Update 4/20/18 3:40 EST - He bought it! Apparently he offered $400 off asking and the the seller immediately accepted, which bummed him out a little. On the bright side he has an offroad toy and I’ve converted another to driving stick!
A friend called up around 8PM needing to learn how to drive stick by tomorrow. Turns out he is going to look a 5-speed Sidekick tomorrow afternoon!
He came over and as the Saab’s starter is having problems and the Alfa lacks a 1st gear upshift syncro, we hopped in the Volvo. I took him to an empty parking lot near my house and gave it a go.
First problem: that parking lot was not flat. Good! 50% uphill starts FTW!
After a few excellent starts he finally got the hang of it and started killing it. Yes, I know that is not how it is supposed to work... but that’s how it goes sometimes. Confidence and urge to do better go up...
Anyway, after he got pretty good with the Volvo we switched to the Saab. Turns out that was a good call: loose shifter, tricky to start, much louder... it proved a big challenge.
Ultimately he did a lot better than I did for my first time and should be just fine on the test drive tomorrow. I hope he gets it!