Chandeliers, Nurburgring and tolls
MOTAT CEO Michael Frawley has a stable of horsepower but his everyday car is a Porsche
You have a 2009 Alfa 8C, 1987 Porsche 930 Turbo, 1989 Porsche 3.2 Cabriolet, 2005 Audi A8 W12 and a 2009-10 Toyota Hilux but let’s focus on the 1987 Porsche 930 Turbo you drive most days.
I bought that a couple of years ago off a lady who owned it for 14 years. It is an old-school car: no power steering, no ABS, no paddle shifts. The airconditioning doesn’t work, the heater is not very good. It is white with cream leather interior. It is a delight to drive without all those gizmos.
My first would be a 1961 250 short wheelbase Ferrari and the second would be a 1967 Eleanor Mustang Fastback.
And if you were to choose a 2015 car?
The Ferrari F12. It is beautiful, a stunning car, and it sounds good.
Do you reckon you would get your money’s worth from a Ferrari on New Zealand roads?
Probably not. Ferraris are designed for high speed but they have been developed to such a stage that you can cruise along with them, just listening to the exhaust when you drive through tunnels with the windows down. They are mobile pieces of art.
A Morris Nomad in 1978-79. It was a piece of crap. I blew it up going up and down the back streets of Australia.
Who taught you to drive?
My stepfather was a mechanic and refused to teach me to drive because he couldn’t stand my crunching the gears and destroying the clutch. I got outsourced to a driving school.
My parents insisted [I get a licence] because they wanted me to run errands. I promptly repaid them by crashing their Honda Civic into a travelling chandelier salesman. I went around the corner too fast. I have no idea what happened to the chandeliers!
Memorable road trips?
One was from the UK to Germany in a 964 RS Porsche and hooking up with the Porsche test factory drivers at the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit for two days. I went with others from the Porsche Club of New Zealand and we spent two days testing ourselves and our cars around the track.
A couple of years later we went across France in a Ferrari 550 Maranello visiting the classic racetracks and restaurants. It was the closest I got to a near-death experience on a race track. On the infamous Montlhery circuit, the car’s back end bounced off the ground so I was on opposite lock at 160mph [257km/h] at the top of the 45-degree bank.
My wife was with me, bouncing off the roof, even allowing for the racing harness.
We found out that the combination of the suspension settings, the groundforce effect and the concrete surface made the car virtually undriveable on the circuit at high speed — a frightening experience.
Great day trip out of Auckland?
Tauranga to visit my sister. I go through the Waihi Gorge. It is a lovely drive and there is that cafe by the old train stop.
Your take on Auckland’s traffic?
Stagger the start-finish times of the schools as it is amazing how much difference it makes during the school holidays.
■As told to Donna McIntyre