1987 Nissan pickup with a little bitty 4-banger. I was 11 years old. Thing had no torque and was just looking for an excuse to die. Great learning tool; if a kid can drive one of those he can drive about anything!
Sorta learned on a mid-80's Ford Escort wagon with a diesel engine, but never could get the hang of it. I fully taught myself to drive my 1981 Plymouth Horizon. After that I've not been in a stick shift vehicle I couldn't drive. Most difficult was a 1950's Chevy panel van that had a 3 on the tree and a clutch that had 0 play (also, no front end, manual choke and the engine was between the driver and passenger). Best one, 1963 Chevy vet. Fastest, forgot the year but a Dodge Stealth that was only missing the twin turbos, but would still lay down rubber in the first three gears.
In high school we had to drive a stick shift and an automatic transmission to "graduate" the program.
Since I graduated in 69, it was a 69 ford and a 69 chevy, both donated to the program by local dealers.
My first vehicle was a 55 ford custom line with a Y block 272 cubic inch engine. One barrel Stromberg carb that was a side draft.
A year later it sported a 4 bbl Autolite carb on an eldebrock manifold, dual point distributer from a 312 Police Interceptor along with a dual exhaust conversion and a 3/4 marine cam that was all about low end HP.
Transmission was a three on the tree that got dumped for a three speed overdrive transmission with a Hurst shifter on the floor. If one turned the shifter arms upward vs downward like factory, it allowed the transmission to shift like a 4 speed with first gear up, second down and third back up.
The overdrive transmission has close ratio gearing for street racing stop light to stop light which is why it was used.
Later put "dumps" on it with cable control and a side oil can.
The big thing back in the day was to "drag" main street. Circle the block at one end and a mile at the other end, circle A&W to head back uptown.
The dumps opened up the exhaust prior to the mufflers, and the side oil can was to squirt oil into exhaust manifold to flood the street with oil smoke. (early rolling coal as the diesel owners call it)
I was a gearhead before it was cool, lol.
My dad was a great mechanic and fixed everything on his vehicles. Transmission to engine. When a little kid until leaving home I was required to be at his side when he repaired something to observe and fetch tools. I hated the duty, but later on, it was rewarded.
Made my sons do the same, and they hated it as well, but they fixed their own bicycles, motorcycles, and so on.
Lazy retired person now. There are people out there making a living fixing things. I'll pay them.