OK dad, I know that one there on the right is the gas pedal.  And I know the brake is right there, next to the gas pedal. But what the heck is that pedal on the left??

There will soon be a day (and for many that day is right now) when that question will be asked by people of a, uh, younger bent.

But I'm betting if you're as old as me (Is there anyone as old as me?), you probably remember when you were, oh, maybe 11, 12, 13...and your dad or mom decided to let you drive the car (or pick-up) for the very first time, just from this spot on the farmyard to that spot. You climb in behind the wheel, turn the key and step down on the...

Clutch.

Oh yeah, that baby purr's like a kitten. Beautiful. You put her into first gear and ease up that clutch and...a short hop and clunk and...well, that was that. Turns out there's a certain touch to letting that clutch out.

You don't see a whole lot of manual transmission's in cars anymore. I'd bet there are a lot of younger folks that have never used that 'ol clutch pedal and may have never seen one. In fact, according to Kiplinger, the clutch pedal is one of the things that will soon disappear forever, along with keys and fast food workers.

Kiplinger goes on to say:

Even the biggest of highway trucks are abandoning the clutch and stick for automatics, for fuel-efficiency gains and to attract drivers who won’t need to learn how to grind their way through 18-plus gears.

There are still option's for new car buyers to get a manual transmission (at least on some vehicles), but those may be on their way out. But with automatic's getting more efficient all the time, those options may end sooner than later.

So along with rotary phones, 8-track tapes and the friendly 'ol Village Blacksmith, that clutch pedal may join them in the dust bin of memory.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Enter your email to receive the latest news, contests, concert announcements and more directly to your inbox!