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Old 05-01-2012, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,596 posts, read 19,089,851 times
Reputation: 5162

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Never driven a manual transmission before... always wanted to learn. I've had a lesson before but I really need a car of my own to practice. Thinking about getting a cheap car (~$2-4k) to use just to learn on and have some fun (preferably something fun to drive). This would be a second, temporary car (probably would sell it by the end of the summer), not my daily driver. If I end up hating it, at least I'll know I tried. If I end up loving driving a stick I may get one as my next car. Any ideas of what I should look for-- something easy to learn on, shifts easily, etc?
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:56 PM
 
1,906 posts, read 2,328,426 times
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Volvo 240 series. Durable, easy to learn on, the engine is very forgiving of rookie mistakes. And if you find a turbo model that can be fun.....ish.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:58 PM
 
120 posts, read 343,033 times
Reputation: 104
Honda civic
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:16 PM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
3,383 posts, read 6,258,138 times
Reputation: 1425
not sure if it makes it easier or not...


but a 5.0 mustang or a 3rd gen camaro.


I had a 92 cammed 5.0 Mustang I got for $2700, and I just bought a very very very clean 85 z28 Camaro 5-speed.

The advantage of these cars is they have alot of torque. Hell the mustang, you drop the clutch in 1st gear, and it woudl stutter, and go. NOT stall.

maybe a saturn, they are cheap.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
12,378 posts, read 12,952,480 times
Reputation: 10814
The old 5.0s are getting expensive... probably be cheaper to pick up a 4.6. You could probably find an NA Miata for that budget as well. Honda makes great shifters... I'd pounce on a Prelude if you find one, but the chances of finding a Prelude that hasn't been gay and curioused are slim to none.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
15,567 posts, read 24,764,783 times
Reputation: 11022
Quote:
Originally Posted by serialdriller View Post
Honda civic
Yes, a Honda Civic, or a '94-'98 Suzuki Sidekick 4x4. Plenty of them around, and fun to drive. Their clutches are very easy to engage and release. The Suzuki one can take off the beaten path away from other drivers.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:29 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
17,512 posts, read 32,712,538 times
Reputation: 15700
All the above have whimpy trannies for rough service.

Buy a 1950 Chev pickup for $100. You can also get some utility out of that. (many of the Fords of that vintage had 3 on the tree)

Learning to drive a stick shift will take all of 30 minutes. Be sure to learn to drive it w/o using the clutch. THAT can be very handy when needed, and helps you to be a more conscious shifter (of matching rpm). I seldom use my clutch except for stop lights that I can't time a rolling stop. I have cars with 300k and original clutch.

My kids each had to know how to get home without a clutch (and we live on a VERY steep hill). They each had to drive home more than once when cable / clutch malfunctioned.

You can buy an old semi truck with a 5x4 (double sticks) for $3000. That will get you educated on shifting.
here is a NICE double sticker that you can restore and take to the ATHS events. (or make revenue 'hauling') http://portland.craigslist.org/yam/cto/2990031698.html (broken link)
1955 autocar dump truck - $4000 10 yard box 230 cummins 4 and a 3very solid and original runs great drives stops and dumps
I will assure you that a weekend in the mtns with this rig and you will know how to shift.


I would not go buy a transverse mounted engine / tranny car to learn on.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Woodland Park, CO
3,123 posts, read 8,406,749 times
Reputation: 2442
1990s Jeep Wrangler 4cyl. Fun convertible in the summer. Cheap and 4x4 off road capable. Easy to put a bigger engine in it later on. I'd try to get a 1997.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:17 AM
 
Location: NH
1,988 posts, read 1,816,897 times
Reputation: 2408
I agree with PokerMunkee. Ive owned many cars and a Jeep Wrangler is the easiest one Ive ever driven. I just sold my 89 YJ to my 15 year old neighbor and he caught on in a couple hours. I highly recommend a Jeep, it definitely has a "cool" factor about it too. 4wd for the winter and off roading, convertible top and removable doors for the summer.

WHen learning to drive stick also take stealthrabbits advice. Very good to learn to know how to drive if your clutch ever goes. I was not allowed to learn how to drive on anything but stick because I was told if I am ever in an emergency situation and a stick shift is the only car available I should know how to drive it.

ONe more thing...StealthRabbit...can you tell me where I can find a 1950 Chevy pickup for a $100 that is driveable? Id hop on that in a second!
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:26 AM
 
30,231 posts, read 34,000,470 times
Reputation: 24733
As it will only take you a couple of hours of practice to see if you'll enjoy or hate it i'd see if i couldnt rent a manual shift car for the weekend,, yeah i know most rentals are automatics but a cheaper company on par with rent-a-wreck might have something..
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