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Folks Of Interest Did you learn to drive a stick or a automatic?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,256


    Ford 8N
    Farmall H
    Best friend got a '61 Corvair at 15, I was 14. His dad let us fix it up, (real beater). I could get it into 3rd gear in their driveway, and it wasn't very long.:eek: :D
  2. Mel
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 544


    For the under 40 crowd, it depends on what your folks drive. Mine like classics but don't own any. So I learned to drive in my moms late model automatic Buick.

    I learned to drive stick in college when Bugman took me out in his '55 Plymouth and parked the side of the road on a hill. He got out and said I had to drive home or we'd just sit. All I can say is you never forget when you learn that way

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  3. deuceman32
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 333


    '50 Ford half ton panel, v8 three on the floor.
    RODIST and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  4. Mac3455
    Joined: May 13, 2007
    Posts: 30


    My Grandfather's 56 Willy's Jeep three on the floor. Loved that Jeep grandad never drove it over 45!

    Sent from my XT1585 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  5. Ya, my dad was the pastor of our church growing up and we lived in the pastorium behind the church. My older sister learned to drive in the same truck and hit the only tree in the whole Yard head on......good times

    Sent from my SM-G920V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Mel and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  6. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    Ford really screwed up on those Econolines. Everyone that had them used them for hauling something. The small 6 cylinder, high gears, tiny clutch and 3 speed meant the driver had to slip the clutch to get it to move. I worked at a service station that did service for the local phone company. They had several of those vans and we were changing clutches in them all the time. A friend of mine bought one that the owner was a machinist and had built a setup using 2 transmissions to create deeper gearing.

    I learned to drive on my grandparents farm driving tractors, pickup trucks and grain trucks. My grandfather bought a 1950 Chevy at an auction in the early 60s for $25 to use to get the cows from the pasture to the barn in the mornings so he wouldn't have to get wet if it was raining and wouldn't have to use the "good car". They often had sacks of feed on the pickup so they didn't take that out of the garage when it rained. We could drive to most places on the farm without going on the roads but there were never any police in the country anyway. Drove it without brakes for a while when a brake line rusted out. It's a good experience to drive something with no or poor brakes so you don't depend on them.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  7. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,237


    An early 55 Chevy pickup, four speed, I rolled it when I was 15 taking gas to my dad where he was working in the neighbors field combining oats. If I wouldn't have been an only child, dad would have (should have?) killed me. I had better parents than I deserved.

    I have a foggy memory that I may have driven the 49 Chevy pickup with three on the tree but I would have been 11 then, not sure if I can trust my memory.
    Montana1 likes this.
  8. Actually both. Seems like aside from the FFA tractor, and the *Chrysler that we used to borrow when I was in Junior High. There was at least two of each that I practiced in.

    * The Chrysler had that goofy transmission clutch setup that was a cross between an automatic and a stick.
  9. CamSweet
    Joined: Sep 11, 2009
    Posts: 24


    We drove anything we could get the keys to. I took my license in a 63 valiant 6cyl auto, but my first car was a '53 Chev 2dr Belair. My second, which I still own is a 64 El Camino, small block 4 speed.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Montana1 likes this.
  10. J Twitero
    Joined: Apr 15, 2011
    Posts: 105

    J Twitero
    from Minnesota

    As some have said, my earliest driving was old Farmalls and John Deeres. First car I remember driving was my dad's '77 or '78 caprice classic with an automatic up the driveway when I was about 12 or so. A year or two later I drove my uncle's '69 GMC 3/4 ton pickup with a 4 speed out in the hay field to spread some leftover fertilizer. As I recall he didn't have the most pleasant ride in the box trying to use a scoop shovel to spread it as I was trying to keep the throttle steady bouncing over the gopher mounds. My "first car" was a '66 IH pickup with a 4 speed, drove it everywhere until I bounced it off a ditch. Next was a '67 IH short box with a 3 speed on the floor, still have that one. I still prefer banging gears when I can, even though my daily has a slushbox.
    Montana1 likes this.
  11. Leevon
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 400

