“Okay,” he said, “try it.”
So I tried it. I pushed the clutch pedal to the floor, started his car, pushed the gearstick left and upwards, and let out the clutch to see what’d happen.
And of course, the engine went into first gear with no power behind it whatsoever, and immediately stalled. A little orange light appeared among the instruments, asking me very politely not to do that again.
“Cool,” I remarked, grinning like an idiot with a new toy. Then settled down and mentally prepared myself for the first proper test run.
Clutch in, turn the key, clutch out and accelerate. The engine raced with the merest suggestion of movement from my right foot, causing me to panic, over-correct and pretty much completely lift off the pedal. The car stalled again, bucking sickeningly to and fro this time, before settling gently back into the dip in the ground of the empty car park we’d found for this experiment.