CAR’S CURVE­BALLS

6 ques­tions only we would ask

CAR (UK) - - Front Page -

Tell us about your irst car... ‘It was a rear-drive Toy­ota Corolla 1.2, 1972 I think. I was given the car a day or two after get­ting my li­cence, and two days later I had an ac­ci­dent, chang­ing the CD Dis­c­man while turn­ing. That was a les­son.’ Which achieve­ment makes you most proud? ‘My ca­reer. I come from Por­tu­gal, which doesn’t have a big car in­dus­try tra­di­tion. I be­gan at Fiat, then Alfa, sell­ing 1500 cars a year with a [small] €1.2m comms bud­get. Some­how I was re­spon­si­ble for mar­ket­ing, prod­uct, sales. To come from such a small be­gin­ning, that’s it.’ What’s the best thing you’ve ever done in a car? ‘A road trip with my two best friends, all over Por­tu­gal in an Opel Corsa. We hadn’t planned where to go, had no places to sleep, had to work to earn money for food and fuel. We came home after six weeks.’ Su­per­car or clas­sic car? ‘I love cars, I like su­per­cars, but for me it’s an Alfa Gi­uli­etta Spi­der from 1962. I was try­ing to buy one in Italy but it’s a lot of money, even for one with lots of work to be done!’ Tell us how you screwed up ‘I can’t say when but in con­ver­sa­tion I was in­vited to do an­other job… I didn’t quite re­alise I’d been o¨ered some­thing! I screwed up an op­por­tu­nity but some­times you close a door and an­other one opens.’ Com­pany curve­ball: which car won Kia’s irst mo­tor­sport race? ‘I have no clue! [It was a Kia Forte Koup in the 2010 Grand-Am Con­ti­nen­tal Tyre Chal­lenge]. The US might do some­thing rac­ing Stinger. But Hyundai’s in WRC and now TCR [tour­ing cars] oªi­cially, and to get di¨er­en­ti­a­tion, if they’re do­ing some­thing, we try not to do it!’

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