Me and my car: Debra Chantry

By Donna McIntyre

Debra Chantry, Icehouse business coach and executive in residence, tells Donna McIntyre about her passion for sports cars

Debra Chantry - Business Coach Photo / Ted Baghurst.
Debra Chantry - Business Coach Photo / Ted Baghurst.

What do you drive?

I have a Porsche 3.2L. Through most of my adult life I've had company cars but when I moved to New Zealand 16 years ago I got the chance for my first car for myself. I started off by buying a Eunos Roadster (MX-5) V special series and over time moved into a BMW Z3 and now the Porsche Boxster S 3.2L. I am looking to upgrade to a 911 later this year. Convertible sports cars are a lot of fun to drive. I do a lot of travelling with work. My car is like my office and, for me, it's important to get the roof down and get a bit of sunshine and fresh air between appointments.

Main consideration when buying a car?

I like a fairly decent-sized engine, definitely the convertibleness of it, good handling and I like the little luxuries like the leather seats, heated seats and speakers.

Your dream car ...

Ever since I was really tiny I have loved Ferraris and I had a picture of a Ferrari 308 GTB convertible on my wall as a kid and that was my dream, to have a convertible.

It's a different type of Ferrari now ... the F430 spider, although I have to say I'm quite liking the California as well.

Favourite car colour?

I love black and, even though Ferraris are classically red, I would go for metallic black.

Who taught you to drive?

I was taught to drive over in the UK and failed my driving test three times before I actually passed it. I think my mum gave me a couple of lessons and then she got me a driving instructor.

Manual or automatic?

Manual. My current car is automatic and that is the one thing I don't like about it, I would prefer manual. I have got the Tiptronic on the Porsche and you can use that and that's fun in itself but I like the feel of a gear stick in your hand and having something to do with your feet with the clutch.

Most memorable road trip?

It wasn't in a convertible, unfortunately, but we went around the South Island backpacking for two weeks and we did every single adventure activity there was to do, and that was in a four wheel drive. New Zealand is a stunning country.

What do you listen to?

I listen mostly to ZM and occasionally to talkback radio and sometime I listen to e-books on CDs.

What's a great day trip out of Auckland?

Out to Piha is such a fun drive. The Porsche needs to have space to go.

Do you judge people by what they drive?

I don't think so - I judge them by their driving.

Would you rather drive in Auckland or take public transport?

It has always appealed to me to catch a ferry into work, to have a cup of coffee and catch up on the newspaper. But I like driving and the freedom the car brings to you. I grew up in the UK and lived in Australia and think our public transport just doesn't cut the mustard.

Who else is allowed to drive your car?

My partner. My 15-year-old stepson has asked me if he can drive my car when he passes his driving tests - he reckons it will be a way to make new friends and girlfriends.

Do you have a special number plate?

When I bought my first real car, I bought the number plate IV FUN. I bought it on the understanding it was Roman numeral "4 fun" but a lot of people think it is "intravenous fun" or "I have fun" which are perfectly appropriate for a convertible car.

- NZ Herald

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