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Manual transmission
Old 10-10-2020, 11:38 AM
  #1

The thread about which cars you've owned got me thinking.
Can you drive a stick shift? How did you learn?

I couldn't get the hang of shifting when I was learning to drive. My dad had me follow him to the high school parking lot on a Saturday in his car - an automatic - and left me in the parking lot with my mom's car - and that horrible stick shift. He said "Drive home." I don't remember how long I was in that parking lot, but eventually got home.

I've had several cars since then with stick shifts. But I don't think it's a skill that most people have an opportunity to learn anymore. I know DS - 20 - has never had a chance to drive anything but automatic transmissions.


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Old 10-10-2020, 11:47 AM
  #2

I taught myself how to drive a stick shift manual transmission with my first car, a yellow VW bug. I went out on my own and practiced until I was proficient. A month later I drove 300 miles from home to go to college. This trip took me on unfamiliar roads and freeways. My parents must have been a nervous wreck!

All my cars since then have been manual transmissions except for my current car, a Toyota RAV4. I had double knee replacements and driving a manual transmission car became too difficult for me. So now I drive an automatic. I miss my stick shift!
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Old 10-10-2020, 11:53 AM
  #3

I can drive a stick.

I learned in a field in an old Chevy truck, along with half of the neighborhood kids!
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Old 10-10-2020, 11:53 AM
  #4

Yes, I learned on a stick (68 Pontiac Le Mans) and DH always had a manual transmission in *his* car which I also drove.

A few years ago our grandson’s car was in the shop and we offered him gpa’s car to borrow. He hadn’t been interested in learning to drive a stick until that point but when the other choice is no car, he learned.
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I knew once.
Old 10-10-2020, 11:54 AM
  #5

I figure with some practice I could do it again. I love the idea of a manual tranny. It just seems more exciting. More youthful... maybe... All the best muscle cars have manual transmissions.

I have never owned one myself though. When I was younger, I lived in hilly, curvy, rough country and it wasn't practical. Later, had kids and it wasn't practical.

I have driven a "automatic manual" where the clutch was automatic but the Stick was really used to shift. That was sweet!

Learning, back in the day, was a non-issue. We were farm kids--we had tractors, motorbikes, and the like that had manual gears.


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Old 10-10-2020, 11:55 AM
  #6

My first car, a Chevette, was stick shift. I bought it from the previous owner.
I was working for Easter Seals and did home visits in 3 different counties. So much driving. One thing with a stick shift if you break down you can pop the clutch with someone giving you a push and there you go.
I loved my Chevette. It was sky blue.

Dorothy

P.S.
My kids learned on one of our numerous used cars. I think once you learn it stays with you.
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Old 10-10-2020, 12:03 PM
  #7

I learned to drive on a stick shift at age 13 at my grandparents country home (dirt roads) in Arkansas.



I taught my DH how to drive a stick when he was 18 or 19. He was a quick learner. It definitely took me longer.
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shift
Old 10-10-2020, 12:07 PM
  #8

Attempted to drive a stick shift when DH was in tech school at Chanute AFB. The gate guards would see me coming and wave me through. If they stopped me, I'd stall and hold up traffic on a very busy road/highway. All automatics since then except his trucks.
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Stick shift
Old 10-10-2020, 12:10 PM
  #9

Well I used to. We had a pickup with a 3 speed shifter on the column and a car with 5 speed shifter on the floor. It’s been a long time so I’m sure I’d need a little practice before driving one again. My DD’s have never driven a stick.
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Old 10-10-2020, 12:15 PM
  #10

Yep. A high school boyfriend taught me to drive stick.

I think there has only been one time in my married life when we didn't own at least one stick shift, including now.

When our younger son learned to drive about 25 years ago, my husband insisted that he learn to drive stick before he could get his license. DS objected, not wanting any friends to see the process. DH found an empty parking lot and they practiced. Now DS has bought several standards for himself, although his wife is very reluctant to learn stick.


