Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Dreaded Stick Shift

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[Drawing from Wickipedia]

This story at FutureLawyer sbout eliminating car theft by having manual transmissions in all cars brought both a smile and a lot of memories. My father was a strong believer that you should learn how to drive a manual transmission and so my first driving lessons were in a 1952 Dodge pick-up truck with a long stick shift that rose from the floor. I felt like Tom Joad whenever I drove the monster but it was good training for later life when I owned a VW Beetle and a Nissan 300ZX with stick shifts.

Out of all of them, the VW was the easiest to drive although Bill Cosby. whose star has faded, once had a humorous routine about the challenges of driving a VW with a stick shift on the hills of San Francisco. That would be memorable.


Kurt Harden said...

My father required me and my brothers to drive a manual transmission car before moving on to the automatic transmission car. He would inevitably take us to a stop sign on an incline as the final test. I remember stalling the car multiple times before coordinating the clutch and gas quickly enough. Our learner car was 1972 Dodge Coronet station wagon - three on the the tree.

Michael Wade said...


My father had the same theory: Learn standard first. Of course, on my first driving lesson he also took me downtown for a memorable lesson in parallel parking.

I was much easier on my kids.