Me and my car: Victoria Carter

By Donna McIntyre

Victoria Carter wears several hats -- head of Auckland Arts Festival, sitting on several boards and co-founding cityhop

Victoria Carter with her 2012 Mercedes CLS 350 CDI. Photo / Ted Baghurst.
Victoria Carter with her 2012 Mercedes CLS 350 CDI. Photo / Ted Baghurst.

What do you drive?

A 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 CDI. It's a gorgeous Caramello colour; that's probably not what the dealer would call it, but it's what appealed to me. I got it in December and before that I had an Audi Cabriolet for nearly 10 years. I have gone from a two-door car to a family sedan now that my children have grown up which makes no sense but I chose it because I wanted more of a sedan car and it's smooth and comfortable.

What was your first car?

A Fiat 127. I would have been about 19 and living in the city and needed a car for work. It seemed like an enormous amount of money when I bought it.

Your dream car ...

My dream is to have a chauffeur-driven car because I love being driven. Even if I won Lotto tonight I wouldn't change my car. It's not that I don't like driving but it would take the stress out of it.

Favourite car colour?

A champagne colour. I don't like black or silver cars; I just like interesting tones.

Who taught you to drive?

My stepfather, Pat Booth. He was fantastic. I was 15 and we lived in the country at Ararimu, near Hunua. I learned to drive on country roads, on a mixture of metal and seal. I remember once on a metal road going very close to the edge of the road and that is the only time he raised his voice when he taught me to drive. From the age of 15 I used to drive my brother and me to school from Ararimu. It was 50km each way every day. It was enormously good practice in a Morris Minor which my mother bought because she knew it would not go very fast.

Did you teach your children to drive?

I have two boys and I did teach them to drive and I also taught my two stepdaughters. My sons would describe me as a shrieker whereas my stepdaughters found me more unflappable.

Manual or automatic?

I don't really care.

Most memorable road trip?

Our last family holiday bwhen we drove down the West Coast. We drove from Christchurch through Arthur's Pass to Hokitika and Franz Josef Glacier to Dunedin. That was a fantastic family road trip in a Jucy rental Toyota Previa. When we were going through Arthur's Pass there was torrential rain and by the time we got to Queenstown it was glorious sunshine. I wrote a blog on it for Jucy because I thought it is such a fantastic road trip for tourists -- it gives such contrasts of scenery.

How often do you clean your car?

Reasonably frequently because I'm still in love with this car. I have been known to clean my son's car as well; I think I have cleaned it more often than he has.

What's a great day trip out of Auckland?

Driving up to Leigh where my parents live. It is far enough, an hour away, so you really feel like you have left Auckland.

Do you judge people by what they drive?

No, I don't, but when I drive a small cityhop car-share car, I do notice how differently other drivers treat you in a little car -- people aren't so friendly. I don't get it, why people treat you differently when you are in asmaller car or a car that is not so expensive.
What irritates you most about other drivers?

Them forgetting we are all sharing the same space.

Would you rather drive in Auckland or take public transport?

If I needed to use a car in the city, I'd use a cityhop car for $15 an hour to do a short trip.

Who else is allowed to drive your car?

Anyone but my family is a bit intimidated by my new car at the moment, so only me.

As told to Donna McIntyre

- NZ Herald

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