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Currumbin Beach, South East Queensland.

Friday, February 24, 2012

LEARNING TO DRIVE

When I was 16 and 10 months I had saved up enough pocket money to buy some driving lessons. I was as keen as mustard to learn to drive. The driving school instructor used to pick me up outside my school at 3:30 and off I would go in my school uniform for a driving lesson. I was so proud of myself. My mother couldn't drive and not many women were driving in those days (1950's). The minimum age for a license was 17 and I passed the test on my birthday.  I can remember going home as proud as punch and telling my parents. Then my dad said to me,
" Okay, now I will teach you how to REALLY drive" (He had been a truck driver for many years). So every weekend he would take me for lessons and  taught me how to drive like a truck driver. He wouldn't let me drive his car until he was satisfied with my progress.


Finally he let me drive our car to the paper shop every Sunday to buy the papers. I was chuffed.


24 comments:

  1. what a lovely story. i agree, it's a big exciting thing when you first start to drive. dad taught me to drive and i used to have a motorbike licence so mostly drove that. i used to drive the car for years without a licence. i know, i know. i used to drive our trucks and my dad's holden ute. big betsy. i drove about 300 kms to visit my mother and sister regularly. i finally got my licence when i married my second husband, the policeman. he was in the driving instructor section at the time. my very first car was a holden fx. light blue. they are in the vintage class now, you don't see many of them around any more. of course, now i find driving a chore esp. as i don't have power steering and a i do have a dicky shoulder. :) lovely pic too Diane to go along with your story. you were so young.

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  2. As a farm kid in Idaho, I learned to drive a tractor when I was about 6 years old. Every kid had to do that. We would drive the tractor very slow while the potato bagging was going on behind the cultivator that the tractor was pulling. So by the time I could 'officially' drive, I'd already had the learning behind me. I don't imagine that happens much today, but in that small town, if you could breathe and walk, you could work. I LOVED driving the tractor and I have always loved driving. Anywhere anytime.

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  3. I guess I might be the exception I sometimes feel I missed out on learning to drive but it was so expensive to learn and the public transport was so cheap.
    recently I had lessons and I am not that bad maybe I will carry on.( to be honest though there are so many crazy drivers on the road it is a bit scary )
    But one thing I do know I will pay for my boys to get lessons.
    My eldest son has license he doesn't drive though he prefers to ride a bike well he does live in Copenhagen.

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  4. In the 60th Belgium was driver licence free, nobody had to have one. In 69 suddenly I got a letter that I could pick up my driver licence (I drove already for 5 years and had my own car)Every household who had a car got automatically a driver licence. For fun my father asked for one for my mother who never drove in her whole life ! I learned with a Driving teacher my father had hired for me, because he was afraid that I would use his car. At 23 I earned enough to buy me a used little Fiat 600. Now it costs a fortune for a driver licence and you have to go to school first !

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  5. I drove a ute around the paddock as a teenager and got a motor bike license pretty much on my 17th birthday. Mum and Dad taught me to drive in their car over the next few weeks and I went up to the police station to get my license. The only problem was that the previous policeman had misfired with his typewriter and given me a car license and a truck license, not a bike license. So I did the car test and he gave me a bike license. I asked him what to do about the truck license and he said when you'r father thinks your good enough to drive a truck that will do.

    I left home to go to uni a few weeks after that so didn't really drive my parents car. I drove more when I got married a few years later.

    I love your old photos.

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  6. Lovely phootos. My parents had a Zephr also and I got my licence in it. My Mother was driving by then also. I drove the tractor from an early age, probably 8 or 10 and didn't have car driving lessons. I got my licence in 1960 when I was home during my first year working. I remember the only comment from the policeman was to take care not to ride the clutch. We double declutched in those days, though whether on that vehicle, or older vehicles we had as poor young marrieds I'm not sure.I also rode a scooter a few years later, as our second vehicle, and got a motor bike licence quite easily, as the learner was allowed to pillion an instructor, first hubby. As he worked next door to the police station, when I presented myself for the driver test, they had seen me riding regularly and I didn't even have to go out on the road. I still have the car and motor bike licence though I have never owned or ridden a motor bike, except as a pillion. It is quite rigorous to get a motor bike licence these days.

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  7. I can relate to the learner's permit at 16 and 10 months! Mercifully I learned on an early Holden in '58. My Dad's Zephyr was a 1953 one in (what else) 'Coronation Blue'. Frightful machine with suspended pedals almost beyond the reach of my feet. And the vacuum-operated windscreen wipers! They always stopped going up hill, just when you needed them most. And it leaked like a sieve ... to cap it all, my Dad was on a waiting list (a waiting list!!) for years and had to pick the car up at North Sydney (we lived about 50 miles south). However inconvenient, being able to jump into your own transport at any time and go places was just wonderful!

