EAST AUSTIN, TX — Hagerty Driving Experience took young people on a time travel expedition of sorts this past weekend, teaching them how to drive a stick shift on classic cars.
We’re talking on a 1967 Shelby GT 350, a ’69 Chevelle and other classics. The event gave youth between the ages of 15 to 25 the chance to learn how to operate a manual transmission.
“Events like the Hagerty Driving Experience gives young drivers a rare opportunity to drive cool cars that they would normally not have access to,” McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, said. “By showing them the joy and pride you get out of learning how to drive a manual and take care of a car, we can help build the next generation of classic car enthusiasts right here in Austin.”
Held in conjunction with the US Vintage Racing National Championship at Circuit of the Americas, young drivers learned the ins-and-outs of starting, operating and driving a variety of manual transmission vehicles. Prior to getting behind the wheel, participants took part in a seminar on how manual transmissions operate.
“You can read all you want about cars, but that is no comparison to actually having the chance to get behind the wheel,” said participant Lindsey Bailey, 20, of College Station, Texas. “This opportunity was beyond cool!”
Young drivers had the opportunity to drive several vehicles, including a 1958 Chevrolet Apache, 1965 Ford Mustang, 1967 Shelby GT 350, 1969 Chevelle SS 396, 1992 Mazda Miata, and a 2002 Mazda Miata. All vehicles used for instruction were volunteered by Austin-based car owners.
Since The Hagerty Driving Experience launched in 2011, more than 1,500 young drivers have learned how to operate manual transmission through this program, instilling in them the joy and excitement of the classic car hobby. Hagerty plans to host future Driving Experience events in the United States, as well as with their Canada and U.K.-based offices, officials said.
Stay up-to-date on future events at www.hagerty.com/drivingexperience.
About Hagerty (provided text):
Based in Traverse City, Michigan, Hagerty is a global company specializing in products and insurance for people who love cars and host to the largest network of classic car owners. Hagerty offers insurance for classic cars, trucks, motorcycles and motorcycle safety equipment, tractors, automotive tools and spare parts, and even “automobilia” (any historic or collectible item linked with motor vehicles). Hagerty also offers overseas shipping/touring insurance coverage, commercial coverage and club liability coverage. For more information, call (800) 922-4050 or visit www.hagerty.com.
>>> Courtesy image provided by Hagerty Driving Experience
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Originally published Nov 7, 2017.