It is common that manufacturers put stick shifts into anything they could touch with a hole saw. However, that stopped an automatic transmission evolved into something good. In fact, even the fastest cars of the last decade use some form of automatic shifting. But in terms of 20th-century performance cars, manual-equipped examples generally retain more valuable than automatic ones. Here is a list of the top five classic cars that had a manual transmission but you may not have known.
1988–91 BMW 735i
Back to past days when BMW made cars for hardcore enthusiasts, it provided a five-speed manual in the 735i – its biggest and most luxurious model. Although the combination was both unexpected and awesome, not many were sold since few buyers equated German luxury with a clutch pedal.
2001–06 BMW X5
The first-gen X5 offered a three-pedal version due to the same reason why the 7-series did in the late 1980s and BMW thought that enthusiasts would like it. However, sales were slow because there were not many buyers who took the sport part of sport-utility seriously.
2011–2013 Buick Regal
Buick’s European-bred family sedan provided a six-speed manual in the 220-hp turbo version and the 255-hp GS version had one too. There were manual Buicks because they are rebadged Opel Insignias, manual versions of which weren’t exactly rare.
1984–90, 92–95 Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager
Although a manual minivan may seem unconventional, it strikes us as the perfect way to fight the blahs and teach our children about the importance of a heel-toe downshift. There was even a turbo version with 150 horsepower. If you don’t like Caravans and Voyagers, a 1991–93 Toyota Previa with a stick may be the car of your choice.
2005–06 Jaguar X-type Sportwagon
Jaguar seems to be unafraid to drop a manual in an unexpected place. Based on Ford of Europe’s Mondeo, the X-type wagon also ended up with one for two years of production. However, only 1602 wagons were sold.