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Driver's Education

Old July 16th, 2014, 07:08 AM
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Driver's Education

I couldn't find a thread about taking Driver's Ed, so maybe I should start one? What cars did everyone take their HS driver's ed classes in? Any funny, strange or scary experiences?


When I took driver's ed in high school, we had a new 4 door 1968 Olds Cutlass for the program. Often there was only myself and the teacher for that time slot, and since I already knew how to drive, we just went cruising around. The only comment I recall was to "give it more gas" going uphill .. haha. -Oldsmobomb
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Old July 16th, 2014, 07:12 AM
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1989 Dodge Colt (Mitsubishi Mirage) with the 5 speed. Great car ... so much glass you could see your own bumpers. I installed a rear view mirror from a hearse (14-16") and from the driver's seat I had 360 degree vision, no lie.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 07:12 AM
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i didnt take drivers ed.. i was told stop at a red go on a green and keep your eyes looking straight
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Old July 16th, 2014, 07:17 AM
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I took my test in a 67 Cutlass. Learned to drive on a 65 Dart, 6 cyl/3 on a tree.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 07:46 AM
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1985 cutlass calais coupe FWD. Provided from local olds dealer for drivers education, I believe they were from Regency Olds. Lansing/Grand Ledge MI.


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Old July 16th, 2014, 07:47 AM
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drivers training at my school used brand new 69 olds vista cruisers and 1 69 cutlass 4dr 350 3 on the tree,no p/s no p/b. so you had to learn to drive a stick,and know what it felt like to use manual steering and brakes. my dad bought a new 69 vista former drivers ed car,and gave me the old car.65 vista. ii thought i was the man,loved that wagon.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 08:15 AM
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96 Cavalier for driver's ed. Learned to drive as a kid on a 78 CJ7 in the woods.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 08:32 AM
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I never took drivers ed but was driving regularly on the road at 15 1/2. Learned to drive in a 37 chevy pickup at probably 10-11 years of age but I was driving tractors and cats at an earlier age on the farm.Those things just happened sooner when you grow up on a ranch....Tedd
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Old July 16th, 2014, 08:42 AM
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Our driver's ed car was an 83 Bonneville wagon. This was the downsized Bonneville. The teacher looked like the Son of Svengoolie. One day we had some extra time and we drove downtown Chicago. It was a blast, and a challenge. I think the teacher came away with some grey hair. We didn't hit anything, though.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 09:08 AM
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I learned to drive on whatever my Dad had on the car lot (mostly trucks with 3 on the tree).

The bad part was that I failed the driver's test the 1st time out because I used my Mothers car (at that time an '81 chevy citation). The reason that I failed was because I had never driven that car before and at the start of the test, they asked me to turn the head lights on, and I could not find them. They were located on the turn signal column and up until then, I had never driven in a car with that feature. I was looking for a pull-out **** on the dash.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 09:08 AM
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My own DE class? A blue 1973 Chevy BelAir sedan.

Senior year I had a first period study hall and after a few weeks the driver ed coach came thru wanting student volunteers to help with the on-campus DE track. So, five of us volunteered. We rode in the cars with the students and were basically there to get on our passenger side brake pedal if needed. DE coach was in the football stadium tower and gave instructions thru a radio broadcast similar to what drive-in theaters were using by that time.

We had:

1974 Delta Royale Holiday Sedan
1974 LeMans colonnade sedan (with a 455! we didn't get to keep that one long)
1974 Buick Century Luxus colonnade sedan black with red gut, handsome car
1974 Vega wagon
1974 Dodge Monaco sedan big ugly caramel colored beast with a green vinyl top and interior. Even for the 70s that thing was hideous.

Local dealers supplied the cars and then sold them as demonstrators. One kid's family bought that big ugly Dodge.

Never could understand why the kid who had never been behind the wheel of any vehicle would automatically gravitate to the biggest cars we had.

This was back in the 70s when many of the black kids had Afros a yard wide. One of them's pick ripped the brocade seat on the Oldsmobile and Coach wouldn't release his DE certificate until he paid for having the seat fixed.

