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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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It's Never, Ever Too Late to Learn How to Drive a Stick - Even at 60

Posted February 03, 2021 12:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: mazda MX5 Miata

Climb Snowdon, after driving around Wales for a month? Live and work overseas? Finish grad school? Check. The metaphor "bucket list" is too morbid, so let's try "life goals."

On the automotive front? Own a convertible? Find and restore a Buick Apollo like my first car? Check.

What remained in my late 50s? Become a better swimmer and learn to shift gears.

One of these goals has now been met, thanks to a triple-black, five-speed, normally aspirated 1999 Miata NB nicknamed "Marco" by its first owner. Before discussing how, the "why" may be worth your time. If you always wanted to do the three-pedal shuffle, it is never, ever too late. As for your old hands (and feet)? What follows may be good for a laugh or for teaching a kid in the family.

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#1

Re: It's Never, Ever Too Late to Learn How to Drive a Stick - Even at 60

02/03/2021 12:20 AM

While it is true that in today's sports cars, those with automatics are quicker than the manuals in many cases (if you can even buy a manual ), I find manual transmissions more interesting to drive. I like the positive control over when I shift. If I'm being lazy and slow, I can short-shift my way there or I can keep it a gear or two lower if I think I might need a fast burst imminently. Yes, there are dual-clutch transmission, paddle-shift automatics and other variations, but I like the simplicity of a clutch and manual gearbox. It's just more fun. (But, if I had to commute in stop-and-go traffic, the manual would begin to fall out of favor.)

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: It's Never, Ever Too Late to Learn How to Drive a Stick - Even at 60

02/03/2021 2:56 PM

I have to agree with you, half of the fun of driving a sportscar is stirring the gearbox.

I took a road trip in the Miata to see the 2017 solar eclipse. On the way back, there was a lot of traffic, stop and go. My left leg got a lot of exercise.

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Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
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#3
In reply to #2

Re: It's Never, Ever Too Late to Learn How to Drive a Stick - Even at 60

02/03/2021 6:36 PM

Oh, yeah. Feel the bern. Been there too.

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