Me and my car: Michelle Pickles

By Donna McIntyre

Michelle Pickles is a sports presenter, reporter and producer at TV3 who recently covered the Winter Olympics in Sochi

Michelle Pickles with her Chevrolet Camaro SS. Photo / Ted Baghurst.
Michelle Pickles with her Chevrolet Camaro SS. Photo / Ted Baghurst.

What do you drive?

My daily driver is a blue 2002 Toyota RAV4. But my husband and I own a 1968 Camaro Convertible (pictured) and a 1966 El Camino. The Camaro is Cambridge Green, 502ci big block, five-speed manual. It was one of 311 produced with L78 big block. The El Camino is Aztec Bronze, 396ci big block, four-speed manual. It was a special order from General Motors and we have the original job sheet.

Main consideration if you are buying a car?

A daily driver has to be reliable, have a good motor, a good bod, and it has to be a manual.

First car you owned?

Vauxhall Viva. Can't remember the year - it was far too long ago.

Your dream car ...

A 1959 El Camino. We have one but it needs a resto and we haven't won Lotto yet.

Favourite car colour?

Candy apple red. The colour I want to paint my '59 when we win Lotto.

Who taught you to drive?

My parents sent me to driving school. I figure they were trying to avoid the inevitable arguments. I was 15 and we were living in Ellerslie. I got my licence first go. I probably shouldn't have. In those days as soon as you turned 15 you wanted to get your licence and my parents wanted me to get it, too. Then I could go off and do my own things.

Manual or automatic?

Definitely a manual. I've always driven a manual. I get bored in an automatic.

Most memorable road trip?

Driving around the East Cape from Opotiki to Gisborne on Highway 35 about 2004 with my husband. What an amazing, unspoiled, historic and beautiful part of the country. Unforgettable. We travel a lot and decided this was a "don't leave home until you've seen the country" sort of thing; It was one of the best trips we've done. I saw a book called Highway 35, with beautiful photos, at one of the places we stayed. I really wanted that book but it was out of print. It took me about six years to find it in a second-hand book store.

What do you listen to in your car?

Radio Sport. When I get tired of some of the ridiculous things I hear on talkback, I switch to The Sound.

What's a great day trip out of Auckland?

Taking the Camaro or the El Camino up to the Puhoi Pub for a drink and a burger.

Do you judge people by what they drive?

No - not at all. A car can be a very personal thing - everyone has different tastes.

What irritates you most about other drivers?

People who don't let you in when you're trying to merge on a motorway. Merge like a zip, people!

Would you rather drive in Auckland or take public transport?

I would definitely rather drive. If we had a tube or a metro system then I'd think about using it.

Who else is allowed to drive your car?

For my RAV4, it doesn't matter - as long as they're over 25 for insurance purposes. The other cars are a different story.

Do you drive much on your overseas assignments? How do you cope switching sides of the road?

I've driven a few times when I've been working overseas. Driving on the left isn't an issue once you get used to it. I lived in Canada for a couple of years and drove a lot there, so that helps.

Motorists and cyclists ... is there room for both of our roads?

Yes, but I think we need more cycle lanes to make it safer for the cyclists.

As told to Donna McIntyre

- NZ Herald

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