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Expound on This


FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
9:07 AM
Sep 17, 2021
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central Illinois
8 or 10, driving my Uncle's Dodge Power Wagon while sitting on his lap up at Granma's. He clutched and I'd shift and steer.
In 1975 I learned to drive a manual transmission in dads ‘67 VW Beetle…
Around 1978 after school each day in my Great Aunt's '59 Anglia. Up and down the driveway, and eventually around the block. :p
I learned by teaching myself honestly - watched my dad when younger and first chance I got as a teen
to sneak out in one of the two stick cars in the family then, I took it....
It just came natural to me.
I learned early at 6 or 7 on dads Ford Jubilee but during that time there was a buch of dirt bike's in between. My first manual shift car was an old Isuzu pickup in a junkyard I worked at when I was 15. It was a yard truck to fetch parts but I drove it around often! To be honest, it was the best part of my memories of working there!
My next standard was an 89' turbo Toyota Supra...wish I'd kept that thing! Rare then but rarer today...sold it for $1400(what I paid)to a buddy after I had it 2 yrs..
My uncle had a grain truck. A Chevy with a 292-6 and a granny low 4 speed. The granny gear was great for learning the clutch. It wasn't long and my cousin and I were double clutching into second. I learned how to shift without a clutch in that too.
1989, 25 yo, 1989 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, Catskill, NY.
Don't quite remember but I think it was a five speed.
Owner was in his 80's and when I told him I never drove a stick he said "well you're going to today, how the hell do you know you want it if you don't drive it?".
He took me on mountain roads then some mild off-roading before going back to his place. Never stalled it and only spun the clutch a little. It was a fun vehicle.
Around 1967, Ford 8N tractor. First car I learned in was a '63 Impala, 3 on the tree, in '72...
When I was 9, in the driveway between the shop and the house in Pops '56 F100 6 with a granny low 4 speed. By the next summer Pops had made a stripdown from Grandma's old '53 Mainline 6 with three on the tree, and no doors or windshield. I got pretty good that summer getting in all three gears in the field behind the shop. I still remember the back half of the 53's body flying off the frame, and Pops face when he discovered he missed disconnecting the gas tank from the body. We both had a lot of fun driving that car.

Fun memories.... Thanks for the trip....
My first job after the Army. Owner of the company told me to take some parts to our mobile mechanic. Asked if I could drive a stick, I responded “doesn’t everyone”?

Got in his truck drove off like I knew exactly what I was doing, but in reality I was learning in his truck.
Growing up on a farm everything was a standard shift
First tractor I drove on the highway between farms I was in my early teens back in the mid 70's
All the field cars we had were standards so either walk or figure it out
First legal car that was mine to drive on the road would have been a 1973 Mercury Capri 4 speed standard that came from the local wrecking yard back in 1981
I even taught a couple girls from school to drive a stick with that car
3 on the tree, fairlane or falcon, Pop's work beater, prob about 12 years old........ already knew how to ride a motor cycle; so the clutch concept was easy
Can't recall the exact age, prob 10 to 12.
My Dad's 64 ford pickup, 3 on the tree plus that famous twin I beam suspension.
Ha, thinking about that , that truck was prob only 4 yrs old at the time if I was 10 , late model lol.
9-10, my dads 69 International crew cab. First let me shift, then let me drive, after a few months. The clutch was a learning process, but the brakes I realized real quick, you didn’t just hit the brakes. Just like the clutch, you eased into them.
I've told this before. I grew up as a cowboy. Dad and I had taken a steer to the sale barn. He backed the truck next to the unloading docks and went somewhere to do paperwork so I was left sitting in the truck. There were these rough old cowboys on horseback with whips moving the cattle around. One came up to me and started yelling at me to move the truck out of the way. I tried to tell him I couldn't drive a stick shift. He wasn't having it and kept yelling for me to move the truck. I scooted over and learned that morning. I was about 10 years old I guess. Probably about a '61 Ford F-100.

I recently taught one of the Air Force Academy Cadets we sponsor, how to drive a stick in the 6-speed Camaro SS.
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In 1968, when I was 14, my dad took me out to the Scotia Barrens, an abandoned strip mine, which decades earlier had been a prime source of iron ore for the Pittsburgh steel mills. So I started out with off road driving, in a 1960 Valiant, with a 170 cubic inch slant six, and three on the floor. The Barrens are the site of an upscale housing development today.

1960 Valiant.jpg
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