by Brett Davis

Two carjackers in St. Petersburg, Florida, attempted to steal a 2007 Nissan fitted with a manual transmission early last Friday, but had to abandon the theft after they could not work the car’s manual shift.

According to the police report, a 45-year-old driver was dropping off a truck at work at around 1am on Friday in an industrial area. His 23-year-old girlfriend followed him and picked him up in her manual Nissan. Upon leaving work, the two were confronted by two men, one of which pulled out a gun and ordered the couple to hand over their money and phones.

The two thieves then ordered the couple out of their car, threatening to shoot them. The thieves hopped in to make a quick getaway, but were bamboozled by the manual gear stick. The two men gave up and fled on foot.

It’s an interesting one, as most manufacturers sell more automatic versions of their cars than manuals these days. It’s no wonder some motorists, and criminals, simply never learn to drive manual.

How many people do you know that cannot drive a manual? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • Limit

    Well its true,not many people can drive manual. For a starter i am the only one in my family who can drive a manual.

    P.S i am asian and have a massive family!

    • kazuo

      only male in my family drove manual.

    • Cyber Toss

      I bet they know how to use an ipod/internet.

  • Taylor

    ”45-year-old driver” ”His 23-year-old girlfriend” is 23 a typo? LOL sugar daddy

    • David

      It’s America – they have no morals. Bunch of drug, porn, and medication addicts.

      • Hung Low

        Stereotype much David?

        • David

          I’m just saying, that in America, anything goes. They have Jerry Springer, for christ’s sake – you think anyone is going to bat an eyelid at a 45 year old and 23 year old? Maybe here, not there.

          • CRS200

            Well it’s called freedom!

            Ever heard of Larry Flynt?

            We need on in this absolute country, chicks here in the land Oz don’t even use G string.

      • james cortez

        Hey it has nothing to do with America! You Aussie bogans have your problems too and some of them you copied from the US!!

    • John-piere

      More power to him, AND she can drive a “stick”.

    • moonie

      I suspect his “girlfriend” may have been working !

      Sounds suss to me. It might be one of Zed things that you need to set a dozen dials before you can start.

  • Alexander

    I’m the only one in my family with an auto, kinda sucks, i used to hate autos but after wrecking my left foot, ankle and knee at 19 i had no choice but to ditch the third pedal.

    • Paul

      I am in the same boat as you, as I wrecked my left knee when I was 23 and ended up getting it fused, find out thursday if I have to have it amputated or not.

      • Alexander

        Wow that’s gotta suck :( Hopefully it doesnt get amputated :/ I stuck with manual for a little while but it got too uncomfortable and painful. I briefly went for a clutchless manual Alfa 147 Selespeed (never again, they’re horribly slow to shift) and now just have a CVT auto.

        • Paul

          I used to love driving a manual but after I had my knee fused 21 years ago it has been no choice but to have an auto only, hence also my distate for foot operated parking brakes.

          • Johnson

            I’ve got the right ankle fused at age 25, not so good for the accelerator pedal. I hope the knees stay good so I can still drive a manual…

  • David

    I can’t drive manual, never learnt.

    • David

      I got my license in 1999, but only learnt auto. The main reason was that I had decided to get an automatic for my first car, and have never wanted anything else. Maybe some day I’ll learn manual but it’s not high on my to do list.

      • John-piere

        And now we uunderstand why you like camrys!

      • CRS200

        But you consider yourself a good driver right?

  • jakhammer

    Sad day when a carjacker can’t drive stick.
    Are you sure this story isn’t from a upcoming Steve Martin or Adam Sandler movie

    • David

      Most car jackers in the USA are probably black, and as such have had very poor upbringings. Do you really think their parents had the money to pay to give them professional driving lessons so that they could learn stick? Their parents most likely had an American car, maybe old, maybe not, but almost certainly automatic.

      • Hung Low

        Are you related to Golfswchein with your idiotic ramblings about other cultures?
        Do you think carjackers are usually rich kids from high society captain obvious?

