Fifteen years ago, in a former life, I was buying/selling cars at auctions, and noticed the following odd phenomenon: Cars with manual transmissions invariably had engines that were in better shape. I could never quite come up with a good reason as to why this would be so. It seems to me that an automatic would, over time, be stressing/shocking the engine far less than a manual (considering how badly many people shift). One possible reason I came up with is that maybe people that bought cars with manuals were likely to be "enthusiasts" and were a little more religious about oil changes, but even in cars that were completely dogged inside and out, with every other part destroyed -- the cars with manual trannys had better engines. Has anyone else ever noticed this? Does anyone know why this would be so?