The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    11,228

    Default Someone talk me out of this...

    Okay, I'm a car nut.

    I'm a car nut without the money to indulge my habit.

    However, I have more than enough for a new Focus (I'm on A-Z Plan at Ford, through Dad) and will still have enough left over for a new furnace and maybe ot patch the roof. So, Focus it is.

    Someone remind me what a bad idea it would be to buy a manual-transmission car without ever having actually driven one. Do I know the standard gear box? Yes. Do I understand the theory? Yes. Have I ever actually applied said theory to operation of a motor vehcile? No. (Tractors don't count. Of course I can drive that, but that's not the same kind of clutch.) Is it cheaper? Yep. (At 2% below dealer cost, does $815 matter? No.)

    But it would be so much fun and I could pretend it was a proper car squeee...

    I've given up on getting a tow vehicle, realizing that one, I don't go anywhere with the horse and two, a truck or crossover is not a practical daily vehicle. So the hauling issue is no longer relevant. And the problem is I just really really really really really wanna learn to drive a stick because all my dream cars are only worth even dreaming about if you drive a stick--Mustang GT Cobra, Jaguar XKR...okay, my REAL dream car is an Aston Martin Vantage V12 but the others are at least in the realm of possibility. Unless I marry SPECTACULARLY well or become the mother of all day traders I will never have a quarter mil to blow on a car.

    Remind me there is no practica value in driving a stick. Please. So I don't bring it up with Dad the Automotive Engineer.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2007
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    509

    Default

    I used to be a manual transmission purist, but no more. All it took for me was a couple of good gridlock traffic jams on my commute and I said goodbye to the stick shift. There is nothing worse than inching along in a traffic jam while constantly "clutching." I loff my automatic car and doubt I'll go back.

    My advice: Get your Focus with automatic transmission. You don't want to be grinding the gears while you learn to shift on your nice new car, do you? Then save your pennies and get the sports car of your dreams as a second vehicle later. Get a really old used one, and drive it into the ground.

    That is my free advice, and probably worth what you paid for it.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2001
    Location
    Alaska. Not in an Igloo.
    Posts
    8,994

    Default

    As a fellow AZ plan member (and 4 time focus owner) I fully support you in your quest for focus. Agree with above though, get a automatic.

    My first two cars (1982 Volvo and 2001 F150) were both manual and I was AWFUL. I still want to learn though. And I also want a fancy sports car thus the learning.
    Seig Heil Polo Shirt!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2006
    Location
    on and off the bit
    Posts
    4,441

    Default

    I hope you have someone very patient and loving to teach you how to drive a stick. You can't just get in a straight-shift car and take off. (But then, I've never driven a tractor. )
    I was taught by my parents. I was fortunate.

    I dearly love my old car, but I wish it were a stick!
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2007
    Location
    Heaven on Earth--Sonoma County, CA
    Posts
    1,818

    Default

    Well, you can be entertaining to your friends and neighbors at least.

    I have a 16 year old student who just got her driver's license and a car. She was determined to have a mini cooper, but had to buy a manual one to keep it in her budget. My driveway is on a slope. And there is a gate. With a key pad. You must stop, hit the key pad numbers, then wait for the gate to open, then drive through, up the hill.

    Best entertainment I've had in years. Everyone at the farm makes sure to be there when she comes after school. Heck, it's so entertaining I think hibernating woodland creatures wake up to watch.

    Between the amount of tire rubber she's left on my driveway, the numbers of gears she's grinded, and the number of branches, ditches and brambles she's rolled back in to, that little thing is taking a WICKED beating. Guess will find out if its as good a car as is reported, LOL. We're a month in, and we're still getting pretty good afternoon entertainment, though it is getting progressively less fun for us.

