Geared Up to Row, Row, Row Your Own? National Stick Shift Day Is Thursday!

2018 Audi A4

The other 364 days of the year, we at Cars.com are primarily concerned with helping you find the right car to suit your lifestyle demands and personal proclivities. But every July 16, we shift gears to evangelize, prosthelytize and, let’s face it, rationalize our unaccountable affinity for the all-but-antiquated manual transmission. Yes, fellow and future three-pedal-driving enthusiasts, National Stick Shift Day is once again upon us.

Related: National Stick Shift Day: 6 Cars We Wish Had Manuals (and 3 We’re OK Without)

We’re sad (though, also sadly, unsurprised) to report that in the past decade, the already-esoteric desire to row one’s own gears has moved even further to the fringes, with just 1.3% of new cars now sold coming equipped with a stick shift, according to Cars.com data — close to a third of what it was in 2010. That decline is attributable to several factors, from improved performance and fuel economy in modern automatics to the fact that younger generations literally can’t even man a manual.

And that’s exactly why the car lovers here at Cars.com christened July 16 (that’s this Thursday) National Stick Shift Day — that’s right, son! We invented it! Back in 2018, we publicly declared Stick Shift Day to celebrate the pure joy of being connected to your car, of becoming an extension of it in a way no automatic transmission has approximated (nor is likely to before autonomous technology renders the entire conversation a nostalgic musing). That’s our stick-shift story, and we’re sticking to it.

Revved up for Thursday, yet? Well, the best way to revel with us is to get out and drive a car with a manual transmission if you have access to one (following safe social distancing guidelines, of course). And if you don’t know how, well, Stick Shift Day is as good an excuse as any to learn how to drive stick.

Need a lesson? We’ve got you covered. Watch our comprehensive explainer by Cars.com Executive Editor/Mazda MX-5 Miata owner/manual-transmission enthusiast Joe Wiesenfelder, which you can find below.

We’ll see you back here Thursday morning to indulge in our full complement of content solemnizing the stick. In the meantime, let us be the first to wish you a Happy Stick Shift Day! May your throws be short and your stall-outs few!

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