Me & My Car: Out of the wreckage
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Tell us about this car?
It’s a 59 Chev Sports Coupe Impala, 700 R4 trans, Auto, tri power 348 engine. The car was sourced from a wrecker’s yard in Australia. It was a huge pile of junk.
What work have you done on it?
Total restoration was required and two years of intensive labour. All the panel work was done by Bryce Hilton who was then at Creative Autobody and the paintwork was done by Steve and Peter Noyer at Moselle Panel and Paint. The colour is not standard; I had chosen a BMW Blue.
How often do you drive it?
When it was first finished, it did the circuit of car shows and luckily won several awards — mainly people’s choice or best Chev in show. My wife loves taking it away as we can accommodate the sink and kitchen in the huge boot. It’s an old lunger but a great passenger carrier. It’s also multi-purposed; it has done weddings, school balls, Santa parade and kids’ party transportation. It is not easy to park because of the length so I often park well away from small Japanese vehicles but it seems to be a magnet as other cars always find their way next to it.
How much fuel does it use?
Consumption is very reasonable but it has a dodgy gauge, so it seems I am constantly refuelling.
What do you like about your Impala?
The shape. The huge big wings which people always liken to an aircraft carrier. It’s a two-door hardtop. And it’s a great family cruiser. It is not blessed in horsepower but it’s a smooth ride.
What do you always have in your car?
I always carry a torch and the garage door remote.
Who else drives it?
I seem to be the only driver, but I have let few people use it for weddings.
And its number plate?
I bought the personalised plates as a birthday present to self.
The wife has Her56 plates for her 1956 Ford Pickup truck, so when I completed this restoration, I was surprised that MY59 still was available.
What else do you have parked in your garage?
My garage’s a bit light. It has my 1985 Harley and my daughter’s 67 Camaro.
Manual or auto, which do you prefer?
I prefer to drive a manual car. But as I am ageing rapidly, autos are becoming much more attractive.
Who taught you to drive?
I have been driving for 50 years. I was taught by Leightons School of Driving.
Most memorable road trip?
A trip from Auckland to Greymouth for a NZ Corvette convention. My 67 tri power Corvette had just landed in New Zealand. The noise inside the car was indescribable, the power from the grunty 427 awesome.
Favorite movie car scene?
The final scene in Vanishing Point. Some car nuts will recognise it.
Great day drive out of Auckland?
To Waipu Cove.
What do you listen to in the car?
I love music. I Iisten to Guns n Roses and I sound just like Axl Rose when I am driving. I enjoy Billy Idol. I always have CDs going in car.
What irritates you most about other road users?
Drivers who don’t keep left.
Technology and cars, your thoughts?
I will move to electric when there is not a drop of petrol left in the entire world. I cannot imagine myself in a driverless car and I wouldn’t trust one.
Any road rule you would change?
Speed limits are merely recommendations!
Your take on Auckland’s traffic?
I hate Auckland traffic and the only way to improve it is to get everyone to move out of Auckland. Donna McIntyre