        • David

          You’re pointing out that my post is obvious, is obvious in itself, captain.

      • amlohac

        David you are the most racist sterotypical bogan i have ever seen, almost all of your comments in this section are just totally inappropriate.

        FYI manual cars are cheaper than autos so your racial slur is totally invalid.

        • Andy

          Couldn’t have said it better myself.

        • scatman

          So you have seen David have you, whats does he look like, does he wear a white pointy hat?

          What he said above isnt real nice, but the truth usually isnt, facts back up his comments

          Listen to your fairy comments, shouldnt you be occupying some public place and playing a tamborine

  • robj

    shows most people dont really car about driving and having some skills. they want the car to do everything and become blob’s in transit. D for dream.

  • http://caradvice maersk

    Yes mr david,i most certainly concur…

  • Nath746

    My dad once said, to have a manual transmission car is mostly now for a bit more safety if someone were to steal the car…

    He drives a manual, and was referring to my mums brand new car (which was not available as a manual)

    I can drive a manual, I own a manual and always will (hopefully)

  • Vibe

    I’m currently on my L’s and want to drive manual, especially as my first car, but it’s difficult when your parents cars are both auto, and driving lessons cost a small fortune.

    • Alexander

      My brother is 16 and on his L’s as well, problem with him is that he doesn’t have an auto, i say learn manual no matter what, it’s a skill worth learning – even if you do your test in an Auto, just learn how to atleast drive a manual.

      • Vibe

        Did you not read my comment? I want to learn to drive manual and have already had a few lessons.

  • Vti07

    Manual drivers tend to be more alert and aware of their surroundings. Auto makes a driver lazy.

    • Alvdog

      That said there are plenty of bad drivers in manual cars and plenty of good drivers in autos.

    • Jon

      Agreed with you.

  • kejovi

    flashback to my childhood with my father trying to teach my mother to drive manual. Sitting in the back seat of an early 70’s tubby cortina getting thrown around with my little sister as we hopped down the road. Ma never learnt manual and we ended up with a XB sedan. Strangely enough I have trouble driving autos because i will choose the gear i’m in and the manner in which it gets there.

  • Kieran

    Reminds me of Dumb and Dumber.

  • Dangel

    We all drive manuals in our house , nice to know the cretins wont be able to cope ,we should get cheaper insurance .

    • scatman

      So all the men you live with drive manuals hey, yes you should get cheaper insurance, your type take good care of there stuff

      • Dangel

        How unusual most people know how to spell , it is “their stuff” not there ,just like cretins who cant drive a manual .

        • scatman

          So picking up spelling mistakes is the best you got.
          Hmmm, not real imaginaive are we

          • Scottwheels

            Homosexual insinuations are hardly the height of creativity, either.  BTW, it’s “you’re” when referring to the abbreviation “you are”, not “your”.  

  • Altezza

    Manual has many advantages over automatic. I can drive manual in which I think it is more engaging than automatic. So please note to car manufacturers, don’t ditch manual transmission yet!

  • laurie

    One is also to assume manuals should have lower insurance policy if thieves avoid them

  • filippo

    I once had a girlfriend who only learned to drive an automatic, and you could tell by the way she drove. The way she accelerated and braked demonstrated that she had no concept of gearing. It used to make me feel quite nauseous.

    On a side point, it’s interesting how people always talk about Americans only driving autos, because my experience is quite different. 2 years ago I spent a few weeks in New York and I noticed many manual cars (mostly Audis and VWs). Autos were of course the majority, but I’d dare to say the manual-auto ratio there has plateaued.

    • Dangel

      Very observant , i would say the VW/AUDI driver has a higher IQ and appreciates the finer points of driving , which only comes fom the involvement of a manual .

      • Hung Low

        Your IQ score took a dramatic fall with that comment Bungle!

        You now officially have the intelligence of a sea sponge!

