Me and my car: Rawdon Christie

By Donna McIntyre

Rawdon Christie, TV One's Breakfast show host, talks to Donna McIntyre about his passion for good-looking cars

Rawdon Christie, TVNZ Breakfast television host. Photo / Ted Baghurst
Rawdon Christie, TVNZ Breakfast television host. Photo / Ted Baghurst

What do you drive?

Italian red Alfa Romeo 159 TDi - 2.4 litre, 2009. Gorgeous to look at, gorgeous to drive. An Italian sports car without the horrendous price tag.

What's the main consideration when buying a car?

Sadly, it's probably value for money. The cars I truly love are way too expensive, and I've never owned a new car. But I try not to compromise on style and driving pleasure.

First car you owned?

A silver Fiat 127 with bright turquoise upholstery. I killed it when I rolled it on an icy country lane late one night. I was 19 and driving far too fast for the conditions. The car rolled three times and then hit a tree. Both the girl with me and I were very lucky, and I learned a valuable lesson about speed, ice and momentum.

Your dream car?

Anything Bond and British - Aston Martin, TVR, Jaguar. But if I had to narrow it down to one, the Aston Martin DB9 - the quintessential gentleman's supercar.

And then I remembered I have several children and a dog, so I probably have to make that the new Range Rover Sport.

Favourite car colour?

Red for Alfa, black for the dream cars above. (I think my days of turquoise upholstery are behind me.)

Who taught you to drive?

Dad, when I was 16, on a disused runway near where I grew up in Oxfordshire. It was the perfect place and Dad was an excellent teacher, who focused on "feel" before "function".

Manual or automatic?

Always manual. It feels like you're actually "driving", rather than just steering, and gives you a greater sense of control.

Most memorable road trip?

Fifteen years ago a mate and I were out of work and bored, so we "borrowed" his girlfriend's Alfa (funnily enough) and headed north, to Cape Reinga, with a tent and a stereo. Nothing was planned ... but we met some wonderful characters and camped in some random places.

How often do you clean your car?

I hate cleaning the car. Maybe once every two months.

What do you listen to when driving?

During the working week it's normally talkback. On holiday I try and avoid the radio. If I'm on my own, it's Pink Floyd or Beethoven.

What's a great day trip out of Auckland?

Tawharanui Regional Park, about 90km north of Auckland. Amazing bays and white sand beaches. Great for picnics, and worth stopping in Matakana for a feed on the way home.

Does what people drive influence how you perceive them?

I sometimes think that anyone in a really expensive, loud sports car must be a bit of a tosser, but that's probably just jealousy. We can tell a lot more about a person from the way they drive than what they drive.

What irritates you about other drivers?

Lack of courtesy. If someone lets you in, thank them; get out of the fast lane unless you're overtaking; don't take up two car parks.

Would you rather drive in Auckland or take public transport?

I quite enjoy public transport, but that's probably only because I use it so rarely that there's a novelty to it. It also removes the frustration of having to sit behind the wheel at the countless traffic lights in Auckland. There are too many and they're badly phased.

Who else is allowed to drive your car?

I'm not that precious about who drives it (it'd be different if it was a new car, no doubt), but in reality it's only my wife who borrows it - or my Dad if he's over from the UK visiting.

Bikes and cars ... is there space for both on New Zealand roads?

I use both and there's plenty of space for both, if some drivers and riders change their attitudes.

- NZ Herald

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