It ‘s the right of passage many of us graduate to early in life that quickly becomes a badge of honor. It ‘s the subtle cue to another enthusiast that you ‘re serious about the art of driving and a student of automotive history. In my mind there are cars that require a manual.

The M3s or 911s of the world just don ‘t seem as bare-chested with a pair of flappy paddles. And you know the moment. When you peer into either of those cars and see that dreaded auto knob. Your heart drops just a bit. If your a manual driver you care about that car. And you know it ‘s been wronged by someone who chose ease over interaction on the ordering spec (unless of course it ‘s a dedicated track car).

So let ‘s be clear about it. The manual is a man ‘s option. In fact the entire idea is laced with testosterone. But you don ‘t actually need to be a man to own or drive one. You need an attitude (and maybe at least figurative attachments). It ‘s the option for control freaks who don ‘t mind a little serendipity. In short, it ‘s a way of life.

Sure you need a little insanity to look at today ‘s congested roads and choose a manual. But buying a new car with three pedals is a simple decision that separates those of us in the know from those of us unable to see through the monotony of daily life*.

Or just get two cars.

*Exclusions apply to anyone who cannot drive a manual due to injury or handicap.

**There at least a half dozen examples of DCT only cars (mostly exotic) that clearly interest us and don ‘t necessarily fall into either category above). That said we wished they came in manual form.