Old school or new school? Both and neither!

A good place to post when you join - it is a good idea to post here first so that people know something about you, and you will get a nice welcome.
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EasyShifter
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 9:25 pm
Location: Leicestershire

Old school or new school? Both and neither!

Postby EasyShifter » Wed May 25, 2016 8:21 am

Another new voice - and another IAM forum refugee. I joined the IAM in 1971 (does that make me 'old school', I wonder? I guess it depends what you mean by 'old' and by 'school'!) I got a bit concerned last November, with the big 70 approaching, that I might not be as sharp as I should be, so did an IAM Member's Assessment and came back with a F1RST and the examiner encouraging me to go for the Masters, which I think I might possibly this year. However, I'm in no hurry - I'm waiting to see how things develop with the rebrand and whether I think truly advanced driving is still valued there.
I guess you might call me old-school in one or two areas anyway, but definitely not in others - for example, I was advocating freer use of the brake/gear overlap when the official line was almost universal prohibition. I also am yet to be converted to automatic gearboxes - but mainly because I haven't yet driven one that could change gear as smoothly as I can (there's also the point that it would involve learning a whole new set of technical jargon about modes and suchlike and life is starting to look much too short) but it's mainly about thinking of driving as an art and taking pride in its execution.
Michael

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akirk
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:58 pm
Location: Cotswolds

Re: Old school or new school? Both and neither!

Postby akirk » Wed May 25, 2016 9:06 am

Welcome, great to have you here...
I possibly shouldn't admit that I was born in 1971, so for me you literally have a lifetime experience of IAM - will be great to have your views added into the pot...
We seem to be picking up a few refugees from the IAM forum and welcome them all - lots of current IAM discussion here, but also plenty of other chatter - members here are mixed, some have experience of IAM, others RoSPA, others have done all sorts of training, or none at all - so a great mix...

Intrigued by your comments on autos - I bought an auto sports car 4 years ago - not intentionally seeking an auto, but it happened to be my sister's old car... since then I have started to really enjoy using an auto - if it is good, then there can equally be skill in how you change gear - assuming not just in auto mode! And I suspect that some of the modern autos can change gear better than any driver - but maybe that is contentious!

Alasdair

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dvenman
Posts: 182
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:28 am

Re: Old school or new school? Both and neither!

Postby dvenman » Wed May 25, 2016 11:24 am

Welcome! A good auto is a great thing. The one in my Merc estate a few years ago was crap, the one in a Dodge Charger hire car in the US last year dumbed down to the point of incredulity, and the PDK in a Cayman I drove a few weeks ago absolutely magical!

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EasyShifter
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 9:25 pm
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Old school or new school? Both and neither!

Postby EasyShifter » Thu May 26, 2016 5:14 am

Thanks for the welcome, folks. I'm very happy to acknowledge there's skill in driving an automatic - I just don't have it! The ones I've driven were BMW courtesy cars, around 1997-2002 and in those I could always feel the gear-change - but since I only had each of them for a single day and didn't set out to learn the different skills I probably didn't give them a fair trial. Having said that, a smooth change on a manual can be undetectable save for the sound and I'm not sure how one improves on that. I did recently discuss autos with Chris Gilbert (driving4tomorrow.com) who himself drives a 7 series automatic and he assured me that the changes on his car are imperceptible - and I'm not going to argue with Chris Gilbert!
I think it's more to do with my dinosaur nature - I make hand-made furniture and insist on cutting fine dovetails with old fashioned saws and chisels while my friends get out the power router! Some people, I fear are just stuck in the past!!
So, thanks for the welcome - I think I'm likely to be happy here.
Michael

sussex2
Posts: 539
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:43 am

Re: Old school or new school? Both and neither!

Postby sussex2 » Fri May 27, 2016 7:43 am

I honestly believe that these days manual gearboxes are only put in some cars for a few reasons:
A lot of people like them.
These same people may think they are more economical (quite often they are not).
A lot of people think they have 'more control'.
Or, and probably more important:
The particular manufacturer doesn't yet have access (perhaps for financial reasons) to the lastest dual clutch type boxes.
Having said that I wouldn't want an auto in my MX5 (it's pretty dreadful by all accounts) but a lot of other vehicles they suit superbly.

sussex2
Posts: 539
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:43 am

Re: Old school or new school? Both and neither!