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Old 10-10-2020, 12:18 PM
  #11

My first two cars were stick shift. My older brother taught me to drive the car he sold me (my first car). The very next day, I drove it to the camp where I was working in another state (about 3 hours away). I had to go through no fewer than 5 tolls (back then you had to stop and pay at each one- automatic tolls) and my mom was so worried about my ability to get the car moving again after the stop. I did have a little trouble

I forgot to call her when I got there (before cell phones, of course), so during the evening "getting to know one another" activity, the leader came in and interrupted to tell me my mom(my) was on the phone and wanted to know if I made it ok

I haven't driven a stick in many years. When we moved to a very hilly, snowy place I changed to an automatic. Tired of rolling backwards I think I could still do it, though. I miss it I really liked having a stick shift.
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Old 10-10-2020, 12:27 PM
  #12

Yes, my dad taught me. For me, the hard part was rolling back on hills—once I got that, it was a snap. I drove VW’s from the time I was 16 until our son was about 2, so at least 12 years. I also learned how to ride a motorcycle by myself. I’m guessing shifting is a remembered skill because my left foot is itching to have a go.
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Old 10-10-2020, 12:35 PM
  #13

Yes! My current cars are both proper six speeds and I prefer them to an automatic. I have not driven any of the ones without a clutch or anything with paddle shifters.

My first was a new car that was cheaper if I got a manual transmission. My other car was totaled, not my fault someone ran a stop sign, and I needed a car ASAP. So I bought it without knowing how to drive it. My bff test drove it for me and taught me how to drive along with another friend. I had no choice at that point but to figure it out.
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Old 10-10-2020, 12:38 PM
  #14

I learned to drive on an old Willys Jeep. My grandpa took me to the cemetery to practice. I drove manuals for many years because I enjoy feeling like I am actually driving and because my siblings and my mom could not, and therefore could never borrow my car.

I tried to teach my dd to shift when she started driving but she couldn't get the coordination - which surprised us both because she is a drummer.

I recently purchased a new car after 16 years with my last one. Bought an automatic since that was what was in stock.
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I have a stick shift...
Old 10-10-2020, 12:44 PM
  #15

I have a stick shift on one of my cars now (the one I've had for 25 years), and learned to drive on a stick.

The best thing about a stick nowadays? Makes the car "thief proof." Most car thieves are young, and very few young folk can drive a stick.
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Manual transmission
Old 10-10-2020, 12:47 PM
  #16

Dad took me to the HS/MS parking lot in a 1975 Honda Civic and I spent a lot of time jumping and stalling. Both Mom and Dad could drive stick shift.

I improved enough to leave the parking lot. We frequently used a route that had a stop sign at the top of an incline. I was driving and stopped there. I tried repeatedly to get going and kept stalling. More cars were collecting behind us. Mom had me put it in neutral and pull the emergency brake and we both got out of the car and ran around, trading places. A man from one of the cars called out, "She's got to learn how to do it sometime!" I was so embarrassed. Mom figured out that rather than 1st gear, I had it in 3rd gear and she said she didn't think she'd be able to get it going from 3rd gear either. I did finally master that intersection.

My first used and then new cars were both stick shift. In 1992 I was having horrible sciatica down my left leg from a pinched nerve which made pressing the clutch just excruciating. All cars since then have been automatic.
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Old 10-10-2020, 01:03 PM
  #17

I've never learned; never really needed or wanted to. I don't really like driving to begin with, so I'd certainly never get a car where driving it is more complicated!
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Old 10-10-2020, 01:04 PM
  #18

My mom made me learn stick shift and I'm glad she did. I've only ever owned manuals. It's kind of a deal breaker for me.

I've owned Hondas, a Saturn, Minis, and several VWs.

I taught my son, and my BFF how to drive stick.

It's funny some of you mentioned driving in snow was easier with an automatic; I think it's the opposite. I'm glad to have a stick in the winter.
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Old 10-10-2020, 01:09 PM
  #19

Yes, I learned when I was a teenager. And I have driven many manual transmission cars over the years, including one I still own now.
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Old 10-10-2020, 01:24 PM
  #20

I learned how to drive a stick shift on the floor when my sister had two vehicles— a Chevy Malibu convertible and a “hippie” van. She preferred driving the van ( it was the 70’s so you can probably figure out why she liked that ) and told me if I learned how to drive the stick shift I could use her convertible any time I wanted. Talk about motivation for a HS junior . My friends and I had a lot of great times in that convertible.

I learned how to drive a manual on the column when I had a college job on the maintenance crew at the university. I had to drive around in the Kubota a lot. Another fun job!


I always felt like I had more control when I could shift.