Another kid was in the Luxus and Coach told him to slow down and stop in front of the bleachers and change drivers (we had two in the cars). He didn't slow down, guess he wanted to keep driving so I tapped my brake pedal. He still didn't slow down so I laid on my brake and told him stop the car. Little hardhead floored the accelerator and blew the front tranny seal on the Buick. I don't think that one ever got his certificate.

I don't think any of the local public schools even teach driver ed anymore. There are several private driving schools that are always backed up with waiting lists. I think that might be one reason a lot of kids don't bother with getting driver's licenses. Our plant nurse has a 16 year old son who could not care less about driving and she's pulling out hair because she still has to haul his lanky *** everywhere. She says if he'd at least get his license it would save her hauling him around and he could take his little sister where she needed to go. As it is she still hauls both kids everywhere. I have a couple friends in the same boat- the teenage kids have no interest in driving. Any of y'all run into that?
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Old July 16th, 2014, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rocketraider View Post
...I don't think any of the local public schools even teach driver ed anymore. There are several private driving schools that are always backed up with waiting lists. I think that might be one reason a lot of kids don't bother with getting driver's licenses. Our plant nurse has a 16 year old son who could not care less about driving and she's pulling out hair because she still has to haul his lanky *** everywhere. She says if he'd at least get his license it would save her hauling him around and he could take his little sister where she needed to go. As it is she still hauls both kids everywhere. I have a couple friends in the same boat- the teenage kids have no interest in driving. Any of y'all run into that?
Times are different today than when we were kids. I was parked in the front seat of my dads car on my birthday ready to get my license. A drivers license to us meant freedom and the first real step to adulthood. A car was an extension of our personality and we took pride in ownership.

Here in Texas you can either send them to a class or teach your kids yourself. I chose to teach my son, who previously took no real interest in the 67 Cutlass in my avatar that I bought for him because I thought it would be cool for him to have the same first car as I had. I had to drag him out to learn to drive and he always had excuses why he didn't want to do it. I basically forced him to get his license a year after he was actually able to. Go figure.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 09:43 AM
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My high school driver's ed car was a 1974 Ventura with three-on-the-floor. The owner of the local Pontiac dealership had a daughter in my class and always provided three driver ed cars. There were two Bonnevilles with AT and the Ventura with a manual trans. The high school provided training and on-the-road experience but we were on our own for taking the test at the DMV. I took the test in our family 1968 Vista, which I then inherited as my first car.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 09:58 AM
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Driver's Education

Hi, I'm new to CO. The cars for my Driver's Education Classes at my high school were donated by a local Oldsmobile Dealership (I believe Story Oldsmobile in Lansing). We had about six new 1958 Olds 88 four-doors. The bodies for these cars were manufactured across the street from my high school at the Fisher Body Plant.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Rod5013 View Post
Hi, I'm new to CO. The cars for my Driver's Education Classes at my high school were donated by a local Oldsmobile Dealership (I believe Story Oldsmobile in Lansing). We had about six new 1958 Olds 88 four-doors. The bodies for these cars were manufactured across the street from my high school at the Fisher Body Plant.
Then you must have went to Sexton high?
Welcome to C.O.! Are you still around the Lansing area?

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Old July 16th, 2014, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 1970cs View Post
Then you must have went to Sexton high?
Welcome to C.O.! Are you still around the Lansing area?

Pat
Yep, J.W. Sexton High School. Still live near Lansing.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 10:53 AM
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My driver's ed car was a 4-door '66 Plymouth Fury II, white with blue interior. None of the cars my parents had owned up to that time had power steering or power brakes so the first time I applied the brakes on that Fury I locked up everything! And that power steering - it seemed like that car just wandered all over the road but I finally got used to both. When we went driving, the instructor would take groups of 4 at a time. My group of 4 had one guy that was just too scary so we always made him drive first to get rid of all the thrills. Then there was one of my best friends, and then me. The last guy was such a good driver it was a relief to have him behind the wheel. The instructor liked the last guy's driving so much he let him roll down the window, put his left arm up in it, and drive with just his right hand...he looked like a pro to us!


