Me & My Car: And there’s lots of room in the back
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What are you driving?
A 2014 Audi A4 S Line TDI Wagon. It’s a silver two-wheel-drive and I bought it in 2015. I have had Audis before and liked them. It is a great car to drive on the open road, but not too big for around town. I have kids and do lots of sport, so it’s good to have the wagon for throwing gear in the back. My job requires me to do regular road trips so, although I don’t spend a lot of time on the road, it is good having a car that is easy to drive
Who else drives your A4?
My wife Katherine sometimes uses my car if I use her SUV, or is she is heading out without the kids, as it is easier to park around town.
What do you keep in it?
A few go-to CDs for when I am out of radio range.
How often do you clean your it?
I put it through a car wash occasionally, I am not fastidious.
It was a Datsun 1200 with some mags. It was a great little car as it flew along.
Your dream car?
An E-type Jag. It is a great looking car and iconic. Also, as an older car you would really experience driving it, as opposed to new cars that are so comfortable and easy to drive.
British racing green.
Who taught you to drive?
My grandfather, who was a terrible driver, but the most patient wonderful man. I grew up and worked on farms, so I started driving around age 12 and got my licence the day I turned 15, back in the day when you could jump in any car and drive from the day you turned 15.
Worst car you’ve owned?
I think it was a 1995 Volvo V40 Wagon in England. It was on the market close to where I was living in London and I wanted a car to take out of London on weekend mountain biking trips. It was only a 1.8 litre so when I got on the open road, with a relatively robust/ heavy car, it was under-powered.
Any cars you have regretted selling?
When I was a young fella, I had a 1952 Morris Minor that I regretted selling, I bought it for a bit of fun and then when I was given a company car I did not want it taking up space and sold it for not a lot of money. I should have held on to it.
And anything else in your “garage”?
Katherine has a 2015 Toyota Highlander which is a good, no-nonsense car that is roomy with good power. It’s a great car on the mountain, has tons of room for going on holiday in, and can handle a bit of off-road stuff.
Most memorable road trip?
A recent trip up to Cape Reinga as the kids liked going on the beach and at the north end of 90 Mile there is the Te Paki River and sand dunes areas that you drive up through (followed by boogie boarding down the sand dunes) which is some good 4-wheel driving and some ruts that at one point needed the shovel to dig out from under the car — great fun.
If you could go on a road trip anywhere with any celebrity?
Perhaps a road trip checking out great Italian restaurants and challenging open roads in a E-type Jag with [TV restaurant reviewers] Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan — obviously not ideal having three in an E-type, but some good banter from them.
What do you listen to when you’re driving?
Kings of Leon albums are great road trip albums. I have their CDs in the car. I also have a great Tom Jones Gospel CD which my wife hates but is great travel music.
Strangest thing you’ve done in a car?
I started my career as a stock and station agent in West Otago and therefore your car is your office. Some of the farmer clients can be a bit rough and ready which included throwing a couple of sheep in the back seat that had escaped a paddock to take them back into the paddock. A company car can do anything!
Do you judge people by what they drive?
No, not unless I see a ridiculously pimped-up car and then it’s hard not to judge.