Proof that Manual Gearboxes are more fun?

How much do you value fun while driving? How enjoyable an experience do you want driving to be?

For many of us, the answer is quite a lot.

Cars and engines do need to be more environmentally friendly, thankfully the days of the worst gas guzzlers will increasingly now be behind us. Nobody would argue against clean air being better air.

A question remains though. Is there room to have your cake and eat it, to have a car that is both green, but also fun to drive?

A recent video and blog post on an electric Porsche with a manual gearbox fascinated us, it speaks of this conflict.

If you are able to buy a Porsche, presumably you want a car that has some characteristics to its drive, you want responsiveness, power and a sense of the driver being in control, but this also being a car that is truly responsive.

The car in question is a Porsche 356, this is a car from around 60 years ago, a forerunner to the 911.

Back in the 1960s electric cars might have been the stuff of science fiction.

The Old Porsche was lovingly restored by a company called Electrogenic, but this did not mean making a like for like swap of every component. After all, car development has moved on a pace since the 1960s, while a true history buff might want an exact replica, a more sensible approach would surely be to capture the heart of the 356, but to add in a bit of modern magic.

Converting it to an electric vehicle might not come as a huge surprise, especially given the 356 was not a performance beast by modern standards. The power output of the 1960s car could easily be recreated, bettered even through an electric motor.

However, the joy in a small couple such as this is in the driving, it’s not pure stats of top speed, revs and acceleration, it is how that feels.

And this is where the manual gearbox comes in. In making the switch, they could have easily enough made a gully automatic electric vehicle, maybe this would even be the easier choice, the expected one.

Instead, we get a manual engine. The driving experience matters, you can have both – a car that is fun and responsive to drive and yet also utilises efficient modern technology.

Admittedly, we haven’t got to drive a 356, old school or modern reworking (though if you have one to lend, please let us know!).

No matter, the experts at AutoTrader took it for a spin, as you can see in the video below. It’s a great watch and, although we’d rather not provide spoilers, we reckon you can guess what they think of the manual gearbox!

Is this complete proof that manuals will always have a key role? Well, maybe not fully! We appreciate that not every driver is that fussed about the experience and, if you’re only doing short journeys around town there might be little joy to be had in changing gears.

But that isn’t all that driving is. There is the drive out into the countryside, the feeling of the car opening up just as the scenery does. There is feeling part of the experience, rather than simply being a glorified passenger. Driving is a nicer experience than being a passenger, this an unfortunate, and yet persistent fact for many.

The future may be elements working together, drawing the best bits of each.

Modern technology has a vital role, energy efficiency is to be lauded, but, there is a desire for this to happen without completely killing the pleasure of driving – especially when there is simply no need to do so.

The manual gearbox is a thing of beauty, even the ones that might be in need of repair.

Speaking of which…


At North West Transmissions we repair gearboxes or source replacement with guaranteed refurbished units.

A family-run business, we have a truly superb reputation, this shown by our 4.9 out of 5 average rating from dozens of reviews on Google.

All reconditioned gearboxes come with guarantees for 12 months or 12,000 miles while reconditioned automatic units come with a re-manufactured torque converter that has a lifetime guarantee.

Our technicians are all highly skilled with vast experience in reconditioning and repairing all units – importantly their efficiency helps cut down the price of repairs and so too the cost.

Gearbox problems are all-too common. If you find yourself in need of a repair or reconditioned unit, that often being the more economical option in the long term, please contact us.

Call us on 0151 933 0257 or use our Contact Form.