Rebecca Bernard

Jeremy Clarkson Belittles UK Manual Transmission Drivers

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Photo by: Tony Harrison

In the United States, being able to drive a manual transmission is becoming a special skill reserved for true gearheads or those rich enough to afford manual sports cars. In the UK, though, approximately 70% of vehicles sold are equipped with manual transmissions, according the Sun Motors. While some American purists probably wish the same was true in our country, one of the leading voices in the car community is speaking out against manual transmissions: Jeremy Clarkson, formerly of Top Gear fame.

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Clarkson penned his own column for Sun Motors, discussing the battle of automatic vs. manual transmissions. By “discuss,” I, of course, mean that he mocked manual drivers who are not fortunate to own sports or track cars. The TV personality compared British drivers who drive non-performance manual transmissions to “the sort who choose not to have a washing machine because they prefer to clean their clothes in the local river.”

Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear gif

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He admits that driving a vehicle with a manual transmission is exhilarating in conditions where a driver can let an engine perform at its peak, like on a track or on a deserted mountain road. However, we all know that traffic and laws often stop joyrides firmly in their tracks. In Clarkson’s eyes, those driving conditions, partnered with the improvement in automatic transmission technology, means that more people should commit to automatic rides.

angry clarkson

It will be interesting to see how the car community will react to one of their idols rejecting the manual transmission so many of them fight tooth-and-nail to save in production vehicles.


News Source: Sun Motors

  • Rebecca BernardEditor

    A Dayton native, Rebecca got her start blogging at the curiously named Harlac's Tongue while studying abroad in the UK. She loves tooling around town with her Ford Focus named Thomas Jerome Newton to the song they're playing on the radio. On any given weekend, you can find her with her camera at area festivals, concerts, and car shows, shopping at flea markets, or just taking a hike in an area MetroPark. See more articles by Rebecca.

  • Maindrian Pace

    It wouldn’t be J.C. if he wasn’t complaining about something largely meaningless.

  • Joey

    Love Clarkson. And he was right, that’s scary…

  • RonMGA

    Now he’s gone too far !!! I don’t care what he says about men who wear women’s clothes, people that slope to the side, travelling gypsy’s or anything related to the Falklands but saying something bad about manual transmissions is beyond the pale!!!! It’s time for a protest, let’s all drive in 1st at about 7000 in front of his house at midnight.

  • Chuck

    maybe british people dont know how to drive automatic’s

  • klunkerboy

    Jezza’s starting to show his age 😉 I drive a manual because I am not ALWAYS driving in traffic, which is what his beef was mainly about, and on a nice twisty road the manual makes it more fun, and having a manual clutch also make its easier to control the power to the wheels, especially in bad weather. Automatics make for stupid badly distracted drivers because they dont have to think about what they are actually doing while driving. Want to know why so many drivers are SO utterly horrible today? In a big way, blame the automatic transmission.

    • Aquaria

      They’re bad drivers for the same reason that they’ve made going anywhere in public well nigh unbearable now: They’re inconsiderate jerks with no manners who treat all of the world like their own living room. They eat like pigs at restaurants and cinemas, they talk loudly at the library, in museums and during movies, they’re getting up ten times an hour during a concert or sports event to do who knows what, they’re spilling drinks on you in bars without even an apology, they’re pushing handicapped people aside to use their stalls in bathrooms, and they’re talking on their cell phones non-stop anywhere and everywhere without one regard for anyone or anything else they’re disturbing. And then they get irate when you ask them to stop ruining things for everyone else.

      The vast majority of modern Americans, especially, are human filth. Do you really expect them to be any different when they’re behind a wheel?

      • Keefer

        opinionated and prejudiced? Americans are filth no – but stupid and oblivious – much more than I’d like.

    • Keefer

      lucky you – I wish I wasn’t always in traffic

  • jjaayyzz

    Son clark is yesterdays news, very little left in him really.

  • Manual transmissions make people better, more engaged, drivers.