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Teens Driving Classics


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I love seeing that there are just about as many young women as young men in the photo of the participants listening to the instructor. That bodes well for the hobby that both will carry on a love of antique vehicles hopefully someday to share that with their own families. :)

Probably for many of those young people it was their first time even being in an antique vehicle. And not only did they get to ride in one, they got to DRIVE one. And one with a standard transmission. :D

:cool: Cool!!

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The 40 Buick in the picture is mine. I really enjoyed getting to interact with the kids !! Hopefully it will get some of them interested it driveing antiques instead of thinking they belong in a museum.

It was nice to meet you.

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One of the kids mom's sent these pictures with this message.

Glynette,

Attached are pictures of your husband driving with my son Craig! Thank you both

so much for sharing with the kids, they had a ball. They couldn't stop talking

about it the whole way home. You really made their day.

Sincerely,

Linda M

DSC_0033.jpg

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I was confused. I thought the Buick was yours.:o

Nope, the only manual trans I have is attached to a Lycoming V12 and involves double-clutching. I had spoken to Josh @ Hagerty a while back and he explained the program. I think its fantastic Hagerty doing this event.

My kids are grown; one has his own vintage car and the other, well she lives in a dense urban area and hardly even drives her own car - relying instead on mass transit for the most part. But she's driven a couple of our vintage cars.

Was hoping my niece would have been able to participate but she had a conflict with extra credit summer school classes.

She just got her license this past week and I think would have enjoyed the event. She's enjoyed several Dream Cruise with us & the extended family.

Edited by YellowBird (see edit history)
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When Pat and I got married in 1977 she had an automatic Pontiac Ventura with a 350 motor. A marvelous gas hog, but it had decent ride virtues. We traded it on a '78 Datsun B210 hatchbach with a decent 4-speed trans. After about 1 hour of instruction, and practice Pat was off and rolling. She never looked back. This lady is good. She doesn't crash gears, she can and does down-shift as needed, doesn't lug the motor with the wrong gear selection, and she's never burned a clutch. Her driving skills are superb. All it ever takes is a good teacher, and a willing student.

As an aside. In 2005 we purchased a new Jetta, and the salesman was rather surprised when she insisted on test driving a 5-speed Jetta. He got a ride he probably still remembers to this day! The '05 is hers.

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We got a '74 TR-6 in '77, I believe. My wife had never driven a stick before. I rented a 4-speed Pinto for a weekend and she's never looked back. She has 107,000 miles on the original clutch in her '88 325iX winter car and we've never had to do a trans repair on anything she's driven. She currently has 4 vehicles, all sticks.

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My step-daughter, knowing that her mom is "standard shift impaired" (as in she trashed the transmission in Bill's new Torino right after they got married) , decided that the way to keep her mom from driving her car was to ask her dad and I to find a standard shift car for her. We found a Dodge Daytona here in very good condition and hauled it up to her in Mass.

Since she had never driven a stick shift car she went to some dealerships in the area, in advance of us arriving with her "new" car, and asked the sales staff if anyone would be willing to show her how to drive a standard shift vehicle. At every dealership there was someone willing to help her learn. :D

So by the time we got there she already had the basics down. Yes, she stalled it in the middle of the street :eek: a couple of times but once she got the feel of that clutch she loved driving a stick shift vehicle. :) And the car didn't have to be shared. :rolleyes:

Edited by Shop Rat
Type-o (see edit history)
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My oldest daughter got her learners permit about a month ago. She wanted a Mini Cooper but I told her it HAD to be a manual trans. When I first began her lessons she killed the motor so many times she cried. Now she has become very good at it and says it's fun to drive. She also thinks it's cool because 99.9 % of her friends cannot drive a stick. The other day I let her drive my 1940 Ford up and down the street one time; So, I'm breaking her in on everything.

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Am I glad I responded to this forum posting.

You see I have two daughters, 25 and 28, who would not learn to drive manual shift. The younger says she'd like to learn because a stick trans compared to an identical vehicle with an automatic trans gets better mileage. You drive the car, it does not drive you! What a marvelous concept!!!

Anyhow, I'm printing out this entire Forum posting for both of them to read.

Thanks again.

