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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I again was reminded today how few people now seem to be able to drive a car with a manual transmission. Although I do the best I can to avoid valet parking, every so often I have no real choice and it is surprising how many times the valet attendants cannot drive my Boxster. It is very necessary to ask before I let a valet attendant in the car to prevent the sickening feeling of watching them stall the car with a violent jerk.

So, it got me thinking, how many Porsche drivers using this forum can drive a manual transmission (a real one with a real third clutch pedal) and how did you learn to drive it? Most of my friends back then learned on the very forgiving Volkswagen bug but I had a different experience.

In 1961 I had a summer job taking care of a pool at a modest size resort shore hotel. The parking lot was next to the pool and I hustled tips moving cars so people could get their car out. At that time many cars were manual so I spent the summer teaching myself to handle only reverse and first at low speeds. The summer ended and a friend with a 1949 Chevy (3 speed on the column) and I drove about 70 miles to see some girls we met during the summer. I thought he was just going to drop me off at my girl friend's house but, instead, he just got out at his girl friend's and threw me the keys. I could never admit I could not drive a manual so I just somehow took what I learned during the summer and drove the car 10 more miles on the New Jersey Garden State Parkway. First gear had a problem and if I did not hold the lever hard in gear, with a big bang, it dropped into neutral. To say I was scared would be an enormous understatement.
 

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The first car I purchased in 1973 was a 1971 Vega with a 4-speed. Made the mistake of stopping on a hill driving homeafter purchasing it. It took probably 5 tries to get rolling again!馃榾 It was a fun car since it was pre-emissions but ultimately ended up being a major POS. I drove all sticks until 2010, including a 1984 GTI that was my other major POS that totally turned me off on car "toys". When I could no longer get a Honda Accord with a 5-speed in my chosen configuration, I ended up in a CVT Subaru.
My CGTS is my return to toys and I wish I hadn't waited so long!
 

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The first car I purchased in 1973 was a 1971 Vega with a 4-speed. Made the mistake of stopping on a hill driving homeafter purchasing it. It took probably 5 tries to get rolling again!馃榾 It was a fun car since it was pre-emissions but ultimately ended up being a major POS. I drove all sticks until 2010, including a 1984 GTI that was my other major POS that totally turned me off on car "toys". When I could no longer get a Honda Accord with a 5-speed in my chosen configuration, I ended up in a CVT Subaru.
My CGTS is my return to toys and I wish I hadn't waited so long!
Hahaha, 1971 Vega was my first new car. The wiring under the dash caught fire on the way home after taking delivery. They gave me a loaner and fixed the Vega in about a week. It turned out to be a decent little car.

I learned how to drive a stick when I was 16 working as a runner on a milk truck with an old guy who was an alcoholic. He鈥檇 get soused at some of his customers houses and I鈥檇 end up having to drive us home. It was an old Divco. Certain stops he鈥檇 take the orders in himself and leave me in the truck. He鈥檇 be gone a half hour or more sometimes and I taught myself how to drive the truck.
 

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I was born and raised in Europe. There were no automatics then. My first new car in the US was a 5sp Civic and my second a Toyota MR2.
 

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I grew up driving nothing but manual transmissions 鈥 back then the manual was superior in every way. Eventually I grew up and had kids and minivans don鈥檛 have manuals. Somehow I test drove a manual cayman and realized that the transmission is a HUGE part of the driving experience, really close in importance to steering, throttle and brakes. I found myself thinking about it for months afterward...

I don鈥檛 want my sports car steering itself all the time in the same way I don鈥檛 like the built in shift maps. I have a PDK in my Macan GTS and while the shift maps are good, they aren鈥檛 as good as the shift maps that are in my brain. I go between my version of sport, comfort, and sport+ 20 times using my own biological shift maps every time I drive somewhere, and I鈥檇 never hit the sport button that many times during the same drive in my Macan. In my manual cayman I never have to worry about the computer sticking me with a crappy gear at the wrong time.
 

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I suspect I'm on the younger side of the 6MT drivers here (30). I bought a 1993 Mazda Protege 5 speed with ~210k miles on it in 2009 when I was 19 for $350 and beat the **** out of it. Needed a distributor cap, some coolant hoses were cracked, and a front tire but otherwise ran fine for the summer I had it. Was out in the country so not much traffic so just taught myself. Would go find a hill to practice hill starts. Then onto J turns, reverse 180s, etc in gravel parking lots.

Didn't learn to heel-toe till the Cayman though. Had little economy cars, then WRX and M3. I started tracking with the M3 but it had rev matching. Got the Cayman without Sport Chrono so I would be forced to heel-toe, finally starting to get the hang of it.
 

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Between my wife and I and our kids we own 8 cars. All manuals.
Years ago I had opportunity to buy a winter beater Toyota that was a manual, the PO spent a half hour with me and then I practiced until I learned.
A few years after that a friend called to ask if I had plans for the day; we went to the local Mazda dealer where a new black RX7 sat in the middle of the dealership floor. He asked how I liked it, and then proceeded to tell me he had bought it. Taking a look inside I saw it was a manual, and he didn't drive manual. I asked how he planned to get it home, and he replied that is why I was there. So I got to drive his new car off the showroom floor back to mu house in a quiet neighborhood. Gave him some instruction, and he drove around the block until he was comfortable enough to drive home to his house in the city.
 

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Learned to drive a manual transmission (Karmann ghia) and drove manuals for about 30 years but love my PDK.....
Boy that Karmann ghia was noisy, rattled like crazy and the exhaust smell...........but when you are learning to drive it's still fun.
 

