serious kink in my plans 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 completely devastating. I can look forward to whatever comes next… like quadcopters.

photo: Alok Sharma

This entry was posted in: Essentials, Journal


Justin Meckes is a writer and filmmaker living in Chapel Hill, NC. His short stories have been published in various online journals and magazines. He has ghostwritten novels and is the author of several children's books. You can learn more about him at or by sending an email to