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Tags:   Cars,   Motoring,   Motor-racing,   Television

By Colin Fitz   -  June 29, 2014

The motoring editor of The Malta Independent and occasional TV actor tells SWAG about his car collection and why Starsky & Hutch's Gran Torino is his favourite TV star.

What was your very first car?

It was a Ford Escort Mk1 two-door model. Being my first car I was very attached to it but my mates, most in a better financial situation then me, started buying new cars at around the same time in the early '80s. They were all much better equipped than a my 1968 car so sadly, I sold it to buy something more modern. But I used to drive to the outskirts of Zejtun hoping to catch a glimpse of it parked outside its new owners' house.



What do you drive at the moment?

Mostly a Land Rover TD5 Defender, unless my wife’s car, a Volkswagen Up! is free and parked outside the house. I also own three classics: an Alfasud, a Skoda Rapid and a Mercedes W123 200. Over the years I've owned many cars as I've been a car enthusiast ever since I could crawl. I've had performance saloons, family estates, two-door coupes’... You name it. I also collect classic Chopper bicycles.



Have their been any car purchases you regretted?




What cars do you plan on owning in the future?

I don’t plan these things. It all depends on if an opportunity presents itself at a time when the money requested is available. But one day I would love to own a 1960’s American muscle car, the bigger the engine the better.



Do you have a favourite TV or film car?

Definitely Starsky & Hutch’s Ford Gran Torino. There were lots of better-looking American cars at the time but it probably has one of the longest bonnets coupled to a quad-light front end, which I love.



If you could own a road car currently available for sale, what would it be?


The Mercedes E-class coupe’.



If you could own any classic car, what would it be?

It would definitely be a Borgward Isabella TS cabriolet.



What’s the best car you’ve ever driven?


If you're asking about all round, sheer enjoyment, its probably my Mercedes. Then again that’s probably because it’s my latest acquisition!



What have been your best and worst moments when driving?

It would take my ages to think up answers for the first part of this question. And the worst? My answer would have to be that driving is always an experience that eventually only makes one better at it, bad experiences included.


How are you at car maintenance?

I'm quite confident, but some jobs require specialized tools and space so I leave them to the specialists.



Have you ever restored an old car?

Yes. It's both a wonderfully rewarding, yet stressful experience. At this point in time I say I will never do it again.



What is your first memory of watching motor racing?


I have a very short memory, but it was probably the JPS-sponsored Lotus teams in the black livery in the 1970s.



Have you ever raced a car yourself?

Only karts. (He's very good - Ed)



Who is your favourite racing driver?

Lewis Hamilton. I replace my older favourites with current ones as seasons go by and new drivers come in.



What is your favourite racing circuit?

Definitely the Spa-Francorchamps, simply because, in my opinion, no other F1 track can replicate its variety of fast sweeping bends and inclines. Coupled with the fact that it is located in dense forest with its unpredictable weather.



What advice would you give to someone who is looking to buy a car?

Take someone with experience on the model concerned with you to view it.



Do you have any favourite driving songs?

No. What’s better than the sounds the engine and tyres make?



Is there a famous road in the world that you dream of driving along one day?


I guess, like many people, it would have to be America's Route 66.



Who would be your dream passengers on a long journey – dead or alive?

Scarlet Johansson!



How would you like to see the motor industry develop – keeping environmental and other world problems in mind?

A love of cars and of the environment sadly cannot walk hand in hand. Who really ‘loves’ electric cars?



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