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I doubt that anyone in 1940 knew what three-on-the-tree meant, either. Didn't that expression emerge in the '60s when four-on-the-floor became popular with muscle cars? For a couple of decades before that, unless you bought a slush pump, or maybe a sports car or VW with four gears, three-speed column shift is just about all there was. Three-on-the-tree is a back-formed expression, or retronym, like acoustic guitar, prop plane, or steam train. When those were the only guitars, planes, or trains around, there was no need for adjectives.

Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ

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I like the old trucker term, "red neck overdrive"!

I used to use that back in 1974 when the old trucks were only geared at 63-65 mph. Driving on the down side of the hills in Pennsyvania, you'd have to kick her out of gear to get a good run on the next hill.

:eek::eek::eek::eek: Made for exciting driving!

Cops?

There were no cops in the old days(early 60's)!:)

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I am not surprised the teenagers handled driving manual transmission cars. With a little incentive most can learn to drive a shift car very well. In 1990 I purchased a 1988 Hyundia with a manual 5 speed for my 17 year old daughter. I took Stacy out for 2 hours before super and a friend did 2 more hours in the evening. She drove to school the next day and did the bunny hop for a week or so but the car survived. Seven months later she was hit in an intersection and the car was totaled. Her replacement request was 4 doors, A/C, and a manual transmission. I actually found a 1990 year old Ford Tempest and she was in heaven. A manual shift Tempest will get 38 to 40 MPG on the highway. In college Stacy and her older sister requested to drive it when making road trips.

Stacy met her husband while in college and he was astounded she drove a manual also. When I sold the Ford, I was concerned about finding a buyer wanting a 4 dr with a manual shift. The buyer was a 35 year old woman, 2 kids, who drove 40 miles who wanted only a manual.

A friend of mine died in 2008 and his 19 year old grandson asked for his 1928 Hupmobile Roadster. His modern car was a manual but double clutching was a new experience. I was honored to instruct him on handling the shifting and his mother later said it took a while but he has become very proficient. It appears several of his friends are astounded that cars came that required you to double clutch.

There is hope the younger set will take to the manual transmission. They just need a little incentive. Today, my daughters will get in a manual shift car any time, they are a little concerned about an antique but will when asked.

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Way back in 1965 I was 16, and learned to drive on my moms '52 Studebaker Commander. Three on the column, hill holder clutch, overdrive, and a small V-8. Got 20mpg plus around town, and almost 30 mpg on the highway with the overdrive engaged. I loved that car. The AACA Museum was given a restored '52 Commander in honor of Bill Smith's service to the AACA. The museums Commander is almost identical to the one my mom had. The only difference is the museum Commander is a convertible.

My 25 year old read the responses. We're going out on Saturday with my 5-speed Jetta for a driving lesson at the local high school parking lot. Wish me luck. I already got a fresh supply of Valium. Just kidding about the pills.;)

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More exposure and a note from one of the participants.

http://blog.caranddriver.com/hagerty-insurance-joins-the-save-the-manuals-cause-video/

Ms. Salsbury,

Thank you very much for organizing the Hagerty Drving Experience! My friend and I really enjoyed learning about the classic cars, their owners, and especially driving them. I got to drive the Porsche Continental Cabriolet and appreciated Barry taking the time to teach me how to drive his car. My outlook on old cars is completely different now and I want the first car I purchase to have a manual transmission. Thanks again!

Michael G

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Activities like this and the people who support them guarantee the future of our hobby. Of course these kids loved the experience. I bet more than one goes on to join the hobby one day. Big time kudos to the organizers and participants like barry and others who brought in their cars. I would also bet none of them would say "I would not do it again."

very cool.

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...My 25 year old read the responses. We're going out on Saturday with my 5-speed Jetta for a driving lesson at the local high school parking lot. Wish me luck. I already got a fresh supply of Valium. Just kidding about the pills.;)

Jim,

My son spent many parking lot hours figuring out how to drive my manual trans '96 Passat wagon (VR6 gas engine). It turns out it's a much trickier car to master than my '70 Bug Convertible, which seems to have a lot more low-end torque than the Passat--making it a much easier car to get rolling with. He was like a duck to water the first time he got in the '70.

