I had a dirt bike since I was about 13. Learned to ride that myself & how to shift.
I took Drivers Ed in school. When I got my permit, I practiced a lot. Always had stick shift, so I found very steep streets and kept at it until I was good at stop/starting without slipping the clutch.
I’ve never been without a working vehicle since I was 15.
in a 91 Buick Lesabre my grandfather sold me. the car constantly broke down. the conditions taught me a thing or two. ultimately this car was crushed by a large 100+ year old maple tree when i parked under it. some bad memories and luck on that one.
I was in something called “Independent Living” in the state foster care system, where you are basically your own foster parent, so I had no one to help me practice and had to get a judge to grant me special permission to get a license since most foster kids aren’t allowed to drive due to liability issues and the state possibly being sued if I had caused an accident. I think my driver’s ed teacher knew my situation and gave me a courtesy pass. He helped me out a lot with that kindness. It made a really hard living situation a bit easier.
I never did the driver’s ed classes or anything like that… my HS friends took me out driving. Then when I was 17 my buddy and I drove his 1986 Suburban over to the DMV and I took the tests and got my license. The first car I bought after that was a 1972 Mercury Marquis Brougham… it was a tank. Got it for $300 from an older couple that lived down the street. Good times.
1994 Ford Aspire
My dad bought it from a junk yard, previous owner had a bad accident, the driver and passenger seats were blood soaked. My uncle owned a repair shop, so they rebuilt the front end, new seats and repainted with the Ford ‘green’.
It was a 4 gear manual, and an excellent car for a new driver who is just learning how to drive a stick shift.
I Loved This Car! Named it Slimer-Mobile.
I wish I still had it
The hills of Seattle with my parents 64 Rambler Classic station wagon. Best visibility of any vehicle I’ve ever driven. Not to mention a V8 engine that was fun on the freeway, no problem getting that up to speed in a hurry. Drivers ed car was a Buick sedan that was bigger than the Rambler (kind of boring). Learned to drive a manual when I met my husband who did not like automatic transmissions and promised me we’d get a car with an automatic eventually. 40 plus years later, the cars are still manual transmissions, and I will probably have to wait until one of them dies before I get that automatic.