Me and My Car: Danielle Barclay and her VW Golf GTI
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You’ve just moved from Melbourne to head the Auckland office and have bought a new VW Golf GTi?
Yes! It’s a charcoal Golf with a 2-litre turbo engine, red tartan seats and a sports steering wheel. I chose it after reviewing all the European small cars on the market. I knew I wanted European and my decision was to be made on two criteria: looks, engine.
Who else is allowed to drive your car?
My husband. He is very jealous of my car.
What was your first car?
A charcoal Ford Festiva with red racing stripes. It was cool in the ‘90s.
Your dream car?
It’s been a red Ferrari for as long as I can remember. It’s just an amazing looking and sounding car.
Favourite car colour?
I like black tones or red, the sportier colours.
Who taught you to drive?
My parents taught me around the back streets in country South Australia and then I had some great lessons with a driving instructor who called me Speedy, which probably tells you a lot about my driving style.
Do you prefer manual or automatic?
Automatic is my preference in a city due to the stop-start issues in traffic; it’s just easier.
Most memorable road trip?
From Los Angeles to Las Vegas via San Francisco, the Grand Canyon and Route 66. Amazing road trip, a good mix of small town USA, open roads and big cities.
What do you always have in your car?
Sunglasses and my phone that controls my music. On longer drives I would also have a bottle of water and some snacks to keep me going.
If you could travel in any car, in any country with any celebrity?
Ryan Gosling, a sporty convertible in his home country of Canada.
How often do you clean your car?
Not that often. My local VW dealership offers a regular free clean service. That’s a great perk.
And what do you listen to in your car?
I listen to Google Music through my phone which is synched up to the car system automatically, or Radio Hauraki in the mornings.
What’s a great day trip out of Auckland?
Matakana. My husband and I love Brick Bay for lunch, wine and the sculpture walk. The markets are great. I can’t go past Morris and James and never go home empty-handed.
How does Auckland traffic compare with Melbourne’s?
Auckland traffic congestion certainly has not stopped being the main topic of conversation in the past few years. In Melbourne I didn’t notice it as much because you tend to use trams and trains a lot more, as they are readily available and convenient. A couple can survive with one car. Melbourne is a big city with traffic congestion like any other. But it has a lot more road infrastructure so motorways move more freely and public transport, particularly trams, makes a huge difference.
Do you judge people by what they drive?
I am quite a visual person so, yes. A car says a lot about your personality — just like what you wear.
What irritates you most about other drivers?
Aggressive drivers irritate me, one thing I don’t miss about being in Australia. My other pet hate is drivers who don’t indicate.