Hope your driving lessons with your daughter go/went well!

Steve

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Parking lots are also helpful for learning where on the vehicle the tires are in comparison to where they touch the pavement.

My dad brought along some used paper cups that Mom had rinsed out and he placed them in random spots out in a local parking lot. Then he told me which tire he wanted me to hit them with.

By doing this I learn how to avoid hitting potholes and junk in the road that could flatten a tire or damage the tire and/or rim because I knew where that tire touched the pavement. :)

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When I bought my first antique car in 2000 (1932 Franklin), I called the firm that my father had been using for antique car insurance since 1960. They would not write me a policy because I was too young. I was 26. I called Hagerty, and they now have a customer for life. Great people!

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If this outing got ONE of those kids interested in having his/her own "old car" it was a success.

Agreed!

An excellent event and a great idea, even if to just give young people the idea that these cars are not unreliable death traps, or that they can't be functional as-is without big block Chevys under the hood. I've stopped at my local AutoZone twice in the Cadillac over the past few weeks and two separate young guys working there have said something akin to, "How do you keep that thing on the road? I'd put a crate motor in it and be done." Perhaps putting them behind the wheel would change their minds as this event probably did.

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Jim,

My son spent many parking lot hours figuring out how to drive my manual trans '96 Passat wagon (VR6 gas engine). It turns out it's a much trickier car to master than my '70 Bug Convertible, which seems to have a lot more low-end torque than the Passat--making it a much easier car to get rolling with. He was like a duck to water the first time he got in the '70.

Hope your driving lessons with your daughter go/went well!

Steve

Steve, It went very well. She only stalled it twice! I think she just might be 'A Natural'.:D

As for low end torque on air-cooled VW's you're right because the entire drive train is in the back, and VW's have a high winding 1st. gear. Maxes out at about 15mph which is somewhere between 4,000 to 4,500 rpm. Redline on most stock VW motors is 4,500 rpm.

Anyhow the only air-cooled VW I have running is my '63 Karmann Ghia, and I'm not quite ready to provide driving lessons with my baby. Maybe someday Erica will drive her, but not yet.

Pat drove her back to the Pocono's from Orangeburg in 1990. You might recall that 1990 was the fall apart year for me. Anyhow, I was too tired to drive so she took over, and did a really superb job. I actually fell asleep after a few miles!

See you at Hershey 2011.:)

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I find this topic is going just one way, teaching the youngsters how to drive a stick shift. I am 46 years old, and am amazes that many of the people who drive the old pre war cars don't know how to shift them correctly. They over rev the engine, and hold each gear way too long, and grind and clash the gears all day long. Many of the shifting problems I listen to are caused by lack of understanding on how to shift the early transmissions. I find I have to repeat myself several times to get them to just let the clutch out without any gas on the big cars. Make it roll in first off idle, then shift 2 end and tap the throttle for just a moment and shift into direct. My 32 Pierce with the small 366 cid engine will take off from high on flat ground no problem, it's just a little slow to wind up. The V-12 PA's go great from third. I is also fun to show people why free wheeling was so popular, as you only need the clutch on first gear, then up or down the rest of the time like a modern autostick. I was showing a 25 year owner of a car how it worked and he was flabbergasted. Ed

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Steve, It went very well. She only stalled it twice! I think she just might be 'A Natural'.:D

As for low end torque on air-cooled VW's you're right because the entire drive train is in the back, and VW's have a high winding 1st. gear. Maxes out at about 15mph which is somewhere between 4,000 to 4,500 rpm. Redline on most stock VW motors is 4,500 rpm.

Anyhow the only air-cooled VW I have running is my '63 Karmann Ghia, and I'm not quite ready to provide driving lessons with my baby. Maybe someday Erica will drive her, but not yet.

Pat drove her back to the Pocono's from Orangeburg in 1990. You might recall that 1990 was the fall apart year for me. Anyhow, I was too tired to drive so she took over, and did a really superb job. I actually fell asleep after a few miles!

See you at Hershey 2011.:)

That's great, Jim--go Erica! And great job by Pat in '90 too, for that matter! Those old VWs were pretty simple & forgiving. I guess having Matt figure out how to drive a manual with the much more tricky/finicky '96 Passat was probably a good thing, though, since now he's probably ready for anything!