    from Nixa, MO

    Stick! Wasn't allowed to drive an automatic until I mastered the whole driving thing. I'm a little younger than some of ya'll so there were no "fun" cars involved...Dodge Rampage (think Subaru Brat), Chevette, 1980 Silverado three-on-the tree and 1992 Silverado 5-speed.
  12. After reading all these cool experiences of learning to drive on the farm as young kids, I look around and see a lot of the millennials of today don't even want to get their license.
    I wonder if they even know the difference between a stick and an automatic.

    What has happened to just being a kid? :eek:
    You and I have grown up and lived in the best of times!!! ;)
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  13. geoford41
    Joined: Jul 26, 2011
    Posts: 576

    from Delaware

    Learned on my 1930 Model A coupe, stock engine & trans, in an out of the driveway and up and down the street when my Mon wasnt looking ! got my License on my Dad's 1959 Ford 4 door 292 stick, Practiced burn outs on an old Mans 1948 Buick 4 door straight 8 with a stick ! I still remember that unique1st gear noise that straight 8 made!
  14. 6 years old on a Simplicity rear-engine lawn mower. 2 speed with a clutch/brake (push down harder for the brake). Yup, I shifted that thing all the time.

    Then I moved up, to a FarmAll Cub. Three speeds, on the left...and I got good at double clutching, shifting, and manipulating the hand-throttle.

    First car- Crosley. No automatics, no syncros. Basic car.
    Next, '65 Mustang 'vert. Beater with 289/3 speed. Old man was an old trucker, thought use of a clutch led to wear. So taught me to shift w/o dipping the clutch. Still don't use a clutch, much, even on motorcycles.
    Most gears ever changed was an IH S1900 with a RoadRanger 10 speed. Drove that near 100K miles. Never double-clutched that one. It's how I was taught.
    There have been a lot inbetween, a lot of gears, though I've never driven (seen) an eight speed 'box. Multi-speed axles, dual transmissions, but never an 8 speed box.

    My usual claim, is: if it's got wheels, I can drive it...

    Montana1 likes this.
  15. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,447

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    My dads 1949 Chevy 3100. Three on the tree "smoke screener" work horse. Mostly on the farm.
  16. RaginPin3Appl3
    Joined: Mar 31, 2016
    Posts: 1,172


    Man you guys all had way better experiences than me. First car i drove was an auto 2011 Toyota. I learned stick in my moms 09 mazda 3.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  17. Funny that you should bring that up. My racing buddy is an '80s kid and he never really wanted to drive. he got his license so that he could street race, and never told anyone but his folks that he had a license until he got married at 18. LOL

    My learning to drive was actually a mix of farm and city. When I was in the 7th grade we lived on a street in San Francisco that was so steep that it said hill at the top. The Old Italian guy that lived across the street used to leave the keys in his old Chrysler ( I want to say it was a '49), we used to borrow it at night and go careening around the neighborhood. Coast it down the hill then light it off. Always put gas in it and brought it back to the top of the hill and coasted it down to his house and parked it. I guess that was probably against some sort of a law. :D

    I had been spending summers in the country and doing farm labor so I had a mix of farm equipment and cars.
    fourspeedwagon and Montana1 like this.
  18. HarryT
    Joined: Nov 7, 2006
    Posts: 582


