Me and My Car: Dave Dobbyn and his sporty GT86
You drive a GT86?
Toyota gave me a Highlander and I loved it but I saw the 86 in a showroom and something deeply middle-aged came out of me and, before I knew it, I was invited to a track day at Taupo. I got used to the car and then drove on the track and loved every second. It is a wonderful car especially round curves and winding roads. You can keep the speed and revs up, it tends to straighten the road out. I'm no speed freak though, when you're driving there are other people on the road coming the other way.
Who else is allowed to drive this car?
My wife, Anneliesje, can but she chooses not to. I think she thinks it's a bit of a red-haired thing, a middle-aged man with his middle-aged car. But I don't look at it that way. It's exhilarating to drive. I drove a manual GT86 the other day. I have been driving automatics for years but when you have manual you can control the car better, with revs and everything.
A Leyland van. I was the mug in the band who bought the van to put the gear in. It was a former country ambulance, it had a leaky fuel tank which I had to keep stopping up with chewing gum and the gear linkage kept snapping off because it was held together only with a copper pin so I had to keep jumping out of the van and putting a new pin in to keep the gear box usable. And I often had to park it on hills to jump start. It was a nightmare.
Your dream car ...
I think I'm driving it. If I did have a dream car it would be a kit car or a big campervan you could travel around the country, writing a book or something
Who taught you to drive?
I learned to drive tractors, Ferguson 28s, at boarding school. My dad was a bus driver for NZ Railways and the first direction I drove with him was backwards, down the driveway and I took out the letterbox. Dad didn't even flinch. My daughter has her learner's. My son, he's 19, hasn't got around to it. I don't mind. I come from an age when you would get to the top of the Bombay Hills, heading south, and everyone would be sitting round with their radiators steaming, and they would have a picnic while their cars cooled down again. There was no desperate hurry and I think we have kind of lost that.
Most memorable road trip?
The Dudes forked out for a decent van because we were running up so many miles touring. We had a Bedford van fitted with seats in the back. And the tyres were retreads. We were driving from Gisborne to Napier. It took us a day and a half because there was a storm and we kept getting trapped in slips and throwing retreads and trying to get gas off farmers. It was just the crappiest journey you can imagine.
What do you listen to on the road?
I drive up to our little place at Mangawhai and listen to beats all the way. By the time I arrive I am well into the songwriting process. Driving or walking is a good way to get the words flowing.
Great day trip out of Auckland?
Anywhere on the west coast of Auckland. Anywhere north is fab.
• Dave Dobbyn is touring wineries with Don McGlashan, Supergroove and Anika Moa in January.