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Learning to drive stick in a Vette?!

Old 05-17-2018, 11:11 PM
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jko727
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Default Learning to drive stick in a Vette?!

How many of you learned to drive stick in the C7? I can't be the only one lol... People think it's crazy when I tell them that the C7 is my first manual car. The salesman that I worked with agreed to show me the basics so I could get it home. The test drive was pretty rough, I was stalling a lot as you'd expect. On my way home from the dealership I hit a traffic jam and had to pull over for a few hours, I eventually made it and never looked back. Very happy with my decision in the end .
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:14 PM
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Thunder22
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I learned in the mid 80's in a 1974 VW Super-Beetle. I got about 5 minutes of instruction from my Uncle who gave me the car and the rest is history.
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:17 PM
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Kevin A Jones
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I learned to drive a stick in a Ford Pinto when I was 15. It took ***** to leave a dealership parking lot in M7 C7 having never driven one.
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:21 PM
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I learned to drive stick on my dads 65 Ford PU and enjoy my stick in the C7
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:24 PM
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6GenVettes
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Originally Posted by jko727 View Post
Very happy with my decision in the end .
Plus odds are in your favor that U will never be successfully carjacked.
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:36 PM
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The good thing about the C7 M7 is that it is made to take racing abuse, so the "fits and starts" efforts of a new stick shift driver shouldn't be an issue mechanically... Situational awareness and properly selecting the gear and engaging the clutch/gearshift to match the situation will generate a learning curve... Learning the mechanics of manual transmissions comes fairly quickly, and learning to properly DRIVE the car is a lifelong pursuit.
An additional item is that the manual trans is a theft deterrent device, as many would-be car thieves can't drive one!
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:38 PM
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Had to laugh when I thought about learning a gearbox. In 63 I taught my self on a 47 Ford Tractor and graduated to a MG TD in 66. Still have both and drove each of them this week.
Shifting those machines makes you appreciate the C7 shifting.
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:41 PM
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jko727
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Originally Posted by jimmbbo View Post
The good thing about the C7 M7 is that it is made to take racing abuse, so the "fits and starts" efforts of a new stick shift driver shouldn't be an issue mechanically... Situational awareness and properly selecting the gear and engaging the clutch/gearshift to match the situation will generate a learning curve... Learning the mechanics of manual transmissions comes fairly quickly, and learning to properly DRIVE the car is a lifelong pursuit.
An additional item is that the manual trans is a theft deterrent device, as many would-be car thieves can't drive one!
You make a good point, I can say from experience that it can handle the abuse. Auto rev match helped a lot the first few weeks until I got the hang of it. The vette is rock solid, I put it through a lot those first few weeks and it handled everything like a champ. Definitely a lifelong pursuit, I have a very long way to go haha.
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:43 PM
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I learned on a Model A coupe in a cow pasture in the early '50s before I could run the pedals predictably and consistently--legs were still too short. Thank goodness for the throttle on the column. Whenever I could get it into 2nd without killing it I'd "drive" around for ages without stopping and having to do it all again.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:12 AM
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Very cool not knowing how to drive one didn't stop you. They are a great car to drive. I learned to drive in an 84 Camaro 5 speed. Have always loved autos in sports car. Just more fun for myself. The C7 has been the easiest one yet. Still don't understand how one stalls it that has experience. I've got 4K miles on mine and have never had it stall.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:50 AM
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ColoradoGS
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I didn't learn on my M7 C7 but it felt like I did.

I learned to drive a manual when I learned to drive. It was a crappy Mercury Lynx and I drove it for about 6 years. I then drove automatics for about 25 years. When I ordered my GS I knew I wanted a manual and I did museum delivery. I asked a friend and drove his Civic for like 10 minutes a week or so before I left for the museum.

The museum experience was fantastic. At the end my guide for the day drove me out of the museum, took my picture in front of the famous banner, thanked me, and walked back inside. I sorta stared at my new Grand Sport, sitting in front of the Corvette Museum and realized I had to get in and drive it away. Oh crap. I drove it slowly around the parking lot for a few minutes before heading out on the the interstate. (Obviously driving at speed is actually easier than stopping and starting.) It was definitely a moment I won't forget.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jko727 View Post
How many of you learned to drive stick in the C7? I can't be the only one lol... People think it's crazy when I tell them that the C7 is my first manual car. The salesman that I worked with agreed to show me the basics so I could get it home. The test drive was pretty rough, I was stalling a lot as you'd expect. On my way home from the dealership I hit a traffic jam and had to pull over for a few hours, I eventually made it and never looked back. Very happy with my decision in the end .
While I did not learn in a C7, I did learn from a salesman when I bought my’95 Z28. I decided than, if I was going to get a v8 it needed to be stick. I knew the basics, but the test drive was rough and I ultimately bought it and drove it home. After a weekend of practicing in a parking lot, I too never looked back

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Old 05-18-2018, 01:02 AM
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Default Stick shift learning stories (sorry to digress)

31 years ago I was a graduate student in Boston. My 2 buddies and I all passed our PhD “qualifying exams” so we decided, literally on the spur of the moment, to drive to Florida to celebrate. We piled into the only car we had, one of my friend’s Ford Escort, manual everything. Only he and I knew how to drive stick, the other friend did not, but we figured the two of us could do it in turns. Note the intention was to drive straight through, as we didn’t have enough money for fripperies like overnight motels.

