Believe it or not, the new Aston Martin Vantage has spurred on this Spotted. Why? Because in each group test featuring the new V8 bruiser thus far, every single car has been equipped with an automatic gearbox. Sure, a manual should be coming for the Vantage, and the odd 911 emerges with a clutch and a stick, but there's no escaping the fact that two pedals now dominate in super sports cars. And that still seems a bit of a shame.
Because then you see cars like this Lamborghini Gallardo, clock its open-gated manual and third pedal, and imagine what enormous fun it must be. A manual gearbox can be satisfying at all sorts of speeds, which isn't really a trait you could assign to even the best automatics. Furthermore, only the very youngest car fans will have grown up dreaming of Italian exotica with paddles; for most of us the click-clack of an open gate - tick that one off your supercar-for-sale bingo card now - is a huge part of the allure.
Yet this Gallardo isn't an old car. It was registered in 2011, a time of smartphones, flat screen TVs and Cristiano Ronaldo being quite good at football. But it's also a bonafide Italian supercar, with more power than a Sports Series McLaren, that boasts a manual gearbox. For some the Gallardo's almost anachronistic configuration - modern yet challenging performance, traditional but not a classic - will mean it makes no sense; for PH, it's hard to think of much better.
Did we mention it's rear-wheel drive yet? Yes, this Gallardo represents probably the most desirable mechanical spec for enthusiasts available: one gearstick, two driven wheels, three pedals. It was a layout made famous by the Balboni, a car that's now worth a heck of a lot, but quietly introduced to the rest of the Gallardo range later on.
It didn't prove hugely popular with the Lambo buying masses, the accessibility of paddles and all-wheel drive more attractive than the challenge of a 550-2. Indeed one dealer once let on about being reluctant to take them, such was the difficulty in shifting them...
You're not one of those people though, are you? Because a car like this Gallardo is something to savour and be challenged by, to finesse the gearshifts and experience steering uncorrupted by driveshafts; maybe do the odd tiny powerslide now and then. Suddenly it makes sense: this won't be as scary as a Diablo, but there's going to be so much more going on than a new R8 or similar.
It gets better, too. This 550-2 has covered just 17,000 miles, the orange bits are only vinyl and it has a full Lambo service history. £140k isn't cheap, especially when you look at what early Gallardos now cost, but at least £100k is required for any rear-wheel drive version. Then think about how desirable the manual may prove to be...
Everybody is after manual Murcielagos now, so it's surely only a matter of time before the same is true of similar Gallardos. After all, this car represents one of the very last manual, rear-wheel drive Lamborghinis ever made. And when the whole range resembles different sized Uruses, that's going to seem even cooler than ever. Indeed the only thing that really detracts from the appeal of the Gallardo is whether you might have a manual Ferrari F430 or Aston V12 Vantage instead. So, what's it going to be?
SPECIFICATION: LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO LP550-2
Engine: 5,204cc V10
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 550@8,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 397@6,500rpm
MPG: 16 (NEDC combined)
First registered: 2011
Recorded mileage: 17,000
Price new: £141,067 (plus options)
Yours for: £139,995