It’s a tale as old as time, but it never gets less funny. Video released from the Detroit Police Department on June 10 shows a carjacking foiled by that most wonderful of things—the manual transmission.
The events occurred at roughly 8:33 PM on June 28, when three male suspects descended on the vehicle in question, a blue 2006 Acura TSX. After climbing in, the suspects spent no more than 20 seconds in the vehicle before fleeing on foot, apparently after realizing they could not drive the vehicle due to its manual transmission. Thankfully, it appears nobody was hurt, and the owner presumably recovered their vehicle without major incident. Detroit Police are currently seeking the three unidentified suspects in relation to the crime.
Manuals are much beloved by the automotive enthusiast community, as they give a driver direct control over the power delivery to the wheels. Of course, broader society, by and large, couldn’t care less, and easier-to-use automatic options have been dominating in the marketplace for decades now. This has led to many people being unable to drive stick, often from lack of exposure to manual transmission cars entirely. On top of that, many people elect not to learn due to the perceived difficulty involved, or the supposed irrelevance of the manual gearbox.
According to a 2016 report, only 18 percent of Americans know how to drive a manual car. It’s likely why this same story has occurred many times over, in Florida, in Nashville, and just about every other state in the Union.
If you’re a carjacker, though, and especially if you consider yourself a professional at what you do, it would pay to make yourself familiar with as broad a spectrum of cars as possible. Indeed, given your unique skills, you should have access to a wide variety of cars on which to learn. Of course, it is naturally harder to practice your clutch control when the car’s owner is standing a few feet away, anguished because you just dragged them out of their own car. But, as with everything in life, nothing of value comes easy. Alternatively, just borrow your uncle’s old Civic or something, you know?
We at The Drive do not condone car jacking, of course. We hold the automotive sovereignty of the individual motorist to be paramount, and believe that one should be the master of one’s own vehicle. In any case, though, there are those who would attempt to violate this sacred rule. A manual transmission could just be the security measure that scares them away from your car, so consider a stick shift for your next ride.
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