Me & My car: Double trouble: Mahindra Pik-Up
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What are you driving?
A double cab ute, it’s a 2014 4x4 Manual Mahindra Pik-Up. You can wear your cowboy hat in it ’cause it’s got a high roof and you can put your dogs on the back.
And tell us about the “Stinky” you’re taking on this tour?
We’re towing a small replica of a Stinky (or road workers’ hut) on tour with us around the country. It was designed by Lynda and built by Ashburton Forks Engineering; steel framing on a purpose-built trailer with colour steel cladding and ply interior.
It has two beds, a tiny kitchen and a pot belly stove. The name came from back in the day when you had road workers staying in them after a hard day’s work and they had their socks hanging up to dry around the stove ... self explanatory, really.
Who travels in the ute on this tour?
Just the twinnies as Mum would say ... Lynda and myself.
When you’re on the road, who drives?
We share the driving. We’re both excellent drivers; we’ve been up and down and around New Zealand more times than we can remember.
What do you use for navigating?
These days we use the maps on our phones — but we know most roads around the place.
Favourite part of NZ to travel through?
There’s no favourite, every corner you turn is magnificent. It’s our favourite thing to do, more like a holiday than a tour.
How many kilometres do you cover a day?
It all depends where the next gig is but, on average, only about 250km for this tour.
What do you always carry in your ute?
Water for the dog, and my dog.
Do you prefer utes or cars?
Utes, obviously. They’re much more useful.
Do you have a personalised plate?
Nah, that’s just for wankers.
How often do you clean it?
Never, it’s a hard life being a farm ute.
Who taught you to drive?
Dad taught us to drive in an automatic Plymouth Belvedere. We were 15 in Huntly and the cop who took us for our test just wanted to look under the bonnet to see the V8. I think he was itching to drive it but we didn’t let him.
Advice to young drivers?
Slow down! Stop texting!
Your most memorable road trip?
The Gypsy Caravan Tour back in 1989. We drove a Fordson Super Major Tractor and could only go 12km an hour. It took us 91 days and we only got from Opotiki to Kaitaia.
If you could go on a road trip anywhere with any celeb?
I wouldn’t have minded being on the road in Aussie with Tex Morton back in the day — that would have been a hoot!
Do you have a favourite movie car scene?
I loved it in Thelma and Louise when they’re driving their 1966 Ford Thunderbird through the desert and Marianne Faithfull’s Ballad of Lucy Jordan is playing.
What music do you listen to when you drive?
A lot of the time we just like it to be quiet, but if we play something it will be some old honky tonk country music.
Other drivers … what irritates you most?
It doesn’t help getting irritated. You need to focus on your own driving, and just be ready to make an executive decision if you need to. Being a courteous driver is important and letting people past if you can — especially when you’re towing something. It’s a car, not a weapon, remember!
If you could change one road rule?
To make foreign tourists coming in to New Zealand sit a short road test to make sure they at least know the basics of our rules before they drive off in their rentals.
When you’re not on the road, where do you live?
Lynda is based in Stavely and I’m up in South Head. We’ve got both islands covered.
Do you miss Auckland?
There isn’t much we miss about Auckland, and definitely not the traffic! That’s one less dirty ute on Ponsonby Rd.