Postby sussex2 » Fri May 27, 2016 8:21 am

EasyShifter wrote:Another new voice - and another IAM forum refugee. I joined the IAM in 1971 (does that make me 'old school', I wonder? I guess it depends what you mean by 'old' and by 'school'!) I got a bit concerned last November, with the big 70 approaching, that I might not be as sharp as I should be, so did an IAM Member's Assessment and came back with a F1RST and the examiner encouraging me to go for the Masters, which I think I might possibly this year. However, I'm in no hurry - I'm waiting to see how things develop with the rebrand and whether I think truly advanced driving is still valued there.
I guess you might call me old-school in one or two areas anyway, but definitely not in others - for example, I was advocating freer use of the brake/gear overlap when the official line was almost universal prohibition. I also am yet to be converted to automatic gearboxes - but mainly because I haven't yet driven one that could change gear as smoothly as I can (there's also the point that it would involve learning a whole new set of technical jargon about modes and suchlike and life is starting to look much too short) but it's mainly about thinking of driving as an art and taking pride in its execution.


'I was advocating freer use of the brake/gear overlap when the official line was almost universal prohibition'
Join the club; BGOL is one of the things you have in your tray of disciplines; to be used as and when required according to situation.

fungus
Posts: 439
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:26 pm
Location: Dorset

Re: Old school or new school? Both and neither!

Postby fungus » Fri May 27, 2016 8:02 pm

I think it's a well known fact that I absolutely hate automatics. It's not the smooth gear changing or anything like that, just simply that I feel the car's controlling me, not me controlling the car.

I can't make furniture, but I do use hand saws, chisels and planes. I can do myself enough damage with hand tools let alone machines. :bash:

Nigel.

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jcochrane
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:53 pm
Location: Surrey-Kent borders and wherever good driving roads are.

Re: Old school or new school? Both and neither!

Postby jcochrane » Fri May 27, 2016 10:12 pm

Welcome and if you think your old school I'm not sure what that makes me, no doubt there will be the odd rude comment to tell me, :roll: but I started driving cars in the early 1950's, too young for a licence :shock: , but no one cared on the quiet lanes, where I grew up, back then. :)

Still learning and practicing to be a good driver. Look forward to driving with you on an ADHUB day and we can reminisce about the old days during a "pee and tea" stop :D .

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jont-
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Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:12 am
Location: Flatlands

Re: Old school or new school? Both and neither!

Postby jont- » Sat May 28, 2016 9:05 am

EasyShifter wrote:I also am yet to be converted to automatic gearboxes - but mainly because I haven't yet driven one that could change gear as smoothly as I can

Barring boxes that are artificially crap (for example 911s in "sport" mode), I think you have to adapt your technique slightly to get the best out of an auto box - in a similar way to learning to rev match in a manual - for example it might be lifting slightly on upchanges, or a bit of left foot braking so you can add a bit of power to help downchanges etc. It's easy just to expect you can keep your foot buried and the car will deal with it, but you wouldn't do that in a manual, so I don't think it's unreasonable for an auto not to manage either (for most people, yes it will be good enough, and probably better than they can do in a manual).

I travel moderately often for work, and usually end up with an auto as a hire car. If I can find a few hours to spare, I'll try and pop out for a play /gratuitous pics:


Rolyan
Posts: 603
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:45 pm

Re: Old school or new school? Both and neither!

Postby Rolyan » Sat May 28, 2016 11:01 am

jcochrane wrote:Welcome and if you think your old school I'm not sure what that makes me, no doubt there will be the odd rude comment to tell me, :roll: but I started driving cars in the early 1950's, too young for a licence :shock: , but no one cared on the quiet lanes, where I grew up, back then.

My grandad was a horse and cart delivery man back in the days when vehicles were scarce. I'm getting on a bit so this is a long time ago, back when the world was black and white; perhaps you knew him!

One day the Comapny he worked for (in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire) announced they were getting a van. The car company brought it round, and invited my grandad into the cab. He then drove around the yard for half an hour or so while he 'learned' changing gears, steering, braking etc. The owner of the company then said excellent, that'll do, here's your job, delivering to .........Scotland!!! So off he went.

Those were the days!


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