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  8. My family believed that women and girls should not drive and they were shocked when, one Sunday evening I arrived home alone driving an old Morris 8 belonging to my boyfriend, the man who has now been my husband for close to 50 years. My first lesson was a shock as we had been out to a country race meeting in the country and he pulled out of the traffic, got out of the car and told me that I was driving back to the city. Amazingly, I did!

    Now, if I was not able to drive, we would have to miss out on our camping trips around our country, something we value greatly doing together.

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  9. I was not allowed to drive my parents car, ever. or to learn to drive. i learned on my own car, i got a job when i turned 18 and bought a 1956 chevy in 1962, mother went with me and we went to a field and she let me drive it all over the field and then on the road. so i taught myself to drive my own car at age 18. my brother was allowed to drive at 15 since he was a MALE... i will not get on my soap box about that

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  10. What great photos and brings back memories of learning to drive, in a 1949 Willy Jeep (think army surplus), with a clutch on the ranch roads and having a heck of a time shifting on a hill.

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  11. Love the pics Diane!
    I learned to drive when I was sixteen. I took my test for a learners permit and got 100% on the test. My Mom taught me to drive. I did get to drive the family car usually every Sunday to church. When it came time to take my driving test I failed three times because I could not parallel park. Still can't do that well so I avoid it. :)

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  12. I really like your photos. I grew up on a farm and I was driving tractors by the time I was 10. When I turned 16 I took Driver's Training at my high school and I got my license shortly after. Once I got my license I was allowed to drive the family car.

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  13. You look great on the picture. Have you scanned all your old picture on your computer. I started driving at the age of 15, somewhere in a field. But here in Belgium you are only allowed on the road at the age of 18, which is a long time ago.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  14. Like many, I learnt to drive on a farm, starting with a tractor. My grandfather had a Zephyr, slightly newer than yours. I remember it as being quite a good car. Do drivers who started young turn out ultimately to be better drivers? I don't know. I might suggest they are calmer drivers.

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  15. Great pictures, Diane, and I love hearing your story. You aren't going to believe this but I started driving at age 14 (my Dad taught me) --and back then, 1956, in the state of Virginia, I could get a license at the age of FIFTEEN.... I did it ---and seemed to have a good sense of driving from the beginning. BUT---I'm glad that when my sons became old enough to drive, the law then said SIXTEEN.... Thanks for that!!!ha ha

    Hugs
    Betsy

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  16. Your old black and white photos are such treasures. You look too young to be driving!

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  17. Great memories and lovely pictures.
    I was never allowed to drive my parents car. In Holland you only can paractise with an instructor and when finally I had my license it didn't take long before I bought my own as I already worked for a while

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  18. Oh what a wise father. He taught you really how to drive.
    I waited a year until I was 18 before I took the test in a Valiant Charger on the grounds that I was going to be driving the family car and I needed to be able to prove I could manage it. I passed first go. Next day the parents handed me the key and sent me out on my first drive alone - to tennis, as I recall it.

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  19. Hi Diane, wonderful shots and memories. I was about the same age as you were 17. I did drive my parents car and preferred going out driving with my mother. My father made me nervous. When I got my first full time job I bought a new 1977 Camero for around 7,000 dollars. I loved that car. They cost a lot more now! Great post, have a wonderful weekend!

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  20. Oh I can just imagine how pleased with yourself you'd be driving to buy the papers every Sunday! It was quite something to have your own driver's licence back then.
    Your photos are very glamorous Diane - very beautiful.
    My Dad taught me and then I had some formal lessons at a driving school. At my test, instead of backing out into the road, I drove forward straight into and nearly up on to the kerb. For the rest of the test I was sure I wouldn't pass because of that embarrassing moment, so was fairly nonchalant... I passed!! I was allowed to drive our family car quite a bit after getting my licence.
    Cheerio for now, Susan :D)

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  21. Terrific photos - what gorgeous legs you have!

    Dad was a teacher, but an even harder one in the car, so I waited until my year twelve exams were over before I tried in earnest. Therefore I was seventeen when I got my 'Ps' and took my boyfriend to the drive-in that night to celebrate. He had to remind me to turn the lights on when it was time to go home.

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  22. I came back to read the learner driver stories ... it was a different world back then.

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  23. Driver's Education was offered free in high school so long as you had a learner's permit which was issued at 15 and 8 months. I'd been working part time and managed to buy my first car a week before getting my license at 16. I learned HOW to drive the hard way....college of hard knocks.

    When our daughter signed up for Driver's Ed. I had almost 40 years behind the wheel and there was no question about who would teach her how to survive on the road. I drive a 3.5 ton SUV and extensive collection of profane comments to fling out the window at anyone insane enough to venture onto MY highway!

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  24. I think I learned how to drive when I was 14, and my uncle was the one who taught me secretly when we went out to drive around. He’d let me in the wheel and let me drive when there weren’t a lot of people on the highway. It took me quite some time to learn how to turn. Good thing it was an old car, since I probably put a few dents in it trying.

    Mia @ Rookie Driver

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