Reverse was under first, and raucous hilarity ensued

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/09/reverse-was-under-first-and-r.html

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In college I went on a road trip in a 1972 VW micro bus with some friends. The gears were quite worn and you had to kind of feel around carefully for the gear. Starting on a hill? Ha ha ha ha.

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The synchros/vacuums/whatever on those old transmissions were really not very good.

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  1. That’s the first time I’ve seen a Morris Traveller described as a sports car!
  2. Heel-toe looks weird in a left-hand drive. :wink:
  3. Am I missing something about that gear diagram? Don’t all (manual) cars have reverse under first?
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Definitely a lost art. I’ve had some old trucks where this is required. For added fun my old army jeep had a 3 speed transmission. Reverse is where you find 1st on most cars, so starting from a red light can be exciting if you’re not used to it.

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An MG gear knob on a Moggy? That’s pure sarcasm. :wink:
Sports car it aint!

I had an original (1963?) Morris Mini in which I could change gear without the clutch as it was so easy to blip or drop revs to match revs to the next gear, as it passed through neutral - didn’t even need to double de-clutch. Probably much the same gearbox as in the Traveller.

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No. In the bad old days there were several variations across makers - in UK and Europe, at least.

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Well, my Mom‘s Peugeot had reverse where 6 would have been – common with french cars, I guess.
Hence the joke about the “Rally Gear”

“bad old days” in this case means manufactured in 2003. Too bad I just can’t seem to get used to her new VW

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“Wie schaltet man? So wie man spricht: laut und deutlich.”
— My driving driving instructor, 1984, whenever my hand-foot-coordination left something to be desired.

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The feel of that small slip into R is a source of ownership pride and confidence!

My reverse is past 6

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Where it belongs :smiley:

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Not all. My 93 RX-7 was a 5-speed with reverse under 5th, if I recall correctly. I think current Mazda might be right and up for a 6-speed.

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My grandmother had a devil of a time getting her Beetle into reverse, as it took some force to push the gearshift lever down while sliding it over.

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s-l300

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It was the same on my 67 Karmann Ghia. The only spring that apparently still had strength was the one under the gearshift.

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I watched that whole video expecting raucous hilarity. Pretty disappointing.

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Ah, yes. French cars. :wink:

Well, my VW has reverse under first. Raucous hilarity has been known to ensue, but that’s just my driving…

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I spent the whole video cringing on a knife edge expecting him to shift into reverse by mistake… I can’t tell if I’m disappointed or relieved (why did I watch it if I felt it was going to be unpleasant to witness?? The driver didn’t say anything to make me think he was a jerk who deserved it, so why?)