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Poll results: Which best describes your experience driving a stick shift car?

Voters
36. You may not vote on this poll
  • I currently drive/own a stick shift

    12 33.33%
  • might take a minute to get used to a new clutch but I can easily do so

    11 30.56%
  • been a looong time since I drove a stick - rusty enough to maybe pop a clutch

    4 11.11%
  • um, I drove a stick shift during drivers ed but not since

    1 2.78%
  • I can count the # of times driving a stick on my fingers

    2 5.56%
  • yes, but the one time I did gave me whiplash. Never again!

    1 2.78%
  • The prospect of driving a stick shift frankly intimidates me

    3 8.33%
  • No. Just no.

    2 5.56%
  • Other (describe below)

    3 8.33%
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Thread: Driving a stick

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Driving a stick

    dvdneal brought to mind something recently - folks don't drive stick shifts anymore. Heck, they pretty much don't even make 'em anymore. I doubt they even deal with teaching it in drivers ed these days.

    I learned to drive a stick with my father's Volvo and had many a "bucking bronco" experience in the school parking lot popping clutches. They also had stick shift vehicles when I took drivers ed - (AMC/Renault Le Cars!) . Nobody liked driving those (I can only surmise the young lady depicted in the ad is trying to dive out of the vehicle head first).

    For me, the "fun" in driving a stick shift pretty much vanished years ago. It was fun for a time when I had a stick shift Jeep CJ-5 and Mazda RX-7 but after the first few thousand miles the charms of double clutching into high speed turns or downshifting while descending steeper grades wore off and quickly became replaced by the ho-hum factor. These days I would frankly rather drive an automatic than a stick.

    When was the last time you drove a stick shift car? (wait for the poll)

    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
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    My two cars are stick. I am currently teaching my fiance how to drive stick since I think it is a useful skill to know (especially since I will always have at least one car that is stick).
    And that concludes staff’s presentation...

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    My old Jeep Wrangler was a 5 speed. I miss it. I got rid of it maybe....6 years ago? Next vehicle will hopefully be another stick shift.

    Somewhere I read that the single best auto theft deterrent in the United States is simply a manual transmission.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
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    When I was thrust into the car market to replace my Hyundai Elantra (which the wife donated to my grad-student son when his car died) earlier this year, I purposely sought out a stick shift car. I ended up with a Fiat 500


    Fiat 500 by doohickie@ymail.com, on Flickr

    The non-turbo version is a bit underpowered with 101 hp, but with a stick it's still fun to drive and gets good mileage (35-40 even if I drive it hard).

    The reason I wanted a stick is I believe in that beginning in the next 5 or 10 years, the vast majority of new cars will be: Electric, and therefore transmission in the usual sense, hybrid, with strict electronic controls on the fossil-fueled engine, or fulltime dino-burners that will have tightly controlled automatic transmissions to control mileage and emissions. Manual transmissions will be a thing of the past, or available only on high-end performance cars. The concept of an econobox with a MT will be extinct.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Had a

    Ford Bronco 2 that was manual and manual 4 wheel drive - 2 steps - had to lock the hubs and shift the seperate 4 wheel drive transmission.

    Saturn SL that was a 5 speed.
    Oddball
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I learned how to drive using a stick in the Yooper woods and my first car was a stick. While I have only owned automatics since then, I still feel very comfortable driving a stick and find that I usually get use to the clutch as soon as I start moving forward.

    Now, I will drive a clutch a few times a year.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  7. #7
    My regular ride is a 2000 Toyota Tacoma SR-V, with 5 speed manual transmission. To me, putting a vehicle in "D" and nothing else is the ultimate in boring. Please give me double-clutching and downshifting to truly feel engaged.

    I've driven everything from a three-on-the-tree to a 13-speed Fuller RoadRanger. I love manuals
    Je suis Charlie

  8. #8
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ha!

    Just like riding a bike.....not a problem......unless I'm trying to parallel park on a 15 degree slope in San Francisco......then.....we have a problem
    Last edited by The One; 11 Aug 2014 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Dan tortured me until I made this change!
    Skilled Adoxographer
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Most cars I've owned have had stick shifts. My current car does not and after more than eight months I still am not used to not driving with a stick. Mostly it comes to reminding myself to put the car in "park" when I come to a parking stop, whereas when I drove a stick, I would have put the car in "neutral" and applied the brakes. So far I haven't driven the car onto the sidewalk and into the building while giving my wife a kiss when I drop her off at work.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  10. #10
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    When my ex and I first married we had an old Honda Civic hatchback that was a 4 speed manual. He taught me how to drive a stick and I learned because otherwise I'd have to rely on him or the bus to get around. I've also driven a "three on the tree" a couple of times RT has no idea how to drive a stick.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    First vehicle I owned was a stick shift Cherokee. I've also owned a stick shift S-10. I do ok with them but prefer automatics.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    I've owned many cars that were manual tranny. I actually prefer it as a racing purist. My wife had a stick when I first met her. I like a woman who knows how to handle a stick so that was a bit of a turn-on for me.

    I actually learned how to drive stick on a 140 ton crane in the Army. It had 15 forward speeds with a high/low range selector on the handle. Pretty much anything is easy to shift in comparison to that beast!
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  13. #13
    (for now) Frozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    My first car was an auto, which I owned for 5 years. Once that died, I bought a 1992 Subaru Loyale 4WD wagon with a 4-spd manual. That car was great for me. Although, it was underpowered for highway speeds or quick acceleration, it had great low end torque and was great at climbing and off-roading. Plus, the shifter was like a truck shifter since there was no center console and you had to engage the 4WD with a button on the top of the shifter.

