Traditional clutch-controlled manual transmissions have certified for the endangered list longer than the black-footed ferret. Automatic transmissions that don't require a third pedal have simply become slicker, smoother, more efficient, less expensive to buy, and easier on fuel consumption. Manual shifts as a percentage of cars sold had shrunk by half in the last decade to 3.8%, according to Edmunds.com, though they experienced a brief rebound in 2012. The popularity of manumatic shifters along with eight-speed automatics like the one found on the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee should further limit the desirability of stick shifts and limit their availability to specialty models.
The scrap heap is piled high with lousy cars. But a few famous flops deserve a little reconsideration.