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Lots of us grew up driving manual gearboxes.

I learned to drive in my parents' big old 1959 Plymouth station wagon with 3-on-the-tree shifting. Then a 55 Chevy, and 54 Ford, a 60-something VW beetle. When it came to buying my own cars, it was a tiny BMW 700 for a year, then a Fiat 124 Spider, then a Porsche 912, then a Fiat X-1/9, a Datsun 510, a VW Dasher, Triumph Spitfire and GT6... you get the picture. Plenty of third-pedal work. But the learnin' took place in that Plymouth.
 

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I learned to drive a manual on a Honda CB50 and later a CB160 before getting my first car, a 1966 Pontiac GTO with a manual transmission and tri-power carbs. While certainly different, the clutch in the car was not a new experience as I had learned how to balance letting it engage with the appropriate amount of throttle/pedal.

Every car and a MT Pathfinder I have owned since has been a four-, five-, or six-speed manual transmission with one exception, a 1973 Corvette AT that I bought specifically to resell for a profit.

Until 2006, my spouse had MT vehicles starting interestingly enough with a 1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint. The Sprint package was an OHC six with a four-barrel carb, a rare combination at the time.
 

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Born in France .... we all learn driving manuals there. Even today (got my licence not that long ago, im 33).
In France, you can get a Auto licence and never drive a manual, but very few people do that.
Actually, and believe me I dont mean to down talk Automatics (My cayman has PDK, I love Autos), but over there, Auto driving licences are perceived as being for disabled people.

I didnt go in every European countries but as a general rule, manuals still seem to be vastly more popular than autos.
 

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I learned on a 1956 Chevy with 3 on the tree. that was in 1963. I estimate that at least 80% if the time one of our cars since that time has had a manual transmission. Just purchased a 2018 Cayman GTS with MT.
 

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I learned to drive stick on the back roads of rural Maryland when I was 14 or 15 years old using my brother's 1960's VW Bug. I'm sure I ground a few gears in the process.

When I took the driver's ed course at school (about 1970), we drove a 3 speed stick on the column in some big 4 door Chevy or Oldsmobile. Since then, almost every car I owned has been manual shift.
 

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I鈥檝e only ever owned cars with Manual Gearbox鈥檚.
The only time I鈥檝e driven a car with an Auto Gearbox was on holiday in Florida.
( As well as a couple of test drives with 718 PDK鈥檚 )
My 718 has the Manual Gearbox, not only is the Manual Gearbox much lighter than the PDK, it鈥檚 considerably cheaper, and an absolute joy to use. You really feel connected to the car.
I know PDK owners will say the PDK is better, but I prefer the very sweet 鈥渙ld school鈥 Manual Gearbox with the very 鈥渘ew school鈥 718 performance.
The best of both worlds !
 

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Born in France .... we all learn driving manuals there. Even today (got my licence not that long ago, im 33).
In France, you can get a Auto licence and never drive a manual, but very few people do that.
Actually, and believe me I dont mean to down talk Automatics (My cayman has PDK, I love Autos), but over there, Auto driving licences are perceived as being for disabled people.

I didnt go in every European countries but as a general rule, manuals still seem to be vastly more popular than autos.
In Europe, tax formulation favors small displacement engines. It is done for fuel economy reasons, as a 1300cc engine is vastly superior in terms of fuel economy to a 5000 cc V8. One little problem, there is very little torque. European cars with torque converters went nowhere.... Literally... It was past the 80s with the advent of turbo/superchargers that automatics (Tiptronics mostly) became a reasonable alternative. Shortly after BMW introduced the DSG.

As far as the Macan PDK goes, I got a new Macan loaner when I had my 20k service done. There is a night and day difference between Macan's PDK and the 718's PDK. The Macan felt like it was on a torque converter slushbox. Even in Normal the 718 is more responsive...

Don't judge PDK in an SUV (I haven't tried a Cayenne mind you).
 

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As a European I learned to drive and took my license in a manual car.
Besides a brief encounter with an aunts Corolla with automatic transmission I drove only manuals for the first many years, and my three first cars was manuals too.
After my first three cars with manual I got a VW Polo (smaller than the Golf) with a dual clutch automatic, and from then on I was sold on automatics in one form or another.
Since that car I have only had 2 manuals, the rest has been either dual clutch autos or torque converter autos.
My 718 is a PDK, and my new practical car, well that has very little in the gear department at all as it is practically a single speed gear box.
It is of course an EV where not even a reverse gear is needed, you just spin the motor backwards.
 

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I learned to use a manual transmission riding minibikes and then motocross bikes, before I was 15. My understanding of how a clutch needs to engage came from those experiences. Release the clutch lever the wrong way and it tossed you off the back or stalled :p Had a few street bikes along the way too. That and me and my friend commandeering one of his families MGs and VWs among a fleet of them, by roll starting down their driveway for a spin around the neighborhood. All before legal driving age of course 馃え

First new car was a manual 1979 Toyota Celica Coup bought with money earned from odd jobs and a paper route. Oh and a little help from Grandma :). Never owned an automatic car and may never own one.
 

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Yes. Many many years ago in a 4 speed Mustang. My brother taught me. Heel toe, double clutch and all that stuff too. Also a small SUV and eventually an Acura. Even drove a "3 on the tree" pickup (miserable experience). The Honda 5 speed was smooth. Have driven a GT3 and 981 with 6MT. But I prefer the PDK.
 
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