      • Alexander


  • jing713

    Manual driver here!

  • Rick

    Unfortunately manuals are getting harder to get here

  • Shaun

    Manual car is pleasure to drive. And i belive that a manual driver can also handle automatic car in a way that will increase the life of the auto car.

  • Jon

    Glad my car is manual :)

    • Altezza

      Seconded that :)

  • tj

    the opposite is true if someone needs to steal a secured car which is automatic … i suspect the title is somewhat misleading as most people would call that carjacking … btw, if i had 23 yo girlfriend when i’m 45 i’d be rather happy!


    “How many people do you know that cannot drive a manual? Let us know in the comments section below.”

    At least two a week.

  • davie

    auto will always feel disconnected from the engine in a way that manual does not. lots of torque convertor slurring etc.

    I once drove a GTI DSG and from memory it still seemed a bit disconnected, which is bizzare as it has clutched connection like a manual.

    keen to try one of these new sky active autos, supposedly have lockup torque converter on every gear.

    • laurie

      I think the new ZF 8 speed auto is in a league of its own great boxes even the 6 speed units were slick in changes

    • amlohac

      Definatley go drive a skyactive 3, very cool transmission not at all what i expected.

  • Torque

    I wonder how many here have driven a 3 or 4 speed column manuals with four wheel drum brakes with sloppy old suspension on dirt or crappy bitumen roads.

  • Showtime

    I learnt to drive using an automatic, but once I could afford my own car I went straight to a manual. I’ll buy manuals as long as they’re around (or I have to buy a joint family car). I think manual transmissions will be phased out within 20 years.

  • Shak

    As much as many of us know that manuals have an abundance of advantages over automatic’s, they just dont suit the majority of driving done by the majority of people. In a city such as Sydney which is chockers with traffic day in and day out, a manual is tiring and just too much work.

    • Phil

      Sydney traffic is nowhere near as bad as places like Rome, London or Paris where between 99% and 100% of cars are manual.
      When your moving slowly in traffic, what else is there that you can do? You might as well operate the clutch and gears.

  • gti

    Hung low had better hope manuals are phased out. It can’t be easy trying to drive manual when you’re a human tripod.

    • Dangel

      We presume that he would be among the great unwashed who have no idea what a manual is or a turbo or fine handling , just press and go , no need for a left leg .

      • Hung Low

        Bangle, I have driven, played, raced and built various cars from rotaries to V8s, turbocharged and supercharged from almost 2 decades ago.
        I think I am in a much better position than you to know of the intricate details that are not included in your beloved VW brochure!

        • Dangel

          Well you do live in the 80’s , built a crummer VK with plastic peter brock look alike cladding , lukey exaust , oh i forgot the polariser .

          Raced around the local supermarket , beat the odd corolla , dreamt of riding a victa rotary mower .

          All auto’s of course , the prefered tranny for the great unwashed .

          • scatman

            You just took my comments directed at you in another thread and unfunnied them.

            You are a real drone

          • Dangel

            Sorry fung or is it catwoman , i get confused or is it barry or zero , time to polish the VK , must be a crummer cretin run this weekend out in the blurbs .

            Me i will be out blasting through the hills in a real car .

  • Exchange Student

    I drive a manual by preference; Dad drives an auto, but only because BMW wouldn’t sell him a manual 320d; Mum can drive a manual when required (and does so very well), but prefers auto; and my sister flat refused to learn manual.

    I also know a few people who got auto-only licences, but have since seen the light.

    Perhaps most strangely, my ex-girlfriend could drive manual cars quite well, but was completely flummoxed by automatics – she couldn’t cope with the car changing gears on its own.

    • Phil

      BMW would’ve sold him a manual 320d, he obviously wasn’t great at negotiating and that particular dealer had a auto 320d they wanted to get rid of.

      Basically every BMW model (bar the 7 series) is avaliable in manual, you just have to be insistant at Australian dealers. Hence why I have a 535i manual.

