Monday, December 15, 2014

14 barks and woofs on “Question of the Day

  1. My first job out of high school was a route salesman for Omar Bakeries. You had to drive an International Metro Mite 3 speed on the floor. The guy who taught me was Elmer Griffith, long passed, who had psychiatica in the lower back. I bounced that poor man around and he was in such pain. But I learned and drove a 3 1/2 ton flat bed through San Antonio since I’ve been in Tx.

  2. I was in my mid-twenties and it was perhaps 1972. I had to drive a straight shift Firebird from Asheville, NC to Augusta, Ga. I could not drive a straight and several had failed in the attempt to teach me. Yes, I have a slight taint of idiocy. But let me tell you, by the time I made it to Augusta that evening, I could drive a straight shift! Once I discovered the joys of a manual transmission (seems to me one has more control of the vehicle), I prefer a straight to an automatic, especially on snowy winter roads.

  3. If you learned to drive in the ’40’s you didn’t go to driver’s ed, which didn’t exist. Your dad, your brother or your mom taught you. Stick shift was what there was so you had to learn if you wanted to drive. The shift was on the steering wheel. Nothing fancy. Three gears. Start, drive and reverse.

    • PS: my roommate reminds me we didn’t get much of a chance to practice what we’d learned by the time we were old enough to drive which was war time. Gas rationing kept us dependent on carpools and the local bus service or streetcars. It puzzles me that we as a country no longer practice that good old WWII conservation now that we know how much damage is caused to the environment by all of us driving to and fro for whatever and nothing.

  4. About 1984 or 85, while stationed in West Germany, I had to learn in order to drive the deuce and a half truck I was assigned to for deployments. Took about 30-45 minutes to learn, and aside from one car, I’ve driven manual ever since. As Jill stated, it feels like I have more control – plus nobody wants to borrow my car.

  5. I learned in the ’50s. My parents did not want me to get a license or allow me to drive so my aunt paid for my lessons at a local driving school as a gift for my high school graduation. In 1958 Cuba, you had to be 18 to get a license so I had to wait six months before it was issued.

  6. I learned on my uncle’s motorcycles when I was about 10 years old, 60+ years ago. Every car I have had since then has been manual except one. I prefer my 6-speed four wheel drive Toyota Tacoma pickup to my wife’s fancy Lexus Hybrid, particularly in the Colorado mountains. I can match the speed to the incline on the mountain passes better with the gearbox.It works better too in deep snow in winter.

  7. I learned on an Austin Metro: four-speed, three-cylinder, right-hand drive. I can drive a manual in the US, but I keep opening the door instead of changing gears. And for some reason the gear progression makes more sense to my left hand than to my right….

  8. self taught, we had a 1964 Dodge Dart station wagon 225 slant 6 w/3 on the tree. The day I turned 16 got my drivers license in Dads ’68 Coronet Station Wagon. Went home, hopped into the Dart and decided I wouldn’t get out until I mastered 1st and reverse, 2nd and 3rd are easy. Before I managed to completely tear up the yard, I was on my way. That was March of 1970, since then I’ve driven 3, 4, and 6 speed cars along with an 10 speed bus on the autobahn. It had overdrive in 3 – 6 that required you to engage the clutch before you flicked the electric switch on the gear shift.

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