I'm a 38 (eeek!) year old female who lives in NWPA. I just joined here, although I see it hasn't been active in a while. I wandered over from google, where I was looking up "stick shift minivan."
On Friday, my beloved Ford Freestyle was t-boned. I was worried about her, but then I started thinking if she did get totaled, I'd do what I really want and buy a stick shift. I love driving a stick. I basically taught myself to drive one on my old roommate's Nissan pickup truck, which was very "strip down." It was a 5 speed, no power steering, no nothing. It was named "Truck." I loved driving Truck. When it was time to get my own car, the dealer asked me "stick or automatic?" and I answered "stick." I ended up with a 91 Mustang. We got along well together, despite the fact that it had a part of the clutch that looked like a little barbell that would break with some frequency. I had her when I met my first husband. She brought my older 2 kids home from the hospital. Now she's gone. Alas.
Since the Mustang, I've driven automatics. They suck. I now have a new husband and a new child, bringing the total to 3. I like having a bigger car, hence the Freestyle. I've often said the only thing wrong with it is that it's an automatic.
I started searching & found out that if I lived in Europe, this wouldn't be much of an issue. Most cars there, even big family cars, come with manual transmissions. Not so much here in the U.S. So far I've found the Mazda5, which is cool, but it only seats 6. I also have looked at the Volkswagon Vanagon/Synchro/whatever, which are nice, but not readily available in my area. Plus, with the winters around here, I'd have to find the 4wd version; there's no way I'm driving a RWD vehicle through 6 inches of snow.
I also remember a friend of my mom's having some Nissan thing that was like a minivan, but it was a stick. This would have been in the early 90s. Any ideas?
Thanks for reading my blatherings, and I'm glad to have found others who love stick shifts as much as I do.