Last edited by Cat woman; 10-10-2020 at 03:28 PM..
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Old 10-10-2020, 01:29 PM
  #21

Every car we have owned until these last two bought in 2018 ( both 2016's) were manuals . I have a problem remembering to put it in park before trying to turn it off, haha!
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Old 10-10-2020, 02:28 PM
  #22

No, i can't. My mom and dad only drove manual transmission vehicles and tried to teach me to drive one, but I just never could get it. They finally gave up and got me an automatic!
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Manual transmission
Old 10-10-2020, 03:05 PM
  #23

I learned to drive in a 1963 Dodge Utiline full size pickup truck with three speed on the column and NO power anything. That was our family "car" at the time. It was tough with my mom yelling at me that I was wrecking the clutch every time we went anywhere. However, thanks to mom, I got my driver's license the week after my sixteenth birthday with a driving score of 96.

I always bought stick shift cars until the year I turned fifty. That was also the year my mom needed knee surgery on her clutch leg. The doctor refused to do the surgery until she bought an automatic. She was 76 at the time, and had driven nothing but stick shift. I saw the writing on the wall and decided it was time for me, too, to get an automatic for my next car.
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stick shift
Old 10-10-2020, 03:31 PM
  #24

I learned to drive a stick shift in a red VW bug. Almost all my cars and DH's cars have been stick shift. Both my DDs learned to drive manual transmission, and it has worked out well for them when they travel through Europe. Renting an automatic transmission rental in Europe can cost a lot more.
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Once around a parking lot in AZ
Old 10-10-2020, 03:45 PM
  #25

We were driving a car to my big brother. I helped.

My current car is a manual. It was very hard to find, and I love it.
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Old 10-10-2020, 03:46 PM
  #26

My first car was a 1966 VW Beetle (the last of the 6 volt batteries) with a sun roof that my dad bought for $300. Dad took me to a residential street that was at about a 45 degree angle (At least it’s seemed that way to me!) and had me learn how to use the clutch effectively so I wouldn’t roll backward and/or stall.

I would drive that little car back and forth 7 hours one way to college. Of course the engine got hot and since it was air-cooled — on a long drive the minute you had to put in the clutch to down shift — it would stall! I remember the half way point was a Denny’s. I could coast in and eat and let it cool down!
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Stick shift
Old 10-10-2020, 04:51 PM
  #27

I learned to drive a stick shift in a 1967 Corvette - a family friend taught me.

That allowed me to drive the very best car - a 1951 Ford that had belonged to my maternal grandfather before he passed away. My siblings and I shared it. It was “3 on a Tree,” a column shift with 3 gears. Lordy, I loved that car!

I drove my husband’s Jeep back from the cabin yesterday. That thing had 6 gears!!
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I learned at 17
Old 10-10-2020, 04:56 PM
  #28

My boyfriend (now husband) bought a 1971 Opal GT. It had a stick shift. He taught me, I guess. Neither one of us remembers learning, but I think we both learned on that little car. I taught his sister how to drive her SAAB when she bought it, and I taught both of my boys when they turned 16.
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Old 10-10-2020, 05:14 PM
  #29

OMG, Linda! I had a 1970 Opel GT and it was my pride and joy! I loved that little car so much! It was also a stick (I'm not even sure they made an automatic).
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Old 10-10-2020, 05:35 PM
  #30

My very first car was a stick shift. I was so, so upset about that because it just seemed super hard. I learned to drive a manual, got my driver's license and then learned how to drive my car. My step-father was the most patient teacher ever too. I did have one incident after I started driving where I stalled on a speed bump behind a Walmart. It totally freaked me out because I had to wave other drivers around me so I could just calmly restart the car and get going. I came home and told my parents about it, and my step-dad said let's go practice. We had a fairly steep hill in our neighborhood and he had me stop on the hill, put the car into park, and then start up again. We did that several times so I would know what to do...lol.


I haven't driven a stick in 20 years. I would think I still could, but I would probably need to start in an empty parking lot to refresh my memory.
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I learned to drive stick
Old 10-10-2020, 06:10 PM
  #31

on a Peugeot 504 that my Dad bought when we lived overseas. When we came back, it was the car we were allowed to drive, if we could.

The first car my husband and I bought was a 1973 Honda Civic with a stick. When we went to upgrade, my husband said he wanted an automatic, and that's all we've had ever since. He hates the standard transmission in traffic.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:35 AM
  #32

I learned how to drive on a stick shift, and drove one until recently. I miss it, especially in the snow & rain. I taught both my kids how to drive a stick shift, both have owned driven stick shifts-and were glad they knew how!

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Old 10-11-2020, 07:39 AM
  #33

I had 2 Opals, growing up we had several. Great cars! My dad liked that he could fix most things at home.
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Stick
Old 10-11-2020, 10:42 AM
  #34

I prefer stick shift. I miss it. My first car was a stick shift and thats how my dad taught me to drive.
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