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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. Lebowski
    Joined: Aug 21, 2011
    Posts: 1,569


    When I turned 16 in 1968 my mom drove a '65 Ford wagon and my dad drove a '66 VW convertible. I learned to drive in the wagon and took my driver's test in it and then one Saturday my dad took me to a big empty parking lot and taught me how to drive a stick in the bug. I was hooked after that and my first and second cars were both sticks and also 5 of my first 6. I've probably owned 15 or 20 cars over the years with 3, 4, 5 and 6 speed manual transmissions plus I drove big rigs for several years. I still enjoy driving them because my current '60 Edsel is a three on the tree.... :)
    KoolKat-57 likes this.
  2. When I was 12 and I was visiting my grand parents in Nebraska, my grandfather told me it was time I learned to drive, "your Dad was about this old when I taught him" he said. This was in 1991, in a very small town in the middle of corn fields for hundreds of miles. We went out and got into his 72 Gremlin, 6cyl and a 3 speed manual. He gave me some pointers and we went up and down the street a few times. Then he said, "Ok, no we need to go the market, turn left up here." I was 12 years old driving through town with my Grandpa. I thought it was great! I was his personal Chauffer for a week! I was talking to my Dad about Grandpa about a year ago, and reminded him about how Grandpa taught me to drive a clutch. Dad said "yeah but that was just in front of the house a little bit". I corrected him and told him how everywhere we went that week, I was driving us. He looked wide eyed at me and said "I didn't know he did that!!" My Dad never new about it! Grandpa never said a word to him about it. Sorry Grandpa, I didn't mean to dime you out!!
  3. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,480

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    Talking about stick or automatic; My mother never drove an automatic until 1966 when they traded the 55 Chevy in on a new Rambler Ambassador with an automatic. Every now and then mom would start from a standing stop and go for the clutch to change gears and slam on the brakes instead because it had a wide pedal.
    fourspeedwagon and Montana1 like this.
  4. LOL I rode jock shift bikes most of my life. I ride a foot shift now but I still reach under my leg when I panic. :D
    Joined: Jun 25, 2012
    Posts: 659
    from KS

    56 ford "3 on the tree"
  6. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,872

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    Mom had a 63 Fairlane wagon that she had trouble getting out of the garage without scraping the mirrors on the door frame, so I learned to back it out and pull it up to the front for her when I was 10.
    Car was a 221 v8/auto. Learned to drive standard on a Willy's pickup at 16, flathead six with a 3 speed
    on the floor.
  7. I learned on a chev 2 station wagon, 3 speed on the column and a six banger. The old man even made me learn to stop on a hill and set the E brake and learn how to let the clutch out with out stalling it. I didn't get my licence till I was 18 because I had very strick German parents and the only reason my dad tough me because he found out the restrant where I was working would throw out all the 5 gallons of Ice cream at the end of the month and he loved ice cream .I was riding a bike to work before that. At the end of the month I would come home with a wagon full of ice cream{we had a huge freezer in the cellar} LOL.. Bruce.
  8. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,031

    from Minnesota

    1964 Plymouth station wagon.
    Slant 6 3-speed.
  9. Mark Hysong
    Joined: Dec 4, 2016
    Posts: 28

    Mark Hysong

    My first car. A 1949 Ford flathead 3 spd. The sheriff told my Mom if he caught me driving it one more time he wouldn't let me get my license, I was 14. Sold it for 120.00 !!!
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  10. YJ4000
    Joined: Feb 5, 2009
    Posts: 286


    I'm a bit younger so I learned on my Mom's 81 Datsun 310. My neighbor gave me a '69 Nova 3 on the tree, Took my road test in my Dad's new '88 Ford Ranger 5 speed. Still have a stick and taught my son to drive stick, he taught his girlfriend how to by getting out of the car and walking home when she said she couldn't do it. She now has a 5 speed also.

    KoolKat-57 likes this.
  11. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,101

    from WV

    Stick, but that is pretty much the norm in Europe. In the UK if you pass your test in an automatic you are only licensed to drive an automatic. To be able to drive a stick you need to retake your test in one.

    Found this, dated 2016...

    "At last count, just 3.9 percent of cars sold in U.S. were built with manual transmissions, but in the rest of the world, manual transmissions are still overwhelmingly the top choice. In Europe and Japan, for example, more than 80 percent of cars sold have manual transmissions."

