Shock! Horror! "A car enthusiast who doesn't exclusively drive stick?! Blasphemy, I say!" - Every so-called car enthusiast.

Yes, it's true. I do not like having a manual as my daily driver. Do I like driving manual? Of course, who doesn't? I love it actually. It's is probably the most fun about driving a sports car...if you're on a somewhat empty road. See I live in NJ, and if you're not familiar with NJ, keep it that way. Don't get me wrong, NJ is a fine state...except for when you're driving in it. Jersey has to be the absolute worst place on the face of the Earth for driving an automobile outside of Antarctica, and I still think I'd rather drive there, at least penguins won't cut me off. The traffic here is endless, the drivers are idiotic and the amount of tire shredding, suspension collapsing potholes make me wonder if the entire state has been blitzkrieged recently. So it's just constant bumper to bumper traffic. And when you finally get a glimpse of open road, a stretch of tarmac to open the taps a bit and click of a couple of gear changes, some guy in a Rav4 cuts you off and pulls an emergency stop for no apparent reason. So driving a manual in NJ is just constant disappointment. Because when driving a manual, it IS the car. Aside from steering, it's the biggest interaction with the car, and constantly going up and down the same two gears over and over again endlessly is maddening. So instead of driving a manual, I drive an auto. This way I can easily coast through all of the mindless traffic and wait to open it up on the highway.

So in a heavily idiot-populated area like NJ, I find it best to own an auto for your daily; something comfortable and small to make life nice and easy, like a Golf or Mazda 3. Then go out and buy yourself a fun little project car with a manual for the weekends. This is what I'm doing. Sort of. I currently own an e36 BMW 328i sedan and it's an auto. I'm pushing 223,xxx miles and am looking for a new car as my daily. Probably a Mk6 Golf, or something similar, automatic. However, I'm keeping my e36, as it's my first car and my baby, and I'm going to restore/upgrade it. New suspension, minor engine tweaks, some interior work, but most importantly a 5-speed tranny swap. This way I can have my cake and eat it too. I will also be documenting the swap and upgrade here as soon as it begins, which admittedly might take awhile because moneys.

In the meantime, if you hate auto's, give a newer good one a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.