Eight is not enough for keen collector
MIKE DONALD, EXECUTIVE GM ASIA PACIFIC GEOSPATIAL AT CORELOGIC NZ, IS A CLASSIC CAR BUFF WHO ENJOYS HIS ROLE AS HEAD OF THE AUSTIN HEALEY CAR CLUB OF NZ
You and your wife Paula, have eight classic cars between you?
Yes, the car in the photo is a 1955 Austin Healey 100M, my first Healey and classic car and the most fun to drive. This was followed by the last of the production Healeys, a 1967 BJ8 Mk3 3000 (two plus two seats) and nicer for long-distance touring/events. I also have a 1954 Series 1 Landrover, a 1959 Riley 2.6 (the car I learned to drive in), a 1975 BMW 2002 Tii (based in Wales for classic car rallies in UK and Europe), and a lovely 1973 BMW 2002 Tii. Then Paula got sick of me buying cars – she prefers muscle cars, 1966 Mustangs to be precise. We saw a baby blue 1966 GTA notchback in Wanganui, one of a pair, the other being an immaculate fully restored 1966 convertible. Both were owned by a lovely couple, Arthur and Lois Ward, who had put passion and many hours into preparing these cars. Paula ended up with both. It would be a shame to split such a matching pair.
Paula’s daily drive is a BMW X5, which is also used as the workhorse for towing cars around, and, for me, a 2014 Maserati Ghibli, bianco white with black trim. There’s something about Italian styled cars, and obviously the performance and handling is right up there. You can't mistake the Maserati sound.
That’s quite a few cars … was that planned or did it evolve?
Nothing planned. As many classic car collectors know, once you start you don't like to let any go. I was brought up in a family of cars and I guess that gets passed on.
Is one of these your dream car or is that still to come?
That would be a toss-up between the 1953 Ferrari 166MM Barchetta and the 1955 Austin Healey 100S. The 100S was engineered to compete at the height of international racing at the time which was the 12-hour Sebring race. The Barchetta is beautiful with a V12 engine. Only 25 produced and designed for competing in the famous Mille Miglia and Le Mans events.
Most memorable road trip?
The Austin Healey Clutha rally in 2009, followed by a week tour of the South Island. It was the last road trip I did with my dad before he died. His first car (at age 12) was a 1926 double 6 V12 Daimler sports tourer, so he has been into cars all his life. I picked him up at Pleasant Point and we travelled to Tekapo. After a stop for morning tea he grabbed the keys to the Healey 3000 and at age 83 drove the rest of the day! The alps, hills and paddocks alongside the road were blanketed in snow. With the sun shining and the top down, it was magnificent driving through the MacKenzie Basin to Clutha.
What are three essential items for a road trip?
Good car(s), good company and great destinations.
What would be your dream road trip overseas?
Any classic car rally overseas. My 20-year-old son, Ollie, and I did the Scottish Malts Classic rally last year where every check-in point was at a whisky distillery. We ended up buying a 1973 BMW 2002 Tii car for the Marathon Rally Paula and I are doing in June/July this year. This runs from Lecce at the bottom of Italy to Lake Como at the top. From there we will do the Amalfi coast, take a run through Croatia then make our way back to the UK to store the car in Wales until the next rally.
What do you always have in your car?
Except for the Maserati (where I have been instructed not to touch anything around the engine that’s not painted yellow), a comprehensive tool set.
What do you listen to when you drive?
A mix, from classics like Led Zeppelin through to Caro Emerald, swinging jazz/pop.
Favourite movie car scene?
Aston Martin and James Bond are inseparable aren't they?
Great day trip out of Wellington?
Over the Rimutaka hill to Greytown for cafes then perhaps up around the Manawatu gorge and back down the coast to Wellington.
If you could change one road rule?
Increase the open road speed limit where conditions are appropriate – eg, good road, median barrier. As told to Donna McIntyre