Chris Warren, sales manager for Premier Financial Services in Florida, knows the vintage car market well. He works for the prominent national company that for more than 20 years has provided financing for previously owned exotic, vintage and luxury cars.

What Warren has observed is an increasing renaissance among purists who want to buy vehicles with manual transmissions.

New vehicles with manual transmissions are more difficult to purchase and are becoming more desirable in vintage and exotic cars.
New vehicles with manual transmissions are more difficult to purchase and are more desirable in vintage exotic cars.

Warren is our guest on Episode 55 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. Co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss the automotive industry and the increasing lack of manual transmissions in new vehicles and the increasing importance of manual transmissions in collectible cars.

“It’s interesting with the advent of clutchless transmissions and all of that in modern car times that purists are seeking a manual gearbox,” said Warren. “We find that the renaissance back to that and the love of it is something that fuels that classic market.”

Warren uses a family story as an example of the changing industry:

“My oldest nephew is now a junior in college, but when he was learning to drive, my sister made an effort to try and find a new car with a manual gearbox for him to learn to drive on,” said Warren. “That’s what we learned to drive on back in the ’60s.

“Those cars are just really hard to get. We see people who may be inclined to purchase a newer car, but because they have a specific love for a manual transmission, they move to the vintage market. If I were to close my eyes and think about cars I know that are current year model cars available with manual transmissions, I’d struggle to think that’s it even four percent.”

Warren also relates the popular brands among his clients, Lamborghini, McLaren and Ferrari, are now all equipped with automatic clutches.

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