    So if you are looking to be the local entertainment go for it. If you actually have some pride, and want to just drive about easily, get the automatic.
    Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
    Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
    www.phoenixsporthorses.com
    Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 15, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    5,034

    Default

    I gave up my stick when my oldest was a baby...just seemed like the right thing to do because I was already short about 6 hands for everything I needed to do I would love to have another but it's so hard to find them anymore...at least in a vehicle I'd buy. So, will probably special order one at some point so I can feel young again

    But, if you've never driven one, might want to spring for the auto. I don't think learning is a big deal, but I learned at 17 when my dad bought me one and said not to drive it until HE taught me. I promptly got in it, kept it rolling through every stoplight until I got to my (stick-savvy) friend's house and she put me on a hill until I learned.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,922

    Default

    I drive stick, and it's not so hard. You could really pick it up in a weekend, and I love it. Depending on how you shift and what RPM you let it get to, better for gas mileage too. I think it's fun!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 8, 2004
    Location
    Back in the 'nati
    Posts
    3,346

    Default

    I'm going to be a voice of dissent and say get the stick!!! I had driven one a handful of times, but had always thought it would be a good skill to learn, when I bought my current car (1998 Ford Escort wagon). I love my little car, and according to everything I have read, the auto tranny in the same model is a dog with no acceleration. Like you said, I can pretend it's a sweet sports car if I want, or I can short-shift if I want to get better gas mileage (which doesn't happen very often, LOL!) Right after I bought the car I went home and started to freak out...but it only took me about 2 days before I was an old pro. It's really not that hard...and you'll have to learn someday when you do get that awesome sports car!!!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
    Location
    Happily in Canada
    Posts
    5,173

    Default

    The good thing about learning stick is that you will never be 'that girl' who can't drive whatever vehicle is needing to be driven right then.

    This has come in handy for me to:
    -drive someone else's truck and trailer home when she broke her wrist
    -drive some else's car when mine broke down
    -drive someone else's car while being the designated driver
    -using someone else's truck & trailer when I didn't have my own, and they owed me a favour
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,167

    Default

    McVillesMom,

    I'm with you. I have automatic F250 PSD and my Mazda 3 (2.5l) is a standard. I hate driving it in Denver traffic but I don't live in Denver so usually don't have to deal with the stop-and-go nonsense.

    I love driving standard!!!

    And getting standard will insure you learn to drive it very quickly



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
    Posts
    10,547

    Default

    I love a manual. Also, I like the Ford Focus. In the manual option. This sounds odd for a "test drive," but I arrested a gal one time who had one, and I had to move her vehicle off the road...sweet little clutch on it, nice on the inside, etc etc. Very comparable to the Saleen I had to move earlier this year (I almost wet my pants in happiness). My fiance likes them too, and he's a. a die hard truck guy, and b. anti-stick shift. He rented one and took it dune jumping in the desert...don't ask.

    Yeah, I love my job. It's not like this...but I sure wish it was!!!
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2009
    Location
    central PA
    Posts
    126

    Default

    I have a manual transmission Ford Focus I did learn to drive stick when I was 17 (my mom made my brother and I go to this parking lot with a really steep hill and we had to be able to stop and start on the hill before we graduated to the roads haha) and it's one of those things where it's kind of hard to get at first, but the second you get the feel for it, it's fine and not difficult at all after that.

    I love driving stick, having more control over the car and being able to save some money on gas - also looks like you are in Michigan - it's easier to drive stick (once you can do it properly of course) in snow and ice! I would not trust my Focus at all on snow/ice (because it's so light) if it wasn't stick.

    It's a handy skill to have and you never know when it'll come in handy - do you know anyone with an old manual car you could learn on so you don't grind the gears on your new car? Good luck - it's fun!
    'Not all those who wander are lost.'



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2004
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    1,519

    Default

    I have a 06 Focus, automatic, and he is named "Henry" and I love him

    Love my Focus!! Though I wish I had anti-lock brakes but can't change that!
    "The horse you get off f is not the same horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better" - unknown author



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,453

    Default

    As long as you don't do a long commute with stop and go traffic I say go for the stick. We won't buy anything else. We just bought a used BMW and I can't believe most people buying such a fun little car as automatics - we had a hard time finding a manual transmission.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 1999
    Location
    South Coast Plaza
    Posts
    20,504

    Default

    I absolutely HATE driving automatic. And I have to drive in traffic after work each day. Get the stick.
    EDDIE WOULD GO