      • Exchange Student

        Well, it obviously wasn’t a deal-breaker. He asked, they said no, he didn’t push the issue.

  • Tim

    I personally enjoy driving a manual car. Since my car has only small 4 pots, it is a joy to change gears after extracting every bit of power from the engine. Again, it is a really engaging experience.

  • Gianni

    Accelerate, Press down in clutch, Shift gear stick. How hard is that?!

  • JoKiDe

    Toyota must be loving this, they are talking about a nissan but have shown a picture of a manual corolla hatch with its flying butriss/raised gear shifter height.

    Could have at least used a picture of a nissan.

  • Laney

    Im big into 4×4. Have a diesel with 5 on the floor. Wouldnt have it any other way. My other half is on her L’s and have talked her into at least learning to drive manual. When you have more control over your engine and gears you have more respect for an engine and how it works. Everyone should at least know how to drive a manual in my opinion.

  • Charger

    I Drive Manual, hate driving anything that doesnt have a clutch pedal, both my parents who are well into there late 50s both drive manual wont ever get an Auto Esp my mum she hates them

  • Nissan SSS

    If you drive a Manual, then you are a DRIVER.

  • amlohac

    Started off with an auto license but only because my parents didnt own manual cars. Now can drive both, generally if you want anything “sporty” youre going to have to at least consider a manual.

  • K20A

    Hilarious story! and one that I often discussed with mates..

    In the ideal world (and still is the case in many countries in Asia & Europe) it should be mandatory to learn how to operate a manual car and is part of the license testing.

    I’ve always forced my family members and my girlfriend (now wife) to learn manuals. Once they master it, they can do whatever they want (ie. choose to buy an auto car). However, everyone needs to be able to drive a manual (also useful in case of emergency, etc.). Autos can be learnt in 10 mins but the same can’t be said otherwise.

    Another interesting personal observation is that most cyclist I know (including myself) know how to drive a manual. The symbiosis between gears, ratios, rpm (cadence), speed, effort, intensity makes so much more sense if you’re a cyclist!

  • Chilliman

    Both my wife and I drive manuals and have made a pact to only ever by manual cars. Currently we have a Subaru Liberty 2.5i and a Honda Jazz – both 5-speeders.

    I had an automatic EF XR6 for a while that had been modified, including the gearbox for faster shifts, but I still regret not buying a manual XR6 – that would have been a whole lot more fun!

  • SH

    The image is of the gearshift in a corolla. Levin SX grade I believe.

    • Ted

      Looks like a 6 sped Corolla, either SX, Conquest of Acent – could be any of these !

  • Lloyd

    Manual transmissions have never been so easy to drive with light action required and light clutches. I realise most transmissions are now autos but to someone like me who has had coloumn auto and manual and floor shift of each over the years, it is hard for me to understand what the problem is but maybe i’m just old.

  • David

    A lot of people reading this must be remaining quiet, because besides myself, I haven’t seen one other person here who can’t drive a manual.

  • Ben xr6

    I own both an Auto XR6T and a manual 89 MR2, despite all the power, comfort and ease of the XR i still have more fun in the MR2.

    I agree you are alot more aware in a manual, it forces you to say awake. Especially in traffic.

  • O’Sienna

    I drive all over Sydney for work… in a manual car. Changing gears is just second nature and I don’t even notice it. Stop-start traffic is only a burden if you insist on keeping bumper-to-bumper with the car in front and you don’t pay attention to the flow ahead.

  • Cameron Warwick

    Remember you idiots rambling about blacks not knowing how to drive manual, in Africa most cars are MANUAL transmission, in fact, most of the world drives manual transmission. Unfortunately fat idiotic countries like the USA can’t do simple things, driving manual is not hard. Australia is unfortunately going in that direction.

  • Maria

    Only person I know who does *not* drive a manual is my sister, who can’t. I’d like to note that out of Australia and the U.S, there is a very limited number of automatic transmission cars around.