[TR] Learning to drive a TR

Francis Precht FPrecht at frostburg.edu
Sun Mar 28 13:55:15 MST 2010

IMHO, it all depends on: the teacher, the student, and the car.  I have 2
daughters, aged 18 and 21. Both learned to drive in an automatic.  I
originally justified buying the '65 TR4A so the older daughter could drive it
her last 2 years of high school (I thought how cool would that be!!!). Well,
the driver ed teacher asked what kind of car all the students would likely be
driving, then made an offhand comment about wanting something with more
protection around him.  So, I got her a '94 Geo Tracker (pink!!).  She loved
it because it looked like a Barbie car.  That lasted 3 months until unwilling
to down-shift she slid on some ice turning too fast thru a green light, hit
the curb, and bent 2 rims and sliced up 2 tires.  She hasn't even tried to
drive a manual since.

Now the other daughter (now 18) has always wanted to drive 'Speedy' the TR
since she was 12.  Nothing's going to stop her!!  In fact, I wish she would
SLOW DOWN.  2 chargeable accidents and a speeding ticket.  And, I think she's
broken the rear end differential mounting bolts as there is now a clunk back
there.  She still has a little problem with hill starts-a real issue since we
live in the mountains.

I learned to drive on an automatic.  HAD to learn a manual shift when as a
laborer on a summer job the electrician said go get coffee and tossed me the
keys.  I said I couldn't drive a stick.....he said go get coffee or don't come
back.  He watched as I stalled it trying to get it rolling, and laughed.  When
I got back with the coffee he asked where the creamer was.  That was my

So, if the person WANTS to learn to drive a stick, they will.  I think the
motivation (or lack of) is the deciding factor.  Find a large empty parking
lot and let her have a go at it.  The car you can always fix.  The memory of
having her uncle teach her will last a lifetime.

bud precht
'65 TR4A
'52 MGTD  (sorry, but yes it's an MG.  and I love it just as much as the
TR....but for different reasons.  Sort of like my 2 daughters!)

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