My last couple posts about manuals have gotten so many replies I've decided to make this an un-official "MANUAL WEEK" (not that every week at Jalopnik isn't already a manual week..)

Here's my first 2 posts:

What did you learn to drive a manual on?

Is your daily driver a manual?

This morning I received the following reply from philiphilip regarding how they learned stick:

VW Golf. On a test drive. Salesman drove it too a parkinglot close to the dealership, taught both me and my girlfriend at the time to drive stick, and she drove it back to the showroom where she bought the car.

Good salesman? Great salesman. Today 11:33am

There are a couple of things here that seem crazy to me. 1) A dealer let you learn to drive a stick on one of their cars? 2) You learned to drive a stick in what was probably only a few hours?


For me, I would say about half of my serious girlfriends have known how to shift for themselves. The other half I have tried to teach....with various results. The first time I tried to teach at 19 on my '89 Jetta I actually made my girlfriend cry (seriously I'm not a bad guy. Promise.). Later, about 25 years old and trying to teach on my '95 Del Sol I had that girlfriend get so angry with the car she started yelling at me (and how stupid I was for this whole owning a car that you had to shift thing). Finally, at 33 in my 2010 Clubman I actually got some success, so much so that she actually ended up in traffic on the freeway but that took several lessons in parking lots, and she happily went back to her automatic Camry.

Part of my issue I think is it is just so difficult for me to explain how to drive using a clutch. Other than "let out on the left pedal, while giving it a little bit of gas" ends up stalling the car 99% of the time. And somehow, they always manage to kill it violently, shaking the car back and forth almost giving one whiplash (a result I can't even recreate when trying).

So what's the secret? Have you taught someone to drive a manual? Were you successful? What kind of car was it? Did they take to the row it for yourself lifestyle or shrug and go back to their slushboxes?