WhyPeter’s an Alfa male
A TV celebrity finds motoring Utopia, writes Monique Butterworth
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.