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I too started with minibikes and motorcycles. However, when it came to driving a stick, my father choose to teach me in his '74 Jaguar XKE E-Type V12 convertible (12K miles, original owner, and we still have it, and it won many shows). A nice little 4 speed. That all stopped when I almost scraped off the driver's side when a school bus passed on the opposite side of the road. Then my mother took over in her Saab 900 turbo.

For a vintage sports car, I think it's cool to drive a MT. I recently drove a Healy and it was a blast. The revs and rev matching made me feel like Eastwood in "Play Misty For Me" (and I was driving it in Carmel). But for modern sports cars, I want performance and speed - a dual clutch auto with paddle shifter is the way to go for me.
 

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You know that same year E-Type in British racing green would have been the first car I bought on my own. It was 1979 and I had some money saved up for a car. Being 19 at the time I took really bad advice from a friend and bought a new Toyota Celica instead of "that used Jaguar that has electrical problems and will be in the shop all the time." Yeah poor judgement on my part. I'd probably still have that car today. From memory, the guy was asking $6k for it. Celica was crushed in a parking lot by a giant oak :p
 

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I was 14 and visiting a friend's farm. They had an old '30s-era Ford pickup that was as much rust as truck. It had a 3-speed stick and in a somewhat muddy field, if you didn't smoothly release the clutch with just the right lower RPMs you were going nowhere and listening to the demeaning laughter that 14-year-old boys know how to do so well. For the following 52 years or so, I drove nothing but sticks (except for a brief time in my dad's hand-me-down 1975 Buick). Then bought a 2014 Subaru Outback because my other black-hole-of-a-hobby is astronomy and room for stuff and all-wheel drive is pretty helpful.
 

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1970 GMC pickup with a 250 CID and three on the tree. Smooth as ****, but difficult to downshift into first at any significant speed.
 

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I taught all three of my kids to drive manuals. Fortunately the timing was right for each one that the teaching car/truck was ready for a new clutch, so bit of excessive clutch slipping helped in the learning process and I wasn’t concerned about ruining it.
The oldest still prefers a manual and drives one (like me), the other two are all auto but have the skill to drive a manual. They have commented that they are the only one of their peer group that can drive a stick, and that sometimes puts them in “rock star” status with their friends.
 

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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.
My parents only drove manuals so I learned from them. The only chance my sons have had to Hearn was from friends whose parents own manual cars, not too common anymore, or on vacation in Mexico.
 

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My wife and I grew up driving manuals. Our daughter grew up driving autos, but we encouraged her to learn how to drive manual because of her profession. Her current job has several manual trucks and she learned there but was apparently not intimidated by them. Having the MT skill can be an important advantage that may give folks an edge in some job markets.
 

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My anecdote rolls in stages:
First exposure: Age 9-10. Shifter karts. I raced in 'em for about a year. Two-speed. Got familiar with a clutch pedal.
Next exposure: Age 12-13. Microbikes and manual mopeds. Germany. Got REALLY familiar with a clutch on those, both working and not ...
Next: Ages 13-15. A series of friends' parents' cars, ranging from a Citroen SM and Renault LeCar to an original M3. Don't ask, 'cause I won't tell. :cool:
Next: Age 14. A 1978 Porsche Targa that a friend of my dad owned. I drove it around an Army base by myself. So he left the keys on my dad's desk while they went offsite for dinner: What else is a car-mad teenager supposed to do?
:devilish:
Next: Just turned 15. 1984 Lamborghini Countach. Employee of my dad's bought it with inheritance money. Said employee gave me a ride ... then offered to switch seats when we were out of dad's sight. Again: What else is a car-mad teenager supposed to do? 👺
Next: Age 16. 1981 Subaru BRAT. Third-string car of a friend's dad. This is the car I refined my manual chops in. It was a beotch at the time because Subie manuals weren't great back then -- and because this BRAT also had a totally manual differential transfer lever, it was doubly bad. Challenging ...
Next: ... but it made my first self-bought car, a 1976 Datsun 280z, a breeze to drive. It was all uphill (with some clutch slip to get going, of course) from there.
 

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I grew up in Guinea, West Africa. I didn't know anyone in my circle who owned an automatic car. I learned from my cousin's Citroen (Babi we called it) 2 hp. All my kids born in the States were taught to drive manual on a Ford escort we had. My son was telling me yesterday how his car (a manual VW Jetta) was handling the road better in his neighborhood of Houston because he could decide what gear to use.
 

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My mentor in high school taught me the mechanics of driving a manual on his '84 CJ7.

But I truly learned when I bought my own '79 CJ7 4 speed on the island of Oahu (first duty station). Bought it on one side of the island and had to drive it home to the other side (which includes some pretty steep grade changes if you've ever driven the H-3). Never been so scared to drive a car before. Other than taking my Cayman through rush hour traffic on the way home from taking delivery of it ;)
 

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Which Acura? I had a 1990 Integra 4 door w/ 5-spd manual. Fun car, not as good as my ‘85 CRX-si, but a lot more practical for a family man. Now that I think about it, I can’t imagine you could buy a four-door with MT these days. If anything, it’d be a Mazda, maybe BMW.

The good (and bad) thing about 3-speeds is that there are only two choices after first, so finding the “right” gear is as easy as finding the wrong one :sneaky:.
4 door MT these days... F80 M3, STi. Mazda3, Civic Si or my favorite FK8 Civic TypeR but it is 5 door to be exact.
I learned how to drive MT 30 yr ago on a rental Miata and I have been driving MT for the pass 25yr and then I force my wife to learn driving MT too because I ditched all our AT :). Here is a list of MT cars that we have before:
93 Honda EG Civic Si
98 Volvo S70 T5
99 Honda BB6 Prelude
00 BMW E46 328i
04 Acura CL9 TSX
08 BMW E92 335i
13 Audi B8.5 S5
19 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS

Was trying to teach my daughter on MT but failed so end up I bought a Forester CVT for her collage instead of let her messing with my clutch.
 

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I was inspired by Initial D Toyota AE86 owned by Takumi Fujiwara whose father is running Tofu shop in Japan. It's a light weight responsive car.
 

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My dad taught me on a Fiat 500 in the mid / late 1970s. No syncromesh so I learnt double de-clutching etc. Have always enjoyed driving manual cars since, though have an automatic daily driver.
 
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