Honda program teaches young drivers to use manual transmission

Passing the stick to the next generation, with the help of vintage cars

  • Image Credit: Honda
With the manual transmission becoming less common as time goes on, there are fewer opportunities to learn how to use it and subsequently order a car with one. In response to this, Honda hosted an experience in the Los Angeles area near Angeles Crest Highway called " Shifting Gears." There Honda brought out a bunch of its own manual-equipped cars to teach people how to use a manual transmission.

Honda had some cool cars available, too. In addition to new cars such as the Accord, Civic and Fit, the company brought out some older models such as an early Civic CVCC, a Prelude Type SH, and the hardcore S2000 CR. The event included low-speed areas to teach those with little to no experience how to handle a manual, and those with more experience could drive the cars on the Angeles Crest Highway, the road where we got our first taste of the new Civic Si.

Honda's program isn't the only one to run a program like this, though. Hagerty has been running "Hagerty Driving Experience" programs around the country for a few years now. At these events, local classic car owners taught young drivers how to drive stick on those very classics. Yours truly was an intern at Hagerty a few years back and helped set up some of these events, even helping teach using either a Focus ST or Mustang provided by Ford, which was supporting the program that year. And the entire time there weren't any smoked clutches or broken transmissions, despite the many inexperienced drivers circulating through cars.

Of course an event like this one from Honda isn't purely just to keep the manual transmission alive. It's also an opportunity to get young people and their parents whom may be buying a car in the near future familiar and fond of Honda and its cars. Still, though, we're happy to see any company help pass down the skill and hopefully create continued demand for the transmission.

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