DriveLife Garage talk is just that, some chit chat with car people about their love of cars. Asking them some questions about who they are, what they drive and more.
In this Garage Talk, we get to know Alex Bowen. (photos supplied by Alex)
Q – Who is “Alex Bowen”?
I’m a 29-year-old Brit living as a permanent resident in New Zealand. I am the proud founder of Australasia’s largest consumer comparison site. I also run a digital advertising business which has a large influence on the events and entertainment sector both in New Zealand and Australia.
Q – When did your love of cars start?
When it comes to supercars I have always had a passion for loud and exciting vehicles. My earliest memory has to be at aged 5 posing for a picture next to a Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster.
Q – What cars have you owned, and what do you own now?
I currently own a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and a BMW X1 for the other half. Prior to this, I’ve owned an Aston Martin Virage, Mclaren 540c, Audi R8 R-Tronic, BMW 335i and Jaguar F Type R V8.
Q – What do you drive daily?
Living so close to the city I often take whatever supercar in. For longer journeys, I take the girlfriend’s “sensible” car.
Q – Which car in your garage is your go-to or favourite car?
Without a doubt the Ferrari! Although the BMW is quite a bit easier to park…
Q – Why did you buy that car and how long have you owned it?
I’ve owned the Ferrari since early May. The reason I bought the vehicle was due to the engine really. With it being one of the last naturally aspirated V12’s Ferrari will make, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to own a bit of history. The overall styling and colour of the vehicle is magnificent. My F12 also features carbon racing seats, passenger speed/rev display, wheel rev limit, nose lift, built-in radar and lots of other gadgets.
Q – What’s special or interesting about that car?
It has to be the engine and the sound, I’ve never heard anything like it! It really does resemble those high notes from Formula 1.
Q – What do you dislike or wish you could change about that car?
It has to be those dreaded sticky Ferrari buttons!! For some reason, for the last 20+ years, Ferrari has been coating the buttons with a finish which seems to break down after 2-3 years of use. It gives you this sticky gooey feeling when moving the dials or changing the climate control.
Q – Where do you most enjoy driving it?
On the road! More specifically it has to be the road from Masterton to Riversdale Beach.
Q – Are you a member of any club, and for how long?
I am indeed! I am the founder of the Wellington Sports and Supercar Owners Club. I created this group in late September, we now have over 100 members with a wide variety of sports and supercars. I organise group drives all over New Zealand, to and from track days and more recently working with charity organisations to raise money for worthy causes using the cars at events.
Q – Is there any car that you regret selling?
As far as I regret selling, not overly. I was very reluctant to sell my Mclaren 540c however it’s gone to a great home up north. Probably my BMW 335i convertible, this was such a great stepping stone into the world of performance cars. I have lots of cringe-worthy memories of cruising around town with the roof down, all the lads in the car, first gear, popping and banging.. tragic.
Q – Is there any car that you wish you never bought?
I had to give this thought, but if I were honest it would have to be the Audi RS7. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the car, however, when I purchased it I think I was tricking myself into thinking I would benefit from the large boot space and 4 doors. It only took a few months for me to realise I didn’t need this extra space and traded it in for a 2-door Aston Martin. This car is fantastic for somebody with a couple of kids and a dog, but at the time this wasn’t me so off it went!
Q – What cars are on your wish list for future ownership?
I love the idea of owning a first-generation Lamborghini Aventador at some point. As time goes on I can see this less attainable in New Zealand as they are becoming collectors’ items. I’m looking forward to what the future holds in terms of electric vehicles so maybe an Audi E-Tron GT, those things fly!
Q – What’s your dream car, money no object?
It would have to be the Aston Martin Vulcan. I’m a huge fan of the V12 Aston engine.