12:51pm Thursday 11th April 2013
What was your first car?
It was a Mark II Ford Escort, light blue and N reg. I can’t remember the cost as I bought it from my parents.
I put a new sound system in it and loved driving it around including transporting a group of mates down to Cornwall for a holiday.
I only changed it as I got a company car, which was a beige Vauxhall Astra estate – yuk!
My mate Alan and I then had a competition to see who could get a fuel injected car first and I won with an XR3i – another company car when selling cosmetics for Max Factor.
How many times did it take to pass your test?
I passed first time and was taught by Derek Marsden in Stevenage. I think it was in a Fiesta.
My dad taught me the basics and then I drove every day as a learner, to and from the station which was great for clutch control and concentration.
As a result I only needed a few lessons to get me ‘test’ ready and Derek did a super job as I passed without incident. I was a bit miffed when he refused to let me drive home from the test centre though!
Who would be your ideal fantasy passenger and where would you go?
Probably Sir Alex Ferguson as I would be in control for once.
We’d drive to the vineyards in France and he could use his knowledge of wines to educate me.
The conversation on the drive would revolve around the game we both love – football. What could be done to improve the game from a refereeing perspective and how managers could contribute to that. They are all very eager to criticise and blame referees whenever they lose and yet do not offer constructive advice or help and given Alex’s experience he must be able to help and not just with time-keeping.
What is your dream car and why?
An Audi R8. I currently drive an A5 and love the Audi experience – and the ultimate form of that must be the R8.
One of my sales consultants at work is driving one and it feels great. It remains a dream as I would never allow myself to spend that much money on a car.
How would you describe your driving style?
Quick but safe. I have a clean driving licence and given that I drive 20,000 to 22,000 miles-a-year that is something I am proud of. I also have not had an accident for almost 20 years when I wrote off my Vauxhall Calibra!
Tell me one driving anecdote from your past?
The first time I drove an automatic was when I was sent to collect a company car from a sales guy who was leaving the company. I had no instruction and had never even been a passenger in one. I got the car started and driving, but stopped very abruptly when slamming my left foot down on the brake as if dipping the clutch. Luckily I was wearing the seatbelt or I’d have gone through the windscreen. My mum did something similar when following my transport to Villa Park in my car - a Saab 95 - and slammed the brakes so hard that they jammed on. Not wanting to get lost she forced the car on despite the resistance and arrived at Villa Park with the brakes literally on fire!
What is playing on your in car iPod or CD player?
My iPhone syncs to the car audio system and I’m listening to Bruno Mars and Emeli Sande but usually have it on shuffle all songs. The mix is really eclectic with some classical, Shania Twain country and up to date pop, courtesy of my kids.
What do you drive now?
It is a black Audi A5, 3.0 litre Quattro which I love. It is the best car I have owned and unusually I have no plans to change it in the near future. The handling is exceptional and it looks fabulous - when it is clean - responds impressively when you need to accelerate, but is equally happy purring along at cruising speed. Most of my driving is on motorways and this car is very comfortable, even when I drove it to Italy for a skiing holiday.
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