Me and my car: Lizette Lee

By Donna McIntyre

Picture / Ted Baghurst
Picture / Ted Baghurst

Lizette Lee and husband John founded Australian post-film production company Cutting Edge and worked on Superman, Wolverine, Big Brother, and Hell's Kitchen. They recently sold the business, returned to New Zealand and now have a new address, and new car.

What do you drive?

A polar white 2013/2014 Mercedes Benz E250 AMG Convertible

Why a convertible?

John and I spent three months in northern Europe last year travelling in a campervan. We knew we needed to buy new vehicles when we returned to New Zealand and, watching the cars blast past on the autobahn, the E250 Mercedes caught my eye. The sleek sporty shape, and the way it appeared to float past our chugging truck was eye candy. For the past seven years I have driven a Porsche 911 Carrera convertible, but my mother's words rang in my ear: "I hope you're going to buy a sensible car this time". Getting her in and out of cars comfortably is a challenge and, as I was returning home, I needed to get things right for the "family matriarch" - but I still wanted something sporty.

The E250 ticked all my boxes.

Your main consideration when buying a car?

This car is the most fuel-efficient vehicle I've driven, it offers close to 1000km on a full tank that costs less than $100 to fill. Comfort was also important; my previous car was fun to drive but you felt every bump. This car is like driving a couch. Long-distance driving is effortless without compensating performance, it's incredibly responsive, and you feel you are driving a very safe car. I love the clever ergonomic layout of its features. Nothing beats turning on the heated seats and the neck warmer for the nights you drive with the roof down.

First car?

My first car was a red 1969 Mini nicknamed Fifi. I think it knew only one speed ... flat out.

Favourite car colour?

Black has always been my preference; however, I am now rather partial to white as I see it as the new black.

Who taught you to drive?

I was 16 and my boyfriend at the time gave me my first driving lesson. I've always punched above my weight and still cringe reminiscing back to that day when I never let on I had never driven before. I think driving through a stop sign (I could not remember where the brakes were) was a definite giveaway.

Manual or automatic?

Driving around town my preference is an automatic; however on the open road in a performance-based car nothing beats a manual gearbox for the ultimate driving experience.

Most memorable road trip?

Many years ago on a business trip I drove from Nelson to Invercargill. The scenery was ever changing from snow topped peaks to the most spectacular unspoiled countryside. I especially loved discovering small towns and getting to meet the down-to-earth people.

How often do you clean your car?

When people leave messages on the car saying "clean me" or it rains; whichever comes first.

What do you listen to in your car?

Usually a mix of the radio and cruise music, Michael Buble, George Benson.

Great day trip out of Auckland?

Having returned after 23 years I've been impressed with the upgrade to the highway and tunnel heading north. I love escaping to the Bay of Islands; you feel you've blown out the cobwebs. And now it takes less time to get there.

Do you judge people by what they drive?

No, but I do tend to judge somewhat by how they drive the car they drive.

What irritates you most about other drivers?

Drivers who lack consideration and tolerance of others; especially those who text and talk on their mobiles.

Would you rather drive in Auckland or take public transport?

New Zealand has not put resources into public transport, so automobile travel in Auckland takes less time and is more flexible.

Who else is allowed to drive your car?

Unfortunately my husband. Reversing and parking are not his strong points.

As told to Donna McIntyre

- NZ Herald

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