Depends where you are, in the UK when you get lessons you're taught manual. If you just want to learn automatic you have to go out of your way to find someone who'll teach you that, and very few people do. Most of the cars here are manual
Well, at least in Germany, where are a bit Oldshool:
My Car as a Manual Gearbox, like most of the Cars in Germany,
My Dads Mercedes SUV got a Automatic Gearbox,
Our Unimog is Manual, whit lots of Shift Sticks, whyle only 2 are for aktuall Driving: one is for the Gears (1 - 6), one for refervese and forward, one for the "Zapfwelle" (which drives the tools you can atache on the Unimog) one is for the 4 Wheel Drive, and there are also some for a "Overdrive"..
The Shift Stick for the Driving Gearbox is pretty long, .., if Tapatalk remains to work whit this Boards, i think i will post a Picture of the Gearsticks ^^
6 Speed Manual on my Primary car (Subaru WRX) and 6 Speed on my old Nissan Frontier pickup truck I share with my Brother. Funny enough I drove automatics for years until recently. I personally love how much more engaging it makes driving, also the extra control it gives me in the Wintertime. My commute is about an hour and on twisty back roads. I don't often end up in heavy traffic situations, but when I am it's not entirely that inconvenient I found.
6 speed automatic, double clutch transmission, in a 2012 Golf Diesel. The word silky comes to mind - it's very smooth. If you want you can select your gears manually, similar to tip-tronic. This is my first automatic and likely not my last. Stop-and-go city traffic, cruising on a highway or letting 'er rip down the ol' Autobahn - it's great.
The reason for me to switch to automatic was a dumb habit I have developed over the last 20 years. When accelerating in a car I try to work against the movement by contracting the muscles on the front of my torso. Having to use a clutch pedal and manual switching made that worse over time. It's a lot easier for me to sit back and relax while the automatic does all the work. This likely sounds weird for most of you. I wish I could get rid of this hunchback posture :-/
What I don't like about the automatic is the fact that it can't think or look ahead. It can only compare current load (going uphill?) and engine reserves according to the gear, RPM and how much you press down on the pedal. It also won't go below 1000RPM. I do have to wonder if this is to protect the engine - very unlikely as low RPMs even under low load are normally just fine - or an acoustic "comfort" thing.
The thing is that, going around 30km/h places a lot, I do like to stay in 3rd and just hover along, using engine brake when necessary, and seldom the real brakes. But when you get down to 1000RPM in 3rd it will shift down to 2nd, braking too much and being unnecessarily unnerving.
The other thing is driving fast. I seldom go really fast anymore - read: fast as in the curbing the winding roads of the Bayerischer Wald. I am not a spring chicken anymore so my reflexes are shot, the car is too heavy and comfort oriented to be sportive. But when I do go fast, I do miss manual - automatic lacks the precision a manual clutch gives you. You get into situations where the weight of the car changes more rapidly than anticipated. The heavier the car, the worse.
1st world problems eh
I can only compare this to my Dad's ancient automatic cars, and it's a huge difference. Those were Chevy Caprice station wagons, one a prize-winning 250hp total conversion to a 2+2 seater pick-up, the other looked like just a family car, but had a Keith Black big block 400hp, and a rather boring Ford Granada
My first car wasn't even mine, it was in my parents name. But we all considered it 'my' car. It was an automatic 2002 Ford Taurus. My second car was a manual Saab 9-3. Unfortunately it had engine problems, and a few years later it seized, so I sold it to the tow truck driver so he could restore it. My third car was a Prius. Technically automatic, I guess? I don't think it works the same way as a normal automatic transmission. My current car is a 1995 Suzuki Swift, and it's a manual. It's like driving a big go-kart, it's fun.
I prefer manual over automatic, but I would also like to drive a steam car or electric car, and those are neither as they have no transmission.
You might be able to track down an electric car from the days before power-electronic speed controllers.
Early electric vehicles had a big multipole switch to engage different combinations of motor windings and power resistors. Like gears, but even more confounding, because if you didn't change up fast enough, the resistors would burn out!
I could also point out that traction engines (at least the British sort) often have two gear ratios. They're both very low, of course, but the tractive effort available at the wheels is incredible!
Perhaps, for speed, it would be more fun to build a replica of the Besler-Doble steam aeroplane?