auto or manual? - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
pa-fatboy's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 98
auto or manual?

I ordered my new Stang tonight:

2014 Mustang GT Premium Coupe
Exterior: Sterling Gray
Interior: Saddle
Automatic Transmission
Equipment Group 400A
Reverse Sensing System and Security Package
GT Accessory Package 4 - Spoiler
Comfort Package
Driver and Passenger Heated Seats
Electronics Package

Here’s my angst. Historically, I have ALWAYS purchased manual transmission cars. This ’14 is going to be more or less a daily driver once it arrives. My daily commute is 45 miles one way, mostly highway.
I got in a fight (and lost) with my John Deere riding mower this summer. Went sideways down a ravine, rolling end over end. I ended up with a compound fracture in my left arm with three broken ribs. I was lucky it wasn’t more serious.
I’m thinking automatic for this Mustang only because my arm is not 100% yet and I need both hands on the wheel. Over time, this will improve… Will I drive myself crazy second guessing myself and regretting that I ordered an automatic mustang….

When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane. - unknown

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 02:44 AM
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Location: Orange County, CA
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I think you made the right choice...45 miles one way is a long commute, especially when you run into traffic.

I used to drive 25 miles one way to work, and when I moved from my manual 1996 Mustang to an automatic, it made a world of difference.

1966 A-code in progress
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 04:40 AM
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Location: Vermont
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Occasional drive....manual
Daily drive......automatic.

I'm hoping to sell the wife's 73 and pick up a new one. It will be a daily driver, so I'm going for an auto. Besides with 400+ HP I don't think you'll miss much with the auto.

Rick Bombard
1971 Grabber Green Mach 1 351C 4V Ram Air
1973 Medium Copper Metallic Convertible 302 4V
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 05:46 AM
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when we bought our 1st later model mustang i was in my mid to later 50s and we took it on a trip of 1200 miles round trip and for the 6 years before that i was driving a 81 olds 88 as our trip car. the mustang was not half as comfortable and the sport steering harder to put up with so to this day we dont drive late model mustangs for more than a daily romp. wes
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 11:03 AM
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Location: Northern Colorado
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I love rowing gears in a performance car. But in the last couple of years I've driven both manual and automatic transmission new GT Mustangs. I was actually very impressed with the automatic. I think you'll be happy.

1970 Fastback (to be finished outside as a Boss 302 clone)
393 Windsor AFR 205 heads with 11.5:1 compression, Victor Jr. intake, solid roller cam with shaft mount roller rockers
Tremec TKO 5 Speed

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 02:24 PM
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Location: SC foothills, USA
Posts: 15,268
I'd just about get a manual for the rarity value. Manuals are are a dying option. Seems like for 2014 they aren't even an available option anymore on light duty domestic pickups. Fewer and fewer pony cars are getting manuals too. People just don't want them like they used to.
That said, when I drive my F150 in traffic I'm glad it's an automatic. The F150 it replaced was a 5 speed that was just an annoying pain. So I get it. My '67 has a 5 speed, for fun. It should never see rush hour traffic. Should circumstances change, I would have no problem putting an AOD in it.
If you're pretty sure driving a manual would cause you discomfort then forget it, you wouldn't enjoy your car.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 02:38 PM
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I was in the same situation. 45 minute commute each way, looking at a "performance" car (mini cooper S) and debating manual or auto. I went auto and don't regret it at all. People look at me sideways when I tell them I got a automatic mini.... but when I want to row my own, I have an obnoxious 68 Mustang built just for that purpose

68' Coupe. Toyota 2JZ. Build thread HERE
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 03:02 PM
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I crippled my left arm in a motorcycle accident 12 years ago. I drove a beater automatic for a year or two, but once I got some use back, I went back to a manual. If I were buying a new car that I planned on keeping for a long time, it'd have to be a manual.

'69 Convertible 351w, 5-speed
69 Mach 1 351w 4-speed
'69 Mach 1 S-code, 4-speed
'70 Boss 302
'84 GT-350 5.0, 5-speed
'84 GT-350 Convertible
'04 Cobra
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 03:14 PM
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I drive 63 miles each way to work....I love my manual.

1965 Fastback 410c AOD - DT
1967 Fastback 347 T5- Cruiser
1968 Fastback 408w T5 - Brute
1991 GT Hatch - Fauxbra
1996 Dodge Viper GTS
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 10:52 PM
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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I was a die hard manual transmission guy until I purchased my 4Runner as a daily driver 2 years ago. A lot of very smart engineers put lots and lots and lots of time into making automatic transmissions, and there is a reason for that. Most people find them to be a better driving experience. I like my automatic. It lets me go on autopilot for the commute.
Do I sometimes want to play loud music, rip on a manual, and drive like a maniac? Sure. But that is what a weekend car is for!
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 11:32 PM
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I drove a 4spd s10 for 2 years, and my Benz is a 4 spd, and I drove that for 3yrs. Both for 80 miles round trip and I never regretted having a stick. It was mostly highway, but daily commuter traffic.

I vote for a manual.

65 fastback, 78 Mercedes Benz 280sl Euro, 2005 Chaparral 220 Ssi

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 04:30 PM
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Do whatever makes you happy. IMO on a daily driver automatic is probably better if you just want an easy drive. But if an automatic is going to bore you, go ahead and get the manual and just take it easy until you're all healed up.

When I bought Jane with the intentions of making her a daily driver I just told people "If I'm going to make my life that much more difficult, I might as well go all the way and make it as difficult (and fun) as possible!" My choice never bothers me except when stopped on hills with some SUV crammed up the tailpipes. But then, of course, I have an excuse to really nail it and one-wheel-peel outta there An automatic might get better mileage and be an easier drive, but couldn't imagine not having the option to go flying through the gears with my foot on the floor if I wanted.

Calamity Jane 1966 Modified Fastback - Driven semi-daily!
Wrecked and rebuilt even better
289 v8, 4-speed, 3.25 9" rear, goodies and stuff.

See my travel blog here for my adventures:
2014: 10,051 mile, 2-month-long road trip around America
2015: 3,000 mile trip to Knotts in CA, CO to East Coast, an engine rebuild or two
2016: East Coast to TX, Hot August Nights, more trips to the East Coast
2017: Several long trips in the works! Stay tuned
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 04:00 PM
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I personaly hate slowmatics, my wrangler is one because it was suppose to be my wifes and she is manualy challenged. I drove an hr one way for work and stayed in fifth gear for most of it. I lived in a large city driving stop and go traffic and loved it because I had to shift. I got pretty good at shifting with my left hand when had to wear a sling.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 04:58 PM
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I have a 5 spd in my '65 and it was my only car for years. When my dad passed he wanted me to have his almost new '88 Chevy pu. It's an automatic. Now the Mustang stays home in cold or bad weather. The automatic is nice for my short 17 mile commute. When I want raw HP and a manual, the Mustang is clean and ready. I think you'll like the auto. Hey shift manually if you want. Let us know how you like it?
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