Julia Brzezinska: I will send the kids to a summer course in heel-toe technology – Chronicles

“I do not intend to let him miss out on ‘bitch top’ (that word will not survive) and the nervousness of having to park uphill, burn his first clutch and all that belongs to the youth.”

This is a chronicle. This means that the content is the writer’s own opinion.


Kylarköping Folk High School opens the garage doors to its private collection this year and has a wide selection of motor courses where the focus is on driving pleasure and old driving techniques.

I myself am a bit eager to participate, because you get to drive different manual gearboxes and learn the classic “heel-toe technique” that was common before.

And hear here what gearboxes are in the collection: Latest generation of Honda Civic Type R – believe it or not, but it is compliant and encouraging at the same time, click, click, click. A “rat”, ie Audi R8 V10, with its metallic backdrop.

Klong says it when you switch up to second and storm on. An early 911 with a five-speed dead leg box. Where all gears are overturned and you, due to the reptilian brain, throw in the hill when you go forward and have to think an extra lap before shifting so that it does not become a stick mixer of the entire cogger. And a more modern Porsche gearbox, the one in the 911 (997) GT3 RS 4.0.

Yes, then there are Mercedes boxes from the eighties as well – which feels a bit like playing shuffleboard. And a few other tough things from the past. A manually shifted Kia Karen and Dacia Duster – so as not to get too nostalgic.

The above is a hit. I have not found any such summer course. But in the future it may be in the education catalogs together with: “Learn to write by hand with a pencil” and “Learn to interpret a paper map”.

Mercedes will stop manufacturing manual gearboxes from next year. And the statistics from the Swedish Transport Administration’s Driver Test Unit show that the number of people who take driving licenses for automatic transmissions has almost tripled in the big cities since 2016. At the same time, the proportion who take driving licenses for manual transmissions is declining steadily. You can see local variations, where the distribution in smaller towns does not change at the same rate.

That the manual gearboxes are on their way away is nothing new. In the hybrid and electric cars of the future, they no longer have a given place. Although Toyota actually has a patent for a “Pseudo Shifter”, which is a kind of manual gearbox for electric cars. But Toyota also stands out in the industry by having unhealthily many patents on things that never get rid of. They apparently have 5,000 more patents than the second on the list. And personally, I can not understand the point of a manually shifted electric car.

The Swedish Transport Administration has already begun to review its stock of motor vehicles and the EU is currently preparing the fourth driving license directive. Sweden would like a change because today’s rules slow down the transition to electrified – as many may think that they should have a manually shifted car for the sake of the children.

I get to see how I do myself when it’s time for my son to start practice driving. Or I do not get it at all – I do not intend to let him miss the “bitch stop” (that word will not survive) and the nervousness of pocket parking uphill, burning his first clutch and all that belongs to the youth. Just the thought of getting that perfect traction in a hot-tempered old sports car with a manual gearbox gives me hand sweat.

But I also understand that it will be a challenge to argue for this type of old-fashioned phenomenon – much like my grandmother would teach me how to fix broken tights with a special needle.

It is most likely that the driving license rules will be changed so that even those with automatic driving licenses will be able to drive manual cars in the future – if they have taken a short course.


Source: Senaste nytt från auto motor & sport by www.mestmotor.se.

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