Me & My Car: Great trade truck for the boss
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Brent Varley, Co-director of Evolution Builders thinks his work ute is a beaut.
What are you driving?
It's an LTZ Holden Colorado 2013, white 2.8 litre diesel turbo with a tiptronic gearbox. I brought it in 2013 from down Rotorua way. It's big and high-riding so you get great visibility. I've got the sports lid on the tray which suits me as I like the look of it over a canopy. I threw on the 20-inch Kudos wheels, and the roof racks are after-market. The racks were a practical decision; the wheels a luxury.
How does it fit your work?
Trade-based vehicles have always been a part of my life. I used to be on the tools so I've owned all manner of vans and trucks over the years. I run the operations of Evolution Builders these days so I don't need to carry around as many tools any more. This ute is the perfect option as you can throw four or five people in it, or a few lengths of timber on the roof and still have room in the tray for tools or bags of concrete etc.
Is this your first ute?
My first ute was an old 1970s HQ Holden back in the day. It just kept on going, although we sometimes used to change gears with a hammer.
Anything else in your garage?
Holden Captiva as our family car, that's also a great wagon.
Is the Colorado easy to park?
It doesn't fit into small spaces so well but with parking sensors you can do amazingly well. As we are residential builders, we don't often end up parking in the CBD.
How often do you clean it?
Cleaning is on a need-to-do basis. I'd rather spend time with the family or friends.
Who else drives your ute?
Anyone within Evolution gets to drive it if the need arises.
What do you always have in it?
A Mark 3 Ford Cortina, I rebuilt that car and it was awesome. I bought it when I was 15 years old, doing my first apprenticeship and living on the North Shore. Great memories, I drove it to Cape Reinga several times.
Your dream car?
If they made a ute with a big block V8, I'd be loving that.
Who taught you to drive?
A family friend taught me when I was 14 because my mum couldn't drive and my dad passed away when I was young. We knew I would be going to get a job when I turned 15 so I started practising early.
Any tips for young drivers?
To stop and think about the consequences of their actions. It's heartbreaking the damage that motor vehicles can inflict when used irresponsibly. Just a split second can impact on the rest of people's lives.
Do you prefer manual or automatic?
Tiptronic is the perfect combination as you get the ease of auto but can control the power manually when required.
Most memorable road trip?
I circumnavigated the South Island in four weeks with a bunch of mates when we were in our early 20s. It was kind of an extended pub crawl with a bit of sightseeing thrown in. Great fun before the responsibilities of life took hold.
Do you enjoy driving or would you rather be a passenger?
Driving for sure; being a passenger is boring.
Great day trip out of Auckland?
Heading up to Mangawhai Heads. We have our family bach up there, so there is lots of boating and fishing over summer. It's great family time, the sort of stuff we will look back on when the kids grow up, and remember as being special.
Do you judge people by what they drive?
Not really, more how they drive than what they drive.
It's a big problem, probably requiring more than one fix. All this green belt development on the outskirts; it's the same situation. Better rail and spread the business hubs, but this all takes lots of money and foresight.
Do you have a personalised number plate?
Yes it's an abbreviation of my company name, I don't mind them. Some are funny and some are pretentious. It's great that people can express themselves; that's what living in a democracy is all about.