‘A woman who tried to steal an unsuspecting grocery shopper’s sedan would have succeeded if not for one major obstacle — she didn’t know how to drive a car with a manual transmission.’
I have read several similar accounts. I find them hilarious. I will continue to remove keys and lock doors.
In my community, a car thief who couldn’t drive a stick shift wouldn’t be admitted to the Robbers and Thieves Local #456 union.
Probaly couldnt have got a Cessna 182 off the ground either. Wouldnt count on having a manual transmission as a security device.
Manual transmissions often get funny looks from parking valets, too. That’s another reason I avoid them at all costs.
Avoid them? Valets or manual transmissions? I wear it as a badge of honor that most people can’t drive a manual. Always enjoy these stories of foiled car thieves. Plus, most folks won’t ask to borrow your car either.
I consider myself very lucky to have learned to drive in a couple of “stick shift” vehicles. My wife learned to drive in her dad’s manual shift station wagon and both my daughter and son learned to drive in my 5-speed Camaro. Driving a manual shift is probably a dying art but I’m glad I know how.
Valets, @Ed Frugal ! Valets always! I have 2 manual trans cars right now. I love the feel of shifting for myself.
I wonder how many people today could drive a column shift 3 speed manual equipped with aa Borg Warner overdrive?
My brother took his Dodge caliber in to a repair facility in Michigan 6+ months ago, and my brother said that the young technician at the shop didn’t know how to drive a manual. Interesting!!!
@Triedaq The very first manual I ever drove was a '65 Belair with a 3 on the tree. Horrible sloppy, mess that it was! 1st gear was little more than a guess.
I doubt you could find 1 in 5000 under the age of 50 who even know what that is, let alone who could drive one.
I used to work with a guy who had an early 70’s Ford pickup with “3 on the tree” so I’ve seen one but never driven one. My favorite joke about valet parking was from a female comedian whose name I can’t quite remember. As I recall, she said she pulls up to the valet in her rusted out 88 Honda and says to the guy, “Alright, no joyriding mister! I’ve written down the odometer so if its much over 198,500 you’re gonna be in big trouble!” “And then we both enjoy a laugh!” I plan to use that joke if I ever find myself using valet parking.
It’s a double edge sword.
I got a little tipsy at a party once and a friend offered to drive my car home for me. After just 4 miles, the clutch was glazed and I lived with the slipping clutch for about 30k miles. I learned to never loan my car to anyone on that day. Sleeping off the booze in the backseat isn’t that bad compared to the alternatives
I wouldn’t get a manual tansmission car now since I have to commute 43 miles one way, often in a rolling backup on the highway. I remember the days when I commuted and drove a stick. My left leg ached a lot. If I could have a car just for weekends and other larks, I would consider a manual. And my wife doesn’t drive a stick. We like to have cars we can both drive. Maybe a shiftable automatic would work.
@Mustangman My 1st vehicle, a 1974 F-100, had 3 on tree. Learned to drive it in about 30 minutes. I’m under 40 BTW.
The three speed column shift replaced the floor shift on cars for most domestic manufacturers in 1939…Ford didn’t adopt it until 1940. It wasn’t until after WW II that the column shift became available on light duty pickup trucks. The column shift worked well on my 1947 Pontiac, 1948 Dodge, and 1954 Buick. The column shifters on my 1955 Pontiac and 1965 Rambler were terrible. I think the automakers by the mid 1950s didn’t want to make manual transmissions. In fact, conversion kits were available to convert a column shift to a floor shift by the late 1950s.
The last car I ever drove or saw,with a 3 speed column shift was a 1977 Chevrolet Chevelle. I did borrow a Ford Pickup from a,friend that was probably an early 1980s model. I am really curious as to the year the last column manual shift vehicle was produced.
I’ll go off-topic . . .
I couldn’t read the article, because I was supposed to answer that stupid questionnaire before being allowed to continue
no thank you
My BIL bought a Dodge D series in 1978 with a slant 6 and a manual column shifter. IIRC, he bought that truck because it was the only one left with a manual shifter, and was therefore the least expensive half ton on the market.
I still remember my dad explaining the H pattern for shifting on the ole 58 Chevy wagon. He even wrote it down as a reminder of where the gears were. Served me well.