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Strange world! Automatic transmissions were first popular un the USA; they were not so popular in Europe for various reasons. It seems that the people in the US are again "discovering" this kind of transmission; my first cars were equiped with a manual transmission but now, I would never consider to buy or own a vehicle with a manual transmission...

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I've been driving the '33 Continental daily for two weeks. You had no other choice for that car. The '41 Ford Pick-up and the '55 Porsche are sticks, too. My wife's summer and winter cars are 5-speeds, as will be any future car she gets. My daily drivers are all automatics.

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That's the reason I would never buy something older than 1940...To me, the fifties are the first choice, even if in all obectivity, the cars from this time are overdone. But they have all I expect to have in a US car: automatic, electric windows, power steering/brakes. However, I understand that my opinion may not please the majority!

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I wish the car went faster than 50 without the engine sounding like it wants to explode, but I'm kind of glad it doesn't as that would be about the limit of the mechanical brakes.

I am rather enjoying the experience. I must admit that I'm inspired to do this by my friend Jonathan Klinger from Hagerty Insurance, who will shortly complete 365 days in a Model A.

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That's great, Jim--go Erica! And great job by Pat in '90 too, for that matter! Those old VWs were pretty simple & forgiving. I guess having Matt figure out how to drive a manual with the much more tricky/finicky '96 Passat was probably a good thing, though, since now he's probably ready for anything!

Thanks Steve, I showed your response to Erica. She was happy. :)

I should have said early on that before Pat drove the '78 Datsun she had a few lessons in my '71 Super 'monster motor' Bug, and she really did well, and that probably contributed to her wanting a manual transmission car. That plus a bullhead:D of a husband who hates automatic's. Now all I have to do is convince Jeanelle that manual is the way to go!

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I find this topic is going just one way, teaching the youngsters how to drive a stick shift. I am 46 years old, and am amazes that many of the people who drive the old pre war cars don't know how to shift them correctly. They over rev the engine, and hold each gear way too long, and grind and clash the gears all day long. Many of the shifting problems I listen to are caused by lack of understanding on how to shift the early transmissions. I find I have to repeat myself several times to get them to just let the clutch out without any gas on the big cars. Make it roll in first off idle, then shift 2 end and tap the throttle for just a moment and shift into direct. My 32 Pierce with the small 366 cid engine will take off from high on flat ground no problem, it's just a little slow to wind up. The V-12 PA's go great from third. I is also fun to show people why free wheeling was so popular, as you only need the clutch on first gear, then up or down the rest of the time like a modern autostick. I was showing a 25 year owner of a car how it worked and he was flabbergasted. Ed

Learning to double clutch is in my opinion an absolute must know how to do if you are driving a manual transmission car. If you can drive a non synchromesh transmission you can drive anything.

Additionally, someday your clutch linkage might break, mine has a few times, and you're not going to get it home without a tow unless you know how to shift without a clutch pedal. Of course this isn't double clutching, but the same practices are employed. You have to know how to work with you motor speed versus transmission speeds in every gear. Its not hard to learn this, and it will help make you a better driver simply because you'll know how your car works.

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Does Hagerty allow teenage drivers on their policies?

I'm currently with JC Taylor and noticed that no one under 25 is covered.

My kids are approaching driving age, and while they won't have a classic as a daily driver to start with (they will have to prove how responsible they are), I would like to be able to let them drive occasionally and for special events such as school dances, etc.

Which collector car insurance companies allow younger drivers?

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Does Hagerty allow teenage drivers on their policies?

I'm currently with JC Taylor and noticed that no one under 25 is covered.

My kids are approaching driving age, and while they won't have a classic as a daily driver to start with (they will have to prove how responsible they are), I would like to be able to let them drive occasionally and for special events such as school dances, etc.

Which collector car insurance companies allow younger drivers?

That's a very good point, Brian. On my '70 VW, which I have let my teenage son drive on occasion, I have "normal" insurance (since it is my summertime commuter vehicle). I am sure that the antique insurance I have on our other old cars (we have Condon & Skelly) does not allow my son to drive them.

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