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Hey all, new to the forums and new to manual cars... I'm having my friend give me lessons in his old porchse and I wonder how long did it take all of you to master stick?

How long do u think I should have been driving stick for before getting a lotus?

Any suggestions would be great as I am new to this all. I look forward to chatting with you guys and eventually getting my own lotus!
 

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A couple of days after getting a chauffeur's license I learned to drive a truck and began making deliveries of auto parts.
 

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it took me a lot shorter then i thought it would. the elise was the first manuel car i owned and it took me a week or two get every shift smooth. now i love driving a manuel. you have so much more control over the car and its just more fun. i think the elise is pretty easy to drive. the clutch is pretty easy to get the feel of. i love my new TODA clutch though. so much better then stock
 

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I learned 37 years ago.... took me 1/2 hour on a 1954 Chevy.
 

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I bought a new Escort GT when I turned 16 that was a manual. By the time I got home from the dealership, I could drive it fine. That was my first time driving a manual, but I had ridden motorcycles for years and understood how clutches worked.
 

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My 1st car was a '68 VW bug... bought in 1971. Never drove stick before I bought the car so I learned by driving it. It only took a few minutes to feel comfortable driving stick and a couple of days before it became 2nd nature.

I drove the old station wagon (pushbutton automatic) later in the week and slammed on the brake (wide pedal) after just a few seconds because I was so used to hitting the clutch to shift.

After a month or two of driving stick, I feel like I had it mastered. When my clutch cable broke the 1st time, I learned quickly how easy it was to shift without using the clutch (not recommended unless it's an emergency ;))
 

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I had the 56 Chevy Nomad Wagon - 3 in the tree - learned by the time I reached downtown LA from the Valley.

My son learned on his Acura a few months ago and it took him about 2 hours in a parking lot to figure it out. After a few months, he's pretty close to an expert.

Steve
 

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It takes most people about a half an hour to get a hang of the mechanics of it, and about a week of driving around to master it.

Give yourself a couple weeks of driving stick, then take a test drive. You should be able to tell then if you're ready for an Elise or not.
 

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Good to know, I need to start getting in as much practice as possible! Once thats don't I just need to be able to afford one haha.
 

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German Reimport
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Make sure you actually get the idea of what is going on mechanically back there behind the engine when you have a stick.
I think understanding that helps with learning how to drive a stick.
But then - I'm an engineer, and it might just be me and the way my brain works...:D
 

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But then - I'm an engineer, and it might just be me and the way my brain works...:D
I'm right there with you. Understanding how things work helps me immensely, and i'm also going to school to be an engineer.


Took me a few hours on my dads car to learn (learned to drive with a stick). To be honest i had a lot of trouble at first just getting moving, i stalled a lot, but once in motion i was fine. After a little while though i started to get the hang of it. Not hard to learn, takes some time to really get good at. I really need to learn rev matching for downshifting, that's the one place i'm not so good at.
 

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It takes most people about a half an hour to get a hang of the mechanics of it, and about a week of driving around to master it.
I disagree with most people "mastering" it in about a week. I've ridden with people who have been driving stick for a couple of years that still suck at it. They just found a way that worked for them and kept their bad habits.

I have also known many who "Think" they have mastered stick or "think" that they know how to drive but then when you actually ride with them and have them show you what they know.... they either don't know what they are talking about, they are doing it wrong, or they flat out can't do it.

Driving stick is a coordination drill. Bottom line is, some people are NOT coordinated. Most people can get to a base line of ability to "drive" a stick, but to truly "master" it depends on the person.

I've been driving stick since 84'...
 

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One afternoon with a couple friends the day before embarking on a coast to coast drive in a volkswagon dasher diesel. Unfortunately that trip we lost the car in Casey Illinois and had to bus it the rest of the way. The Elise was my first time owning a stick many years after learning it. Funny thing about it is every time I drive an unfamiliar automatic (say rental car, etc.) there is that brief period of disorientation where I'm stepping on air where the clutch should be. I guess what I'm trying to say is it's very natural so don't worry. Can't call mastery until I can heel toe shift though!
 

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My 1st car was a '68 VW bug... bought in 1971. Never drove stick before I bought the car so I learned by driving it. It only took a few minutes to feel comfortable driving stick and a couple of days before it became 2nd nature.

I drove the old station wagon (pushbutton automatic) later in the week and slammed on the brake (wide pedal) after just a few seconds because I was so used to hitting the clutch to shift.

After a month or two of driving stick, I feel like I had it mastered. When my clutch cable broke the 1st time, I learned quickly how easy it was to shift without using the clutch (not recommended unless it's an emergency ;))
I learned in a '72 VW bug myself...albeit not in 1972. :D
 

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I disagree with most people "mastering" it in about a week. I've ridden with people who have been driving stick for a couple of years that still suck at it. They just found a way that worked for them and kept their bad habits.

I have also known many who "Think" they have mastered stick or "think" that they know how to drive but then when you actually ride with them and have them show you what they know.... they either don't know what they are talking about, they are doing it wrong, or they flat out can't do it.

Driving stick is a coordination drill. Bottom line is, some people are NOT coordinated. Most people can get to a base line of ability to "drive" a stick, but to truly "master" it depends on the person.

I've been driving stick since 84'...
Actually, i agree with you. "Mastering" is not really the best word.

I meant "mastering" in the sense that one is able to drive without constantly stalling at intersections or grinding the gears.
 

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That's all there was when I grew up in England - it took me longer to get used to driving an automatic, and I still look for the clutch and gearlever if I drive my wife's car!
 

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Learn how to avoid lugging.
The hardest basic thing to learn is starting from a dead stop going uphill without rolling back.
To master a manual, drive something with failed synchros for a few years until it's comfortable.

There are also different ways to setup a clutch.
After driving one set to release fully depressed, I can't seem to adapt to anything else now.
I hated that at first.
Good for hard driving though.

If you want to really appreciate transmissions, drive a truck with non synchronized gears.
 

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The first Standard I drove was a 69 Camaro (it was 1998) that had been in some collectors garage undriven for several years. The gas was barely flamable and unless I gave it alot of revs it died. Not a good experience. Didn't take long once we refueled. But I thought I was never going to get it for a while.

I wasn't very good at it for quite a while. Took me a few years before I was good downshifting. Didn't know any better.
 
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