Me and my car: Clint Barber

By Donna McIntyre

This 'car nut' keen as mustard about his V8s

Picture / Ted Baghurst
Picture / Ted Baghurst

Clint Barber, a senior commercial broker for Bayleys, appreciates the classic things in life - especially when they have a V8 under the bonnet.

What do you drive?

A 1972 Rover V8, 3500cc. It's mustard, they were proud of all the colours they offered back in the 1970s. They were assembled in Stoke, Nelson. The carpet was made in Hastings and the leather for the seats came from New Zealand. In those days cars had to have a certain amount of local materials so they could be imported with less tax.

I have had it about three years, and I'm a self-professed car nut. My father had a Jaguar dealership in Wellington so I guess my appreciation began back them.

The designer got his inspiration from the Citroen DS and, for its time, it was very advanced. It's a Rover P6B, the B is for Buick because of the engine, it's all alloy. It won the European car of the year in 1964.

It is a lovely car to drive, a typical Rover, it gives a very smooth drive. It has four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes and the first crumple zone of any English car, for safety.

It was very advanced for its day.

I like the eccentricity and individuality the car exudes in this homogenised age and I like that it was assembled in New Zealand. And I like the sound of the V8 engine.

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

The enjoyment of driving. My "normal" car is an Audi RS4 and, again, it's a V8.

What was the first car you owned?

My first car was a Volkswagen Beetle when I was 13 in Hawkes Bay.

Your dream car?

I used to manage Ferrari Maserati in Auckland at Continental Cars so my dream car is a Ferrari F40.

Favourite colour?

That depends on the car, it's subjective. For Ferrari or an Alfa, red; but I would not have a red BMW.

Who taught you to drive?

My father. I had a motorised go-kart when I was about 5 and my father taught me to drive when I was about 7.

Manual or automatic?

Manual mainly but it would depend on the car. For luxury cars, I prefer automatic.

How often do you clean your car?

Every two weeks.

Most memorable road trip?

It would have to be when I drove a Ferrari 360 through the middle of the North Island to Wellington when I was a manager. I called in and saw Chris Amon in Bulls and he had a drive of it. He was a Ferrari test driver, a lovely fella.

What do you listen to?

I listen to National Radio. I like it because it is stimulating for the mind.

What's a great day trip out of Auckland?

Matakana for the markets.

Does what people drive influence how you perceive them?

I try not to but I don't like Priuses, particularly. I find it a shame they have to be so ugly. But I do think the BMW electric cars look great.

Who else is allowed to drive your car?

I think only my father has driven my RS4. Not many people can drive manuals. My Rover, most of my friends and family. I'm not precious.

Do you have a personalised plate?

I'm not an advocate but I do like that my Rover has its original plate.

Bike and cars ... is there space for both on NZ roads?

I think there is with a bit more consideration from both. I have a motorbike and I think that is safer to ride than a cycle because it does the same speed as cars. It is difficult to ride a pushbike in Auckland.

What irritates you about other drivers?

Not moving out of the right-hand lane on the motorway and not pulling over when towing on long trips.

As told to Donna McIntyre

- NZ Herald

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