When I was 12, I got a job picking up trash at I-70 Drive In Theatre, and got to drive an old ford ranger pick up. That was the primary reason that I took the job. The $1.85 an hour pay was just gravy.
Grew up driving tractors and farm equipment. By the time I was 15 I was pretty much driving wherever I wanted to go. Almost got caught driving about three weeks before I could have legally gotten my license. Decided I better cool it for a couple more weeks.
Raking hay on a John Deere b at 5, at 7 my legs were long enough for the foot clutch of a farmall h. Could drive a 73 Chevy 3/4 with manual 4 speed by 8. At 12 drove the neighbors 1962 impala with him in the passenger seat 30 miles to town, he was hurt real bad.
From my dad and it was a old '72 chevy pickup - 4 speed manual transmission. There was a freeway that was being built and at the last 10 miles had no traffic. We would head out and I would drive on a brand new freeway with no traffic. At teh end was a pond we could fish so it was a win win for a 14 year old kid. Took a little muscle to keep the clutch pushed in...
I was already 16 years old and had passed both driver's education and drivers training. I was waiting on getting that green card they gave you for passing driver's training so I could go take the in-person driving test with the agent at the DMV office. I showed up for school on a rainy day in December and they finally were passing out those green cards. I talked a buddy into giving me a ride home. I skipped the rest of the school day. I drove my dad's pickup (had a stick) to my mother's work place and traded cars with her so I could drive an automatic for the test. I had never driven this car. I drive over to the DMV office and made my way inside.
The DMV guy climbs into the car with me and off I go. About halfway through the test...the windshield starts fogging up. I am concentrating on my driving and didn't want to take my eyes off the road. I am wiping the windshield with my hand with my head over the steering wheel and about five inches from it. The DMV guy tells me to turn on the defroster. I couldn't find it and I am thinking; "#%%@ this is it...I have waited my entire life to get my driver's license and now I'm going to fail!" The DMV guy must have seen the sweat pouring off my head and tells me to pull to the curb so I can figure out where the defroster is. He doesn't say a word, just says head back to the office.
As I stop the car, he looks at me and says; "Congratulations you passed. Better practice turning on the defroster. Oh, by the way...how did you get here? I notice your parents aren't around." I didn't know it, but apparently he knew my folks. Pretty cool old guy and I think he must have been in his eighties at the time. He looked like Santa Claus.