9 March 2016

Parents need not apply

Hagerty teaches kids how to drive a stick

Are you a parent who owns a classic car? Then you’re probably used to your kids eyeing your ride jealously. Well, it’s time to switch roles. Hagerty believes that kids should have a chance to learn and enjoy classics as much as their parents do. In that spirit, we’re launching our fifth season of the Hagerty Driving Experience, a program that teaches kids to drive stick in amazing classic cars.

We’ve placed over 600 students in the driver seat and taught them how to operate automobiles equipped with a manual transmission and can’t wait to share with even more young adults this year.

Not only does the Hagerty Driving Experience teach young drivers, ages 15-25, to shift gears themselves, but they are taught while behind the wheel of exciting classic cars! Participants learn the ins-and-outs of starting, operating and driving a wide variety of cars from instructors and classic owners themselves. In addition to the driving course, students take part in a classroom discussion that outlines how a clutch and manual transmission operate as well as a “Car Care Essentials” seminar to learn the basics of vehicle maintenance.

The morning and afternoon half-day sessions run about 3 hours and are limited to approximately 20 students per session.

But if you’re over 25, sadly, you can watch but won’t be able to drive. Time for you to watch jealously; turnabout is fair play, right?

The Hagerty Driving Experience features a variety of classic cars provided by local owners and collectors. Past events have included a 1928 Packard phaeton, 1930 Ford Model A, 1933 Stutz DV-32 Monte Carlo, 1955 Porsche Continental, 1950 Willys Jeepster, 1963 Corvette “split window” coupe and a 1962 Aston Martin DB4!

2016 EVENTS:

  • Golden, CO – Saturday, May 14, 2016 – Colorado State Patrol Driving Track
  • Wetaskiwin, Alberta – Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Reynolds-Alberta Museum
  • Caledonia, Ontario – Friday, August 26, 2016 – Caledonia Fairgrounds
  • Chicago, IL – Saturday, August 27, 2016 – Location TBD
  • Tacoma, WA – Saturday, September 17, 2016 – LeMay – America’s Car Museum


10 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Deborah Nelson Chicago, IL March 9, 2016 at 17:04
    My mom taught me to drive at age 12 in her 1972 MGB -- stick all the way, baby! Into my 40s, I bought one just like hers. Now I can't wait to teach my daughter. Oh, passing on the love!
  • 2
    Tom T Denver, CO March 9, 2016 at 18:00
    What a great idea. I taught both my daughter and son to drive a manual transmission before they received their drivers license using my 1976 Bronco, 3 on the floor. Started with the basics using 4-low, without the hubs locked in. Once they understood the process we went to 2-high and on the road. Both purchased their first cars with a manual. Bragged how there teachers, coaches and friends couldn't drive the cars.
  • 3
    Frank Noone Washington, DC metro area March 9, 2016 at 20:14
    Bring this event to the east coast! My daughter wants to learn to drive stick!
  • 4
    Ray T Cleveland, OH March 10, 2016 at 13:34
    I was working at a small publishing company in Cleveland right out of high school in 1971. One of my jobs was to pick up the mail at a nearby post office. The first day my boss flipped me the keys to his Dodge Dart with "3 on the tree", and told me to "figure it out." I was "grinding coffee" there and back, but, eventually, I got the hang of it. Several years ago, I taught my oldest daughter how to drive my 55 Ford Country Sedan by going around and around an access road at our local library.
  • 5
    Doug Switzer Toronto, Canada area March 10, 2016 at 13:34
    With the exception of my Nissan Pathfinder tow vehicle all, my cars are sticks and I taught both my kids and a few other folks how to drive manuals. Now all their cars are manuals as well. 'Way more fun to "stir your own gears", better control in the wet & snow in these parts, (yes, even better than automatics with traction control!) and also probably one of the best theft-deterrents! LOL!
  • 6
    Ralph Crawford Cincinnati,Ohio March 11, 2016 at 06:57
    I'm a used car dealer who tries to get young people into stick shift cars. Why? You can't text and shift at the same time. Friends don't ask to borrow the car and then total it (I've seen this numerous times). Stick cars are more affordable since so many people are "shiftless". You have better car control especially in bad weather. It is a life lesson forever useful. I have taught many kids to shift- it takes about an hour if they already have a license and are open to the idea. Most seem to appreciate it. A few had right brain-left brain issues and could not learn. The worst are those who refuse to learn.
  • 7
    Ron Stanley Alameda, California March 11, 2016 at 07:19
    My 16 year old granddaughter wanted to learn how to drive a stick. I was as excited as she was. She wanted to learn on my '02 Corvette (6 speed) but I thought that for the first lesson my stock '67 El Camino would be a better choice (4 speed). We had the first lesson at Alameda Point (formerly Alameda Naval Air Station) where traffic is still pretty minimum. I told her that if she did well, lesson #2 could be in the Vette. She did really well and because we both have busy schedules, lesson #2 has not yet happened but hopefully it will happen soon. she
  • 8
    Mark Chicago March 12, 2016 at 06:31
    Why are you not able to take part if you are over 25? While it is nice to get younger people interested, this was never taught in drivers ed while I was in school. And no one I know owns a stick shift car. So how am I supposed to learn? I might be interested in purchasing an older car, and insuring it with Hagerty. But if I don't know how to drive a stick, then forget it.
  • 9
    Bill Ham southaven, MS March 13, 2016 at 15:06
    I think the easiest way to teach a teenager to drive a stick is start with a tractor. Let them get the feel for "letting out the clutch" without "killing" the engine by using a tractor. I't almost impossible "kill" tractor engine if you start out in one of the lower gears. I taught my girls using a Ford Model 3000 tractor then moved on to a 67 MGB.
  • 10
    Kirby S. Washington DC metro area March 13, 2016 at 10:53
    Yes, bring the program to the DC area. My daughter would also like to lear to drive stick so that she can drive our Model A Fords.

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