You don't have to drive a hunter green MG to appreciate the fun of shifting, and I lament what The Post's editorial refers to as "The Demise of Driving" [July 4]. I don't doubt Warren Brown's statistics -- that barely 10 percent of new cars are sold in the United States with manual transmissions. I am surprised it is that high ["The Clutch Doesn't Grab Drivers," Business, June 26]. But that doesn't mean there isn't a frustrated hard core of driving enthusiasts in this country, including Generation Xers, who beat the bushes in search of the real stick shift.

My wife and I own two late-model, manual transmission cars, one an SUV and the other a "near luxury" model, both a rarity in their respective categories. Maybe if more models were available with manual transmissions, there would be more driver loyalty toward those brand names. Instead, even classic brand expensive sports roadsters now come only with automatics (or phony auto-sticks), a phenomenon that strikes me as absurd.

I just returned from a trip to Palermo, where the only automatic I saw was in the official U.S. Embassy car.

JOEL FISCHMAN

Bethesda