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Old 04-06-2011, 07:47 PM   #21
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Or feel free to share your first driving a clutch story. I learned the hard way, I purchased a car from a credit union for a great price. I got it and then sort of realized it was NOT an automatic. I had sort of driven a car with a clutch a couple times but wasn't too good at it. But I had to get that car home, and so I drove it, poorly at first but I got the hang of it pretty fast in rush hour traffic!
I think I would just let her live with an automatic until she wants to drive some boyfriend's car and then let him have the job of teaching her. Although I have rarely owned one, autos are often better in so many ways, and definitely safer for a beginning driver. Shifting, starting on steep hills, stalling in city traffic-just a few of the things she won't have to worry about- especially appreciated if she drives in the central part of Seattle which can be nerve-wracking on the hills.

I learned to drive a stick racing with my friends in wheat stubble when I was about 14. Really safe place to learn a lot of driving maneuvers- power slides, etc, though not the greatest for the cars.

I got pretty good at it. Later I had a Volvo with a hydraulic clutch that developed a master cylinder leak as I remember. I was working out in North Hollywood, and driving back and forth to Venice Beach every day with no clutch at all. Start on a hill, then feel and listen to the revs for the alignment of the gears for shifts and never stop. Same as getting shifts on an old 2 ton with no synchronizers, only there at least you can double clutch.

I finally got stopped for rolling through a R on red so decided I had better break down and fix it.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:12 PM   #22
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I learned to drive on my 1966 396 SS Chevelle 4 speed. I found that the best way to drive a stick was to keep my right foot planted and shift as fast as possible. I won most of my street races that way. Power shifting is fun!
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:38 PM   #23
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... there is enough going on without adding the clutch into the mix, but I think the time is right...I think.
For my son and me, and I am sure many people are the same way, the hard part of learning to drive was not at all the mechanics of steering, telling the car to go where you want it to go, and to stop. It took me no time at all to get that down. It was the same with my son, and teaching him to drive was no sweat. My daughter was a different story. I had to spend money to hire a professional trainer. I could have died of a heart attack if I continued to teach her.

However, I will say that it took me a bit of driving even after I got my license to really have the road experience, to be able to read the other drivers' intentions. That can only come with time. Most people I know got a fender bender within a few months of getting their license, although the accident was not always their fault. They simply did not know to drive defensively.

Hence, I do not think a new and inexperienced driver should be distracted by the clutch and the stick shift. Of course, YMMV.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:49 PM   #24
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When it came time to teach my children how to drive I did what any Mother would do . I paid for lessons . It was that or be on Valium .
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:07 PM   #25
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I think when you are learning to drive it should be an automatic because there is so much to get used to that the extra stress of trying to figure out how to drive a standard is way too much to expect from anyone especially a teenager.

I remember the 1st time I drove a standard. My friend wanted to sell his 1963 Chevy 3 speed on the floor. What a disaster! That car had a wicked stiff clutch (the only other thing I ever experienced like it was an International Loadstar 18' straight job and that had a clutch that'd make your left leg look like Popeye's arms!) and I just could not understand the combination of letting the clutch out and giving it gas so as to move the car vs bucking or stalling it. My parents refused to let me buy the car and I was pretty po'ed. A year later I bought a new Toyota 4 speed and learned pretty easily.

I've only had 3 cars that were automatics and I never enjoyed driving them. If you like to drive then you have a standard. Driving an automatic is like sitting on the couch watching TV.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:01 PM   #26
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Yeah, driving an automatic would be like kissing your sister.

I get a kick out of watching PINKS. These guys all use automatics because they have been proven to be faster in most cases while being used for Drag Racing. Funny thing is they all look like they are getting on the highway, looking at each other all the way down the track. When I used to Drag Race I only used a 4 speed and I watched my tach all the way down the 1/4 mile.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:37 PM   #27
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This video should help out with learning to drive a stick.


YouTube - scott boys 68 roadrunner 440+6 4 speed in car cam

This video may also help.

http://youtu.be/6D-AMVChm9w
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:04 PM   #28
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This video should help out with learning to drive a stick.

Yea that is all I need her to learn! Power shifting! I am just happy if she doesn't grind the gears! Fun videos though. I remember as a teen wanting this certain Mustang, I used to drive by the dealer all the time, and finally they let me take it for a test drive. Man that was a fun car to drive. I should have bought it, but alas it was beyond my budget then.

However....hmmm...that would be a fun car to have now that I think about it! Nothing stopping me from buying it now. Oh yea-the wife. But I know she likes muscle cars-oh honey...
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:40 AM   #29
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I've only had 3 cars that were automatics and I never enjoyed driving them. If you like to drive then you have a standard. Driving an automatic is like sitting on the couch watching TV.
Heh! I have not owned a stick shift since my Datsun 280Z.

Nowadays, what does this geezer care? Been there, done that!

Has anyone seen a motor home with stick shift?
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:43 AM   #30
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Yeah, I drove a (small) motor home with a steering column shift once in South Africa.
Great fun, even on gravel roads and in the Kalahari desert!
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:43 AM   #31
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One tip I read somewhere that really helped: during parking lot practice, have them get the car to move forward (in 1st gear) WITHOUT TOUCHING THE GAS (only touch the accelerator AFTER the car was moving smoothly and the clutch was fully released). I thought this would be impossible, but it actually really helped them get the feel of the clutch.

