My 1973 Volkswagon Beetle was a good little car. My father was less than thrilled with my choice--a car he was sure was designed by Hitler did not sit well with a World War II Vet. Still it was reliable and I had it for quite a long time and still remember it fondly.
It did have a standard transmission. I thought by that time that I was quite good at driving a standard and managing the changing of gears. Other people did not agree and, apparently, the car itself did not agree either. I did end up having to replace the transmission. Maybe even more than once. It took at least two more cars and who remembers how many transmissions before I finally realized I was meant to drive automatics and that's all there is to it.
A new feature for me on this particular vehicle was the lack of rear doors. Wrestling a toddler and an infant into the back seat along with all the attendant paraphenalia was quite the balancing act, especially on those early mornings when I had to get to work so I had all my work stuff as well. Packing the car was accomplished after wrangling kids and stuff down the stairs since we lived in a second story apartment. At least there was not the worry of an accidental door openning and a kid falling out--as actually happened to at least two different people that I knew.
Another new feature on this car--seat belts--only in the front though. I'm sorry to say they were not well used.
It was a small car, but it served our family of four quite well for a number of years. We got a car top carrier and bike racks for the back and used it for family vacations, moving into our first house, and handling all the "Mom's taxi" duties as the kids grew.
If I wanted to replicate the VW experience, I could buy one HERE.