by Chris Paukert
Trivia Time: When was the last time a U.S. market Buick was available with a manual transmission? Honestly, we can't recall anything more recent than a buddy in high school having a hand-me-down mid-Eighties Somerset coupe with a stubby, workmanlike five-speed. Even back then its presence in our friend's hooptie was a genuine curiosity and a source of perpetual amusement.
Naturally, we posed this same question to a few Buick PR-types this morning at a first drive event upon learning from vehicle line executive Jim Federico that the reborn 2011 Regal will receive a six-speed manual transmission option (mated to a blown 2.0-liter four, no less). The answer? Shoulder shrugs and sheepish looks. Curiously, nobody even tried to answer our query with a red herring like the ill-fated Reatta coupe (it only came with a four-speed automatic).
So we now know when a Buick will next feature God's Own Gearbox (probably in the third quarter of 2010), but we still can't crack this historical chestnut – so we beseech thee, Autoblog Nation... what year was the last Buick built with a DIY transmission – and what car was it in? Hit us with your best shot in Comments.