Skip to comments.Would-be carjackers foiled by mysteries of the stick shift
Posted on 01/29/2013 4:41:10 PM PST by grundle
An attempted stickup was confounded by a cars stick shift, when would-be carjackers failed to understand the mechanics behind a manual transmission.
Randolph Bean tells WOFL FOX 35 that two men attempted to steal his 2002 yellow Corvette at gunpoint outside an Orlando hospital, but they ended up running away after they couldnt figure out how to drive his car.
"They apparently couldn't start it, Bean 51, is quoted as saying in a police report. I had to tell him four different times to push in the clutch, because it's a standard transmission."
After several failed attempts, the thieves eventually fled the scene.
My first thought was I guess we don't have driver's ed. in school anymore, because no one knows how to drive a stick. And my second thing was, don't shoot me because you can't start the car, Bean said. I'm trying to help you out here, you know. Thankfully they didn't."
However, the foiled carjackers did not leave entirely empty-handed. "They got away with my phone, they got my keys, they got my wallet," Randolph told the Fox affiliate.
Still, Randolph was pretty forgiving when asked what message he had for the handsome young men, who did not look like car thieves.
Guys, turn your life around. You guys have got a lot going for you, he said. Thank you for not taking my life for something silly as a car.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
I have a stick shift in my car too. Tricked out PT cruiser..... Can burn the tires off. Very fun to drive.
Low information drivers.
Glad I know how to drive both. :-)
Most of my vehicles have been standard shift.
Until about 8 or 9 years ago, same here. Jeeps, 4WD truck, Nissan 240. Kind of miss it sometimes.
I prefer driving a manual because my mind doesn’t wander sas much as compared with an automatic.
I have to admit I’d have issues as well. The one time I had access to a stick shift (younger sister’s car), I had it for a few days and had to pay for a new clutch. Like ice-skating, just not my thing.
More p*ssyfication of America.
Me too up until 2006. I always felt I had better control in normal and slippery conditions.
I tend to think there’s a racial element here.
Most blacks drive Automatics (not that they couldn’t drive sticks...in fact, they could almost certainly drive them better than whites, that are either airheads or metrosexuals).
But anyway, buying a car that discriminates against one class of thief sounds A LOT like a Title 9 violation. Hopefully the Justice Department will not convict, but you never know.
Amish could have snatched that car up with their team of horses!!!
I learned to drive in a 1952 Chevy pickup, 4 speed. This was in ancient times, mid 1960’s.
My generation all learned to drive on standard shifts.
Heh... just think of the confusion a column-shift manual transmission would cause among the carjacker crowd. At least with a floor shifter, there’s a shift pattern right there on the lever.
I wouldn’t let my kids get their licenses when they turned 16 unless they drove a stick. I insist on driving one myself. It keeps me alert, gives me better control over the car, and gets better gas mileage.
>>I learned to drive in a 1952 Chevy pickup, 4 speed. This was in ancient times, mid 1960s.<<
I learned on a column-shift Dodge (1962 IIRC). If you can shift THAT you can drive ANYTHING.
All my cars in my adult life have been sticks. I prefer them and will select them so long as they continue to be manufactured.
The problem is I travel and rent cars, which are all automatic (with cruise control no less). Returning to my car can cause cognitive dissonance.
Same here and preferred a 4WD with a stick. That 90 weight takes the heat better than Dexron II and Mercon(?)in my outdated mechanical opinion.
You only need a clutch for 1st-gear and Reverse. Once you’re going, you can shift without it.
The armed services gave up on manuals back in the 80s.
It was too big an effort to train all the recruits to drive - so few incoming knew how.
Where does it say they were black?
Three on the tree.
The mysterious workings of the standard transmission is a lost art.
First car I ever drove was a Willies station wagon. Was a farm car Pop put out to pasture. Lived its life out in the fields. Must have been at least 15 of my school buddies (girls too, my sisters were good at it ) lean how to drive with that thing. Gas was cheap and after school we all had fun blasting the wind rows. I could upshift, downshift and jump a gear.
To the uniformed, jumping a gear was your basic 1st to 3rd shift, jumping 2nd. On a 4 speed, you could always do your basic 1st to 3rd, or 2nd to 4th.
My most favorite trick was synchronized shifting. You know, when you can run through gears WITHOUT the clutch. Just get your MPH in heavenly harmony with RPM and you could slide into the target gear smooth as silk.
Old guys (and a bunch of gals) know what I mean.
I’ll back you up on that one.
In high school, my best friend had a 1950’s Chevy truck her dad bought her. She taught me how to drive ‘three on the tree’ in that Sear’s green truck and then taught me how to drive ‘four on the floor’ in her orange ‘vette.
(’Course it was a Che-vette.)
My father taught me sync-shifting. Used to drive my ex-wife insane when I did that in her brand new koda Octavia.
Of course, everytime she stalled it coming from a stop into first, I used to look at her. :)
Yeah, I was just thinking about the old Ford Falcon with 3 on the tree. I could put my arm around my girl, drink a DP, smoke a cigarette and still manage to shift the thing.
I'd be lucky to find my glasses and say 'whut'? today, if in the same situation. ;)
Back in the day I had a number of old 50s and 60s medium trucks. You had to practically be a magician to shift some of those old International cabovers. About a mile of linkage between the shifter and the transmission, and if you didn’t hold your mouth just right, you’d never hit the right gear. :-) It was an art.