My 2 boys didn't seem the least bit interested in driving until they turned 18 or so. I never figured that out, either. The freedom of a driver's license at 16 was the #1 issue of things to get done when I turned that age!


Randy C.

Last edited by rcorrigan5; July 16th, 2014 at 10:57 AM.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 11:04 AM
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Drivers Ed? Heck, didn't need that new fangled stuff when all ya gotta know was how to hitch up the buckboard and horses. Cluck your tongue for 'go' and pull back the reigns with a 'whoa'.

Dad was the best driver's education system I ever had. He was patient and smart. Knew how to make his point, encourage skills development and keep everyone safe. 67 Cutlass Towne Sedan was our weapon of choice to practice and take the test in. Sturdy and reliable automobile. Safe as the nut behind the wheel made it.

BTW, I'm not bashing the Drivers Ed system (well maybe I am a bit), but the results of their efforts on the road nowadays don't show consideration or ability to know and apply the laws or common rules of the road. Used to be the guys were the worst, now I find it's women and folks who immigrated are the worst. Even taking the bus is a crap shoot now.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 11:12 AM
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The school had two 70 ish belairs with dual controls. Took my test on a 67 Cutlass 4dr and that was my learner car along with a 62 Chevy Belair.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 11:21 AM
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I got my license in 69, but i honestly dont remember what cars we used. I took my drivers test in my dads 62 Olds 98 4 door, man that was a long car. I do remember I was driving when the light turned yellow. I tried to stop but the instructor used his control and put it in passing gear lol we flew through that light! The simulator in class was pretty cool too. I was always told we would watch a movie called "Death on the highway", supposedly pretty gruesome but we never saw it.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 11:24 AM
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Neat post. I think my high school training car was a 4-door K-car. 1974
The local private driving school (Drive Right), had a 4 speed Challenger!
First stick I drove regular was my first car, 71 Duster
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Old July 16th, 2014, 11:54 AM
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While on the subject this is a great clip from Disney. If you have about an hour here it is from youtube. Dad Can I Borrow the Car?

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Old July 16th, 2014, 12:38 PM
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Took the class in 1983 or 1984 and the driver's education car was a 75 or 76 Ford LTD ex Kentucky State Police car. Dual exhaust and dog dish hubcaps. Seemed to run strong but of course we couldn't let it all hang out since the instructor was with us. They put us in groups of three and the same three of us would go out each time with the instructor. Don't remember anything else but almost running off the road in it ( so the instructor insisted) out in the country looking at a 70 GTO out in a field. Learned to drive and took the test March 17,1983 in a 75 Cutlass Supreme my parents bought new. In 1983 the 75 Cutlass had about 40k miles on it.

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Old July 16th, 2014, 12:45 PM
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i forgot all about the movie death on the highway. we watched it,really wasnt too greusome not by todays standards. our oldsmobiles were furnished by olds dealers in lansing also. i went to holt high school
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Old July 16th, 2014, 02:07 PM
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Drivers Ed was not required in Louisiana in 1961 when I turned 15. I started driving my Mother's 1956 Mercury when I was about 12. I took my drivers test in a 1960 Impala with a three on the tree. Does anybody else ever think about how many miles they have driven in their lifetime?
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Old July 16th, 2014, 02:17 PM
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I don't remember our high school offering the "drivers part" in our course. It was strictly class room stuff. No driving part that I re call.

They do offer it now at an extra cost and it takes place in the summer months after school is out. Just a late model four door with the extra brake pedal installed on the passenger side, by one of the local car dealers no less.

I didn't pass my first time out in a 78 Chrysler Lebaron. I guess I was speeding 35mph in a 30 zone! Parallel parking seemed to of been difficult for a lot of us (my peers) back then, but I aced that part.