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2009
    Posts
    3,619

    Default

    I've had a stick shift in at least one car for 35 of the last 40 years. Pain in the pitutti in traffic jams, but I dont care, love them! For the 5 years I didn't have one, I felt old. Go figure.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 27, 2010
    Location
    SE VA
    Posts
    1,236

    Default

    I love my stick. My first car was a 98 mustang. My parents tought me to drive it. I liked it a lot. Then I traded it in for new 2008 Mustang GT california special. I REALLY love that car. Really fun to drive. But I would not suggest learning stick in a brand new car. If you know someone who can teach you in an old beater, go for it.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
    Location
    Happily in Canada
    Posts
    5,173

    Default

    My Dad tried to teach me but it was a cheapie/beater truck with a bench seat that wasn't quite far enough forward (so I had to reeeeeaaaach for the clutch). We live on a dirt road so I could practice a bit without being in anyone's way. However I wasn't exactly good enough to drive it in town...

    One Sunday he asked me to go to the hardware store (only store open on Sunday) for some bolts, "and take the brown truck." My sister came with me and counted 17 stalls... there was only one other vehicle in town, so I got to navigate all the 4-way stops, lights etc. and it didn't matter if I stalled it. By the time I got home I had the hang of how NOT to stall it (mostly) when stopping and starting or being on a slope.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009
    Posts
    5,406

    Default

    get the stick. Easier in terms of maintenance (fewer moving parts to break in a manual transmission) and I think its fun. Plus, with a car like a Focus that doesn't have a ton of HP/Torque you will feel like you're getting a lot more power with a manual.

    Its pretty easy to learn if you've already been driving for awhile (and therefore not having to worry about other stuff!). I bought my car, a Scion TC as a manual, never having driven a stick before. It took me about a week of practice around the neighborhood before I ventured out onto the "real" street and drove to work. I was a little tense for awhile and there were a couple of stalls, but now its like second nature. And I live in CA, so trust me when I say its really not that bad in gridlock traffic Oh, and the e-brake will be your best friend if you're ever in a situation with hills.

    Also...generally if you travel anywhere outside the US, most of the rental cars you encounter will be manuals. Especially Europe. So its definitely a very useful skill to have.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2005
    Location
    washington state
    Posts
    10,140

    Default

    Manual trannies can be fun I still remember the excitement of buying my fantabulous Nissan 300ZX back in 1993. I was young, it was southern California and I had a super fast stick shift with a sun roof.

    I bought it and figured out I would learn to drive it on the way from the dealership to the base (I was in the USAF), I had to take a carload of friends later from Riverside to Irvine later for the Weenie Roast Music Festival.

    I got in my first ever right in the middle of traffic almost fist fight when I kept stalling it on the overpass at the 215, the lady behind me jumped out of her car and ran up, I forgot about driving and started yelling back. She had all these long braids flying around, looked kinda like the predator in the movie Predator. I said so. She really got mad then. My friend somehow managed to calm both of us down and we laid rubber all the way over the overpass.

    Then we got to the main gate at the base. I slowed to get out my ID and stalled (of course). It took maybe 15 minutes to get the 20 feet up to the gait guard who then gave me a sobriety test. I passed, no thanks to my Fresca can that the guard though could possibly be a beer can. You guessed it, it took me another 15 minutes of lurching and stopping before I finally got it and went shooting down the road about 25 mph over the posted speed limit (more laying of the rubber occurred).

    Then, I actually figured it out and got real good at it on the backed up SoCal freeway system from Riverside to Irvine. My friends had a fun time "encouraging" me
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



Similar Threads

  1. Can we talk about oat HAY?
    By Petstorejunkie in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Apr. 7, 2011, 07:42 PM
  2. Talk me out this?
    By OGM in forum Off Course
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: Jan. 15, 2011, 06:42 PM
  3. Talk to me about CWD
    By hellerkm in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: Oct. 6, 2010, 11:26 PM
  4. Let's talk about being a vet!
    By diddlez66 in forum Off Course
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: Sep. 27, 2010, 08:16 PM
  5. talk me out of this SOMEONE!
    By europa in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: Jan. 6, 2010, 01:52 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness