clutch artist

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clutch artist (plural clutch artists)

  1. (idiomatic) A person who drives a motor vehicle, especially one equipped with a manual transmission, in a particularly skillful manner.[1]
    • 1969, Hot Rod, volume 22, page 103:
      [O]n the highway or merely playing around a good dirt track, the engine exhibits loads of good low rmp torque and flexibility from scratch, but sink those tires in sand and you've got to be a real clutch artist.
    • 2006 January 25, Douglas E. Emerson, “On a personal note”, in, retrieved 3 March 2015:
      If you can drive a manual transmission, you have to be a clutch artist to handle brake, accelerator and clutch on an uphill start.
    • 2013 May 5, EEMDRG, "Twin Turbos, Twice the Fun!," Drag Racer (retrieved 3 March 2015):
      Donnie’s used to finessing race cars, he was the clutch artist on Larry Miersch’s Huntington Beach, California-based A/Fuel dragster for five years.
  2. (idiomatic, sports) A player who performs especially well in crucial situations.


  1. ^ See "Clutch, in the" at The Word Detective (Oct. 7, 2008): At present, the only positive use of “clutch” I can find is the term “clutch artist,” a fairly rare term for a truck driver (referring to expertise with the “clutch” pedal).