Me and my car: Peter Wolfkamp

By Donna McIntyre

Picture / Ted Baghurst
Picture / Ted Baghurst

Resident Builder Peter Wolfkamp is a trade qualified carpenter and has been building for 25 years. He has worked at Newstalk ZB as a talkback host and subject expert for 23 years and also is the site foreman for TV3 series The Block.


What do you drive?

A Mazda BT50 which is the double cab 4WD ute. As the Resident Builder, I have a relationship with Mazda where they provide me with a vehicle. They said tell us what a tradesperson would want in a vehicle. Guys on building sites spend hours talking about this ... there's the debate will you drive a ute versus a van, a double cab versus a single cab. Do you use a 4WD and put the back seats down? Getting it functional can save you a great deal of time. Basically I carry, stow and tow stuff ... so the brief was I need roof racks, storage, the canopy to be a certain height for good access, I need a tow bar. They came back with this vehicle, it looks bloody fantastic.

Manual or automatic?

Mine is automatic. I have been driving almost 30 years and, until the last three years, I have driven a manual.

I have come to realise that where once an auto wasn't that practical because you were never confident about using it in low ratio and getting out of tricky situations, now I think the autos are so good. I love it.

Favourite car colour?

Grey works just fine, it hides a few sins and, typically, work vehicles get very dusty. Mine has just clicked over 4000km and I am appalled at the amount of dust already on the inside of it as it was brand spanking when I picked it up just before Christmas.

First car?

A white 1973 Holden HQ ute; a good old six cylinder three-speed manual.

Dream car ...

Part of my Lotto fantasy would be to go to Europe for an extended period of time and get something like an Audi A5 sportback and drive around on the autobahns and go wherever I felt like in a car designed to travel large distances in a great deal of comfort.

Who taught you to drive?

My dad and my brother, Frank. I learned to drive in Frank's Holden Kingswood in a paddock. He was fresh out of driver instruction at police college. I also rode motorcycles and did some motorcycle courses which probably taught me more about being good on the roads than any driver instruction did.

Most memorable road trip?

I had some relatives over from the Netherlands. We set out from Auckland, went north to Dargaville, to the Waipoua Forest, Tane Mahuta, over the hill to the Hokianga Harbour, stayed the night, fish and chips at the pub, breakfast at the Rawene ferry the next morning, across to Kohukohu, up to Ahipara, hired some quad bikes and raced along the beach, and back to Takapuna that night for a steaming pot of mussels and mash at a pub. That was fantastic, all in two days.

What do you listen to on the road?

I listen to a fair amount of talkback and I have my iPhone Bluetoothed to the stereo. A lot of my driving is done with my son. He gets to choose a song and then I choose one.

Great day trip out of Auckland?

Going up to Warkworth and Matakana, down to Scotts Landing to see some friends and then Omaha to have a barbecue with some friends, and back to Auckland.

Do you judge people by what they drive?

I don't because I have driven the most clapped-out, grotty vehicles imaginable and I wouldn't like anyone to judge me by what I drive. My choice about vehicles is often pragmatic rather a big expression of personality.

How often do you clean your car?

I have been known to go months without cleaning a vehicle. However, I am a bit more fastidious with this one and probably clean it once a month.

Pet hate on the road?

A lack of confidence by other drivers can be frustrating, merging for example.

As told to Donna McIntyre

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n2 at 24 Sep 2014 10:11:43 Processing Time: 557ms