Me and My Car: Get down and dirty with Roger
Brendon Skipper is CEO of property website REALESTATE.CO.NZ
You drive Roger, a 1996 Toyota Prado?
Roger is forest green and automatic. I bought him about three years ago, secondhand off a friend who is a car dealer. From day one, I knew Rog and I were meant to be; I needed a boat tower and he was equipped for the task. Rog the truck is like the guy that turns up to a bar in a Swanndri: salt of the earth, happy to help, reliable, great moving furniture and he’s always up for a good time. I didn’t want to have a SUV as my daily driver, that’s where my Mazda 6 diesel comes in.
Who else is allowed to drive Roger?
Anyone who can drive legally and has a full licence. Rog isn’t fussy — he can hold his own.
Any classic Aston Martin — DB5 preferred. It has to be one of the most beautiful cars produced.
Who taught you to drive?
My mum, kind of. I was 15 years old. My parents had a motor camp when I was growing up. I had motor bikes and drove tractors on the camp so knew how to control a vehicle at a young age. My mother wasn’t the most confident driver so as soon as I had a learner licence my mum never drove me anywhere again, she was always the passenger.
Manual or automatic?
Automatic in town, manual on the open road.
Do you prefer to drive or be a passenger?
Driver, I like driving. However I’m happy to be driven when required.
How often do you clean your car?
I like a clean car but don’t clean them often enough — Rog likes to be dirty.
Most memorable road trip?
Germany with my brother on the autobahns heading to Nurburg for a few laps around the Nurburgring. My brother is one of my best mates and there is nothing like hitting top speed in a car, legally.
If you could go anywhere, with any celebrity, in any car?
I would head back to the autobahn with Tanner Foust (US Top Gear). He seems like my kind of guy and could teach me how to get a faster time on the track in an Aston Martin Vanquish.
Do you watch Top Gear?
It’s one of the only television shows I watch. I have seen every episode repeatedly, including the specials. You could say I’m a fan. I relate to Jeremy Clarkson — he says it how it is and gets straight to the point.
Favourite movie car scene?
The car chase scene from Death Proof comes to mind — that movie has a bit of everything in it. It also has a good Kiwi connection with Zoe Bell. The original 1974 Gone in 60 Seconds is another favourite.
Great day trip out of Auckland?
Woodhill 4WD park on a Sunday with Rog.
Do you judge people by what they drive?
Unfortunately, yes, it’s a fault of mine. I admire a well-built reliable car or an exotic model with a bit of spirit, something that makes a statement. I always make sure my family and friends are well advised when it comes to their car purchases.
What irritates you most about other drivers?
People who come right up your backside even when you give them plenty of warning that you are about to parallel park.
Your take on Auckland’s traffic?
It’s not fun at all! I am originally from Wellington and I drive and spend a bit of time down there. Wellington isn’t perfect, but I think Auckland could learn a thing or two about what makes a good public transport system. I think this is important if Auckland is going to compete on the world stage as a top city to visit or live in.
— As told to Donna McIntyre