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Went to Italian Cars and Coffee this morning, hosted monthly by the Maserati / Bentley / Rolls Royce dealer.

Lots of Ferraris, several Lamborghinis, a few Maseratis, an Alfa, a Fiat 500 Abarth, a bunch of Ducatis, and one Aprilia. No MV's.



A one-week old Lamborghini Aventador



Retractable glass panels over Aventador engine.



Check out that 458's license plate!



This guy has nine nice cars, each with a license plate named "1 of 9", "2 of 9", ... yes, a bit pretentious. Here are three of the nine including a M-B SLR McLaren - not exactly Italian, but nice.



My favorite 458 there



A Scuderia Spider 16M



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Discussion Starter #2
And last but certainly not least: my Ducati Monster 1000S

 

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Saw the Aventador roadster reviewed on a car programme last week and they said for all that money it's not great that to put the roof up you have to stop, get out, open the bonnet and put the roof panels in yourself, 458 Spyder owners must find that most amusing :D


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What's wrong with me? With the possible exception of your Ducati, nothing in any of those shots appealed to me.
 

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That 458 is sweet!

They are all great....too bad none of them have a proper transmission. (well except for your Monster)
That may be why I'm not that excited. I know all those DCT transmissions are great for performance, but I prefer 3 pedals.
 

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That may be why I'm not that excited. I know all those DCT transmissions are great for performance, but I prefer 3 pedals.
Randy, I agree 100%!

Those DCT transmissions might be quicker, but they are not as fun!

There is a great article on manual transmissions in the latest issue of Road & Track. His point was that although there are less manual transmissions overall.....driving enthusiasts still prefer them. For all sporty cars where a manual is available, the majority of people still pick the manual. They are just not offered in boring cars anymore.
 

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For all sporty cars where a manual is available, the majority of people still pick the manual. They are just not offered in boring cars anymore.
Alas Mike, I think you're wrong there. I've just ordered a new 911 with the manual trans having been told that 60-70% are ordered with the PDK tranny. Same is true in the Corvette, M spec BMWs, etc.

Unfortunately, I think demographics, actual performance, and much heavier traffic conditions have conspired to nail the coffin shut on clutch pedals. Demographics: today's 20 somethings have never driven a Tremec 6 speed, much less a Rock Crusher or a Top Loader. So, when they earn the cheese to buy a M5, they default to the DCT. Actual performance: we already know that the super high performance dual clutch automatics shift way better and faster than anyone not named Ronnie Sox. Traffic conditions: most metropolitan commuting traffic is much heavier today than 30 years ago. In Atlanta (one of the worst in the US), a 30 mile commute is guaranteed to take more than an hour on average, resulting in languishing on the Interstate at 20 mph. Including me, who wants to bother with a clutch in that traffic?
 

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Nice pictures. Sorry Randy. I love that Aventador. Color is nice but not my first choice.
 

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Alas Mike, I think you're wrong there. I've just ordered a new 911 with the manual trans having been told that 60-70% are ordered with the PDK tranny. Same is true in the Corvette, M spec BMWs, etc.

Unfortunately, I think demographics, actual performance, and much heavier traffic conditions have conspired to nail the coffin shut on clutch pedals. Demographics: today's 20 somethings have never driven a Tremec 6 speed, much less a Rock Crusher or a Top Loader. So, when they earn the cheese to buy a M5, they default to the DCT. Actual performance: we already know that the super high performance dual clutch automatics shift way better and faster than anyone not named Ronnie Sox. Traffic conditions: most metropolitan commuting traffic is much heavier today than 30 years ago. In Atlanta (one of the worst in the US), a 30 mile commute is guaranteed to take more than an hour on average, resulting in languishing on the Interstate at 20 mph. Including me, who wants to bother with a clutch in that traffic?
Randy, I see your points, but we are still in disagreement. I wouldn't call a lot of the buyers of high dollar performance cars such as BMW M5s, Corvettes, and Porsche 911s, "enthusiasts". A lot of people buy these cars more for status (excluding yourself). In the R&D article, a couple of the examples he used were the Volkswagon GTi and the Subaru BRZ/ Scion FR-S twins. The DSG was introduced in the GTi in 2006, and the percentage of buyers opting for the manual transmission (around 50%) has stayed the same since then. 70% of the BRZ/FR-S buyers opt for the manual transmission (keep in mind, these are younger buyers). Subaru is offering an automatic transmission for the WRX in 2015....but they predict 80% will still get the 6-speed manual. I think I've mentioned this before, but my Ford Focus ST was not even available with an automatic. A lot of people still care more about fun than convenience. Even if I lived in a congested area like Atlanta (Lord knows Springfield is bad enough!), I'd still opt for a manual transmission.

BTW the R&D article is titled "Math: What's Really Killing the Manual Transmission" by Jason Cammisa, and it is in the March/April 2014 issue. Check it out. Some very good points.
 

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I just googled the manual tranny take rate in America, and it's hovering around 5-6%......which is actually up a tiny bit over the last few years. The baddest Porsches available are the Turbo S and the GT3 models.....neither of which are available with a clutch.
 

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Randy, I'm trying to be optimistic here!

I know manual transmission use is low overall....but that's because they don't put them in Camrys and minivans and other boring cars anymore.....they are in sports cars only (aside form apparently some of the more expensive ones). My point being drivers of sports cars prefer clutches.

The Porsche 911 turbo got a pretty mediocre review in R&T....because of a lack of driver involvement. They said the driver was just along for the ride, I'm sure partly because of the automatic transmission. Maybe Porsche, and the other German companies, should rethink their strategy. I bet they are losing buyers.
 

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When Cindy bought her BMW 530i, she insisted in have the manual 6-speed. We can have some droning drives into Boston, but, when you are out in the country, the reward for that Boston-drone-left-leg-cramp is one helluva good time.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Went to the Italian Cars, Motorcycles and Coffee this morning.

My Favorite one from this morning. Ferrari F12 Berlinetta














The Rivale drew some attention


Our favorite Brutale America owner was there. :smoking:
 

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That grey F12 is a pretty car. I like non-red Ferraris more than red ones.

What is that shaft bike behind yours? Guzzi?



Our favorite Brutale America owner was there. :smoking:
How is Fran莽ois doing? One of only two:brutale: Brutie owners with a man card that I know of... the other being Erik, because he still has the 312..:f4:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That grey F12 is a pretty car. I like non-red Ferraris more than red ones.

What is that shaft bike behind yours? Guzzi?

How is Fran莽ois doing? One of only two:brutale: Brutie owners with a man card that I know of... the other being Erik, because he still has the 312..:f4:
Moto Guzzi Griso 8V. Francois is doing well. His bike needs some attention so I'm going to connect him with my friend who is a tech.
 
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