Me & My Car: A Stellar Choice
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Tell us about your CX-8.
It is a 2019 Mazda CX-8 AWD 2.2L GSX in Snowflake White Pearl Mica. Very chic. The CX-8 won best large SUV in the AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year 2018. I’ve only had it a few weeks so we’re still getting to know each other.
You’re an ambassador for The Mazda Foundation?
This is the charitable arm of Mazda NZ and its ethos is to help towards the betterment of our communities and environment. I’m particularly involved in the work with Treemendous and Project Crimson where schools can apply for grants to help create outdoor learning environments for their teachers and children that will inspire and build a continuing appreciation for nature.
Why did you choose the CX-8?
It’s the perfect people mover (it’s a seven-seater) or in my case, a perfect music gear mover. This year I’m going to be more active with gigs as the band stellar* will celebrate 20 years since the Mix album. The CX-8 is roomy and stylish. It’s also the ideal vehicle for my Boh Runga jewellery wholesale manager to take out to visit my retailers down the line as it has a 5-Star Ancap Safety Rating and a feature I like, Active Driving Display that projects the speed on the windscreen.
How does it fit your personality?
The stereo is capable of being loud but sounds decent unlike other cars I’ve test-driven.
What’s a typical driving week?
Lugging dogs to and from doggy daycare or work or Cornwall Park, lugging music gear, supplies for work, groceries, myself to meetings and to and from my store in Ponsonby. The CX-8 is comfortable and makes sitting in traffic that much more bearable.
What do you keep in your car?
Sneakers, because you need to have flat shoes in an emergency. Antihistamines, becauase I get random bouts of hayfever. A first aid kit. Dog cover for the back seat.
How much can you fit in it?
A great deal more than the CX-5 I used to drive, and I could fit a crazy amount in that! A small drum kit and hardware bag, a guitar amp and a bass amp, three guitars in their cases and three people including myself driving. I’m a pretty good packer.
Do you prefer manual or automatic?
Auto because I’m out of practice with a manual and would have to practise and gain my confidence. With the way Auckland traffic is, a manual is a bit of an ordeal.
Any other vehicles in your garage?
Yes, a 1970 Pontiac Tempest GT37, a 1970 Holden Premier HZ and my partner has just bought a 1992 Nissan Patrol short wheelbase minter.
What was your first car?
It was an Alfa Romeo and it was a manual and being a novice driver I was rubbish at driving it. The accelerator and the brake were so close together you’d keep pressing them both by accident.
Any cars you have regretted selling?
Yes, two. A mint condition 1971 Morris 1300 that was so cute but it seemed silly to keep it. And a 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport that my partner custom-painted.
Who taught you to drive?
My dad attempted to teach me but he was an impatient tutor as I imagine some parents can be when their kids are nervous behind the wheel of a potential accident waiting to happen. It was when I was 15 or so I didn't actually get my full licence until the day before I left to live in Los Angeles which was about 14 years ago. My then husband had gifted me driving lessons with a defensive driving course. It was a brilliant, thoughtful present, taught me a lot and made me a confident driver.
Your dream car?
I have a few but I do love a 1970 Dodge Challenger. So sleek and handsome.
Favourite movie car scene?
I remember the Minis in the Charlize Theron remake of The Italian Job and the original movie. Funny and entertaining.
How do you feel about technology and cars?
There have been such wonderful advances with safety in modern cars that you notice the lack of them in older cars. But you can still make bad decisions even with all that help. I’ve done a lot of driving on the open roads and the way people out in the middle of nowhere behave is frightening. As for being a passenger in
a driverless car, I’m not opposed to it but I won’t be the first to put up my hand until the kinks have been ironed out.