Me & My Car: Proper producer’s car
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What are you driving?
A grey 2008 BMW 3 Series 320i, automatic.
What made you choose this car?
James Dean Bradfield from the Manic Street Preachers once said to me that the BMW 3 Series was a “proper producer’s car” so that, and the fact my wife liked them, were probably two of the reasons. I purchased it second-hand when I emigrated to New Zealand in 2013.
Have you done anything to it since you bought it?
I have decorated it with several scratches and bumps to add character.
What do you like about it?
It’s like driving around in an armchair, it’s very comfortable.
How does it suit your personality?
It’s big and warm.
And how does it help with your work?
It’s got a big boot for carrying gear to the studio and the stereo is great for checking out new mixes.
Who else is allowed to drive your BMW?
My wife Jacqui.
Is this the only vehicle you own?
We also own a VW Golf.
I love Audi A7s and any Aston Martin would be great, although I drove one a few years ago and everyone stares at you when you stop at the lights. I was also too terrified to go into sports mode as it was already really fast.
What do you always carry in your car?
Music I’m working on, bags to carry groceries, sunglasses.
How often do you clean your car?
I clean it at the carwash on Titirangi Hill, usually when I fill up, so about every 10 days.
Who taught you to drive?
My grandfather, Bill Nicholas was the first and bravest person (he was a highly decorated marine in WWII) who tried to teach me. I then had a chain-smoking driving instructor in Hereford in 1979, which was the year I passed on my second attempt at 18.
Advice to young drivers?
Stop doing burn-outs in my street.
Most memorable road trips?
Pacific Coast Highway LA to Portland, in a 1992 Chevrolet Camaro, was fantastic. The South Island in a campervan in 2005; Ireland and Wales with my future wife in a tiny MG in 2007, all notable.
And the most unusual thing you have done in a vehicle?
Ferrying famous and semi-famous artists and musicians around and trying not to crash with them in the car — not sure the insurance would cover it.
Do you have a favourite movie car scene?
The car chases in the film Ronin — breathtaking.
If you could go on a road trip anywhere with any musician?
It would have been London to Berlin with David Bowie in an E-Type Jaguar.
If you could change one traffic rule?
Being used to UK open road 70mph (so 113km/h) speed limits,staying at 100kmh is tough. So just a bit faster?
And what bugs you most about other drivers?
Not saying thank you when you let them in. Courtesy is free.
You live in Titirangi? What’s a good day trip away from home?
We recently took a (long) day trip to Whakatane and took a helicopter to White Island, which was incredible.
And Auckland traffic, your take on it and any suggestions to improve it?
I’m lucky in that I work musicians’ hours so don’t need to deal with rush hours, which I’m told are terrible. Although, having driven many times around central London and lived in LA it’s the price of big cities. I actually like public transport so would like to see more trains and trams in the city.