The car that finally forced me to learn to drive a stick - a 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP. I loved that damned car. I remember the first time my husband tried to teach me how to drive it. We ended up yelling at each other because I couldn’t figure out how to back out of someone’s driveway to turn around, and I was panicking. I got out of the car and walked home. Later I decided to just figure it out on my own, and after many embarrassing stalls and a lot of burning metal smell, I managed to get decent at driving the car. It was not the easiest stick shift to learn on, I later figured out.

And then I fell in love with driving a stick. Never thought that would happen. A couple of years later, when I felt like the Solstice was becoming a “hot potato” that I’d have to pass off before it...went wrong (i.e. an American car with 100,000 miles on it), I bought the best car I’ve ever owned: a 2012 VW GTI Autobahn with a stick.

So, because of this stupid, terrible, inconceivably fun American roadster, I’m now a stick shift fanatic.