Me and My Car: Inner boy thrills to turbo grunt
SINGER/SONGWRITER RYAN EDWARDS IS CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF WHIRLWIND TRUST, HELPING MEN EMBRACE THEIR MENTAL HEALTH THROUGH STORIES
So you drive a 2008 Subaru Exiga GT?
I unwittingly bought the STi model, which got me man points immediately. Google informs me it is the World Rally Blue Mica. It gets noticed — just the other day I was informed it is “mint”. It’s an auto, but with plenty of grunt and is the first time I’ve owned a turbo — it appeals to the boy in me. I did hundreds of hours of research before buying this car, because while I wanted something I would enjoy driving, it still had to tick the family and safety boxes. With AWD, traction control and seven seats, it does both beautifully.
Who else is allowed to drive it. My wife is a much better driver than me. She loves the handling and the comfort. The kids like the Bluetooth connectivity, the “moon-roof” and the fact that it has what my son calls “flash mode” which gives it plenty of power when you need it.
A beige Ford Laser that crabbed across the road due to an accident before I acquired it. It had CNG and it allowed me to get between Wellington and Auckland relatively cheaply.
Your dream car?
I love older cars for their age and personality. I once owned a Holden Kingwood HT and I wish I had never sold it.
Who taught you to drive?
My father, at Ngatitoa Domain in Paremata near Wellington. He was a good teacher, I was a bad pupil. He was patient but afraid and I think he was unconvinced about my readiness to get behind the wheel.
Do you prefer manual or automatic?
I love driving a manual car, I love the rhythm of driving and the ability to use gears to work through corners. Automatic is so much easier, however.
Most memorable road trip?
My most recent road trip in the Subaru with my 11-year-old boy Sonny. We drove from Waikanae Beach to Mangawhai Heads, listening to great music, talking about life — and sleeping in the back of the car. It was a brilliant couple of weeks where stories were told, fears expressed, but mostly it was companionable silence and lyrical gems from Paul Simon to inspire us.
Favourite TV show car scene?
Any scene in any episode of Knight Rider. Michael Knight and KITT were an unbeatable team.
Do you judge a person by what they drive?
If a person’s car is dented and dirty and shambolic, it tells me the driver should have plenty of space.
How important do you think cars and their “images” are to men? Men like a bit of a kick, and one way to get it is to feel the thrum or roar of an engine. But equally there are men for whom cars are there to get from point A to point B. I’d like to think we’ve moved on a little from the days of being defined by the cars we drive.
Racing car driver you most admire?
Bruce McLaren for the Kiwi connection, Ayrton Senna for his legend, and Scott Dixon for his impressive success in the States. As told to Donna McIntyre
■This is Men’s Health Month. Visit menshealthmonth.co.nz for more information.