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Website with a Cause

For those of you who know me, you will appreciate the Website that I am going to tell you about. It is called Shiftyworld.com - no, it's not a site about unseemly characters. It is a new community website for people who love to shift. Basically it amounts to a grass roots attempt by founder Greg Bruder to save the manual transmission in new production vehicles. I'd really like to see him succeed and only wish I'd thought of the idea instead of just whining about the problem.

The manual really is becoming rare - almost to the point of extinction with very few models being offered with one. Case in point would be the release of the V10 powered 2006 BMW M5 which was ONLY available with a SMG transmission. This system allows the driver to manually shift gears but doesn't have a clutch pedal. Thanks to the outcry of enthusiasts everywhere - BMW shifted gears and are about to release a true 6-speed manual as an option. But just the idea that BMW's "Ultimate Driving Machine" would be offered without the option of a 6-speed manual transmission should be scary news to those of us who prefer to shift for ourselves.

I recently joined and support Bruder's organization whose overriding goal is to "save the shifter from extinction". For a limited time they are offering a free one year Premium Membership (a $19.95 value). At the site you can find driving tips, news, member stories and a link to sign up for their newsletter. A cool feature on the industry trends page is a searchable database showing the manufacturers and models still being offered with a manual transmission.

This is a noble cause for those of us who currently drive, or have fond memories of driving a manual transmission. Fifteen of my last sixteen cars have been sticks - so you know where I stand on this issue. To me, clutching is such an integral and enjoyable part of the driving experience. I am truly blessed that my wife now feels the same about shifting as I do, and I intend for my daughter to learn this valuable skill as well. I say the family who shifts together stays together!

(chanting)
Save the Shifter!
Save the Shifter!
Save the Shifter!

by admin | Monday 18 September 2006 6:32pm | Default | permalink | 0 comments

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