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I learned how to drive on a '62 Chevy Impala with a 3-speed on the column, floating gears (or at least that what my dad called them). My dad worked in the steel mills in Gary, Indiana and the car was stolen once. The police found it less than a block away, shifter locked between 2nd. & 3rd. gear. LOL That shifter was really finicky, and if you didn't baby it or tried to force it, it'd lock up every time. :)
 

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Can you imagine those guys telling their fellow inmates what they are in jail for? "Gee, Bruno. I don't know what a clutch is for.....can you help me out after we finish slow dancing?" >:D
 

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Years ago, I was an insurance appraiser.
I went to a Policyholders home for an attempted theft. He had an older Chevy with a carburetor .
When I arrived, I asked him what happened ?
He said that he went to the kitchen sink in the morning, to fill the coffee maker. He looked out the window, and could see his Chevy crossways in the middle of the street, with the drivers door wide open.
He grabbed his keys, and pulled it back into his carport.

I asked why the thieves didn't get any further ? Oh, he said...She is cold blooded....You are not going anywhere unless you let her warm up for 5 minutes ! =)

No damage to the car, We all got a good laugh thinking about the excited punks backing out of the driveway, thinking they have a ride for the night, only to put it in drive and it stalls. He figured they were not smart enough to press the gas peddle down to set the choke ! LOL So, the car saved itself ! =)
 

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Years ago, I was an insurance appraiser.
I went to a Policyholders home for an attempted theft. He had an older Chevy with a carburetor .
When I arrived, I asked him what happened ?
He said that he went to the kitchen sink in the morning, to fill the coffee maker. He looked out the window, and could see his Chevy crossways in the middle of the street, with the drivers door wide open.
He grabbed his keys, and pulled it back into his carport.

I asked why the thieves didn't get any further ? Oh, he said...She is cold blooded....You are not going anywhere unless you let her warm up for 5 minutes ! =)

No damage to the car, We all got a good laugh thinking about the excited punks backing out of the driveway, thinking they have a ride for the night, only to put it in drive and it stalls. He figured they were not smart enough to press the gas peddle down to set the choke ! LOL So, the car saved itself ! =)

Haha! That's the way my truck is. If you don't set the choke, it's not going anywhere. Kids these days are so used to fuel injection and auto tranny's that they can't drive older vehicles.

My oldest son will get his permit next year. I've already told him that he will drive my truck and learn how to drive a stick. He may never own one, but he will know how to drive one. He is already complaining that he doesn't want anything to do with a stick shift.... I told him tough, any son of mine will at least know how to drive a stick.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Some recent history

Manual transmission "take rate" for US sales:

2011 -- 3.85%

2010 -- 3.95%

2009 -- 4.4%

2008 -- 3.71%

2007 -- 2.91%

2006 -- 7.16%

2005 -- 6.67%

2004 -- 5.46%

2003 -- 8.21%

2002 -- 8.48%

-- Source: Edmunds.com

If the fortwo had the clutch pedal option in 2011 and sold 10K cars, staying with the average take rate would mean 385 cars sold with the clutch pedal. Question is whether smart USA is willing to certify a clutch pedal powertrain for the 453 fortwo with potential sales under 4% of an already small 10K units?

:)
 

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My 1959 Mercedes has all kinds of theft deterrents:

1. Manual transmission - four on the column
2. Choke
3. Push button start button that only works after the key has been turned to the "ON" position

Len
 

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I'm guessing that the take rate for a traditional manual transmission would be a lot higher in the 453 than in the general public. How is that take rate calculated? If it includes cars that don't have a manual transmission option, then the take rate is artificially lower. I'd like to see the take rate for manual transmissions on cars like the Cruze and Focus.
 

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Actual Americans prefer, automatic's, over manual transmission. In Europe that's a different animal. The 500 Abarth's manuals sat on the studio lots last year. Heavily discounted. Fiat is now offering, a 6 speed auto to that model. Starting in July to improve on sales numbers. You still get a choose. Which is nice. Most high end sports cars are going with automatic's now too.
 

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Manual transmission "take rate" for US sales:

2011 -- 3.85%

2010 -- 3.95%

2009 -- 4.4%

2008 -- 3.71%

2007 -- 2.91%

2006 -- 7.16%

2005 -- 6.67%

2004 -- 5.46%

2003 -- 8.21%

2002 -- 8.48%

-- Source: Edmunds.com

If the fortwo had the clutch pedal option in 2011 and sold 10K cars, staying with the average take rate would mean 385 cars sold with the clutch pedal. Question is whether smart USA is willing to certify a clutch pedal powertrain for the 453 fortwo with potential sales under 4% of an already small 10K units?

:)

You may have a point, but if the engines are the same, I don't know that a different transmission would require re-certification. Maybe just mpg verification.
 
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