Memorable moments of driving for the first time


Hello everyone,

I would like to know what are your fond memories of getting of first getting behind the wheel. Here is one of mine;

The very first vehicle I drove was a 1988 Suzuki Samurai, a box on wheels. My dad figured that it would be beneficial for me to drive a manual transmission rather than automatic first. I had the worst time! My dad was getting mad because I was getting frustrated. I believe on the 4th or 5th time we went driving, my dad figured I would practice on small inclines. I kept killing the engine. I tried to release the clutch just so that I could move a little bit and apply the accelerator but I kept stalling. I didn’t want to drive a manual transmission until about 2 years later and I managed to do just fine on my own going only around the block a few times. After that fiasco with my dad, my mom taught me to drive on her 1988 Chevy Celebrity, an automatic.


My brothers taught me to drive his VW. After that I drove my girl friend’s car a 54 chevy and my Dad’s 1960 Chevy through highsclool…all infrequently.


When I learned to drive in the late 50’s, we had to practice; practice, on a parked car, until we had the clutching and shifting down pat. To learn a manual transmission while the car is moving is a really BAD idea. Yes,simulating shifting in a parked car does work very well. If you are comfortable with shifting, learning only the new skill of starting up hill becomes easier.


It would have been on my dad’s '61 Corvair. I don’t really recall any memorable moments. Perhaps my memory is fading or perhaps the Corvair wasn’t that memorable, I’m not sure which.


My first hill start in a vehicle with manual transmission. I had been driving stick for a total of about 25 minutes. We were taking the old F-100 to the shop to get repainted. We come up to a red light that’s at the top of semi-steep hill. I come to a stop, put it neutral and sit there, a brand new S Class Benz pulls right up behind me. My dad is getting visibly nervous. He said, “Whatever you do, do not roll backwards.” The light turns green, in a semi-panic I simultaneously nail the gas and drop the clutch, a brief smoke show ensues, but I ease off the gas and ease through the intersection. I look at my dad, he basically face palms whilst shaking his head and informs me that, while I was able to prevent the truck from rolling back, my methodology needed some work.


I was in the third grade in school I think, my dad sat on the seat behind me, and with my right hand, I pushed the clutch lever forward to engage the clutch while guiding the tractor with the steering wheel while pulling a trailer full of grape orchard prunings.
My first plowing experience, I did fine until it was time to make a turn and instead of turning, the front wheels just plowed sideways while the tractor just kept going straight, that’s when my grandfather taught me to use the individual rear brakes to help the front wheels turn the tractor.
I eventually spent many hours solo on that old John Deere long before I had a driver’s license. He even let me start the engine a couple of times. (no electric starter on this machine)


Forth grade, I was eager to drive. Somehow got the keys to the car when we were out of town in a semi-rural area. I had to go down, push the clutch, release it gradually whil trying to climb up and see where I am going. The security guard in the area dispatched dad to his car ASAP, because he “didn’t have it properly braked”.