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Old 03-22-2010, 10:51 PM   #21
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I learned to drive with a stick shift and my first car was "three on the tree". Same for DW.

But in city traffic an automatic was better. That way I didn't drop my coffee or cigarette.

Now with lock-up torque converters the mileage difference, if any, is negligible. The car and pickup are automatics.

My motorcycle has a hand clutch and a foot shifter. While they make 'em, I think a motorcycle with an automatic transmission is morally offensive. Or at least paint it pink.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:54 PM   #22
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I learned to drive stick in my Grandads old deuce and half flatbed truck when I was 12 or 13. Most of my cars and all of my trucks were stick shift, and almost all of the trucks that I drove during my working days were stick....including the old behemoth sewer sucker that had a 5 speed manual with a 4 speed auxiliary....it was a temperamental old piece of junk, but I knew if I got into a predicament, I could put it into stump-pulling gear and get out of the predicament! They traded that for a bright shiny new behemoth with a 6-speed automatic...to get it out of similar predicaments you just hit the speed-dial button on the cellphone to call for a wrecker!

I've taught a lot of folks to drive stick shift, from fresh out of drivers ed up to mid-50's with very few problems, and also gave CDL training to several folks the last few years that I worked....the book learning and the driving of the behemoth with the stick! No major casualties and everyone passed their tests and got their CDL's.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:55 PM   #23
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Cute guy classmate, huge knobby tires, big ol' meat-grinding gearbox, long stirring handle, manual operation... What can possibly go wrong?
Yeah, that was my other thought. If I teach her those skills, how much of a guy magnet do I want her to be?

138 more days. I just hope she's counting down the "lasts" without subjecting us to the angst & drama of counting down any "firsts"...

The guy may know how to shift a manual transmission, but he can't help with what a girl really wants: AP Physics homework. She got that assistance via a Facebook guy who's also been admitted to Rice. So perhaps this "problem" will work itself out without my assistance or supervision.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:56 PM   #24
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Real men are secure enough to have their gears shifted for them.....
Not always -- some clutch.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:00 PM   #25
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Grew up on stick shifts though I drive automatics now. Up until this year I drove in the UK and Europe a lot and always liked to hire a stick shift just to remind myself of how to do it.

Only have one car these days - a Prius, and DW now prefers automatics so I guess I won't drive many, or any, stick shifts ever again.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:03 PM   #26
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One of each, can't imagine a Miata with an automatic.

Hated the automatic/stick transmission on the rented Smart car, put me off the whole design.

My first car was a motorcycle.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:10 PM   #27
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I drive a Jetta stick, diesel.
I learned to drive on a tractor. If you can drive those buggers you can drive anything. By the time I was 14 I was careening down the country roads in an International pick up. I had to sit forward on the seat to shift. I still remember sliding back on the seat when stopped on a hill, desperately trying to keep my foot on the clutch.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:24 PM   #28
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I can drive anything. However, one hour in Houston rush-hour traffic is enough to convince anyone to drive an auto.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:25 PM   #29
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2 auto and 1 manual in the fleet here. Unfortunately, it's the f-150 with the manual. We've learned that the manual xmission has a significantly lower towing rating than the automatic. We're picking up a new camper next week and fortunately it's quite light and well within the reduced tow rating.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:33 PM   #30
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I had a 5-speed stick shift Mitsubishi back in the 1980's and loved driving with a stick!

At least I loved it until a medical problem impaired the use of my left arm for a few months so that I couldn't use it at all. It was difficult and a little scary to try to both steer, and shift at the same time, with only one usable arm. I found out that my legs aren't long enough to steer with my knees. At any rate, I wasn't any good at it and had to use my right arm. The steering wheel would just float free as I shifted. The experience was hair-raising both for me, and for anyone unfortunate enough to be my passenger at that time.

Every car since then has been an automatic.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:43 PM   #31
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I drove a manual transmission in the 70s and early 80s. But after many years I decided the automatic transmissions had gotten good enough, and never looked back. I got tired of the extra pedal and needing to use two hands so much.

