Me & My Car: Large Holden Marge
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Fasitua Amosa plays Steve in Silo Theatre's A Streetcar Named Desire, until September 16
Tell us about your ute.
It's a 1982 WB Holden Kingswood, column shift automatic. It's kind of margarine yellow which is why I named it Marge. It came to me with a Commodore V6 engine dropped into it. I've had it for over a year and I'm still getting used to how big it is. With a huge turning circle, it's not the best combo in the city. It has power steering but it's still a bit of work. Brakes aren't the best, and condensation inside the car in the morning means constant wiping and me going "I wish these fans worked". But Marge is practical for putting a broken-down bike on to, moving materials, and, most importantly, there's nothing like cruising in an old car. I never feel the need to go fast.
How does your ute fit your personality?
It kind of speaks to my need to stand out in my own way and do my own thing. Like me, it's mostly in good nick, with lots of room for improvement and updating.
You also have two motorbikes?
I have a Honda CB750 Nighthawk and a Honda 1981 CB650 that is my project. It came to me fully functional; now it's in five boxes that I swear I'll put back together.
Does it need much maintenance?
Not too much because it came to me in such great condition. If anything needs doing, I hit up my mate Darren Leckey of NZ Automotive Distributors. I've known him since high school and he's hailed from the fine West Auckland tradition of people who were into cars since they were kids. Either that or I take it to his workshop so I can work on it and have him on hand to ask questions. Or I work on it at home and send him pictures with questions and he'll send it back with sketches saying, "Loosen this, don't lose that, don't burn yourself on that" etc.
What about the body?
Typically, you'd expect a car of that age to be way worse. One thing I've learned since I got Marge is that lots of older men love to talk to me about the car and they always know way more than I do. Marge seems to inspire a lot of fond memories.
Does it use a lot of fuel?
Every car seems to use a lot of fuel when you ride a motorbike. To compare, it costs me $35 to fill my bike and that would last me a few weeks. My job often just requires me, a script and a pencil case, so I'm on the bike more than I'm in the car. I don't know how much it takes to fill cos, unless I'm going on a road trip, my philosophy is to just keep it off the "E".
Who else drives your ute?
My mate Dave used it once to take a load to the tip.
What do you always keep in it?
Jumper cables, coffee cups.
How often does it get cleaned?
Once a month or thereabouts. And before the photographer took the picture for this column.
First car you owned?
A 69 VW Beetle. The engine was good but that was about it. It was always failing warrants for rust and it got to the point that a good rain shower would kill the electrics. I let it go for parts for $500.
Your dream car?
A late model 2 door flat-deck ute with extra cab. Probably a Hilux or Colorado. The allure of mod cons and good brakes will eventually get me.
How would you rate your driving skills?
Well above average. Being a motorcyclist has made me hyper-aware of potential dangers and being able to read other drivers' intentions from how their car is moving.
Strangest thing you have done in a vehicle?
Even though I have a TV and perfectly good couch, I'll often sit in my car in my carport. With my Galaxy Note (it's got a big screen) in the hands-free kit, I move it to the middle of the windscreen. Turn it sideways so it goes widescreen. Connect it to my UE Boom bluetooth speaker and watch TV shows and movies. It's my home drive-in.
Find a better way for students to get to school. (Ever notice there's no such thing as traffic during school holidays?)