Journal: How Are You Keeping A Passion For Driving Alive?

How Are You Keeping A Passion For Driving Alive?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
February 26, 2016
12 comments

For the record, I don’t think it’s a great travesty that fewer young people are choosing to drive. Why? Based on who’s already using the roads, it’s clear that a huge number of people aren’t concerned with operating a vehicle safely, so if Uber, the autonomous Google Car, or some other thing can free those people to browse their Instagram accounts while on the go—awesome. More free space (and safer roads) for the rest of us.

I don’t think that driving is a right of passage, or even a right—call it a process, passion, discipline, or hobby—or that there’s much “driving” to be had in between stoplights and getting snared by tailbacks. It is, however, the chance to display and strengthen your mastery over a precision-made machine; we all know that executing the perfect heel-toe downshift or corner apex is a sensation that can linger for hours.

Something I do all the time is offer my help to friends, family, and colleagues who’d like to learn how to operate a manual transmission, and the results (to date, at least) have been positive—once the driver coordinates a perfectly rev-matched downshift, it’s usually just a few seconds before they ask if “track driving is any fun”. Yes…yes it is.

How do we help more people understand the thrill of driving, beyond the everyday duties that our vehicles provide?

Photography by Afshin Behnia, Otis Blank, and Rémi Dargegen

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kevin525cwilbergerJoseph MaffeyJustinMax Biddy Recent comment authors
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kevin525
kevin525

Two years ago I bought my first classic car, a 1977 MGB. I have always gone to car shows but to begin being part of them was cool. I went to a lot of shows where the only people there were other car owners and it was pretty boring. The best show I went to last summer was at Faneuil Hall in Boston. The Bay State MG Club put on a show in the middle of thousands of tourists. This show encouraged people to touch and sit in your car. I could not believe how many young people jumped into… Read more »

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cwilberger
cwilberger

I have taught a few folks to drive a manual gearbox car. I “made” my kids learn to operate cars with a manual gearbox. They all have thanked me for learning that skill.

KinderKombi
KinderKombi

As an engineer I have to respond to the direct question “How do we help more people understand the thrill of driving, beyond the everyday duties that our vehicles provide?” Much like guns or power tools, start with educating on safe operation, and then find the proper forum (parking lot, back road, etc.) and show some of the limits of performance. The other lesson to teach?: I have been motoring as a hobby for years and only last month I put the nose of my saloon off of a dirt road. Miracles of miracles the car was fine and I… Read more »

Justin
Justin

How do I get my 40+ year old mom to drive? serious question.

CJ_Madson
CJ_Madson

It’s important to find a car that you enjoy driving, one that provides the right sensations and involvement. For me they have always included a third pedal (except for the ’63 Merc, which redeemed itself by having fins and tons of chrome). And I want to enjoy the design from every angle — and the color should work with the design. Strong colors elicit stronger feelings, but bland is part of today’s problem. Silver/white/black/gray/tan cars are the boring norm (yeah, I had one for a while too). Take the long way ‘round or back home every now and then. I… Read more »

Sara Bouvier
Sara Bouvier

With Dickerson and Guitar in that the first paragraph may be opening a larger can of worms – in re: autonomous vehicles for certain. I wanted to say that hopefully this will hopefully this will be more of a pain on our daily drives than our off-time mountain road thrashing – however the thought of being stuck behind an autonomous on any number of choice roads in my area on a gorgeous Saturday just made me throw up in my mouth a little… be right back. More to the point of your question, I was rather lucky (or unlucky depending… Read more »

Matt Duquette
Matt Duquette

I am 25 and I am much more into driving, than just about anyone I know. for me it bit me with video games honestly. growing up I had the steering wheel and pedals for Grand Torismo and then Forza and once I could go out and drive a real car I just wanted to do what I did in my bed room in real life. granted I couldn’t use my earned digital credits to buy a Ferrari but what ever I had at the time I just enjoyed driving. The issue I think many people my age have with… Read more »

Max Biddy
Max Biddy

On top of what you said about fuel costs and insurance, you hear tales about people going out for a cruise, guy one sees guy two in a similar powered car and they give it a bit of stick at the lights, or power out of a roundabout and see if they can keep up with a hero car (that’s probably just cruising!) These days if you get caught doing this kind of stuff on the road this will get you absolutely crucified. over here in AUS you are looking at instant vehicle forfeiture, up to $3,300 fine, license disqualification… Read more »

Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson

I agree with The Gun.
At what point will there be no choice but to have “Hal” do all the driving for us? Also, when accidents do happen between autonomous vehicles and human driven, Google has all the cards in their hands. Who’s fault do you think it’s going to be? Kind of like computerized voting machines. So lets take the back roads to the polls while we can.

Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson

Oops- I meant “I agree with The Guitar”

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

In part by viewing , reading and participating on this site ! 😉 But err … hate to be the bearer of bad news here Banovsky …. but … if those autonomous little blankety blanks ever do find their way onto public roads … they’ll INCREASE traffic … not diminish it Which is to say either way [ autonomous or not ] Rock On and Drive on while you still can … cause either way its [ traffic ] only gonna get worse .. so Remain Calm Banovsky despite it all … and Carry On as long as possible .… Read more »

Max Biddy
Max Biddy

While the traffic numbers will be increased, here’s to hoping that the traffic flow will also be increased as the automated drivers work together to ensure there is less traffic on the road at any given time.