I am having a hard time with Benji's write-up, I have to agree that the guy did not know how to drive a stick shift. I owned 2 Camaro's one with a Muncie and the other with a 5 speed. Neither had any problems taking automatics, I would actually say in 1/4 mile if I was ever beat by an Automatic I would be shocked.
But back to the topic, the older car transmissions, mainly column shifters, are horrible for shifting. They are prone to have the linkage get stuck while shifting and sometimes not allow you to shift at all. If your going for a cruiser/Street Rod, you are not racing so why do you need to worry about shifting then? Stick with an Automatic, if plan on street racing/Sleeper then I would always go stick.
Just my two cents. That and two dollars may buy me a cup of coffee.