Me & My Car: Shaun Johnson, a ute for a change
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Your ute is a 2017 Holden Colorado?
It’s a gunmetal grey, diesel, auto. It’s a sponsored vehicle.
Why the Colorado?
I chose the Colorado because I have had a few different Holdens. I have had the Commodore Redline and I thought, why not change it up a bit? My brother, who is a builder, and mates are all into their utes. They showed me the one I’ve got, the XLT. The utes these days are like cars anyway, they drive nicely. I got it to experiment and play around a bit. At the moment it is good because it makes me feel a bit tougher, a bit more manly.
How does the Colorado suit your personality?
It probably doesn’t actually, but it is fun. Everyone uses utes as trade vehicles. I have never looked like being a tradesman. But I love it. It is a different feeling being higher off the ground, looking down at people.
Who else drives your ute?
Family, girlfriend. Being a ute, there is not too much to go wrong. It is big and safe, easy to drive.
My personal car is an Audi RS4, 2006. That was my dream car growing up, so as soon as I could afford it, I got one. I did it up in a certain way I wanted and I have had it since, about four of five years. It sits in my garage at home and it gets to go out on nice weekends when there is no traffic. It doesn’t get driven enough, to be fair, but it’s nice to know I achieved that and ticked off that little box.
First car you owned?
A Mini, it was 2005 and I was learning to drive. My dad got this old-school Mini, did it up all mean, repainted it. He was under the impression that if you can learn to drive a Mini, you can drive any car. It seemed to work. And I got my licence first try. We sold the Mini after it served its purpose, I drove it round for a bit while I had my restricted but, obviously, for long-distance driving, it wasn’t ideal.
How often do you clean your ute?
I am a pretty tidy and clean person in general, so I like to keep it clean. I probably get it cleaned once every couple of weeks. When we fly out of Freight Place Air New Zealand Koru Club parking, they do a service and we get it done.
Most memorable road trip in the ute?
I have done a few, down to the mountain, that’s a good drive. It is really handy to load up the tray and jump on the car ferry over to Waiheke for a few days.
And what do you always keep in your ute?
I always keep an iPhone charger, some chewing gum and my sunglasses.
Favourite movie car scene?
The one from the first Fast and Furious. Ja Rule is getting ready to race with Brian and Toretto and he is talking about how after he wins he is going off with a chick and her name is Monica. And when the other guy passes him and Ja realises he has lost, he is saying “Monica, Monica”. When I think of a car scene, that is what I think about.
If you could go anywhere, in any car, with anyone?
I would go somewhere like the Greek Islands with my girlfriend. I would choose her over any celebrity.
Great day trip out of Auckland?
I like heading north like Mangawhai, I like the vibe of the town, go to the beach.
What annoys you most about other drivers?
When they are in the wrong lane. It happened to me today. There was this lane and the sign stated that you had to merge. Everyone had pulled into one lane, waiting at the lights ... and then three or four cars come from right at the back and sit at the front, turning on their indicator so they can jump the queue.