Me and My Car: Breakers forward Mika Vukona
Search Driven for Isuzu for sale
Breakers forward Mika Vukona and his Isuzu D-MAX ute
You’re driving an Isuzu D-Max Ute?
It’s a 2017, automatic, 2WD and black. I am sponsored by North Harbour Vehicles; it’s mine for the season. I got it in August. I chose it because it fits with who I am. It’s rugged, you can take it anywhere. And I’ve got kids so I can put their mountain bikes on the back. And I’ve got a paddleboard that I put on top. My son loves this car because he thinks it’s like a big truck, a big Mack. When I drove it up to training the guys said it was awesome.
It would be different if I were to come in with a little Mini Cooper, it would look weird.
Who else drives your ute?
My wife Vanessa likes it as well. She thought this might be hard to drive but she absolutely loves it. Our driveway at home is narrow and I thought I would struggle with it as it has a steep hill. But with the reversing camera and the way it handles, it was simpler than it was trying to drive up in my Holden Epica. I sold that as soon as I got this.
How often do you clean it?
Probably too much if you ask my wife. I treat it like a little baby. The family was away the other weekend and what normally takes about a 45-minute quick job took about two and half hours making sure all the dirt was off it.
What do you always keep in your ute?
All the training gear, I chuck it all in the back. A ute’s a ute, so you treat it like that.
I also put the barbecue in the back and we go up to Long Bay, we take the kids’ bikes, the bats and balls. I am looking forward to summer in this truck, taking it up north for short trips. And we might finally get to use the tent we bought two years ago.
Have you done any road trips in it?
I have taken it down to Tauranga many times as that is where my family is. Also, I have had a couple of basketball camps and tournaments, not Breaker-related, just with friends.
I found it comfortable on the long trips, with the leg space. The shocks on this took a lot of bumps, and made it easier to drive. You seem like you are in one of those big semi-trailer trucks because you are high off the ground. The kids love it, especially my son, he gets up the front here and he thinks he’s King Kong, with the window down. If we drive past school, he will be yelling out to his friends. And my daughter loves it as well; like any family they are always trying to vie for the front seat. They feel safe in it and I think that is why my wife loves it, as well.
How do you keep your daughter Gia and son Noah occupied on longer road trips?
The kids are pretty good, they have a USB thing by the back seats so they can charge up whatever screens they have, and because they are so high up they can see a lot more. We play Yellow Car all the time so they are always looking out the windows. My wife drives a Hyundai iX35, so they are real low in that compared to this. Plus I think because it’s Dad’s car, they find it cool.
If you could on a road trip anywhere with any sporting great?
Since I play basketball, probably Michael Jordan. I would love to take a road trip into the Italian mountains. I would drive a D-Max.
Favourite movie car scene?
It would have to be the Mustang Shelby GT500 in Gone In Sixty Seconds. I have always loved the old-school cars. I love the Valiants, even the old Holden Kingswood ... A car with a lot of history to it.
What music do you listen to?
Whatever mood I am in, I listen to a lot of Kiwi music, reggae, just chilled out. Katchafire, Six60, I definitely like those guys, a good summer band. And in line with
the old muscle cars I like the old-school like Lionel Ritchie, Martin Gaye.
Technology and cars, do you embrace it?
I do if it helps me navigate or it makes it safer. Hands free, Bluetooth, I’m a gadgets guy. But I can’t imagine myself in a driverless car, I want to be in control. Maybe on the longer trips, to drive down to Dunedin, that would be cool.
●The Breakers’ next home game is at Spark Arena, Sunday November 19 at 7.30pm.