Do they still require you to do that?
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Old July 16th, 2014, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by oldolds88 View Post
i forgot all about the movie death on the highway. we watched it,really wasnt too greusome not by todays standards. our oldsmobiles were furnished by olds dealers in lansing also. i went to holt high school
University more than likely, what couldn't be more than 6 miles up Cedar st.
Buege over in Eaton Rapids is not that far away also!

So we now have a Comet, Big Red and Ram alumni

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Old July 16th, 2014, 03:52 PM
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The cars in my Driver's Ed class were four-door 1980 Olds Cutlasses. I guess I was doomed from day one to like Oldsmobiles.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by vistacruiser67 View Post
Don't remember anything else but almost running off the road in it ( so the instructor insisted) out in the country looking
No almost.....instructor keep telling me to get closer to the edge on a gravel road. closer....closer.....then we road the ditch for about 50-100 feet, as I gradually brought it back on the road. Put a scratch on the two doors of the 82 Cutlass wagon. She then said, maybe she had me too close, but was impressed that I didn't panic and was able to pull it back up on the road. I got a 100% on the driver's exam 4 days later.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 05:56 PM
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I went to Dewitt High (Michigan) our drivers ed cars were supplied by Fowler Ford. We had 71 Galaxies and Grand Torinos. All had 351 2bbls except 1 Galaxie w/ a 400 4bbl.
My buddy and I knew the difference and always drove the 400. Good times. This morning I saw a item on TV about what car the modern parent should buy their new driver child. " make sure it has driver stability controls-etc, " Wow. My dad took me out on icy roads and said gun it. That is what it feels like to skid. We learned how to control a car. What a different world!!! What do you guys think?
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Old July 16th, 2014, 06:17 PM
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I took the first class of driver ed and never went back. Thought it was for idiots. A month later they called me and scheduled drive time. Did the six hours in a 66 or 67 Chevelle. Spent most of the time parked in a project while the instructor went into an apartment, I think to get laid. Came out very docile, though. And smelled like burnt leaves.
Took the road test in my Dad's 69 Chevy wagon. As the inspector was writing up the license, he says: "What date were you born?". I said the 14th. He says: "You won't be 16 1/2 until next week then" (the legal age for a license in MA). "We'll mail it to you".
It took 2 weeks for it to come and I was climbing the walls!
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Old July 16th, 2014, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg Rogers View Post
I went to Dewitt High (Michigan) our drivers ed cars were supplied by Fowler Ford. We had 71 Galaxies and Grand Torinos. All had 351 2bbls except 1 Galaxie w/ a 400 4bbl.
My buddy and I knew the difference and always drove the 400. Good times. This morning I saw a item on TV about what car the modern parent should buy their new driver child. " make sure it has driver stability controls-etc, " Wow. My dad took me out on icy roads and said gun it. That is what it feels like to skid. We learned how to control a car. What a different world!!! What do you guys think?
Well back in the day we no covers on the electrical outlets, no helmets when you rode a bike, we had to play on play grounds with packed dirt and IIRC each item had at least three out of four concrete footers exposed. Today no body can fight anyone else.

Now we wonder why over the last 3 years or better we averaging some sort school stabbing or shooting every two or three weeks.

As a wise man said you have to have license to drive a vehicle, get married, or have a dog, carry a gun. but there is no license for having kids!

End of rant! Sorry for expressing my views on life but Greg asked, now back to our regular program.

