The traditional manual transmission comprises a left-foot-operated clutch pedal and a left-hand-operated gearlever (right-hand-operated if it’s a left-hand-drive car) with a H-pattern. The driver is totally responsible for selecting the right gear – or the wrong gear, for that matter.The limb work really enhances the driving experience, because the manual transmission offers total control. The driver could, for instance, shift from 5th to 2nd gear while braking hard, with a little help from his heel-and-toe footwork (stepping on the brake pedal while simultaneously blipping the throttle pedal, so as to make the downshift smooth and seamless).
The classic manual gearbox has been around for the longest time, longer than any automatic or semi-auto transmission, and has therefore benefitted from the longest period of development. Manual gearboxes are durable, reliable and relatively inexpensive to manufacture or overhaul. They’re efficient, too.