CHRIS WILSON IS FOUNDER OF LIVE LONGER, WHICH HAS INGREDIENTS INCLUDING CRICKETS
What do you drive?
A 1975 Alfa Junior in red, and a blue 1978 Ford Transit Mark 2. I was looking to replace my late-model Audi A4 when I decided to get something classic, something manual, and rebuild it new. My fiancee Barbara and I were lucky enough to meet Arthur from Henderson, a lovely gentlemen who races Alfas, and was selling a Junior he’d restored. The Transit presented itself on Trade Me; 150,000 original kilometres at a fraction of the cost of our other choice, a Kombi. We picked her up from Wellsford. She backfired and missed all the way to Auckland. We handed her over to Neville at Bute Collision Panelbeaters, and four months later she reappeared, at the same time we founded Live Longer, a company focused on getting sustainable protein into everyday eating with products including flour and bars made out of crickets.
Both vehicles are manual?
The Alfa, five-speed. The Transit, four-speed. The Alfa takes some skill especially on wet days as her tail can whip around to meet you. The Transit is simple with four corners, no radio, and a gear stick that resembles a broomstick. It’s my everyday drive. The Alfa is pulled out mostly at the weekend, to make sure it still feels the love. It has a radio that is never turned on. The engine sound is remarkable; especially once the rev counter reaches 3000 rpm.
Who else drives your vehicles?
Only Barbara and I drive the Alfa as it can be tricky. My 17-year-old daughter, Poppy, would love to get behind the wheel but luckily her feet don’t reach the pedals. As for the Transit, anyone who can drive a manual.
A Fiat 125, bought in 1988 while I was living in Sydney.
It would have to be classic, so I guess a Bugatti Gangloff Type 57.
Who taught you to drive?
It was Christmas Eve. Heavy rain was coming and one of the hay trucks needed a driver. At the age of 10 or 11, I was put in the driver’s seat. “Put your left foot on the clutch throw it into gear and slowly let it out, there’s the shed over there, don’t stop until you get there.” What else are uncles good for?
Most memorable road trip?
Around the South Island in my Reliant Scimitar. Loaded down with camping gear and a roof rack, the old girl could still do 120mph.
Favourite drive out of Auckland?
Up to Lake Ototoa, South Head, on a summer’s day. It’s a fun drive on a narrow road with unsuspecting corners lurking ahead.
It would ease considerably if we all lived close to where we work. I also love how China deals with rush-hour traffic on motorways: your toll is directly related to your time spent on the motorway. Simple.