Me and my car: Chris Dobbs

Chris Dobbs is the founder of Working Style men's clothing line and a Mercedes-Benz NZ ambassador. He explains why he loves both his jobs.

Merc all the way for this arbiter of style. Photo / Ted Baghurst
Merc all the way for this arbiter of style. Photo / Ted Baghurst

How long have you had the ML 250 BlueTec diesel?

This is the second ML 250 that I have had and I love it. I picked this model for a number of reasons. It has excellent towing capability which I need for a 2-tonne boat. The diesel engine also offers excellent fuel efficiency and also has one of the lowest CO2 emissions available, which is important to me.

With three kids and a dog and a boat on the back it can get a bit busy and the ML 250 also provides excellent cabin size and despite some bigger teenagers, we all fit in with comfort, all the toys for a busy holiday or weekend away.

I also enjoy the round-town driving factor that a diesel offers with the torque and the height and ease of an SUV.

How did your relationship with Mercedes-Benz NZ start?

We have been working together for more than six years and it started as a collaboration of like-minded brands with the initial purpose of cross-sharing client bases for client entertaining and product promotion.

We have hosted driving, shooting, dining, cooking, rugby and tailoring functions over this time.

What sort of trips have you taken with the ML?

The tried and proven pilgrimage that we do many times a year is to Matapouri in Northland in summer and in winter it's a ski trip to Ruapehu. I also love the drive from Christchurch to Wanaka with the highlight being the Lindis Pass before Omarama.

I've also been lucky enough to drive from Como, Italy, to St Moritz, Switzerland, in a Mercedes Benz E 350 sedan after an industry fair.

What would be your dream road trip?

I'm working on doing the Californian coastal road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco on the 405 highway.

I love driving in LA and to me it would be a great way to see this part of the world and what better way to absorb the Californian dream than by car.

You have kids - so who taught you to drive?

I grew up in Marton and my mother taught me and my brother and sister to drive in a 1968 VW Beetle which I have to say was a great car to learn in. I got my licence not long after turning 15 and my first car was a 1963 Beetle.

What other cars have you had?

I have had a few lemons in my time and at times it's felt like I've had the whole orchard. A 1965 Peugeot 404 was the zenith of European problems - just about killed me and my bank balance. I was so poor that I had to recondition the motor myself, with no previous mechanical experience. A friend and now our company lawyer, Mark Szigetvary, provided technical assistance and between the two of us we kept it on the road.

What, apart from a Mercedes-Benz, would be your dream car?

A 1965 Karmann Ghia. Looks before performance, anytime.

What tips do you have for caring for suit jackets when driving?

Don't wear your jacket when driving. The seatbelt can rub on the fabric. Instead, using a shaped wooden hanger, place the jacket on a hook by the passenger doors.

As told to Liz Dobson

- NZ Herald

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