Hello everyone! I'm excited to be here. This seems like a great forum, and I've read threads on here in the past, but just now joined. I'm currently serving in the United States Air Force and live in Warminster, PA. I like to go driving, shooting, play video games (especially Forza), socialize, drink scotch and smoke cigars
I love Subaru and have always wanted a WRX/STi. Unfortunately however, I currently drive an Impreza 2.5i Premium - in auto. I leased the vehicle, and my lease is up in January. Right after that, I am deploying. My plans after I get back from the deployment is to buy a WRX or STi. The problem is that I am quite rusty with driving manual. I found that out today after I test drove a used 2013 STi.
I learned how to drive manual close to 3 years ago on a '94 Jeep Wrangler. I asked my friend to teach me so we went out to a parking lot, and I finally got the hang of it. Within an hour I was having a blast cruising around the windy roads in the area. The same day, I went to Fred Beans Mitsubishi in Doylestown to look at cars (this was right before I got my Impreza, while I was still looking at what to get). I was looking at the Lancer EVOs they had there (I know, this is a Subaru forum, but bear with me), and the salesman asked if I wanted to test drive one. Of course I was more than excited to do that, so he pulled one around. It was manual, and I was a bit nervous since I just learned that same day. I told him I just learned this morning, and he said no worries, how often do you get this chance? Awesome salesman. So I got in and took off, and didn't stall once. I had a blast driving it around, up and down 6/11 letting that turbo loose.
Other than that day, I've only driven manual a few other times. A few more times in the Jeep, once in my friend's beater 99 Hyundai Accent, and the most recent, about 6 months ago, moving my Fireteam Leader's Volkswagen from one parking lot to another. I didn't stall any of those.
However today was different. I told the salesman I was pretty rusty as it's been awhile since I drove manual, and he said not to worry. Once he moved the car, we got in, he went over the SI Drive and DCCD, and then said, "Let it rip."
I stalled it twice.
On the third try I got it moving, up to the exit onto 6/11. While attempting to turn right onto 6/11, I stalled it a few more times. The salesman suggested that he take over for now. We did just that, and then I suggested we go to a parking lot where it's level, I'm going straight, and I don't have to worry about traffic. He agreed, so we went. I stalled it a few more times, then finally got it rolling. I made it around the parking lot till I had to stop at a stop sign, where I stalled it a few more times. He then said "You're going to hate me." We switched and he drove it onto the highway and let it rip, showing me what the car can do.
I was pretty embarrassed. I knew I was rusty, but I didn't think it would be that bad. I'm confident I was babying it too much and not giving it enough gas. It was a nice car and I was just being too careful.
Okay, that was a really in depth story. Sorry for the Great Wall of Text. To those of you that read my horror story, thank you. If you didn't,
TL;DR - I haven't driven manual in awhile, and failed an attempt to test drive a used 2013 STi.
Now the issue I'm having is how to go about getting comfortable with manual again. I don't really talk to my friend anymore that taught me, and none of my family members drive a manual. It's pretty hard to find a friend that has a manual, and harder to convince a friend to let me practice on it. I don't think rental places really stock manuals anymore. The only other thing I can think of is to either pay to go to a driving school that teaches manual, or buy a really cheap beater. Both would cost some money that I just don't feel like blowing. Other than that, it's buy an STi or WRX and attempt to get it from the dealer to my house, and then probably replace the clutch.
Any suggestions on what I can do? Thanks in advance.