MAX Update No. 22: Learn to Drive Stick Shift with MAX


The Saturday before The EG, Mother Earth News sent a photojournalist down to make sure MAX was for real (it's amazing the things I can do with Photoshop... ). Katherine Loeck is a couple of generations younger than me, so sports car nostalgia isn't part of her program (nostalgia isn't what it used to be, I'll tell you...) but she dug MAX anyway.

She was having so much fun in the passenger's seat that I said, “You should drive.” Then she said she'd love to, but she didn't know how to drive a stick shift.


Yes, really. She'd tried driving her dad's 'Vette once but that hadn't gone well.

I would imagine it hadn't. A Corvette does not seem like an ideal driver's ed car. It's heavy, the clutch is heavy, and there's only a small difference in throttle pedal position between too-little-and-stalled-the-engine and too-much-and-smoking-the-tires.

“Perfect!” said I. “MAX is a perfect way to learn to drive a stick. Every high school should have one.”

Jack McCornack
1/28/2009 11:31:35 AM

Wayne, the suggestions are appreciated, and probably one of theese updates will compile the suggestions we're using from the comments--there have been a number of good ones and MAX is better for them. Sadly, budget constraints have forced us to forsake Top Ramen and other gourmet cuisine, but we have plenty of oatmeal. If we need to go with a full fiberglass nose, the '53 Type R fenders would be a good inspiration, the only problem is the compound curves--which would be difficult and expensive to recreate at home.

1/28/2009 4:53:21 AM

OK Jack I have now been to your site and been to other Mother sites, I will sleep outside, be night watchman and eat Raman Noodles. You have some fantastic things going on and I apologize for being so presumptuous as to make any suggestions. We really do think along the same lines, difference is you are doing it while I just dream. Love the Whippet design, I am an old biker unable to ride due to back also. Please let me come work for you,I'll even buy my own noodles.

1/28/2009 4:16:54 AM

Cool Jack, I am very pleased to know you even read this. Was thinking that louver vents on sides of hood would help evacuate some of the turbulent air from under hood and they are old style hot-rod roadster cool. I own a 53 Bentley RType that has wonderful front fenders, similar design would be a nice aerodynamic shape for MAX and are very retro cool.There is a car in the first minute of the movie 'Nice Dreams" that would be a great shape for the nose, sorry I don't know the make and model but some of the 30's Plymouths had a similar design and it would reduce a lot of drag. I was fortunate enough to know a man in the 70's that invented a very simple carburetor adapter that allowed a car to run on 40% of the air and fuel {60%reduced jets}with equal or better power,I drove the car, an early 70's Wildcat 225 with a 350 Chevy engine,that he claimed got 50+ mpg {with shade-tree measurements} on interstate,it had plenty of power. He also ran it on a 225ci straight 6 cylinder Chevy in Nascar late-model that produced similar power to the 350's the other guys ran, actually he could have won many of the races but they would have torn his engine down and it was not rules legal.He did some testing at one of the spark-plug manufacturers and they bought out the patent, saying it would over double the life of their spark plugs thereby halving their sales.I know it would not be useful on the diesel but if you are interested I would be glad to share it with you. I am just a broke old dreamer that would love to be able to do what you are doing, if you need a shop sweeper,car washer i would work for room{shop floor is fine} and board{willing to garden}:}. I am off to find some of the other sites about MAX.

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