Started out in the morning, by midnight we’d only made it as far as West Virginia and we (both drivers) were flat out bushed. So we pulled into a deserted Kmart parking lot at 2 AM, forced the third guy to learn to drive the stick, got him back on the highway, and went to sleep.

We made it to Florida, eventually.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:27 AM
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I learned on a 20 year old farm pickup when I was 14. My cousin tossed me the keys and left, so it was sink or swim.
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:27 AM
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TKgs2010
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As long as you get the co-ordination right and understand the basics it's not that difficult to learn. I've taught a few that have never driven a manual transmission to shift 9, 10, and 13 speed transmissions in a tractor trailer, so a straight 7 speed isn't so bad. I know I'm not the majority, but I could never buy a sports car with an automatic transmission, so good for you on taking the initiative to learn. Once you get used to it, the experience of shifting for yourself can't be beat, enjoy the car!
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:47 AM
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JerryU
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Originally Posted by jko727 View Post
How many of you learned to drive stick in the C7? I can't be the only one lol... People think it's crazy when I tell them that the C7 is my first manual car. The salesman that I worked with agreed to show me the basics so I could get it home. The test drive was pretty rough, I was stalling a lot as you'd expect. On my way home from the dealership I hit a traffic jam and had to pull over for a few hours, I eventually made it and never looked back. Very happy with my decision in the end .
I give you a lot of credit! Good job!

I learned ~60 years ago driving back and forth in the driveway before I got my license! Have only driven standard shifts as my DD since!

Reminds Me of a Story:
Have a good friend and colleague who would visit on the weekend with his teenage son before he got his driver's license. His son would sit in my Chevy S10 truck that was parked and be shifting the 5 speed for fun, engine was never running.

When it came time to sell it, gave them a good price. His son started it up and was jerking out of the driveway like a bucking bronco! I asked his dad if he every drove a stick and to my surprise he said NO-but he'll learn! He did!

Last edited by JerryU; 05-18-2018 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jko727 View Post
How many of you learned to drive stick in the C7? I can't be the only one lol... People think it's crazy when I tell them that the C7 is my first manual car. The salesman that I worked with agreed to show me the basics so I could get it home. The test drive was pretty rough, I was stalling a lot as you'd expect. On my way home from the dealership I hit a traffic jam and had to pull over for a few hours, I eventually made it and never looked back. Very happy with my decision in the end .
I give you a ton of credit. I was in a similar situation over the past couple weeks, trying to decide A8 or M7 and not being able to drive stick. A friend gave me a brief lesson in manual on his new Camero last weekend and it was a ton of fun. I did stall out a bunch of times trying to get out of a parking lot when we were turning around. The guy behind me must have been laughing his butt off. I decided earlier this week to get the A8 (partly because that was my wife's preference) but am considering trading in my DD for a stick shift so that I can get comfortable with stick. I probably would have wanted another lesson or two in stick before taking the car home from the dealer myself. Good work man.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:03 AM
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Learned to shift on a ‘60 finned Plymouth wagon. Then, later in life, bought a ‘31 Model A roadster and had to learn how to double-clutch (gears not synchronized)! After two automatic Vettes, went with the M7 this time. Driving experience much more engaging.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:04 AM
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I was able to perfect my manual transmission shifting skills in this beauty.

Total piece of ****, but at least I didn’t mind grinding the gears.
Now (as you all know) the 7 speed in the C7 is so much more forgiving. All that torque makes it almost impossible to stall. My last two Corvettes were automatic and it feels so good to be driving a manual again.
Congratulations on taking the leap like you did and enjoy your new Corvette.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:14 AM
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There's a reason a manual shift is considered a millennial anti-theft device

Both my sons (ages 24 and 26) learned how to drive a manual transmission when they were in their late teens. None of their friends know how. Their peer groups are stunned and amazed at their mechanical "skills".

For those in their 40's or older, driving a manual transmission car was a necessity. Automatics were a luxury item (just like power windows, power door locks, etc.). For a while (especially in the late 19070's and 1980's) almost any car, other than luxury cars, were manuals.

I'm glad you are learning to drive one. Now, make sure you aren't getting bad habits like letting your foot ride the clutch, excessive clutch slipping, etc. Plus, you really haven't earned your chops until you drive a car/truck with a "three on the tree" and drive an older car without a syncromesh transmission.
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