    Stick-- I was 12 years old. Car was a '41 Chev sedan. It had three on the tree and was brush painted John Deere green with yellow wheels. Very cool!
  19. Toymont
    Joined: Jan 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,375

    from Montana

    Stick on my dad's tractor, then in his 58 Dodge truck, but not really good till I bought my 65 Satellite about 30 miles from home and had to drive it back after I bought it.
  20. MikeRose
    Joined: Oct 7, 2004
    Posts: 1,574

    from Yuma, AZ

    Both at the same time. My parents had a ford explorer automatic when I was first learning, but my dad bought me a 59 chevy biscayne at that time, with a 3 on the tree so I learned on that too.
  21. Shamus
    Joined: Jul 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,197

    from NC

    My cousin Jack's '29 Model A coupe in the alleyways around Boston University. Took my driver's test in the family '52 Mainline 8BA w/3 speed.
  22. modeleh
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 380


    Dad taught me in Grandpas roadster in 1990, the summer before I turned 16. He took me to the empty parking lot of BCIT in Burnaby on a Sunday afternoon and I practiced double clutching up and down shifts. On my 40th birthday he signed the car over to me and now I look after it. The license plate number was issued in 1966 when the restoration was completed and the car has about 3300 miles on it over the past 50 years.
  23. Pop had this '58 Ford 3/4 ton on the farm that was fun to drive. 6-cyl three on the tree, hydraulic clutch. Clutch always leaked down, so we had to stab the clutch and jam it in gear and off it went. :eek:

    One day we were burning brush out in the back forty and it got away from us. I was about 12 years old and only weighed about 75 lbs. I jumped in that old truck and high-tailed it to the house to call the fire department!

    I was so small I couldn't see over the steering wheel, so I looked through it and hung on for dear life, trying to bang the gears. I was so shaken, by the time I got to the house (1/4 mile away) it had burned about 15 acres of hay! :eek::D

    Just thankful somebody had seen the fire and called it in before I got home. By the time I got back out there, the fire dept. was already there! :)
    porknbeaner likes this.
  24. Stick. Friends 51 Chevy. 3 on the tree.
  25. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 472


    Our 65 chevy pickup was backed up to the fence we just got done building. I asked dad if i could move the truck this time. I quickly jumped in, clutched it and started it up. I asked where is first gear, dad said, "if your old enough to drive you should know". So I shoved it in reverse and backed right into the new fence!
    I didnt get to try again until after my sister burnt out the clutch while we were picking up hay. The fence damage remained until we got rid of livestock decades later.
    Montana1 and porknbeaner like this.
  26. 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster
    fourspeedwagon likes this.
  27. Not too many automatics back then. I learned on a stick 1949 Plymouth. Got in it at the age of Ten and drove it like I had been for years. I had my own key made and was thirteen, when my parents would go out in their new 60 Chevy (also stick) I would take the Plymouth and drive around the block. Dumb kid that I was!
    My Mom and the 49. 49 Ply..jpg
    Montana1 likes this.
  28. I learned stick shift on my Dads 48 Dodge one ton four speed which he used around his small wrecking yard. The first car I drove on the street was Dads 53 Cadillac 4dr. with automatic. I was suppose to take it to get my license and it was the last day that you could get a license without drivers ed (which I did not have). I was having trouble getting it started. I had the air cleaner off and it backfired through the carb. and caught fire. My next door neighbor who was working in her flowers came running and dumped shovel full of dirt down the carb. Ended up borrowing a 60 Ford 3 speed which I had never driven and took my test. Failed the test for incorrect position of hands on wheel, went back latter and passed. Not my best day. My daily driver in high school was a 40 Ford 2dr. with 39 trans and 265 Chev.
    Montana1 likes this.
  29. Gray Ford
    Joined: Oct 18, 2008
    Posts: 491

    Gray Ford
    from Illinois

    1956 Ford 1 ton Tow truck ...312 with tri-power & a truck 4- speed .....(Don't ask..:)..) At age 14... Went on from there to a Mack "Quadra-Plex" later in life ..( 5X4.. 2 sticks :-0 )
    Montana1 likes this.
  30. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,520

    J. A. Miller
    from Central NY

    Lots of tractors when I was a kid in the 50s. I don't think I owned something with an automatic until the late 80s.
    lothiandon1940 and BradinNC like this.

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