Me and my car: Ben Mitchell

By Donna McIntyre

Ben Mitchell is best known for his role as Dr TK Samuels on Shortland St. He tells Donna McIntyre he's a Holden fan

Ben Mitchell and his 2010 Holden Commodore SSVE. Picture / Ted Baghurst
Ben Mitchell and his 2010 Holden Commodore SSVE. Picture / Ted Baghurst

What do you drive?

A black Holden SSVE 2010. It's powerful. And it looks good. It suits me.

What is the main consideration if you are buying a car?

Well, I am never one to follow the rules, so I am probably not the right person to ask, but I think it's important to know whether you can afford the car before you go about buying it. There's no point in going beyond your means for the sake of a car which will eventually devalue anyway.

Do you prefer manual or automatic?

Manual. It gives you more control over your speed and you're more connected to the vehicle.

Favourite car colour? And why?

Black because it is subtle and classic.

Your first car?

That was a Mitsubishi Mirage. I managed to pack my whole life in that car. It was surprisingly roomy.

Your dream car - if you had no financial restraints?

I have my eye on the new Holden Senator which is the elite class of the Holdens.

Who taught you to drive?

My father at a very young age (possibly too young). He was hard on me, but he was a great teacher. We would drive in the rural outskirts of Hamilton so there was barely any traffic on the roads.

What is your most memorable road trip?

That would have to be around the Coromandel with my girlfriend at the time. We had no money and we slept in the car. It was just a relaxed and cruisy holiday.

And what do you listen to in your car?

I have been listening to a Hans Zimmer compilation. He is a composer who has written the scores of huge numbers of well-known movies so this disc has huge variety on it. I'm also keen on a bit of House music.

What's a great day trip out of Auckland?

I have been driving to Rotorua quite a bit lately. I take my wife and children and we go on the luge, to the lake, the animals and stuff. I never get sick of the luge. Rotorua is like a world within a world.

Does what people drive influence how you perceive them?

Yes. I think you can tell a lot about a person by the type of car they drive. It breaks down into something superficial. It makes you instantly go to the economic situation. And are men more masculine if they drive a sports car or a V8? More feminine if they drive something economical and smaller? Do they think they are superior if they drive an elite car? I think European cars are wanky. And, if a woman is driving a masculine car, I say dude, you need to get out of that car because you're chasing the men away.

Would you rather drive in Auckland or take public transport?

Drive.

Who else is allowed to drive your car?

No one.

How often do you clean your car?

Ha ha ha. I have kids. There is no point in cleaning the inside of your car, at least when you have kids.

Do you have a pet hate on the road?

Don't get me started on my pet hates. Slow people, people who can't drive. I am a bit impatient at the best of times so anyone who stops my flow really annoys me.

Is there room on our roads for bicycles and cars?

Bikes are for children, you need to step up from adolescence, it's hard to save $15K and buy a car. People bike to work and then come to a party and want to get a lift with you, they're using other people.

- NZ Herald

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