Motoring memoriesby The Listener
Mike Hosking, Judith Collins, Sarah Walker and Steve Maharey on favourite cars and dreadful lemons.
“My favourite car was, and still is, my MG that I’ve had since 1974 and bought when I was 27; it’s the last of the chrome bumper models. The MG is a real driver’s car and it takes skill to drive properly. You had to learn how things worked to keep it running well and so developed an appreciation of how things worked. If you want a car that makes a statement, the MG is the one. If you enjoy driving and the concentration involved, as well as looking fabulously stylish as you drive, that’s the car for you.
“The first car I owned was probably the worst: a Vauxhall Viva. It went, but only just, and all sorts of things would break and wouldn’t work and on cold mornings it wouldn’t start. It was a challenge and was seriously unstylish. However, it was given to me, so I was grateful.”
Olympic silver medallist and former world BMX champion
“The worst car I’ve driven is Mum’s car – it’s crap and I want to buy her a new car. It’s a Holden Vectra, and every time it goes anywhere, it smells like it’s completely overheated and the suspension probably doesn’t work. Oh, there’s a huge list of other things that don’t work
“It’s a toss up for my favourite between my current car, a Toyota Hilux 4WD SR5, and my first car. Obviously the Hilux fits the BMX bike in the back nicely, the cruise control comes in handy and the sound system is really great and it goes all right.
“My first car was a Toyota Corolla that Mum and Dad had from new and I learnt to drive in it. We had it until the day it died after it had done over 500,000km. The reason it died is we used it as a paddock basher and racer and my brother managed to roll it.”
Massey University vice chancellor
“My worst car was also a lot of fun. It was an Austin Cambridge I bought when I returned flat broke from England in 1983. It went quite well but leaked like a sieve, and by halfway through winter it had a swimming pool in the back footwells. My dogs loved it and would jump in and cause a mess all over the back of the car.
“The car I would like to own is the New Zealand-designed and -built Hulme F1, which I’ve driven a few times. Unfortunately there’s only one of them built at the moment, so my best car would have to be the Toyota RAV4. I think they are fantastic cars – you can do anything, chuck anything in them and go anywhere. I like having a car you can do anything in.”
Newstalk ZB breakfast host
“Probably one of the best cars I’ve ever owned was a Maserati GranTurismo – it was sensational and had an F1 gearbox. It was the best sounding car I’ve ever had and was a piece of art. It was everything you wouldn’t want in an everyday car but I loved it – it was brilliant and absolutely everything about form over function. If you’re into cars, it’s all about the heart and the Maserati was all about that.
“My 1969 Mark I Daimler was the worst. It was a magnificent-looking big black car with red leather seats and woodgrain dash. However, because it didn’t cost much, it was a piece of crap. The first thing that gave out were the brakes that constantly needed bleeding, and it was so expensive to fix. It kept me poor for years.”
For a feature car-buying guide, including cartoons by Chris Slane, read the story in this week's Listener: Deals on wheelsSubscriber contentIcon definitionSubscriber content
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