Me & My Car: Many shades of grey
Search Driven for Mazda for sale
What are you driving?
It’s a 2007 gunmetal grey Mazda Axela. Auto, 2.3 Litre. I bought it second-hand from one of the myriad imported car dealerships in Penrose. I went out there looking for a Mazda Axela. There were hundreds. I thought I was narrowing it down saying I wanted a grey one. But they had a whole grey section.
What do you like about it?
It never breaks down. When I was researching cars to buy, “low maintenance” was the first thing I googled. Eventually I narrowed the search to Toyota and Mazda. Mazda just seemed edgier.
How does it suit your personality?
The grey Mazda is one of the most ubiquitous cars on Auckland roads. I’m all for individualism but when I’m driving I just want to blend in; follow the rules. Some people think the grey is boring, but I’m colour blind so it’s all the same to me.
And how does it suit your job?
It’s reliable. Turning up late to a shoot is not a good feeling, so the last thing you need is a dodgy car. Next to changing a tyre, I have next to no automotive repair skills, so a trusty wagon is essential.
Who else drives your car?
I lend it to my sister when I go away. She’s arguably a better driver than me. It’s in safe hands.
How often do you clean it?
Not nearly enough. Sometimes I get it valeted at the Air New Zealand Park and Drive. Coming back to a clean car is strangely energising. Like new stationery.
Manual or automatic?
Manual all the way. It’s more interactive.
Who taught you to drive?
My dad taught me to drive in a big Mitsubishi station wagon. At the end of the first lesson, I hit the gas instead of the brake, and drove straight through the garage door. He was very understanding. Fortunately, I sat my licence in Blenheim. It is maybe the easiest place in the country to pass your restricted. You pretty much just go around and around the roundabout in the centre of town.
Advice to young drivers?
Power naps save lives.
Your most memorable road trip?
Earlier this year I did a road trip around the South Island. We went down the West Coast and back up the East Coast. That drive from Haast through to Wanaka … you feel like you’re in a car commercial. Advertising cheap, second-hand cars.
If you could go on a road trip anywhere with any actor?
I would drive through the English countryside, in an Aston Martin, with Rowan Atkinson. I know he’s had a couple of crashes, but at least I’ll get to ask him about Blackadder.
Favourite movie car scene?
The Royale with Cheese scene in Pulp Fiction is brilliant. Two hit men on the way to kill someone, talking about hamburgers, and it’s just totally engrossing.
Favourite racing car driver?
Ayrton Senna. That Senna documentary is one of my favourite sports films. He was an amazing character. I wish I had that kind of fearless focus, determination, and talent for producing inspiring soundbites.
Great day trip out of Auckland?
Matakana. Brick Bay Wines and Sculpture Trail. You can drink wine and then wander around the sculptures, and pretend you know what they mean.
What do you listen to?
Usually a random Spotify playlist or an audio book. Currently, I’m listening to Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. I get through a couple of pages a day.
Other drivers, what irritates you most?
People texting at traffic lights, and people who honk their horn at me when I’m texting at traffic lights.
If you could change one road rule?
I would ban the use of speed cameras on Bond St bridge.
Would you rather drive in Auckland or take public transport?
I am not that great with buses. I didn’t realise until recently that there is a button you push to alert the driver to stop. However, I totally support trains.