In an ever changing world that holds so many advancements in technology, it’s no wonder why some cars are becoming a thing of the past.
Even certain aspects of what made cars one of a kind, sporty, or in high demand are fading away. With more technology at our fingertips we are losing what makes most sports cars unique and well, sports cars. This includes the Manual Shift Transmission.
A great aspect of having a manual transmission is better fuel efficiency. Overall, the manual transmission engines are less complex, weigh less, and have more gears than automatics.
The end result is that you will end up getting more miles per gallon and smiles per gallon than you typically would with an automatic. Unless of course you are out burning up the streets with your sporty engine.
Nowadays the manual shift is nearly non existent. We have automatic transmissions with what they call, “manual options”, this is in no way the same as having a straight manual shift.
Yes, you are shifting the car manually, but it’s just not the same. There is something about the roar of the engine, the shifting of the clutch pedal beneath your left foot while you’re changing gears with your right hand.
It’s a powerful feeling to know that the car is working its magic, thanks to your awesome shifting skills of course. So what sets specific cars apart from the rest? Why are some of the older cars in more high demand than the brand new shiny rides sitting in a new car lot.
That manual shift, that’s why!
Let’s say you are out there looking for a new to you “used” sports car with a kicking manual shift, would you know exactly what you’re looking for. Likely not, unless you are an automotive connoisseur of sorts.
So let me help you out with your endeavor a bit, let’s look at 7 of the hottest must have used cars that offer a manual shift.
7. The Ford Mustang GT
Oh yes, the Mustang GT, what more could you ask for. This American Icon is definitely a must have with a manual shift, just be careful, the new GT’s don’t come with a straight manual anymore.
This is why finding a used one is in your best interest when looking. This iconic car features a 6 speed manual transmission, the manual transmissions tend to put up with a lot more abuse than the automatics, and are generally faster if you know how to drive them properly.
If you are looking for that classic muscle car feeling, you can’t go wrong with a standard gearbox Mustang GT.
The feeling of knowing which gear you are in, choosing your own RPMs and controlling with your foot how much power is going down the driveshaft to your rear wheels are all part of this manual experience.
6. The Nissan 350Z
The Nissan 350Z is a two door, two seater sports car that was produced from 2002 until 2009 and manufactured by Nissan Motor Corporation.
The 350Z coupe comes available in 5 trim packages, which include, 350Z Base, Enthusiast, Performance, Touring, and my personal favorite the Track Edition.
In January of 2005, Nissan introduced the 35th Anniversary 6-speed manual models and Track models. These included the updated 300 HorsePower/260 Torque engines, as well as the new updated CD009 manual transmission.
The 350Z also did very well in sales through its 7 year run, but how could you resist such a sporty car with a very well made manual transmission.
Check out the sales stats yourself, selling over 30,000 several years in a row. These bad boys are still in high demand nowadays and would make an awesome addition to anyone’s driveway or garage.
If you get a wild hair, you could also build it into the perfect cheap drift car!
5. The Honda S2000
It seems many people have forgotten about the wonder that is the Honda S2000. Produced from 1999 to 2009 by Honda Motorcars, this sporty two door is memorable for its exceptional power output of about 124 horsepower per liter, or about two horsepower per cubic inch, the highest of any mass production sports car of the time.
The Honda S2000 features a front mid-engine rear wheel drive setup, with power delivered by a 122 cubic inch Inline four-cylinder DOHC-VTEC engine. The engine generates power outputs of 237 to 247 horsepower.
It is also capable of producing 151 to 161 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission and a limited slip differential.
Did I mention that it revs all the way to 9,000RPM? Well, it does and it’s glorious.
Making the Honda S2000 a great purchase when looking for a used manual shift ride.
4. The Porsche Cayman GT4
With a curb weight coming in at just 2,955lbs, the Porsche Cayman GT4 is a top contender without a doubt. If you know much about sports cars, you probably aren’t shocked that a Porsche wound up in our top 7.
With a 3.8 liter 6-speed manual transmission, the sporty little number can pull 385 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque. The Cayman GT4 only needs 4.2 seconds to hit 60 mph from a completely standing still start, and it holds a top speed of 183 to 188 mph. Really impressive if you ask me.
Depreciation values on the GT4 are also very low, these cars are in high demand even when purchasing a used one. In fact, buying it used is the better option. They have started taking your choice away between an automatic or a manual.
The first generation of Cayman GT4’s only come in manual. which is a reason to celebrate! However, in late 2020 the latest version will have a PDK option available.
3. The Chevrolet Corvette
Number three, here we are with another classic American sports car. The Chevrolet is still rocking and rolling to this day, but again let’s look at a used Corvette with a true straight manual transmission.
The first Corvette was introduced late in the 1953 at the New York Auto Show, it generated enough interest to entice General Motors to make a production version that they could sell to the public. The very first production of this iconic car was on June 30, 1953.
To this day the Chevrolet Corvette has still been going strong on the sports car forefront. We are going to focus on the 2005 to 2013 model years. With a 6.0 liter V8, a 6.2 liter V8, a 7.0 liter V8, and a 6.2 liter Supercharged V8, these sports cars are capable of 638 horsepower, and 604 lb-ft of torque.
Purchasing a used Chevrolet Corvette would be an ideal situation, and a great opportunity to get behind the wheel of a very impressive manual shift sports car.
2. Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
How can we forget this amazing piece of machinery that comes with a manual option, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
With impressive numbers this car has 717 horsepower and 656 lb-ft of torque, all thanks to the beastly supercharged 6.2 liter V8. Talk about some very impressive specs on this guy.
The Dodge Challenger has been around since 1969 and is still going strong today. The first SRT Hellcat model was produced in 2015, and is a high performance variant of the Challenger equipped with a supercharged 6.2 liter HEMI engine that is rated at 707 horsepower and 650 lb⋅ft of torque.
This sports car also has some special features, this SRT Hellcat is equipped with two separate key fobs which have completely different purposes. When you are ready to hit the road, you use the black key fob to limit the engine output to 500 horsepower max. Meanwhile you also have the red key fob which enables full output capability.
This Challenger Hellcat has a quarter mile time of 10.85 seconds with 11.2 second at 125 mph on the quarter mile. I couldn’t imagine getting those types of numbers, or that type of performance from an automatic transmission.
Last, but certainly not lease, my favorite:
The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
This version of the Ford Mustang has to be one of my all time favorites, the 526 horsepower, 5.2 liter V8 is equipped with a Tremec 6 speed manual transmission. Just like it’s name, this pony is always ready for a good run.
With a life long track record of being one of the top sports cars, the GT350 does not disappoint. The first production years for the Generation One GT350 was from 1965 to 1970, and is still in production to this day.
For their 45th anniversary of the original 1965 Shelby GT350, they unveiled an all new GT350 Mustang at opening night of the Barrett Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ. Which left Mustang fans in awe of its power and splendor.
Purchasing one of these manual shift rides wouldn’t be a bad investment by any means.
You can never go wrong with picking any of these awesome manual transmission beauties. If you’re looking for raw power right at your fingertips, look no further than these 7 amazing cars.
The raw power surging through your foot as you bear down on the clutch, and the sensation you feel as you’re reaching over and shifting gears, that feeling of power can’t be felt in any automatic transmission out there.
So what are you waiting for, get out there and find you one of these treasures, and get out on the road and enjoy the nostalgia. There’s nothing better out there than a manual transmission, and a whole ton of horsepower.