WhyPeter’s an Alfa male

A TV celebrity finds mo­tor­ing Utopia, writes Monique But­ter­worth

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

AF­TER an un­suc­cess­ful re­la­tion­ship with a Swede, Ready Steady Cook host Peter Everett is con­fi­dent an Ital­ian is the way to go for him.

His first mo­tor­ing re­la­tion­ship — with an orange Volvo — was so dis­turb­ing it put him off cars for 15 years.

Af­ter many flings with rental cars, the Net­work Ten star has now de­cided to set­tle down with a pas­sion­ate Ital­ian, an Alfa Romeo 159.

‘‘It’s fan­tas­tic. All my cousins own Al­fas and a few peo­ple at Ten own them too. I’ve al­ways loved them,’’ Everett says.

‘‘It seems I’ve been driv­ing around for the past 15 years in a Bayswa­ter Rental car. I’ve been away a lot and I live in the in­ner city so it seemed more ap­pro­pri­ate to rent a car when I re­ally needed one. So this is a big splurge.

‘‘I’m not a rev­head. I drive like a nana. In the Corolla rental I was al­ways a nana, but since driv­ing the Alfa I’ve be­come a lit­tle raunchier. I guess I’m a raunchy nana now.

‘‘The Alfa is def­i­nitely a head­turner. It’s amaz­ing how your at­ti­tude changes when you’re in some­thing nice. I’m re­ally en­joy­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence — it’s such a smooth drive. It’s just beau­ti­ful.

‘‘I drove a bunch of friends around in it last night and they were ooh-ing and aah-ing about it. They all loved the leather in­te­rior and that new-car smell.’’ And it’s more than just a car. ‘‘I do a lit­tle rit­ual ev­ery time I get in the car. I wipe it and pray that no one comes any­where near me. I put the in­ten­tion out there for peo­ple to keep away. I don’t want any­one com­ing too close to my new car.’’

De­spite his 15-year ab­sence from own­er­ship, Everett was be­hind the wheel at an early age.

‘‘I’m orig­i­nally from the coun­try so we were all driv­ing at eight years old around the farm,’’ he says.

‘‘I was liv­ing with my grand­par­ents in Bris­bane when I went for my li­cence. My un­cle took me along to get my li­cence and I had to do it twice — I was shock­ing. I think it was just nerves.

‘‘My un­cle knew the fella tak­ing my driv­ing test and I’m sure he had to buy him a case of beer just to make sure I got my li­cence. I was 18.’’ And then came the Swede. ‘‘My first car was a sec­ond-hand orange Volvo with tan seats. It was big-time. It was the worst car in the world. It just kept break­ing down,’’ Everett re­calls.

‘‘I spent more money fix­ing the thing than what I paid for it. It was a run­ning joke in my fam­ily when I would call them at 11pm or mid­night or one in the morn­ing from wher­ever I was in Aus­tralia and they’d ask ‘Where has the car bro­ken down now?’ I was con­stantly break­ing down in the worst spots, at traf­fic lights com­ing into Syd­ney or on the Har­bour Bridge, which I got fined for.

‘‘I had the Volvo for far too long. I re­fused to give up eas­ily. I thought I could fix it.

‘‘Some­times you just need to let go. Just like a re­la­tion­ship, when you stop laugh­ing, it’s time to move on. Well, I wasn’t laugh­ing by the end of that re­la­tion­ship.

‘‘I traded the Volvo in for a Honda Pre­lude. I thought I was very smart in that car. But it was stolen not long af­ter I moved to Syd­ney and I didn’t have a car for many years.’’

But rental cars didn’t stop him on the road.

‘‘I love a road trip. Be­fore I bought my car, I would up­grade the Bayswa­ter rental to a Hertz, and I would drive from Bris­bane to Syd­ney at Christ­mas, pop­ping in at all the great coastal towns on the way.

‘‘I’ve got a break com­ing up and I’d re­ally like to drive across the Nullar­bor, but I’m ner­vous tak­ing an Alfa across the Nullar­bor. Friends of mine, dur­ing school­days, drove across the Nullar­bor and cooked ba­con, eggs and chick­ens in alu­minium foil on the en­gine block.’’

And what else does he want on the road?

‘‘I am old-school. I don’t own an iPod. I’m not com­puter-savvy at all.

‘‘I still take my CD col­lec­tion on the road with me. I love a va­ri­ety of mu­sic, from opera to the Kings of Leon and ev­ery­thing in be­tween.’’

In for the long haul: Peter Everett, who says he drives like a nana in his Alfa, wants to tackle the Nullar­bor.

Start­ing some­thing big: the Audi A8 has new fuel-sav­ing technology.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.