The older cars, mainly pre-60's had problems with the trannys disengaging from the engines while driving. I would say in early '60 the Big 3 decided to try and phase out the standard transmission altogether. The Big 3 was now flooding the markets with automatics. I guess what people were doing then was about what the stock market does today. When people heard what was happening the price of the standard cars went thru the basement. When collectors heard of what was going to happen they were almost snatched up overnight. They are still highly desirable and that is why when you see a factory standard it has one heck of a price on it. After awhile the Japanese started making their cars with standards. Some of the guys that were in the military oversees got to drive a few of these. The Big 3 got wind of these new standard automobiles and had a few shipped back over and dismantled them. They learned how to keep the trannies from disengaging at high speeds. All of a sudden you start seeing standard transmissions on the market again. Now on most of the cars that you go look at (new cars) all you find are standard transmissions and the automatics are costing extra. My guess would be (if history repeats itself) hang on to that automatic because in thirty or fourty years that low mileage auto will be worth a small bundle.