News

This Auction Site Only Sells Manual Transmission Cars

Row Your Own is saving the manuals one auction listing at a time.
Porsche, Andrew P. Collins

Finally—an auto auction site just for us! You know, we, the people who own cars with three functioning pedals and like to shift gears ourselves. The real enthusiasts. Just kidding, there are plenty of excellent self-shifting cars out there. But it’s getting tougher to find manual cars for sale, especially when people list cars incorrectly on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. This site, “Row Your Own,” should help in stick-shift car searches.

Not every enthusiast drives a manual. Family matters, injuries, a propensity to money-shift—all are valid reasons to keep someone away. For those who are stick-shift-able, it’s hard work, but it gives us purpose and joy. That is, until Level 5 fully autonomous cars boot us from the front seats entirely and our view is of headrests and not the next corner. But until the end of the times, we continue to row that boat. 

And row we shall toward, fittingly, Row Your Own. Launched in December 2023, the “MT enthusiast auction marketplace” was founded by veteran automotive engineers. Dedicated solely to stick-shift cars, the auction site is also notable for its listing prerequisites: you need the receipts. All of them, preferably.

A clean title and extensive vehicle history are a must. This means photos, videos, and related documents to corroborate the vehicle’s condition. Owners manuals, Monroneys, all the fobs, and all the service forms, too. Basically, everything you can find about and for your car, you bring them to the table. Bonus points if the vehicle has low mileage, a unique color, and rare option combinations.

You’re not going to find any beaters here, that’s for sure.

Row Your Own

When you consider that stick shifts are a dying breed, Row Your Own is definitely erring on the side of caution to ensure that buyers aren’t scammed and that the site earns a reputation for high-quality, honest listings. After all, most of the manual transmission vehicles out there are going to be kinda sorta “old.” 

Yes, there are a handful of 2023 and 2024 model-year cars available with a six-speed manual, but overall, automakers have steadily been killing off short-throw shifting. And not just the likes of mass-market dailies from Honda and Kia, but also Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and, crazily, Mini. Crazy because in the same year, Mini introduced a stick-shift driving school but also later discontinued the transmission from those very cars. Not even muscle cars are safe or Porsche. Yes, Porsche is trying to keep the third pedal alive. But resuscitation efforts might only extend life through the end of its current generation of sports cars. Make it make sense!

Row Your Own

But at least we have Row Your Own doing its part to save what’s left. It’s a free-to-use service for sellers who can list a vehicle with a reserve, no reserve, or a predetermined starting bid. Buyers, on the other hand, pay a 3% premium on top of the winning bid price. This buyer’s fee is set to a minimum of $250 but maxes out at $2,500.

For those concerned about last-second bidders swooping in to steal the show, don’t fret. Row Your Own automatically adds an extra minute to the auction timer whenever a new bid is placed within two minutes of the final countdown. So, in a way, last bids can last ad infinitum.

Row Your Own

Because Row Your Own is relatively new and not heavily advertised (H/T to @HondaProJason for bringing awareness), the number of active listings isn’t as robust as long-standing online auctioneers like Bring a Trailer and Cars & Bids. But the pricing is fair, the listings are detailed, and the variety is interesting. With our powers combined, we can help support the auction site as it continues to grow. And isn’t that what being part of the enthusiast community is really about?