Voice of V8s a scooter man
Matthew White is no car fanatic, writes MONIQUE BUTTERWORTH
OLYMPIC duty has finished for Matthew White and the Channel 7 anchor will be back in the V8 Supercar pitlane this weekend. It’s a familiar place for White, who made his name on the sports team at Network 10 before switching networks to continue his commitment to the V8 racing series.
White drives a Mercedes-Benz, but confesses he has no driving passion. He uses cars to get from A to B. At 38 he has just discovered the delights of two-wheel transport with a Honda scooter. What was your first car? A Datsun 120Y. I don’t know the year, but it was a pukey orange colour with a black vinyl top. Plus some roof racks that looked like they came from K Mart. I spruiced it up by buying an equaliser, which made the tinny radio sound a little bit more ballsy. I was 17 and I had it for a couple of years. It did the job before I upgraded to a yellow Holden Camira. What do you drive now? I drive a black Mercedes-Benz C200K and I got my bike licence on my birthday in April because it was something I always wanted to do. The good folk at Honda have lent me a scooter— the SH150i. I love it, it’s awesome. I try to ride it into work (a 30km ride) a few times a week. It’s been good for getting me out of the house of a morning, go find a cafe and do a few hours work by the beach. The only downside is, if you work in television and you ride a scooter, you get helmet head. So when I get into the office, the girls in make-up have to do a bit of extra work on me. Do you have a favourite drive and who would you take? Anywhere by the beach for me is good. My favourite would be Highway 1 in California from San Francisco to LA, which I’ve done in a Lincoln Town Car, which is just a little bit smaller than a semi-trailer. I hope to do it again in December with my wife Amanda and my girls Taila, 6, and Mason, 3. With the Beach Boys as our soundtrack. How far would you drive in an average year? I would average 15,000-20,000km. Do you have a favourite motoring memory? With two young girls I’ve probably got more horror stories than memories. I see driving as getting you from point A to B. Before the kids were born, we did a trip up the NSW coast. We did the classic ‘‘pile in the car and head up with a couple of mates’’. We went surfing, pitched tents and sat around the campfire. What would you buy if money was no object? A bloody big boat, probably. I’m a huge fan of Mercedes-Benz, so anything in the AMG range is my dream. Their new one— the SL65— I don’t know how much it is. I don’t know why, but Mercs just do it for me. What music is playing in your car? Anything between The Wiggles and Jack Johnson, but more often than not I listen to sports radio. How much is too much for a car? Everything is relative, but any time you pause when you hear the price is probably too much. It could be five grand, or 50 or 500 grand. I’ve always found it weird people can buy a car for the same price as a unit. Property is a much better investment. What should be done to make driving safer? Cars are as safe as they ever have been, the roads are as good as they ever have been so only one thing is not coming along— people. It comes down to education and thought. When you jump on a scooter you realise how badly people drive. Are you sponsored by a car company? Honda has lent me the scooter and I’m hoping when they read this article they don’t want it back. I amnot sponsored by a car company, but as host/commentator of V8 Supercars it wouldn’t be right to be aligned with somebody. It’s good to be impartial.
Sports mad: Matthew White and his Honda scooter.