Comments: Greatest antitheft device when the thieves are millenials:

I have a nephew who "saved the day" on a jobsite with his stck-shifting skills. Developed one wayback afternoon in a large school parking lot when I taught a 9-year-old kid how to drive a BMW roadster. (He was in HEAVEN!)

Posted by Mike Anderson at June 15, 2017 1:53 PM

My gorgeous daughter turns many a man's head with her ability to drive a stick shift.

Posted by Jewel at June 15, 2017 3:56 PM

Eh- got five speeds on the floor in my '05 Toyota Pickup. Don't get me wrong, I loves my truck, and all, but shifting gears is vastly overrated.


Posted by jwm at June 15, 2017 4:02 PM

"...unable to get the truck out of first gear. The truck traveled at speeds of 25-30 mph..."


Few vehicles will do 25-30 in first gear.
Unless the vehicle is very old he would have had to push the clutch in just to start it, so if he knew how the clutch worked and how to put it in 1st gear (rather than say, 4th and keep stalling out) why couldn't he put it in 2nd when he needed to shift?

I'm a long time clutch driver, 27 years in my S10 alone, and at least 4 prior vehicles with clutches, and numerous business and military vehicles as well.

As far as JWM's comment about shifting being over rated. For me, shifting keeps me in focus with the vehicle. My S10 won't move without my constant attention. My automatic Blazer does things by itself and I find that unnerving.

I steer my S10 with my left hand and the right is almost always on the shifter which again keeps me in tune with what is going on. I *feel* the vehicle, in a way that is not possible in an automatic. Paying attention while shifting up and down the gears, and having some mechanical insight, has allowed me to be in front of potential problems before they occur.

There could be mechanical issues approaching with my Blazer and I wouldn't have a clue cause I don't have access to that insight I have with the truck. I feel a little handicapped with the Blazer. I guess it's a control thang.

Because the Blazer is automatic I have the ability to chow down on a Wendy's triple with all the shit while yappin on the cell and flippin usb drives in the tuner while doing 80 down the interstate.

Can't do any of that in the S10 - it's a violently possessive attention ho and I can't let go!

Posted by ghostsniper at June 15, 2017 6:53 PM

My 2006 Caddy sedan has a six speed manual tranny. Both my wife and I love it!

Posted by Snakepit Kansas at June 15, 2017 7:30 PM

A recent Caddy with a stick? Who new such a thing existed? I'd like to see that!

Weather permitting, our standard cookout starts tomorrow at 7pm so come on by with the wife (bring your own drinkin material) and we'll take a look at that ride and maybe I can talk you into letting me take it for a spin. heh

FWIW: The only Cadillac I ever drove was long ago, my uncles fully restored 1932 with a V-16 and a stick. Yep, 16. He popped the hood and the engine went from the front all the way back to there. My dad laughingly said the pistons were as big as thimbles.

Posted by ghostsniper at June 16, 2017 4:18 AM

1965 Plymouth Valiant 3 speed on the column. What I learned to drive in.
Ford Econoline van. 3 speed on the column. Drivers seat right over the front left wheel. Engine between the front seats. Something else to drive. Painted red and green. Belonged to the Homelite Corp. when my dad bought it.
Volkswagen Van, 3 speed, on the floor. Big, long, unwieldy, floppy stick poking out of the floor. Nothing between me and the front bumper but some thin metal. Called the Medicine Dropper (Hee hee...). Four years delivering drugs.
1962 Willys Jeep. No top. Open cab. Drove around the NC mountains hauling linens on change days at the conference center. Real fun. 3 speed??
1968 Volvo Wagon 4 speed. Good car. Never did figure out how the carbs worked until I figured it out on the GoldWing many years later.
Gremlin. Three speed on the floor. Let's forget this one.
Large, dual axle, Hughes Supply delivery truck. Nice ride. 6 speed on the floor.
Single axle CED flatbed delivery truck. Picked it up brand new from the main CED warehouse. Put the first 4 to 5,000 miles on it.
Big yellow school buses. 4 or 5 speed on the floor. Kind of fun for a while. Better when there's no one else on board.
1975 Log truck.
1975 Log loader. Big truck with a big crane. I loved lifting things with that thing.
1969 Log skidder. This was a bad thing. Giant wheels. Hydraulically articulated. They gave this thing to me at the Vo-Tech school for teaching forestry and timber harvesting. Crazy day the first time I climbed in and fired it up. Imagine putting 16/17 year olds in there and sending them out into the woods. What a year that was.
Back hoe/front end loader. Clutch and hydraulic controls. Life was good.
My wife bought a 1977 Toyota Celica, automatic. Sheesh.
1980 Chevy pickup, 3 speed on the column. Drove this around camp for 2 years.
1978 Honda GL1100 Standard 5 speed. Cool.
1985 Honda CB750. Nice.
1992 Honda GL1500 Standard 5 speed. Really cool.
Nissan Sentra 5 speed on the floor. Actually a fun little commuter.
1995 Jeep 5 speed on the floor. My current ride for just tooling around. Once I got the clutch master cylinder fixed it works great. 214,000 miles on it.
I don't like driving if I can't shift it myself. It's just a thing I suppose. That triggered a trip down memory lane.

Posted by Larry Geiger at June 16, 2017 7:01 AM

It depends on where you drive your stick. Living in So Cal, you do most of your diving in 200-600 yard increments. Add a few zillion incompetent Asian drivers making their left and right turns from the center lane, nosing into in the left turn lane with the ass end of the car hanging out into traffic,cruising along 15 under the speed limit trying to read the street signs and talk on the phone. Try 25 miles of that. Lots and lots of gear shifts. It can break you. You watch other drivers lose it, and break into road rage pretty often. They start yanking the car from lane to lane, stomping the gas to dive into any spot that'll gain them a couple car lengths, plowing through red lights...
Oh wait. This was about shifting gears. It's more fun in the country.


Posted by jwm at June 16, 2017 7:06 AM

On Highway Patrol LA ridealong many many years back I recall the officer observing many cars on the road were "DWO" -- Driving While Oriental.

Posted by vanderleun at June 16, 2017 8:19 AM

I drove 40 years in the tourist capital of the world, southwest Florida, where every traffic insanity you can imagine happens hourly. When the light changes on that 6 lanes each way highway/street you have to go NOW, not when that silly automatic wants to and you have to be able to peg them RPM's as you see fit not when that retarded torque converter says so.

Once, in my single and constantly drunk and/or stupored existence the front brake lines rusted out and I didn't have the money to fix them so I pinched them off with pliers and while the rear brakes alone were adequate they were lacking in emergency sitches which happens frequently in touristland. But because the ride had a clutch I was able to downshift as needed and save some wear and tear on the existing brakes. You can argue that all I did was trade the wear and tear on the brakes to wear and tear on the engine but when you "don't got no money" you make do as you can.

When I get in my S10 I tell IT what to do.
When I get in my Blazer I ASK it what to do and sometimes it does.

~ yeah, i'm a power hungry control freek ~

Posted by ghostsniper at June 16, 2017 9:35 AM

I made my millennial children learn to drive a stick - my recently dearly departed 2008 Chevy Cobalt. Neither one wanted to learn, but if they ever decide to be car thieves, they will thank me.

Posted by Harry at June 16, 2017 2:23 PM

I too taught our 19 year old daughter to drive a manual. We have two cars in our family, both 5-speeds, so she really didn't have a choice.
I had to laugh reading the article. It made me remember a 49 Ford pickup I used to own when I was in my early 20's. You had to double-clutch it to shift.

Posted by Tim P at June 19, 2017 7:20 PM

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