Inside a former All Black's big American beauty
Search Driven for Ford for sale
What are you driving?
I’m driving a Toyota Hilux in New Zealand and in Japan I drive a Nissan Previa which is like one of those jellybean cars. That’s my run around in Japan but my Toyota is my New Zealand man’s car or my family car. I bought it second-hand, from a friend of a friend.
Why did you choose a Hilux?
I think probably Barry Crump had a big part to play in it. When I think of the Hilux, I think of it as the iconic New Zealand car. I had a Hilux Surf at the end of high school and loved it. I like that it’s multipurpose. I can tow with it, throw my fishing gear on the back, or take my wife Emma out to dinner. It’s a four-door, twin cab 2016 white auto and it’s got nice big black wheels. My kids love it, too; I’ve got a 5-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl.
When did you buy it?
I got it just before Christmas when I was back between seasons. This is my last season playing rugby in Japan and I thought it was time to invest in a car full time.
Any cars you’ve regretted selling?
My first rugby paycheque bought a 1971 Ford Fairlane from one of the older players. That was cool. In Motoka, my producer found that car in Winton, near Invercargill. The crew said we were going to visit someone else and when we arrived, there was my old girl. The guy let me have a drive; it made me feel good about myself for a wee while.
How did you get involved in Motoka?
The producer and director are friends of mine and I’ve done things in the past with them. It was their dream to make the show capturing how cars play a big part of Kiwis’ lives. There’s a bit of bogan in all of us. Scratch the surface and everyone has a car story. I said I’d love to be the person who went to meet people and hear the story. Hayden [Paddon] looks under the bonnets; he’s more mechanically minded than me. And there’s a lot of New Zealand scenery.
I’m probably driving it. I’m not really a real sports car guy so no Ferraris or Lamborghinis.
What did the people on the show think is the NZ iconic car?
If you say to a group of people what do you think is New Zealand’s most iconic cars, it becomes a heated debate. Some people think it’s a Holden HQ, some think it’s the Toyota, others think it’s a Land Rover.
Which owners were the most passionate?
We visited farmers who, for them, the car plays such a vital role in their business. Builders’ vehicles are a massive part of what they do, filling the vehicle with their tools but also towing the jetski to go for a ski at lunch. Hunters have to have something trustworthy to climb up and down hills. You have the genuine enthusiasts who polish their cars. And then you have someone like Jason Gunn who lives 20 minutes out of Christchurch and loves jumping in his car for his place to relax, turning up the tunes and singing some songs.
Do you think cars reflect their owners’ personalities?
Big time. Out of everything I came away with, it’s that these cars reflect their owners’ personalities. even if it is a beaten-up wagon driven by one of New Zealand’s top surfers. That’s a reflection of him, a cruisy dude not too worried about certain aspects, all he needs is a car to get him to the beach. Or the flashy guys. And we talked to hybrid car people who care about the environment and that’s related to what they drive.
Motoka is available to watch on TVNZ OnDemand