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patrick_b

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Both VW salespeople I rode with seemed blown away that I could actually drive stick...

Which makes me think some of those poor manual GTIs on the lot must have a rough first few miles!

(although like I said before...some stalling and jerking around are not really that bad for the car despite how much they make you cringe).
I went to drive a MT Golf R and they went through 2 sales guys before they found one who could drive it to the front lot.
 

Joffrey

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you could always spend a weekend day test driving manuals at various dealerships

I believe mustangs still come in manual
Earlier in 2020 before the lockdowns, I had a plan to attend a driving school (the kind for teenagers). They're only a couple of hours for instruction in a manual car and about $300. Whenever I plan to travel to Europe again and rent a car (the whole point of the the classes), I will see if it's possible.
 

Dino944

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Maybe I should go to the Mini Cooper dealer and do that...
I learned on my parent's year and a half old Porsche 944 back in the day. Car was fine, didn't destroy the clutch or the gears. Had the car 17 years.

It's tough to learn on a test drive...they never want to let you take the car far and some places want to send the sales person with you...tried that with Mrs. Dino.

Do an online search for a specialty driving school near you. Or fly up to Massachusetts and take lessons here. https://stickshiftacademy.com/

I brought Mrs. Dino there a few years ago. They teach you to drive on a six speed WRX. IIRC it was $150 for 2 hours. She came back driving it like she had been driving it for years!. If you do that, give me a heads up and I'll meet you for drinks or dinner. Cheers!

Edit rates went up to $220 for 2 hours. Still it is completely worth it. He can having anyone driving like a pro in 2 hours. I tried teaching Mrs. Dino on our old Boxster...let's just say this was like very cheap marriage counseling! ;)
 
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double00

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I learned to drive a stick on my dad's 72 Opel GT, 4 speed. I still remember the terror of one stoplight leaving my high school on a big hill. It was the late 80's so there were lots of MT's in kid's cars and everyone hated that hill.
My HS had a setup like this, one time a sedan actually rolled backwards and then up the VW beetle behind it. completely covered.
 

Texasmade

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I learned on my parent's year and a half old Porsche 944 back in the day. Car was fine, didn't destroy the clutch or the gears. Had the car 17 years.

It's tough to learn on a test drive...they never want to let you take the car far and some places want to send the sales person with you...tried that with Mrs. Dino.

Do an online search for a specialty driving school near you. Or fly up to Massachusetts and take lessons here. https://stickshiftacademy.com/

I brought Mrs. Dino there a few years ago. They teach you to drive on a six speed WRX. IIRC it was $150 for 2 hours. She came back driving it like she had been driving it for years!. If you do that, give me a heads up and I'll meet you for drinks or dinner. Cheers!
I looked into this for Houston. I read that the guy who's running the Houston stick shift academy isn't running it at the moment because of C19.

I know Porsche did offer manual transmission driving lessons at the PEC at one time. I think that got chopped due to C19 though.
 

gomestar

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i took my buddy's piece of plastic Nissan, had him walk me through what to do with a stick shift, and then I just drove around the neighborhood an got the suck out. I think I bought him a Big Mac or some shit in return. I taught my wife as well, she just needed time to get a feel for things and the mechanics behind it.

I never lost the knack for driving a manual, whenever I'm up visiting my parents I steal my mom's old Z3 the whole time and just bomb around. But I'm old, so I bomb around safely.
 

HRoi

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Every experienced driver I’ve ever seen try to learn stick shift picked it up pretty quickly. 90% of it is the muscle memory/feel of feeding it gas as you linearly release the clutch. And of that 90%, very little of it is actually learning how to get moving. Most of it is getting to a point you do it unconsciously, and how to vary inputs based on road conditions like wetness, hills, and traffic distractions
 
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Thrift Vader

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Guys,
in the 'States, if you don't have seperate AT/MT tests does it mean you can learn in an Auto and at some later date just buy a manual and go?
 

otc

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Guys,
in the 'States, if you don't have seperate AT/MT tests does it mean you can learn in an Auto and at some later date just buy a manual and go?

