Me & My Car: The Marilyn Monroe of cars
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Tell us about your 2019 Jaguar F-Type P300 cabriolet ...
I bought the car in November from Archibald & Shorter but it took until mid-January for permission to offload it from the boat. The boat came in with stink bugs and was sent back to Fiji and Noumea to be sprayed. We live at Whangaparāoa and we were tracking it on an app. We could see the boat out in the Hauraki Gulf waiting for permission to come back into harbour. The car was the first F-Type P300 Cabriolet in New Zealand and it has a stunning white body with black roof and wheels.
Why this Jaguar?
I went to look at the Evoques but the salesman suggested I take a Jag F-Type sports car for a drive instead. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon with not a breath of wind. I took an 18-month-old V6 model for a spin, with the roof down. Forget the practical Land/Range Rover options that could carry the dog, tow the jetski and carry everyone’s luggage to the airport. Instead I went for a two-seater sports car that had no room for luggage — not even an overnight bag unless you remove the spare wheel.
What were you driving before?
A beautiful Mercedes C200. It was the “Night Edition” so it had a sporty look for a practical car.
Who else drives this Jaguar?
No one. I’m so precious about not getting it scratched. With the Merc, within three days of picking it up I’d parked it at New World to do a quick shop and when I came out someone had banged their back door against mine, damaging two panels — causing $3000 of damage. It broke my heart. I’ve let my nephews sit in it and have photos but that’s as close as they’re going to get to driving.
How does it suit your personality?
My friends tell me it suits me as it’s sassy, sophisticated and smart. I work in IT sales so it’s a nice car to see customers. Living out at Whangaparāoa there’s nothing better than putting on some music, car roof down and then relaxing for the long drive home.
Do you have a personalised plate?
This is no ordinary car and so when we saw that the number plate SJP 13 was available it was kind of fate. My initials are SJP (like in Sex and the City) and 13 is my lucky number. (I was 13 on Friday the 13th.)
How often do you clean it?
I clean it myself every month. It has the DuraSeal protection on it which means it takes about 10 minutes to wash it down with clear water and wipe it dry.
What do you always keep in your car?
A phone charger cable, sunglasses, sunscreen, two hats, chewing gum and water. Essentials for those hot days when the roof is down.
Do people comment?
I’ve had young kids and grown men come up to me and say how cool the car is. I’ve also seen people taking sneaky photos when they think I’m not looking.
If you had to describe this as a human?
Marilyn Monroe. Gorgeous, feminine, sexy, the perfect body shape.
Any other vehicles?
I also have my parents’ holiday car (they live in the UK and visit once a year). It’s a green 2005 Ford Focus, with lots of dents and two missing hub caps. I use it as my ferry car, my runaround and my car to shop at New World in.
Your dream car?
This is my dream car. Although I also like Aston Martins and the Bentley sports cars.
Who taught you drive?
My dad taught me how in the UK but I also had professional lessons. I passed my test first time at 17 years old. Soon after, I drove from our village in the Midlands through Snowdonia in Wales out to the coast.
An orange Talbot Sunbeam in 1987. The plate was a T plate which would have made it a 1978 model. I loved it but it had its quirks. The passenger door didn’t shut properly unless you pulled it hard. A lazy closing of it by my sister meant I lost her on the first sharp bend out of the village. She landed on someone’s drive and luckily was fine, just a few cuts and bruises.
Great day trip?
Up to Ōrewa and Warkworth. It’s a great stretch of road with beautiful coastal views.
Favourite driving songs?
Just Got Paid — Sigala. Be Mine — Ofenbach. Solo — Clean Bandit (featuring Demi Lovato).
What irritates you most about other drivers?
That it’s not a legal requirement to have insurance. If someone hits your car, they are more likely not to leave details because they have no insurance cover.