Here in America, less than 10% of new cars are sold with a manual transmission. You can blame American laziness, or the fact that automakers simply don’t offer many shift-for-yourself models anymore, but at least when it comes to manual transmissions, Europe has us beat. In the Old World, stickshift cars represent about half of all new car sales.
You would think that someone who steals cars for a living would know how to drive standard, but the Daily Mail reports it was this shift-for-yourself option that kept the carjackers from making off with Randolph Bean’s Corvette.
Mr. Bean, who hails from (where else) Orlando, Florida, was reportedly waiting to pick up his wife from Orlando Regional Medical Center around 11 PM one night when the would-be carjackers struck. “He started yanking on the door and made me open the door. He kind of flung it open and dragged me out and demanded that I get on the ground… face down, so I couldn’t look at him,” said Mr. Bean.
The carjackers then tried to steal the car, but couldn’t figure out that they needed to push in the clutch to get the car started. Mr. Bean yelled at the thieves, trying to tell them what they needed to do, but the carjackers eventually gave up, stealing Mr. Bean’s wallet, phone, and keys as well. So far cops have been unable to locate the suspects. Mr. Bean even tells the story in his own words over at the Corvette Forums.
The lesson here? Manual transmissions make an excellent theft deterrent.