Yeah, it's pretty common...

That's how my wife learned... Got a cheapo manual car in college and basically had to drive it away. Did a couple circles in a parking lot with her mom and then off she went.

And based on my salesmens' reactions, I'd guess a fair share of brand new gti buyers are also completely new to MT.
 

Desb4rd

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I'm shocked that anyone would rock up to a test drive and jump into a manual after a lifetime of auto driving!

I drove nothing else but manual up to the age of 30 (save for a bit of 'crash' and preselector - but that's another story) but after a decade of automatic gearboxes I'd want a few manual refresher runs before trying to assess the wider virtues of a manual car.

With something like a Golf GTI you'd want to find out what it's like 'on the hoon' - and you can't really do that whilst you're either fluffing or overthinking the gear changes.
 

Thrift Vader

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My Manual driving history is a little different.
i was given a 1991 Toyota corolla 5spd by a friend who wanted to offload it instead of fixing it. (so the car cost me a starter motor and wheels/tires)

And i started to get my license in it. Great little car. I drove that thing all around town. Super easy car to learn manual in.
Light clutch and "click" easy shifts. So i did my learning to get my license. Hours with instructor, log books and tests.

But i only had my probationary permit when i got here.
so?
I had to learn all over again. in a whole different way.
the "Japanese driving school" way. They had a whole mini town map setup, with stop signs and a hill start. They ran me through many simulations on the track in a "Toyota Crown Comfort 5spd".

I had to do all the tests in one of these^^ before i could drive on the road with the instructor. To get the MT license it had to be this particular model of car.
(if you have been to Japan you probably have ridden in one as a taxi)
After passing all the tests on the track and on the road, then logging 100? hours of driving with my wife alongside, i could finally get my license.
And i'm proud to say, I'm a damn good manual driver.
 
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Piobaire

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I learned to shift on a neighbor's tractor when I was around 10 or 12, then small displacement dirt bikes, but my first passenger vehicle was an old Ford "three on the tree." I bet none of you peak Porsche guys have driven a manual with the shifter on the steering column. And the 'Ring times on that old Ford? Fahgetabootit.
 

patrick_b

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I'm shocked that anyone would rock up to a test drive and jump into a manual after a lifetime of auto driving!

I drove nothing else but manual up to the age of 30 (save for a bit of 'crash' and preselector - but that's another story) but after a decade of automatic gearboxes I'd want a few manual refresher runs before trying to assess the wider virtues of a manual car.

With something like a Golf GTI you'd want to find out what it's like 'on the hoon' - and you can't really do that whilst you're either fluffing or overthinking the gear changes.
You'd be surprised, it comes back immediately. By the time I left the lot, I was completely comfortable with the clutch. I certainly wasn't rev matching on downshifts but getting a feel for the car was perfectly fine.

Like you, I drove a stick until my late 20's and then a sea of company cars took over including gems like the venerable Ford Taurus, Explorer and Edge (...want the rental car experience full time? Get a job as a drug rep in the 90's!). Then it was midsize SUV after midsize SUV and rental cars every month or so and the next thing you know you haven't driven a manual transmission in 15 years.

I was looking at used GTI's last year so I wasn't really worried about the car especially after watching a dealer try and fail to find a sales guy who could drive a stick. As @otc points out, I'd imagine those GTI's, golf R's and WRX's have a very rough first few miles on the lot.
 

Thrift Vader

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I learned to shift on a neighbor's tractor when I was around 10 or 12, then small displacement dirt bikes, but my first passenger vehicle was an old Ford "three on the tree." I bet none of you peak Porsche guys have driven a manual with the shifter on the steering column. And the 'Ring times on that old Ford? Fahgetabootit.
Column shift 'Ring time would be a youtube gem.
 

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