Driving a Manual (Stick)

Discussion in 'Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Airplanes Talk' started by IndySpeed, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. IndySpeed

    IndySpeed Friend

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    Someone must like manual cars here because there was a Christmas message mentioning it... I have driven a manual car on a race track a couple of times, and each time it was for a few days straight in high performance driving school. I have also spent thousands of hours in race track simulators, so I got my heel toe shifting down along with race track passing and hitting my apexes in the turns. Until this past year, I had owned a 2010 Corvette Z06 (sold), and I currently drive a 2014 Ford Focus ST. So, who likes to drive one besides me and what do you drive? Does anyone enjoy using racing techniques on normal streets? I still blip my throttle on downshifts which is easier on your drivetrain anyway, and I heel toe shift around corners just for fun.
     
  2. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    You are in USA, of course... Much of the rest of the world considers manual cars to be the normal, and automatic transmission to be the exception.
     
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I think Ravi (@zerodeefex) put that blurb there. In California, the powers that be decided that parallel parking and freeway driving should not be part of the test.

    Ravi and CEETEE can drive stick. They don't anymore because they traded in their sports cars for four door family vehicles. My wife drives stick. I've always driven stick and I blip the throttle and heel-toe around corners all the time. (BRZ pedals are nicely laid out for heel toe, even though they don't look like it.) I don't like the downshift lurch forward effect.

    The new automatics are pretty amazing, but driving stick is more fun, even in LA traffic (one gets used to stick over time.)
     
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  4. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I drove stick almost all my life. Until wife said no more and now all our cars are automatic.

    It required a bit of skill to drive stick while going thru step bridges in which one would have to stop up hill due to traffic. Had to do that all the time when going from Juarez to El Paso back in the day.
     
  5. IndySpeed

    IndySpeed Friend

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    The BRZ is a cool car. I thought about getting one. Very nice!
     
  6. IndySpeed

    IndySpeed Friend

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    Yeap, I know. I had heard it was around 90% manual in Europe. Here in the states it is nearly 90% automatic, and at present I do have two automatics. But I really like driving my manual better... I have a wife, so I have to have at least one automatic around for her. Perhaps one of these days, the automatic vehicle can be replaced with a dual clutch with paddle shifters. They are starting to put them in more reasonably priced cars...
     
  7. jmcmasterj

    jmcmasterj Friend

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    My dad taught me how to drive on a manual before I ever drove an automatic and that is the only kind of car I've owned until this year. I ended up trading in my WRX and bought my wife a new car, since I don't really drive anymore.
     
  8. keanex

    keanex Martian Bounty Hunter - Friend

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    I sort of wish I had a manual car, but I'm glad I stuck with automatic, driving a stick in big snowstorms doesn't sound fun.
     
  9. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    I learned with three on the tree!

    Everyone in my family has always learned to drive automatic... Wife, kids, Grandma... But almost everyone is driving automatics except in the fun cars.
     
  10. IndySpeed

    IndySpeed Friend

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    Oh, you don't know what you missing. Sometimes we get hammered with snowstorms here in the Midwest, and the stick can be fun especially if it is rear wheel drive!
     
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  11. Bigferret

    Bigferret Friend

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    Driven stick my whole life but had gotten away from it for awhile. Just got a new Civic SI and the six speed in that thing is buttery smooth. Really wanted a BRZ, but was a bit worried about how it might do in the snow. Anyway, the Honda keeps me entertained on my commute and minimizes how much I miss my motorcycle in the winter.

    Speaking of bikes, anyone else here ride?
     
  12. JK47

    JK47 The Beer Houdini

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    I drive 18spd stick at work. I'm in 5th gear before I even get to the other side of the intersection..lol

    At home, my truck is auto, but my bikes are stick (on the toe). It's been a while since I've had a fun car (too much trouble, ticket wise. On a bike I can get away...)
     
  13. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    In UK we call it a lever... but we don't usually call it anything, because the percentage of manuals is so great that is the assumption. Here in India, I think there is considerable prejudice against auto boxes, because they are, theoretically at least, more expensive on fuel. Its funny, though, to hear people talking about fuel costs when they floor it and then brake heavily!

    In fact I am a great fan of automatics, especially for city driving, and I have never been able to understand why they are not much more popular in Notamerica.

    My last car in London was an auto. Here I drive a manual. Or I did, until the December Chennai Flood picked it up and left it wrecked in a corner of the garden
     
  14. kevnin

    kevnin #facetweeting - Friend

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    Yeah, I've always owned and preferred manual transmission cars. My current one (RX-8) may soon become a casualty of my new family life though.

    I've always wanted to take one of those performance driving courses but never got around to it. How was it - did you learn a lot?
     
  15. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    My father learnt driving in the days before synchromesh gearboxes, so "double de-clutching" was part of driving. My mum could do it too. I have to confess that I never quite got the knack, and that my single attempt at driving a non-synchro-gearbox car was not very successful. When I was a kid, my father would sometimes show off no-clutch changes, up and down, just for fun. Obviously, it is necessary to set the engine speed just right before engaging gear. I would say that that was beyond me... but actually, if the engine speed is not right, then the drive is not smooth, even with clutch and synchro gears, and I suppose that I often barely touch the clutch when changing, so I may be a shade closer than I think.

    I remember my mum showing me "heel and toe," but now I can't even remember what it is about?
     
  16. IndySpeed

    IndySpeed Friend

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    It was awesome, and it improved my driving technique a lot. It is expensive though. Both times cost me a bit. The first time cost around 3K, and the second time I reserved a specific vehicle for the training so that cost me 4K.
     
  17. IndySpeed

    IndySpeed Friend

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    Here is a professional driving instructor explaining it on YouTube if you are interested:

     
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  18. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Thanks, IndySpeed! Checking that out...
     
  19. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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    hello,

    been driving for 45 years, have never owned a slushbox unless it was brought into the relationship by a partner.
     
  20. AKMike

    AKMike Rando

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    The BRZ does great in the snow, unless it's really deep snow. Being able to drift around at low, controllable speeds is just too much fun. I really miss mine.

    There's something special about manual transmissions, making driving so much more engaging.
     

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