Good luck!!!!
I skimmed through these posts and stopped at this one....That's exactly how I taught myself to drive a stick 35 years ago and that's how I taught my son to drive one also. He had no idea that it was possible. Mind you the less hp the car has the longer it will take since there is less torque. You've be amazed at how easy it is on a 500 hp car to let the clutch out without pressing the accelerator. I found this method one of the best and the car never jerks, it either works or the car stalls. Once they have that mastered the accelerator to clutch ratio comes much easier since they're not as worried since they realise it can be done with pressing the gas pedal.

I agree.....good luck and it's actually quite easy once you get the hang of it.
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I get a kick out of watching PINKS. These guys all use automatics because they have been proven to be faster in most cases while being used for Drag Racing. Funny thing is they all look like they are getting on the highway, looking at each other all the way down the track. When I used to Drag Race I only used a 4 speed and I watched my tach all the way down the 1/4 mile.
Although et, reaction time etc is important I think they like autos due to the consistency which is really important in drag racing. Once you go over your dial in time..........you're outta here!!!.

Can't wait for summer.
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:05 PM   #32
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I used to be able to drive a stick shift in San Francisco (start going up on a hill with clutch and gas and hand brake); growing old sucks.
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:07 PM   #33
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Heh! I have not owned a stick shift since my Datsun 280Z.

Nowadays, what does this geezer care? Been there, done that!

Has anyone seen a motor home with stick shift?
Drove a stick shift from 1971 - 2007.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:04 PM   #34
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Well she did much better today so there is hope! Overall I would say she has it about 80% there. She still has trouble going up any sort of incline, you know when you start rolling slightly backwards? She panics and pops the clutch and stalls the car. I showed her how to use the emergency brake and that near the end seemed to help. On the level, or going downhill she is golden most of the time.

Not sure she will ever become great at it, but I think she could drive one of the cars with a clutch in an emergency. The two cars we own both have clutches and the truck is an automatic. I had been thinking of keeping the Miata and buying her a little Honda or something, but I don't really need four cars (but I do like the Miata quite a bit).

I had toyed with the idea of giving her the Miata but I have reservations about giving a kid a little sports car. Plus I am just not sure she will really master the clutch enough to not drive me crazy. I figured if I gave her the Miata I could still drive it on occasion! I mean it is a sweet little car, 1994 and it only has 39,000 miles on it. I doubt I can get her a car that nice without spending some big dollars.

I will let the wife take her out one more time and call it good. My intention was really just that she understood the mechanics of how to drive a clutch. I think she does have that now...sort of.'

Thanks again to all for your insights.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:34 PM   #35
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'have them get the car to move forward (in 1st gear) WITHOUT TOUCHING THE GAS '

I had an 1982 Ford f100, straight six, three speed on the column, power nothing - that's how I drove it every day. Gently let out the clutch and off I'd go, smooth as could be.

Trivia - on the 40's Fords you could move the 3 speed column shift over to the left side of the steering column.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:52 PM   #36
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I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know about driving a stick shift until I found myself in an airport in the south of France. It was a medium-sized town with a medium-sized airport and the airline had lost my luggage. Oh well, I went to get my rental car which turned out to be a Citroen.

Took off into this odd circular drive in front of the airport and realized I was driving the wrong way. There were these concrete poles there to keep traffic contained. It wasn't easy to turn around. I tried to veer, back up, and turn the car around, and realized I couldn't figure out how to put the car in reverse. I just sat there while airport traffic backed up. I'm sure they were all muttering (to put it mildly) about me in French.

Finally, this woman walked up and saw I was in trouble, and the ensuing conversation was pretty comical since I had no idea how to say in French that I couldn't go backwards, and she couldn't speak English. But she eventually figured it out and showed me that there was this little lip on the stick that you used to allow yourself to shift into reverse. Man, I was so happy to be on my way.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:36 PM   #37
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My Dad taught me to drive on our 1970 manual VW Beetle, and the driver's test included a little number called "stopping and starting on a steep upward slope". Took a little while to master, but by age 16.5 I had it figured out. Automatics are easy by comparison. I still enjoy "rally driving" a manual vehicle on twisty country roads. Keeping the engine humming smoothly and the fuel consumption to a minimum was a necessary art in Europe!
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:08 AM   #38
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Heh! I have not owned a stick shift since my Datsun 280Z.

Nowadays, what does this geezer care? Been there, done that!

Has anyone seen a motor home with stick shift?
Either I am misunderstanding you or you misunderstood me. My "if you enjoy driving" comment means the fun of driving - accelerating out of curves, down shifting into curves, running thru the gears and feeling the car perform, these are things that you can't get from driving an automatic. Driving a motorhome may mean you like to drive and see the country but it's like driving a bus and no one would say there is any thrill to that! Maybe I should have said the "thrill" of driving.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:30 AM   #39
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Ah, that joy of driving... It's something that I have lost over the years, due to 25 years of driving minivans to haul my kids. I don't think it will come back, but it does not matter anymore. And about the MH, man, driving the beast is a tiring chore, but how do I delegate that task? Sometimes, the MH driving may even cause some thrills, but it is of the wrong kind!
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:18 AM   #40
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Normally, I'm a relatively clam mother; however, when I tried to teach my teenage son to drive my stick I became the Incredible Hulk with a Joan Rivers screaming persona. I'm ashamed to say I wasn't very motherly, calm or rational when he was behind the wheel of our only transportation then. It's embarrassing to even think about how out-of-control/anxiety ridden and neurotic I became with him behind the wheel of my small new truck then, and I hope he has forgiven me by now.

I threw in the towel after about 3 lessons, took him to Sears Driving School where he got an A and he learned. And he's a great driver today....no thanks to me I guess.
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