    The next was a 5-spd 1999 Ford Escort wagon that was underpowered and mushy suspension, but was a great utility player for me. After the Escort, I haven't had any manuals because my wife is not experienced with a manual (though not for my lack of trying to teach her) and it's just easier to have two cars available for use in the household.

    But when my wife, her brother and I did a long trip throughout southern Spain in 2005, I was the driver the entire trip, because all rentals in Spain (I presume) are manuals.

    As for nice manuals, I took a short drive a week ago in my Dad's 2007 Audi S4. That is a very nice manual. He promised a longer drive next time we visit him or he visits us.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    There's my 315 hp Mustang. Okay so it's actually someone else who was stupid enough to jump the car, but with that kind of power and 3.73 gears it makes the stick a lot more fun than other cars.
    I did get a little tired of my stick in the '79 cj-7 I had. 3 on the floor is a pain when you stall going up a hill.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Vancity's avatar
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    Learned to drive stick in a 1994 BMW M3, a 1997 M3 and an E21 BMW (1982)... I did all the real driving in the E21 since it was a for fun project of some of my friends and it didn't really matter what I did to it.. Whereas the other two I had to be more careful in.

    I'm a pretty terrible driver all-round due to lack of practice (I have my license but probably shouldn't be on the road, I haven't driven regularly in the last 5 years) so.. Yeah... I know how to make a standard car go, but I have zero driving skills to start with, thus I wouldn't get into one anyway.

    If I ever buy a car (hope not!) in the future I may consider manual, so that I can say I know how to do it, even though it's going obsolete.

  16. #16
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I grew up driving GM/Pontiac/Buick's that were all automatics - learned to drive a stick from my husband in 1987 on our 86 Subaru hatchback - great car

    now I won't buy a car that isn't standard - it's great in the winter or hard rain to be able to control the car better

    our '13 VW Jetta and the 07 Subaru outback are both standard

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Have had a stick more often than not. Over my life, 6 cars have had a stick and only 2 have been automatic.
    I love running the gears. My Cooper S has 6 on the floor.

    When my dad was teaching me to drive a stick, he came out of the house one day with a neck brace on and said "Okay let's go, I'm ready."
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Learned to drive with a stick, my first three cars had manual transmissions, but the last two have been automatics. I haven't driven a stick-shift vehicle since February 2010, and that only lasted about half of a day because my colleague who was with me at the time couldn't handle driving it...[insert joke about women drivers here].
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  19. #19
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    My father was pretty strict -- I wasn't even allowed to drive an automatic until I got my license on a stick. His argument was something about me being with someone who broke his leg and not being able to drive him to the hospital.

    20 years later (ugh, that makes me feel old), I MUCH prefer a standard transmission. I just bought one last week in fact. And out of the (let me count...) 13 vehicles* I've owned, I've only purchased one that was an automatic.

    *did I mention that I like cars??
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  20. #20
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bubba View post
    ...I haven't driven a stick-shift vehicle since February 2010, and that only lasted about half of a day because my colleague who was with me at the time couldn't handle driving it...[insert joke about women drivers here].
    Funny story -- I was overseas with a friend of mine and he was given the opportunity to take a stab at other-side-of-the-road driving. He didn't know how to drive a standard... so I got to do it! Super fun!
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  21. #21
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I learned on a stick shift... a 1957 MGA to be exact. The gates were narrow and unforgiving, so I learned the importance of precise shifting & double-clutching.

    My wife has a standing veto on vehicle purchases that will be daily drivers... they shall be automatic. I make sure my primary at least as a manual mode so that I don't always have to let the car make decisions for me. My motorcycle is obviously manual, and I have a blessing from her that if I ever want a classic/collector car that it can be manual.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  22. #22
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    I actually learned on a Firebird. My dad insisted. He said if I can drive a stick I can drive anything. One of the few things my dad did right. The weirdest one for me was driving a Fiat van with 5 in the tree. It was always stubborn and never wanted to go into 2nd. I was always afraid I might break the shifter.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dvdneal View post
    I was always afraid I might break the shifter.
    I DID break the shifter once, on a U-HAUL truck. They were not very happy with me. The shift pattern was messed up; I think the gates were bent or something. Anyway, the handle just came off in my hand. The weirdest thing.

  24. #24
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Doohickie View post
    I DID break the shifter once, on a U-HAUL truck. They were not very happy with me. The shift pattern was messed up; I think the gates were bent or something. Anyway, the handle just came off in my hand. The weirdest thing.
    I think all of the U-Haul trucks are automatic now. When I worked there many moons ago they were transitioning away from manual trucks. Only the biggest trucks (24' and 26') were manual. If they needed to retrieve and repositions equipments, the most surefire way to be chosen is if you could drive one of those bad boys.

    Funny story about my mom: when we were moving from Arizona to Oregon when I was 11 the moving trucks were all manual transmissions. She'd never driven one in her life and didn't give any thought that the truck would be a manual until the day she picked up the truck. A family friend had gone with her to pick it up and had to drive it back to our house. She then got on the phone to my father (they were divorced) who lived in Oregon to ask him to fly down and drive it up to Oregon. Amazingly he did. I felt bad he had to do all of the driving with our car in tow.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    Have both and depending on how lazy I feel depends on which one I drive or unless Mrs Katt tells me I cant drive her automatic

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