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Old July 16th, 2014, 06:31 PM
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In the awesome 80's I was sent to Sears driving school, back in the days when Sears HAD a good reputation...
We only had year-old Mustangs (5.0L) and Camaros (305). Seemed like I got the Camaros a lot - only once a 'stang.
Sure my '72 has more power than either of those, but they were sure fun to drive, esp for a teenager. We got cool looks from our friends whom we passed on their bikes.
My favorite parts were were highway merging. The instructor MADE us floor it after the left yellow lines turned to white and we had an opening. If we did not, she yelled it too us! I loved it. Cool ol' lady too.
Fun stuff to remember. Poor kids get mostly eco-bubbles now days...
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Old July 16th, 2014, 06:50 PM
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I took my fathers 70 Toronado. I was #2 in line behind an elderly woman, I'll guess mid 60's or early 70's. First thing she does is hold her foot to the floor and start the car. She held her foot there for about 2-3 seconds while I saw a lot of flailing of arms from the instructor. As soon as she took her foot off the gas the car stalled. Her next attempt wasn't as bad, only had her foot down for about half a second. She pulled away from the curb and took a left and out of sight she went. Two minutes later here comes her car from the other end of the street. I'm like "Damn that was a fast test drive". Then I noticed the instructor was driving.
Needless to say I was a bit nervous being next. I did manage to get a 98 for a test score though. He told me no one get's a 100. I was cool with that.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by oldcutlass View Post
Times are different today than when we were kids. I was parked in the front seat of my dads car on my birthday ready to get my license. A drivers license to us meant freedom and the first real step to adulthood. A car was an extension of our personality and we took pride in ownership.
Maybe it was the times then, or maybe it was the cars. I remember never missing the chance to do some driving even before I had my license. One of the cars I drove was a brand new '66 Toronado that belonged to a couple I did yard work for. Another time I got to drive our '61 Olds 88 home when it got stranded with a bad battery and I went back with my Dad to rescue it. I was 15 at the time and had no license. Didn't seem to make any difference in my ability to drive it home
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Old July 16th, 2014, 07:36 PM
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1970 Cutlass S. During the movie portion they used to scare the crap out of you to make you drive slow and sober, I got sick. Yeah, can't believe I just told that. It was a nasty film though, I mean.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 08:30 PM
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Lansing Hill Panther here. 1976 Cutlasses and 88s. Everyone wanted the orange Cutlass Supreme. You had to be fast to get it. Our driving range even had a hill on it. One semester 1 credit class. Best idea ever.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 10:22 PM
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1972, all GM except for one Plymouth. All were four doors, a Malibu, a Cutlass Supreme, A Kingswood Estate, and a Sebring Satellite, which was a piece of crap, and to this day, why I despise Mopars. First time that we had to try to parallel park, I was driving the Chevy wagon, did it in one try, impressed the instructor, who always had us stop at his house, so he could get a pb&j sandwich and a coke, which he would always finish in front of us..as parched as we were in the summer. He would for some reason, prohibit us from using the a/c until the very end of drivers ed. I was driving the Olds, with hands at 3 & 9, and about froze my frickn' hands off...and why I love old GM cars w/r12.

Last edited by 1969w3155; July 17th, 2014 at 08:16 AM.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 11:48 PM
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No such thing as Drivers Ed over here.
If you want to learn to drive it's on your own dime unless you happen to have a job that teaches driving as part of its training programme.
A written and driving test has to be passed to gain a full licence, 17 is the minimum age to obtain a car licence.
Also nowadays you have to learn with a qualified instructor, when I learned to drive (in my parents Mini) all that was required was putting white plates with a red "L" on the front and rear of the car, insurance, and a full licence holder sat in the car. The full licence holder was technically in charge of the car and responsible for any misfortunes.
The driving test has changed over time as well. When I took my test (1973) apart from a few questions about what some traffic warning signs meant there was only a practical driving exam. I was required to use hand signals only for part of the time, start on a hill, reverse around a corner and make adequate progress in traffic. Now candidates have to lift the hood and identify where to top up oil, water, brake fluid etc, parallel park, and a few other thing I don't recall right now, and they have to pass a written exam beforehand.


I read of someone in Iowa in the early '50s going to the local courthouse on his fifteenth birthday, filling out a form declaring he was not legally blind, and going home with his drivers permit.


Roger.
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Old July 17th, 2014, 07:30 AM
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I took driver's ed thru my HS one summer in the late 70's, so whatever 4 door slug we drove did not leave any lasting impression (maybe an LTD?). One of our coaches was the teacher so our driving consisted of taking him on whatever errands he neeed to run. Drop off some laundry, pick up a prescription, get donuts......
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