Me and My Car: Louise Wallace and her Mercedes CLA 45
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
What are you driving?
A Mercedes CLA 45 AMG, 2017. It’s a black auto with black rims and tinted windows. It has a top speed of 270km/h with four doors and seats four. I bought it unexpectedly after I went looking to upgrade my Porsche but this captured my heart instead. I’ve had Porsches for 20 years and I never thought I’d change but one drive of this beauty and I was hooked.
What do you like about it?
When I first saw it, it reminded me of a Holden Commodore and I always wanted one of those, even though they’re seen as a bit of a hoon car. It is compact even though it’s a four-door and I love the low profile of the grille at the front. It goes like stink ... probably the fastest car I’ve owned and with the black rims and tinted windows. It looks like a real speedster, which is exactly the impression I want.
Does it live up to expectations?
Totally. I love slipping it into
Sport or Super Sport mode when I’m overtaking on a hill and it roars into action and leaves everything else for dust. Its engine is low,
loud and throaty and turns heads when I fire it up and it emits a gorgeous back-firing crack when it changes gear in Sport mode. I have spent a wee bit on new speakers and a sub-woofer that is sitting up like Jackie in the boot.
Who else drives it?
[My husband] Scott also drives the car and we love taking it on the open road for weekends away. I’ve always been passionate about cars; I get that from my father. My parents always had beautiful cars — E-type jags, a Rolls Royce, Daimlers, Porsche and Land Rover.
How much fits in the boot?
Because of the sub-woofer, I can’t fit as much in the boot as you would normally, but the low, loud throb of bass is worth it. I can still fit in a set of golf clubs, but not the trundler.
How does it fit your personality?
I take risks, I love going fast, I like to be noticed and I like to be heard. I tend to wear black and I favour a sleek, tailored silhouette.
What do you listen to?
Music that accentuates my woofer’s bass: hip hop, rap or acoustic.
Other vehicles in your garage?
A 2017 Land Rover and a 2015 Jeep Wrangler. The Jeep is perfect for towing the boat and I love its rugged looks. Like the Merc, it has over-sized tyres, black rims and tinted windows.
A brand new bright red Honda Civic. It was so cute and the “it” car of the mid-70s. I thought I was Christmas and loved transporting my school friends to and from rehearsals, sports events and boy-stalking. The day you take your car through the school gates is probably one of the best. I got it when I was 16 and I’ve had my licence since I was 15.
It would probably be a Rolls Royce Black Badge Dawn. When you pick up your car (in Europe, of course) it is on a stage and there is the big reveal from behind curtains with music and lights ... very theatrical, just like me.
Favourite movie car scene?
I love car-chase scenes. The best and earliest I can think of would be in The French Connection and since then, pretty much every James Bond and also the latest Mission Impossible.
Favourite racing driver?
Michael Schumacher, not only because he is the greatest F1 driver but also because his story is the saddest. It is the most unimaginable tragedy that he is now a shadow due to a skiing accident when he risked his life in the most dangerous sport there is.
Greatest moment in a car?
During Real Housewives of Auckland when I won the time trial at Hampton Downs. I said to the instructor “I want to win this and I don’t care what it takes”. My closest rival was Gilda [Kirkpatrick], who also had a heavy foot, but this was my moment.
Technology and cars?
I have no interest in driverless cars. When I’m old and even more stupid, I will have a driver. I’m too much of a control freak to trust a piece of metal with my life. - Donna McIntyre