How'd You Learn To Drive A Stick?

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One of the most important skills every car enthusiast must posses is the ability to drive a car equipped with a manual transmission. Otherwise, you're just pointing the car. How'd you learn to drive a stick?

I actually learned twice. The first time was with my grandfather in a black 1994 Ford Escort hatchback (I learned to drive on a silver Escort Wagon) that I was going to take to college. Zooming around completely flat suburban Houston, grinding through the five gears, I took to it quickly. Sure, there was no tach, but a tach is cheating. I learned by sound and feel, not sight. Growing up in a household where most of the cars were stick (and Escorts, actually) it was second nature.

This was the first time I learned. The second time was when I arrived in Austin, Texas for college. It was rainy, there was actual topography, and it was full of awful drivers and one-way streets. What I knew of driving a stick was rapidly amended the first time my car started to fall backwards or I had to downshift to 1st to drag the wimpy Escort up a hill.


When, where, how and in what did you learn to row your own gears?

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