The Manual Craze Continues With No Signs Of Slowing Down
With the desire to get behind the wheel of one of these gated legends growing more and more each day, one company has taken it upon themselves to bring this dream into a reality for many exotic owners and enthusiasts.
With the recent deprival of manual transmissions offered by car manufactures, the desire for an exotic with a true six speed manual has taken the car community by storm. This trend has been especially apparent within the Ferrari and Lamborghini markets as prices have continued to climb. These cars were simply some of the greatest automobiles ever built.
The simplicity, aggression, and true analog feel from a gated six speed transmission, put these cars into a class of their own, this class is stacked like the '96 Chicago Bulls. Vehicles such as the Ferrari 360, F430, 599, Lamborghini Gallardo, Murcielago, and the Audi R8 have put themselves into a special spot in automotive history as what may be the last of their kind.
Many of the cars we grew up admiring, are moving further and further away from creating cars for the true enthusiast. Large manufacturers are too focused on their bottom line, magazine articles or 0-60 times, rather than building a car for the driver. Younger enthusiasts who had some of the previously mentioned cars above, hanging on their walls, have taken notice of this. Now it seems that, rather than buying the new car from their beloved car brand, they are being drawn to the cars they grew up watching and dreaming about.
This can be seen through the recent volume of these gated vehicles crossing auction platforms, such as Bring A Trailer. For instance, the factory manual Ferrari 360 has seen a near $20,000 increase in value in the past three years alone, along with the most recent sale crossing the Bring A Trailer auction block on 5/5/2021 at $138,360, with the auction premium totaling north of $143,000.
Another example of this can be seen with the little brother to the 360, the F430. The market for the Ferrari F430 has truly gone crazy this year, with the most recent factory manual F430 selling at $241,000 in the first quarter of 2021. The F430 has seen a $106,000 increase in value since 2019. It's rare that a stock account will make you $100,000 in three years, let alone a car that you can enjoy.
With the desire to get behind the wheel of one of these gated legends growing more and more each day, one company has taken it upon themselves to bring this dream into a reality for many exotic owners and enthusiasts. This company, known as European Auto Group, has taken a wide range of factory automatic Ferrari models and converted them into true gated six speeds.
European Auto Group’s montra is "Save the Manuals" which is fitting seeing as they have successfully converted over 70 cars that are out on the road today. Starting with a base model Ferrari F430 conversion as the teams test car, they quickly realized that this would be a success, and a success it was. After the success of their first conversion, E.A.G. decided it was time to up the ante by building a Ferrari that the factory never planned to produce with a manual.
Though they were laughed at by many and told countless times that the car would never work, EAG went about their mission to build the World's First Gated Six Speed Manual Ferrari 430 Scuderia. Upon completion of this project it was deemed by Road & Track as "The World's Greatest Ferrari'' and driven around the Circuit of the Americas by none other than Randy Pobst, which can be seen on their youtube channel.
We now hear, the 430 Scuderia E.A.G. has built is now 100% functional with the factory equipped ABS system, Manatino, and Traction Control. We do plan on doing a full follow up on this topic at a later date. After speaking to the owner of E.A.G., Art Bartosik, he stated “It was a collaborative effort between our in-house technicians, AV Engineering in the U.K., and Trevor Mensah. At the moment, we decided to go the “Piggyback route” as it is a plug and play option and easier to replace, rather than replacing the engine ECU’s. The ease of this made the most sense. Trevor is still planning on completing the option of programming the ECU’s directly for more of an integrated option, but this is still some time away.”
After the success and influx of positive feedback, they dove head first into performing manual conversions on an assortment of cars to currently include, Ferrari F430s, 360s, 599s, 612s, 575s, and even the new MKV Supra. This, yet again, has been a driving factor in the recent price surges for the gated heros.
With a quick search of the U.S. market, we came across a low amount of F430’s for sale and an E.A.G. converted 2007 Ferrari F430 clocking 12,700 miles, every carbon bit you could imagine, currently listed on CarGurus for $245,000. With the quality of product E.A.G is currently producing, we do not see these prices as unreasonable, and as they get deeper and deeper into their venture, we could expect significant increase in their vehicles pricing.
If this current trend continues, we may just see a gated manual converted E.A.G. cars strapped to the back of Elon Musk’s DOGE-1 SpaceX mission bringing gated manual cars and crypto currencies to the moon. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be able to buy a conversion with your excess Dogecoin. Until then, let’s row those gears.