    Lots of stories back in Ireland when I was living there of tourists coming over and basically driving straight into a hedge/car/house/street lamp. They bluffed their way into a manual rental car and paid the price.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  12. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414


    Learned to drive a John Deere tractor when I was 10. Too small to throw hay bales ,so I pulled the hay wagon. Learned drive a car when my brother went in the army and left his 49 Chevy . I drove to the 8 th grade one time and the teacher freaked out, I got in big trouble over that. It was only a half mile and most of it was through the woods.
    Montana1 likes this.
  13. I learnt in an Austin A60 van which was my dear old Dads van and our only mode of transport, way back in 1966.
    It was a column four speed change and the front shocks were lever shocks that had pretty much worn out, so when you applied the brake the front of the van used to dip up and down so much you felt sea sick.

    Happy Days.

    He and I was a plumbers, and he learnt me to drive by letting me drive us to and from where ever we had our work. I started to drive June 26th and passed my driving test August 11th about six weeks in total.
    I would say however there was not the traffic on our roads like there is now.
    Not stopped driving since
  14. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,437

    David Gersic
    from DeKalb, IL

    Learned to drive in a 73 Buick LeSabre. Drove that car for about 10 years, to this day I can parallel park anything, anywhere.

    Taught myself stick in a clapped out mid 70s Ford pickup with 3 on the tree. Borrowed the truck from my boss on night to move some furniture in to my apartment. Knew the theory, grew up with my dad driving a VW Bug. Took a few minutes to figure out the shift pattern (backup lights came on, that must be reverse).

    Drove that truck for a couple of years making parts pickups for the bile shop I worked at in college. It had a wonky linkage that would jam between 2nd and 3rd, had to crawl under it and wiggle it back in to place at least once every time I drove it. Then switched to pizza delivery, with little Ford pickups with 5 speed sticks on the floor.

    My daily drivers after the Buick have been stick trucks. I like driving stick.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  15. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,913

    El Caballo

    The first car I ever drove was a 1974 Pinto wagon with an automatic, I was 13 and it was up in Maine on a country dirt road. I'd love to go back to those days, even with the Pinto. My son did better than I, he got to learn in a 5-speed Mustang GT, my daughter won't touch a manual; where did I go wrong? ;)
  16. 1962 Ford pickup, six cylinder, three on the tree. Learned to drive in the hayfield picking up bales!
    Montana1 likes this.
  17. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,099


    farm tractors first, at age eight. I was doing most of the farming with the big tractors by the time I was 10. Then a 1960 Chevy pickup with six and three on the tree at 12. I was driving the old 59 Biscayne frequently at 13.
  18. Has to be stick in the UK - nobody had autos in the 70's and 80's except maybe a few little old ladies in Austin 1100's
  19. Wife was the same way- always had a stick and when we test drove a new(er?) car once getting on the highway the salesman and I about went through the windshield when she stomped the "clutch" pedal to the floor.

    Also- I remember my aunt with a column shift ford that would jam up. I remember her in the middle of an intersection, in her Sunday dress, reaching under to unstick the linkage. Unc had to do some repairs after that day--

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  20. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,074


    I first learned on an auto. Both my first car, a lame 1986 Mustang LX convertible and the first car I ever really drove significantly, a 1957 Bel Air, were both autos. The Bel Air was a factory turboglide that didn't last long with 17 year old me at the helm, and was swapped for a much stronger TH350. My dad drove a '95 Civic that was a manual, and I could get by on that, but it was when I bought my '57 Ford (272/3 speed) that i had to really learn. Not long after the 272 blew up and I wound up getting the Civic after dad wrecked it, but I've been driving a manual as a daily ever since, the Civic for 5 years, a 98 Mustang GT for another 6, then my current daily which is an '08 Ford Escape, with a 2.3L I4 and a 5 speed. I prefer the longevity I seem to get out of stick transmissions, but there are some days in NJ traffic that I'd punch my mother for an automatic.
  21. CodeMonkey
    Joined: Sep 13, 2012
    Posts: 92

