Me & My Car: Tailored to tinker
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You’re driving an automatic 1992 Mazda RX7?
Yep, it’s an unmodified 1992 Mazda RX7 touring X, although it’s badged as an Efini RX7. It’s mostly original except someone has painted it a lighter red. Otherwise, no modifications. I don’t plan to race it or modify it heavily — no rocket bunny or veilside, likely just update the suspension. It does need some work so it keeps me busy when I need to tinker with something. I picked it up from
a dealer last April, they had just imported it and listed it the day before I went to view it.
Why a Mazda RX7?
It’s the timeless shape. It’s hard to believe that this came out the same year as Jump Around by House of Pain. I’ve always had a thing for 90s cars, as well.
How does your RX7 suit your personality?
It needs work! I like to tinker with things, pull them apart, find out how they work and fix them. And being 25-plus car, there are a few things that need to be fixed.
Is it your only car?
It is my weekend car or, occasionally, the run-out. My partner has a Kia hatchback Picanto. It is basically a small blue box but we refer to it as the big car as it carries twice the people and things and is cheap to run. The rotary is not cheap, but I didn’t buy it for that.
Who else drives your RX7?
No one, not even if they ask nicely. What do you always have in it?
Music and a fire extinguisher — because you never know.
First car you owned?
A Suzuki Escudo here in Auckland, it drove like a go-kart, went off-road and was far too much fun for what it was. It did have a tendency to break down though.
Your dream car?
Jaguar E type in British racing green or a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing.
Favourite car colour?
Red (they go faster), or black as they can look more formal.
Who taught you to drive?
I first drove with my dad when growing up, I was in charge of the gears in a Triumph TR7 at about 6 or 7. First time behind the wheel was years later and he taught me to drive his Series 1 Land Rover in a wet field in Weymouth, UK.
Any tips for young drivers?
Learn to maintain/look after your car. Easier than practising your google-fu at 3am with a flat tyre.
Manual or automatic?
In the city, it has to be an auto as the traffic is so bad. Middle of nowhere on open roads, it’s a manual; more control over everything.
Most memorable road trip?
Just after I arrived here many years ago, me and a mate drove the Escudo up north on a long tour. Coming from the UK, we couldn’t believe just how beautiful and quiet it all was. I think we drove for about four hours at one stage and saw only three other cars.
Do you enjoy driving or would you rather be a passenger?
Driving, I always end up driving as I often fall asleep in the passenger seat.
What do you listen to in the car?
I normally just pick a recommended playlist and go from there. Could be rock, dance or something random.
Great day trip out of Auckland?
I always enjoy the road out to Piha or most recently Karekare. Those windy roads are fun except for when you get stuck behind
a tourist doing half the speed limit.
What irritates you most about other drivers?
Red light jumpers, people on their phones, people who change lanes without looking or indicating, and people doing half the speed limit.
What’s the cure for Auckland City’s congestion?
More frequent public transport that turns up on time — and not four buses at once.