I can’t remember any automatic transmission vehicles that I drove except when I chauffered a three star around in a souped-up Ford LTD.
Drove clutch vehicles most of my life. First time I tooled around in an automatic, I almost killed myself. Approached an intersection and attempted to push the clutch in to down shift and of course the clutch was now the brake. LOL! Glade there was nobody behind me. ;-)
I loved watching the “experts” try to stop on an upward hill, and then get things rolling without popping the clutch or rolling backwards into the car behind or stalling and dying.
I taught my kid sister how to deploy the foot brake. Get the clutch out to the point where the engine just barely started to sound like a stall, then pop the brake.
She showed up so many guys, they quit going out with her.
I learned on a stick, a four on the floor. My third car was a Dodge Dart with three on the tree. A guy I knew pulled up next to me at a light on Sunrise Highway and started revving...so I threw it into first (so I thought), revved it up to pop the clutch and raced backwards at the green...dumb.
Yep, though that's not something that every driver could master. A true heel-and-toe downshift, properly executed, is also a joy. Computerized, flappy-paddle gearboxes just aren't the same.
“Where does it say they were black?”
When did I say they were black? I have NO CLUE and I wouldn’t DREAM of violating their civil rights.
My dad taught me that fine art as well. There was a steep hill close to where we lived, with no traffic at all (an abandoned property development) and I figure I must’ve practiced for hours on end until I finally got it. He had me do that again and again and again until I mastered it.
Actually, I’m really glad he did, because the majority of autos here in Europe are manual transmission. I’ve met a few young American expats who grumble about not being able to rent a car here because they simply don’t know how to drive it. You can, of course, rent an automatic but it’s more expensive and there’s a couple of rental agencies in my town that have no automatic transmission cars at all in their fleet.
Short version of a true story: I stole a Jeep because the guys who were trying to steal it couldn’t drive three on the tree.
A couple decades ago, when I took my youngest in for her driver’s test, the female DPS testing-officer chewed me out for making my daughter take her test in a manual transmission vehicle.
That surprised me. You’d think they would want drivers to be able to drive a thinking person’s car. ;)
Once upon a time before I escaped the greatest Soviet of Chicago and Cook County Illinois, and moved to Georgia, I worked there as an Illinois state policeman in the Chicago area. My partner and I received a flash message over the Illinois State police emergency radio network advising of a carjacking in Greektown, a sub community at the University of Illinois medical Center in Chicago. Moments later we saw a car that fit the description jerking and bucking down the street at low speed with frustrated drivers honking their horns at it and passing in irritation. It was this unusual set of circumstances that attracted our attention to it in the first place.
We executed a felony stop on the car, detained the three passengers and the driver, and quickly determined that they were in fact the criminal miscreants described in the flash message. When we interrogated the suspects we discovered that the driver admitted he could not drive a manual transmission car (the hijacked Honda had a five speed manual transmission) but that he had always wanted to try to drive one, and figured this would be a good time for him to learn.
Even more interesting was that one of the crew was a duly licensed Class D. 18 wheel truck driver who was quite capable of driving the car, but his mastermind boss wouldnt let him.
I got to admit that we coppers wouldnt get so many of these idiots if they just werent so damn stupid.
Reminds me of an old joke.
Street guy in a zoot suite walks into the dealership. Likes the Thunderbird in the window. Salesman throws him the keys and says: “take ‘er out for a spin, and remember, its an Automatic!” (for the uninformed, old power trans were L=low, D=drive, R=reverse)
Zoot suite drives off. An hour later, the guy’s not back, salesman gets worried. Just then zoot suite walks through the front door looking all raggedy with the steering wheel around his neck. Salesguy screams: “what the hell happened?”
Zoot suite says: “Whellpp, I puts her in Lunge, and she gits up to round 40, then I puts her in Drag, and she gits up to round 70, then I puts that damn thing in Race, and there waz just gears all over the place!”
Keep Obama in automatic you know?
Most everybody drives automatics. Why bring race into it?
A woman broke into our house about 10 years ago while we were on vacation. We got a call while we were in Japan that someone had left our stolen car in another part of Phoenix. After we got back, we got a call about the other car, which was also gone. The female house invader — a crack user looking for a place to sleep — had tried to take my stick-shift Beetle out for a drive. By the time she had gone a half mile she had ruined the transmission — to the tune of $1800 — and she had someone help push the car into a church parking lot. After a few days we got a call from the church letting us know that the car was there.
What car rental companies have cars with sticks?
I haven't found one yet.
I greatly prefer sticks, but since I typically buy used, I usually end up with automatics - there just aren’t that many sticks out there.
I drive my cars to at least 150k, and I’ve had to rebuild the trans on every automatic car I’ve owned at least once. The last one, I rebuilt preemptively when I bought it. I like working on cars, but I just don’t find much joy on working on automatic transmissions - so much that can go wrong on assembly, and getting them in and out of a modern car is a ginormous PITA. Engines are more fun, at least for me.
Next car (or truck) is going to be a stick. I’ll pay extra or wait until I find the right vehicle if I have to.
Most fun stick I ever drove was a big old ford dump truck. Probably mid 60s. I drove it in the late 80s at my first job. Had what seemed like a three foot stick and a two foot throw, plus a two speed rear. The seat was sprung and bounced no matter how smooth you shifted, and the air brakes were touchy. Was like an amusement park ride to drive, and I was the only one who could drive it with any degree of smoothness. Fun times.
My first car, three on the tree.