Me and My Car: Pete Russell, founder of Ooooby
Along for the ride
Pete Russell, founder of Ooooby — 'Out of Our Own Back Yards', an online marketplace where people can buy and sell local and artisan food.
You drive a Honda Mobilio seven-seater MPV?
It's 2005, sky blue. We have three kids and they have friends. So when it comes to school trips we often find a few extra kids end up coming along for the ride. We chose it because it gave us the seats to taxi people around but at the same time it's a small vehicle so we don't have the running costs of a large people-mover. Plus it's kinda cute.
Who else is allowed to drive your car?
It's my wife Katherine's car, but I'm allowed to drive it ... carefully.
Your dream car?
A Tesla Model X, as it represents a breakthrough in transport in a similar way that Ooooby represents a breakthrough in food. I can't imagine not having children so the seven seats mean I have the best of both worlds.
Who taught you to drive?
My dad taught me to drive at 16. We lived in Sydney, so I experienced my fair share of traffic issues. Dad was a great teacher. He had practised with my two older brothers, so by the time it was my turn, he had it pretty down pat.
Manual or automatic?
It depends on the terrain and the car. For day-to-day driving, I used to prefer manual but now I really appreciate the ease of automatic.
Most memorable road trip?
My most memorable road trip is actually a combination of my many road trips from Sydney to Byron Bay. There is something refreshing about being at the beginning of a long trip without regard for when we get there or what detours we take along the way. That trip takes me back to my childhood and early adult life so it will always hold a special place in my heart.
If you could go anywhere with any celebrity in any car?
I would drive the length of Route 66 with Elon Musk in a Tesla Model X. This way I would have time to delve into deep conversations about world-changing ideas in a car that is pioneering the future of transport, while admiring an iconic landscape.
Do you have a favourite car scene from a movie?
The shopping mall scene in the Blues Brothers.
What's a great day trip out of Auckland?
We live on Waiheke, so off-island day trips in the car are rare. I meandered out to Bethell's Beach recently. What a beautiful drive and what a staggeringly beautiful destination.
What irritates you most about other drivers?
Impatient drivers who tailgate and swerve through traffic.
Auckland City's traffic. What is your take on it?
It is surprisingly bad when compared to Sydney, which has five times the population we do. I think the most likely solution will come when self-driving cars come along.