I heard about this from a co-worker at Gateway Classic Cars of Scottsdale! He actually made a joke when someone asked what kind of transmission his Mustang GT/350 Tribute had. He said it was equipped with a Millennial Anti-Theft Device. It took a second to process the joke and put two and two together after which I bursted out in maniacal laughter.
I know a few Millennials and come to think of it, I don’t think any of them know how to drive a manual transmission! In a way it’s actually kinda sad. Back in my first days of driving in the Summer of 1979, I learned to drive a stick on my older sister’s brand new, 1979 Mustang Ghia 2-door Coupe! It had a tiny 4-cylinder and I am pretty sure I burned away about half the life of her clutch durning my first awkward hill start!
Once I got the hang of it, I was hooked! I loved the feeling of total control over the engine that sloppy automatic transmissions of the period denied the driver. So it was no mystery as to why I chose a 1964 Corvette Convertible (4-Speed Manual Transmission) with a 327 CID V8 as my first car! Driver Quality C2 Vettes in the early 1980’s were quite affordable. My first car (and Corvette) only set me back $6,800.00 Bucks! It was with that car that I really learned the art of driving a Stick! I lived for tight corners, where I could set the car up, braking and down shifting going into it and then releasing that 327 after I passed into the Later Apex!
If you bought a new car, base model in the 1980’s, it came with a standard transmission and an automatic was an option that cost you more money. In today’s backward, alternate, reality, automatic transmissions are standard equipment and if you want to shift the gears yourself, it’s an option you have to pay extra money for (if a manual transmission is even Available in the model you purchase!). So most Millennials that have learned to drive only know what a Stick Shift is because it’s in a Vin Diesel Car Flick!
Even then, it’s passed off as a remote aspect of Hollywood Stunt Driving and Digital Effects. It’s kinda like in Action Movies when the bad guy or hero are always racking a shell in their shotgun, even though they just did it in the previous scene. Hollywood uses the same cue when the hero in the car chase is about to get SERIOUS; they shift the shifter and rev the motor even though they didn’t need to.
So, those that know what a “Stick” is are quickly becoming museum dinosaurs and I, unfortunately am proudly one of them.