My First Car – David Bullard

Author, journalist and public speaker David Bullard is a legend in his own lunchtime. A lover of the finer things in life, he has a passion for cars, good food and wine.

JF: What was your first car?

DB: The first car that I can honestly say was exclusively mine to drive was a silver VW Gold GTi series 1. It was my first company car when I came to work in South Africa in 1981.

JF: Why so late in life?

DB: I lived and worked in central London prior to emigrating and, as many people know, parking is virtually non-existent in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea where I resided. So, when I wanted a car for the weekend I would hire one, or borrow a red Alfa Romeo Alfasud from the company car pool.

JF: You are known for your love of the good things in life. Are cars at the top of the list?

DB: Maybe not the very top of the list, but certainly pretty high up. I’ve been fortunate in that I have owned some really great cars over the past 35 years – from a Morris Minor Convertible in British Racing Green to an immaculate Daimler 4.2.

JF: You have tested and written about a lot of cars. Do you have a favourite?

DB: I’ve driven Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Maseratis and Rolls Royces over the years, as well as the ever-expanding stable of Mercs, BMW’s and Audis – but the one car brand I have a real passion for is Porsche. And I am happy to say that, after years of scrimping and saving, I finally managed to own one.

JF: Have you ever made love in a car?

DB: I’m not sure “making love” would adequately describe the adolescent fumblings that went on in the back of my father’s Ford Zodiac. Cars are not terribly comfortable places in which to exchange body fluids, in my experience.

JF: What road regulation/s annoys you most?

DB: Speed limits irritate me no end, particularly when they drop from 120km/h to 80km/h for no obvious reason. Most cars can easily reach 200km/h, so it seems pointless to have a top speed limit of 120km/h on motorways. The Arrive Alive killjoys tell us that speed kills, but I’ve driven at 300km/h on an autobahn and I’m still alive. What kills is hitting things at speed. If you can avoid that, then you’re fine.

JF: What driving habit in other motorists annoys you the most?

DB: Overtaking on the left (undertaking I suppose you could call it), tailgating – and I would confiscate the car and imprison anybody caught using a cell phone while driving.

JF: If you could trade your car for a helicopter, would you?

DB: Definitely not. Have you ever tried to find parking for a helicopter in the Cape Town CBD?

JF: Congestion on our roads is a growing problem. Do you have any answers to this?

DB: I have a brilliantly simple solution to this. Live somewhere where there is less congestion and don’t travel during peak hours. I haven’t had any traffic frustration since I moved from to the Cape from Johannesburg.

JF: Since the automobile was first invented, what has been the most useful feature to be added?

DB: Cupholders…..obviously.


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