My motorhome drives better in cruise control than with my foot on the accelerator under most circumstances. These modern transmissions are really smart!! We have an Allison transmission in our motorhome.

Don't miss the stick shift!

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Old 03-23-2010, 12:10 AM   #32
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I drove a 5-speed Toyota Tercel for many years but my current car is an automatic. I don't think I'll ever go back to a stick. I have a stiff big-toe joint on my left foot so any time I had to use the clutch a lot it was a bit painful.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:36 AM   #33
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Manual now. Started with auto. Owned lots of both.
1. Small cars with small engines do better with manual to use what power they have.
2. Auto's more comfortable in traffic.
3. Manual is more fun.
4. Bigger vehicles, I prefer auto.
5. Long tough hills....nothing worse than a small car with an automatic....shifts up, shifts down, shifts up, shifts down etc etc.
6. Old days, auto's got noticably worse gas mileage....difference between the two is almost gone now, and in a few cases the auto seems to be a hair better. Auto's also didn't seem to be anywhere near as dependable as they are now.

I don't know what the rules in the US are these days, but here in the UK if you take your test with an auto you are not allowed to drive a stick(or so my wife tells me).
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:49 AM   #34
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In 40 years of auto purchases, I have had only ONE car with an automatic transmission (my Prius which I just traded in for a stick shift car). In a conversation with the salesman, he noted that nowadays most buyers didn't even know how to drive one.

I taught both my kids to drive a stick, and both prefer it. Do you know how to drive a stick? Do you currently drive one?
My first car 57 Chevy was an automatic as was my 2nd. However, for the last 25 years I've being buying stick shifts, despite (or maybe because of) living on some of the steepest streets in Hawaii.

As long as they keep making them I'll keep buying them, sticks are the only thing that makes driving fun.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:45 AM   #35
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Learned to drive in a stick shift Datsun pickup when I was 12, out on the farm. Drove it and two stick shift Volkswagen vans until I was nearly 18. Those were my parent's cars. My own first car was an Olds 88, with a big V8 with an auto. I enjoyed that car, but preferred a stick. Got it for $300 bucks. Then I had a Pinto wagon with a stick, that even though gutless, was more fun in the hills than the Olds. I had a Honda Civic in the mid 90s that was a stick. Really loved that car, but DW would not drive it. Next car was auto, and have been ever since (unless you call the paddle shifters on the steering wheel of my Lexus "manual"). I keep telling myself that someday I'll have a toy for myself (like a Miata) for cutting up the hills, but it is not likely to happen.

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Old 03-23-2010, 05:35 AM   #36
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I learned to drive a stick shift in high school(Vega owned by a boyfriend). My husband and I had several cars over the years that were manual transmissions. We both tried to teach our son to drive one when he was 16 but he had no interest in persevering in this endeavor. I kept trying to impart my wisdom on the matter: When in doubt, push in the clutch. My current vehicles are both automatic transmission, and it is a good thing for this old lady as I have a little tendinitis in my right shoulder.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:07 AM   #37
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These days we have shifted to complete automatic transmission mode - cherishing those good old days!
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:21 AM   #38
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I have one of each. The Miata on mountain roads is almost mandatory to have a stick. The SUV is an automatic.
Same here. The stick is in my Mustang GT vert; the SUV is a Cadillac SRX.

The SRX has an "auto-stick" select gate, but I never use it....
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:34 AM   #39
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I have no clue how to drive a stick. My wife tried to teach me waaaay back when i was about 16.....i barely made it around the block and gave up.

How the hell was I supposed to smoke a cigarette, talk on my cellphone, chug a Mt Dew, conversate with passenger AND shift? Didnt seem possible LOL
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:40 AM   #40
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How the hell was I supposed to smoke a cigarette, talk on my cellphone, chug a Mt Dew, conversate with passenger AND shift?
You kids have a lot to learn...
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