Me and My Car: Goran Paladin
Host sticks up for city slickers
You drive a Toyota Hilux TRD Sportivo, what’s your impression?
It is fantastic, I absolutely love it I haven’t exactly been blessed when it comes to cars through the years, so this is a treat for sure.
Is there a place for the ute in the city or should they really stay on the farm or as a tradie vehicle?
Of course there’s a place for them. City slickers need utility vehicles too. Just the other day I had to transport a whole bunch of dead branches from my sister’s place back to mine. I was filling up a garden bin and thought I’d save her the hassle. I can’t imagine my old sedan would’ve coped.
And a lot of people are into their DIY, doing odd jobs around the house, so it makes grabbing some product from the hardware store a lot easier.
What was your first car? And who taught you to drive?
It was a white 1986 Holden Barina. I drove that thing into the ground. It looked like a sewing machine and probably handled like one too. It was in such bad shape at the end I sold it for $50 to the wreckers. They said that the only salvageable thing on it was the headlights.
My old next-door neighbour, Bill. He was a great teacher — patient, calm, understanding. Everything my older brother, Daniel, isn’t. I figured that if Daniel taught me we’d just argue the whole time and I wouldn’t learn a thing.
What have been your road trips in New Zealand?
I’ve been all over the place. Most recently I drove up to the Karikari Peninsula for a friend’s wedding. I’ve done the Auckland to Wellington trip and back a bunch of times with friends — it’s a great way to check out parts of the country you ordinarily wouldn’t.
Best overseas road trip?
I was with a friend in Samoa and we hired a car to drive around the island to take in the scenery. The rental company gave us the car with a quarter tank of gas and we set about our adventure.
Unfortunately, the southern side of the island doesn’t have many gas stations, and I spent what felt like forever on empty with the petrol light flashing. We stopped at two different gas stations — one hadn’t worked since the tsunami, and the other, wouldn’t you know it, had run out of gas. It was a harrowing experience driving north with the car making some disconcerting gurgling noises, but we found petrol in the end.
You also work as a producer for Radio Sport, so aside from your station, what else do you listen to?
Whatever is on my iPod. It’s a crazy mix of rock, pop, and rap. At the moment I’m stuck in the late 90s and early 2000s.
What do you reckon is your best driving skill?
The longer I have with the Hilux TRD Sportivo the better I am at parking in tight spaces. But I rate myself on the hill start — hard not to in an auto.
What would be your dream car and who would be your dream passenger?
The destination is Laguna Beach, and Lauren Conrad is in the seat beside me — she’s showing me where it all began for her before we get married.
We can drive the Hilux. Or whatever super-expensive car she’s got, it doesn’t really matter because I’m with Lauren Conrad.
What’s your pet hate for New Zealand drivers?
Do you take public transport?
I’ll use a taxi, but rarely will I take the bus. I had a distressing incident on a bus once when I was very little where I threw up in and around the gear stick and the driver lost it. Maybe I’m still emotionally scarred.
What’s your thought on cyclists on our roads? Misjudged?
They can use the road as long as they’re sensible about it. Don’t go riding three or four abreast when you’re holding up traffic.