IWD special: Me and My Car, classic Americana
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Chanelle Purser is a former hairdresser, dairy farmer, clothing retailer and account manager. She drives a one-of-a-kind 1960 Chevrolet Impala.
What makes your car special?
There's not just one thing that makes it special. But it's something that I've done over three and half years after importing it.
Because of the time it's taken to do, it's everything that I want. The special part is that this car is unique to me.
What made you pick this particular model?
I just like the style of it. It doesn't have pillars, so when the windows are down and the music is blaring, it's just epic.
About five years ago when I started looking (and saving!), it just popped up and I kept going back to that type of '60s Impala.
Exactly what have you done to the car?
What haven't we done? When it arrived it had a little bit of rust but also glass fibre patch ups, which our VIN system doesn't really appreciate in New Zealand.
We took it right back, changed out the rims, added new airbags [for the suspension], new transmission, new nine-inch Ford diff and gave it a new paintjob with nice clean lines.
You're obviously a fan of classic American cars. Have you owned any others?
My husband has a Chev Impala as well - a 1965 - and we've had that for nine or 10 years now.
That's where it started: I didn't like missing out, he had his car and his mates and now I have my car and my girlfriends and we go cruising.
What's the best feature of your Impala?
I'm really in love with the colour. When we imported it, the car was Roman Red. We started doing all the work on it and so many people - especially men - said no, you can't change the colour. But I just went with my heart.
So people can judge for themselves. They'll know it's not Impala red, but it's really nice: Tungsten, which goes either gold or silver depending on the light. It's probably a bit feminine - but it's my car!
Do you drive it every day, or do you have another car for that?
I have a Kia Sorento. The Impala is definitely a summer car; I live down south and we have harsh winters. It's for cruising in the warm weather.
What's your dream car?
My dream car is probably the one I already have, because I've been able to make it exactly what I want.
The Impala is an old-school sedan with a 468 big block petrol engine. What are your thoughts on electric cars?
I'd love a Tesla: they're really cool and I love the whole concept.
But there's a lot that I don't agree with and a lot that still needs to happen; if batteries will only last 10 years, what will we do with the old ones? Even making those batteries - there's a lot of environmental pressure there as well.
I don't really see the benefits just yet and I feel like we're being pushed in that direction. I don't think EVs are the answer. But everyone has different opinions and that's just mine.
What do you think about driverless cars?
I'm not against them. In a city like Auckland they will probably work really well.
But I live out in the country, in the middle of nowhere, and we still can't get good internet! I don't think they will take off any time soon in areas like mine. That suits me, because there's nothing better than being in control and driving.