BARRY DU BOIS DRIVING ROOM
APorsche salesman in Sydney cringes every time he sees Barry Du Bois on Channel 10’s The Living Room. Du Bois decided to treat himself to a new set of wheels after signing on as the building and design expert for the lifestyle show — and a Porsche Cayman caught his eye.
“I went in (to the dealership) fully intending to buy a Porsche Cayman and I asked the guy for a test drive,” Du Bois says.
“I looked like a tradie and the salesman looked at me and said, ‘No, you can’t have a drive’ and I walked out and thought, ‘You’ve probably just saved me $140,000.’
“I can afford just about any car that’s out there — I’m fortunate that money isn’t really the issue for me. I like the classic looks, so a (Ford) Mustang, around 1973 or ’74. If you gave me a new Ferrari I wouldn’t get in it.
“I’m not obsessed with cars as a status symbol but I do enjoy them. Right now the car that suits my family is the car that suits me.”
That vehicle is a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. Du Bois uses it to transport his twins as well as ferry surfboards and paddle boards.
“The kids just bounce in and out of it or I can have four mates in the car and four boards on the top of it,” he says.
“I started off in the Outlander PHEV and I really enjoyed the whole petrol-electric battery concept but the car had to grow as the kids did.”
Du Bois still rates a Holden HJ Sandman as the favourite among the cars he’s owned.
“It was more about the fact I was a cabinetmaker in those days and it could carry all my gear but it was lined out with velvet, mirrors on the ceiling and a mattress,” he says.
“It was a big step up from my first car, a mustard yellow 1973 Galant. I got it cheap because it was hail-damaged and I changed the clutch in it three times. The worst smell on earth is the smell of a clutch that is burning out.”
Du Bois has a project car on the go but that one’s for his son, Bennett. “It’s a 1975 Ford F100 with a 302 V8 and I’m having it rebuilt at the moment. It’s a three or four-year project but that is the car my son will drive.”
Daughter Arabella is also in line for a restored classic — once Baz finds a suitable example. “I want a 1972 or ’73 Merc convertible. That was the other car I wanted to have but could never afford.
“There’s something about the classic shape of cars from that era I’ve always appreciated and I want my kids to enjoy it too.”
Life Force, the book by Du Bois and The Living Room co-host and best mate Miguel Maestre, is on sale now. The book chronicles the good times and the bad. Du Bois is being treated for his second bout of cancer.