A taste for nostalgia
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AUCKLAND SURGEON ANIL SHARMA DISCUSSES WOMEN’S HEALTH ISSUES ON TVNZ’S GOOD MORNING AND NEWSTALK ZB
Tell us about your 2005 Porsche 911.
I love how it looks and drives, the engineering and the pedigree. The 911 was launched in the same year I was born. I have wanted one since I was 14 and saw one that belonged to my friend’s brother who worked for Porsche in Stuttgart. I bought this one four years ago from Continental Cars.
Who else is allowed to drive your Porsche?
My wife Rachel, and mates for short drives.
You also have a 2012 VW Golf R and a 1966 Fiat Bambina with a Subaru 1.8l EA81 engine. What do you look for in a car when you are buying?
I adore classic and performance cars. There is something about nostalgia and “the drive”. Each one has unique flavours, thrills and nuances. Even the R represents the Golf GTi I couldn’t have in the late 80s. I have no more planned; the family made it clear I have exceeded the limit already.
Your dream car...
I used to have a gorgeous 1963 Jaguar 340 when I came to Welly in the early 90s for an OE. I took it back to Britain and back again to NZ but sold it when I left to complete my training in Wales. It was a great beauty, a sleek silver cat with sumptuous red leather.
If you had to choose a 2015 car?
Sadly, no single car meets all my needs/wants. Impractical as it might be, I cannot walk past the Porsche 911 for its German engineering, performance and style. A bespoke colour like signal orange to mimic nostalgia, in a Porsche 911 Targa 4S.
Most memorable road trip?
When we emigrated from the UK in 2001, my wife — who was pregnant with our first child — and I travelled around New Zealand for three months in a beat-up Subaru Impreza. We still fondly remember the amazing mountains and sights and not so fondly her morning sickness. We would love to do that again in style one day ... maybe in a restored VW Kombi.
Three essential items for a road trip?
Some fine music or audio books, sunglasses and a Thermos full of Indian chai.
Who taught you to drive?
It was in 1979 in West London. A family friend ran a one-man driving school in his spare time — he was a maths teacher, like my dad. It was in a Ford Escort Popular and he would test my maths at the same time.
What do you listen to when you drive?
At the moment it varies between Coldplay Ghost Stories and Classical Chillout, but the kids are definitely over it.
Favourite TV/movie car scenes?
I always admired the red Gran Torino with the white stripe every time my sister and I watched Starsky and Hutch when we were kids. For movies it has to be the car scenes in Ronin, though I must say Mad Max 4: Fury Road was thrills and spills from start to finish.
What’s a great day trip out of Auckland?
The drive to Piha. Stunning scenery rewards the final descent and a lovely wild beach walk gets you in the mood for one of Pete’s amazing pies at the Piha Store, washed down with a flat white. I always wonder at the first settlers’ doggedness.
What irritates you most about other drivers?
I’ve got used to the lack of courtesy and chivalry on our roads but it is annoying seeing people on their phones, or even worse, texting as they drive.
Your take on Auckland’s traffic?
I think it is getting worse, but still has a long way to go before reaching the horrendous UK traffic. Hopefully our civic leaders will start planning public transport networks before too long.