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Hagerty Launches 50-day, 500 Student Manual Transmission Challenge

The Brand Sets Out To Save the Manuals (And Driving) For Future Generations

Hagerty Manual Transmission Challenge - woman driving stick shift

If you think the days of driving a manual are long gone, Hagerty isn’t ready to give up on stick shifts just yet. On July 19, the automotive enthusiast brand launched a unique campaign with one goal — to teach 500 people how to drive a stick shift in 50 days, all as part of their bigger mission to “save driving.”

Hagerty Calls on All Manual Drivers

To reach this ambitious goal, Hagerty is utilizing a unique resource — the automotive community. From July 16 and running through September 6, Hagerty encourages manual drivers to connect with and teach a friend or family member how to drive a stick shift.

“Being able to drive a manual transmission is exhilarating and empowering, and we want to offer people the chance to get behind the wheel of a cool car and experience the fun and passion that enthusiasts know so well,” said Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty. “Teaching others how to drive stick is at the heart of car culture, and we hope to pass down this skill to the next generation of car lovers.”

Drivers are encouraged to find an unused parking lot or quiet road to teach the basics of driving a manual. Participants can then share their experiences on the Hagerty Community website. Both the driver and teacher will receive a “Shift Happens” hat.

Saving the Manuals, One Driver at a Time

This initiative comes as part of a longer effort to keep the stick shift skillset from going extinct. Since 2011, Hagerty and its volunteers have taught more than 4,000 people how to drive a manual car through programs such as the Hagerty Driving Experience and Hagerty Driving Academy.

Not only do these events teach drivers the art of shifting a manual, but they also teach safe and proficient driving. These skills are important for all drivers, especially young people who may not have had the chance to get behind the wheel of a manual car.

The Hagerty Driving Experience

For drivers who might want to learn how to drive a stick but don’t have anyone in their life to teach them, Hagerty offers a free, three-hour session as part of the Hagerty Driving Experience.

Participants will learn how to operate a manual and get the chance to get behind the wheel of a cool car. Enthusiast vehicles at the most recent July 16 event included a 1930 Ford Model A, 1969 Camaro SS, 1989 Porsche 944 S2, 1990 Mazda Miata, 2000 Honda S2000, 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, 2015 BMW M235i, and a 2017 Honda Civic Si, vehicles that even long-time manual junkies might be itching to give a try.

In addition to the time behind the wheel on the Hagerty driving course, participants will also get to participate in a classroom session that dives into how a clutch and manual transmission operate. From there, it’s a slippery slope, and you might find yourself signing up for Hagerty’s other events, including the Hagerty Driving Academy for more manual-driven fun. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

About Kristen Arendt

Kristen is a writer and editor based in Colorado. She came to motorsports by way of her husband's passion for track days, autocross, and fast cars and is now the proud co-driver of two E36 325s and an overland-in-the-making Lexus GX470. She is a volunteer driving instructor with the BMW CCA Rocky Mountain Chapter and enjoys any event that involves getting behind the wheel or navigating from the passenger's seat.