    from Moline IL

    I was 9 or 10 when I first learned on my uncle's "'60" John Deere - with a hand clutch. When I turned 12, I got to ride my cousin's Cushman scooter that had a two-speed manual transmission and foot clutch. As far as cars go, I learned in mom's '55 Bel Air and dad's '67 Galaxie, but those were both automatics. I also spent a fair amount of time behind the wheel of my sister's '71 Beetle. My first car was a '50 Chevy Town Sedan with an anemic 216 and 3 on the tree. My panel truck still has the 3 on the tree. I consider it a theft deterrent.
  22. Learned in a 1962 Pontiac Catalina 389 auto slim jim trans. Pop's only car
    at the time. 2 months later, I blew up the trans!
    I bought of all things a 1961 Renault Dauphine, 3 speed standard to drive
    (him and me!) until the trans was fixed. Learned the stick quick!
  23. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    learned in a I-H loadstar a 5 over 2 ( 2 speed rear) grain truck . drove stick many years before I drove a car . my first automatic car was when I was 20 . I made the mistake of buying a auto when I ordered my pick up truck , I should have bought it stick . ( when you drive semis for a living left footitis in traffic is not a problem its a way of life )
  24. RODIST
    Joined: Dec 29, 2016
    Posts: 154


    Hi, learned on Dads 57 ford , " Custom" , 2dr, ..stick 6 / 3 on the tree.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  25. rhtfo
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 36


    A 62 chevy 2, 6 cylinder, 3 on the tree, 4 door. My Mom's car. When I got my permit at 15. On my grandpa's farm at 13 it was an old 48 International 1/2 ton pickup truck, only in the corn fields, also a John Deere model H. Those were the days !

    Sent from my SM-N910V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  26. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,369


    Stated earlier, learned in a 37 Ford pickup at 12 but was driving tractors before that. By 13-14 all of us country kids were driving old GMC dumps with 4 spds hauling silage for local dairymen. A few yrs ago my son came by and we had a nice little 40 sedan with a 283 and stock running gear. He asked if he could drive it so out he went. Wife and I stood and watched as he got in and started looking at the column, etc. In a bit my wife told him it's an "H' pattern and showed him how it worked. He decided to pass on it. My 57 Fuely was a 3 spd as well. Younger folks would look in it and ask how it worked?? Times have changed.
    lothiandon1940 and bobwop like this.
  27. Grew up on a farm/ranch. I was driving a Ford 9N when I was 6, and a '49 black, 5 window GMC pu w/4 on the floor & a '50 GMC trk., w/4 on the floor when I was 7. The folks alway drove Buicks so we had auto. but I didn't drive one until I was eleven. Dad bought a '56 GMC half ton, turqoise/white, BBW, Pontiac V8 w/hydromatic !!! Boy was that one sharp pu. And Dad let me drive it.
    My boys learned to drive "sticks" too. They were hauling grain to the elevator by the time they were 12. And JD tractors too. Those really were the "good ol' days". Brings back a lot of good memories.
    bobwop likes this.
  28. hendelec
    Joined: Aug 23, 2008
    Posts: 99


    My first car was a 1965 Chevelle SS with a 350 hp 327 and a 4 speed Muncie with a 4:11 rear end. My parents cars I learned to drive in had automatics. When I was driving home with my Dad after buying it I slightly ground the gears a couple of times but the 4:11 made starting form a stop sign no problem. When we were almost home it dawned on him that I had never driven a stick.........he was impressed!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  29. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 1,202


    '52 Chevy four door with three on the tree. It was my dad's work car.
  30. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    Member Emeritus

    I guess the truth can come out now. My "parents" think they taught me to drive with their automatic transmission cars. But, 2 years earlier a friend and I bought a 53 Chevrolet, Model 210, 4 door sedan with a six and 3 speed on the column. However, it did't have brakes! Instead, he would drive and I'd work the parking brake to the right of the column, then I'd drive and he'd work the parking brake. We never left the neighborhood; he had his license and I did't. And, my Father was a Drivers License Examiner with the Washington State Patrol. That's how it was done back then, now the examiners wear street clothes; my Father wore a full green uniform, almost like his USAF uniform before he retired as a Senior Master Sergeant after 30 + years. I would have been KILLED if he knew about that 53 Chevrolet. When it came time for my sister and I to get our licenses, he came home one day, and said you're signed up to take the test on Saturday (this was on Friday before). I was't ready, my sister chomping at the bit. We had "learned' driving a 57 4 door Chevrolet Wagon, but took the test in Mom's 65 Oldsmobile, Jetstar 88 4 door sedan. My sister went first, and barely passed; I passed too, but did a LOT better than her, and she wanted to know my scores, but I would't tell her. After we got home she yanked my paperwork out of my hands, and when she saw my scores, she tore the papers up. True story. Ultimately, she wrecked the 57 Wagon, totaled it hitting a "Datsun" when she worked at Boeing; it was't her fault however. That's when I bought my first 56 Chevrolet; I'm on number 10 now, my last. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
    BradinNC and Ron Funkhouser like this.

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