Learn to Drive a Stick-Shift Transmission on a Classic Car—For Free

How do we get millennials interested in manuals? How about some Aston Martins?

Hagerty Manual Program

As our own Neal Pollack notes, the manual transmission is a unpopular oddity in the modern world, especially with the newest generation of drivers. Why drive a stick when the automatic option is quicker, more fuel efficient, and less taxing in traffic? Driver engagement...is that some kind of app?

For the folks at Hagerty classic car insurance, this established indifference towards the three-pedal waltz is symptomatic of a growing ambiguity towards the automobile in general. The solution: don't try to get the young'uns excited about the so-called "standard" offering on a penalty box like a Nissan Versa—instead, stick them in a V-12 Jaguar E-type and teach them to tally-ho.

The Hagerty Driving Experience, now in its fifth year, is a multi-event tour held throughout the summer. By leveraging connections with local owners' groups, would-be manual enthusiasts between the ages of 15 and 25 get a chance to have a go at proper, old-school motoring. And just think: when your first stick-shift experience is in a split-window 'Vette, you, too, can look forward to a lifetime of bitching about how the 911 GT3 should come with a clutch pedal!

It's a great way to ensure a lasting appreciation of the automobile, and to make sure what used to be a rite of passage doesn't become a lost art. Hagerty just finished up the first of their series in Golden, CO, but there are four more events around the US and Canada through to the fall. If you or somebody you know is willing to learn, there's no better way to do it.

- Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Saturday, July 16, 2016 (Reynolds-Alberta Museum)
- Caledonia, Ontario, Friday, August 26, 2016 (Caledonia Fairgrounds)
- Chicago, Illinois, Saturday, August 27, 2016 (location TBD)
- Tacoma, Washington, Saturday, September 17, 2016 (LeMay – America’s Car Museum)