Shifting Gears: Why Can’t We Enjoy Driving Again?

One simple, stupid part of today’s automotive industry tears me apart more than anything else, and it’s not what most people find aggravating about cars. Its not the fact that cars still use gasoline (If you still think oil companies don’t buy out small garage or shop operations that come up with brilliant easy to manufacture solutions just to prevent them from being mass produced, stop drinking the kool-aid.) or the fact that modern cars can’t seem to outlast the payment plans they come with.

What bothers me most is how stupid smart and easy our cars have become to drive. What in the world happened to the stick? Are we such pansies we can’t even handle the pressure it takes to choose a damn gear?

Yes, I am old fashioned I guess. I like manuals, live rear ends without limited slip, and rear wheel drive. I love cars made before the year 1995 (obd2, for those who don’t know) and cars with no computers. I don’t need traction control, AC, and hell a few of my cars have even (gasp) not had power steering. I even intentionally drive with my radio OFF. I like to hear what my car is doing. Call me crazy.

Why, you ask? I love to drive. LOVE to. It’s one of my true passions. It doesn’t matter if it’s city traffic, open highway or a gravel road. Put me behind the wheel and the rest of the world melts away (especially after a buck twenty).

Why people need cars to actually talk to them is beyond me. It astounds me. Seriously. The fact that cars have to have a computer that tells you the weather or friggin internet access nowadays kills me.

I can understand the quirky lights and door dings that remind you when you have done something stupid (like leaving your door or gas cap open just a little) but it seems like now people are starting to expect a car that drives itself (there is one by the way).

There was once a time when Americans loved to drive. Granted, hot rods were popular and Elvis was new, but we loved to drive. We even built a damn highway that spans the entire country (Route 66) and made a movie about driving cross country (Cannonball Run).

If you ask me those days need to return. Many of us own more than one vehicle now anyways.

Why shouldn’t one of those be a vehicle that’s enjoyable, and fun to drive?

Try it some time. Just turn off the radio, push the gas down further than you should, and find out what life is like past 3000 RPM.

If you don’t know how to drive a stick, find an old sports coupe and learn. You would be surprised how much fun you have…

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