Voice of V8s a scooter man

Matthew White is no car fa­natic, writes MONIQUE BUT­TER­WORTH

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

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.

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