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Jonny Smith, 30, is a motoring journalist and television presenter. He continues to co-host Fifth Gear on Channel Five and writes for publications including The Sunday Times and Car Magazine.
WHAT DO YOU DRIVE?
Well I have so many cars there isn't a particular one that I drive. I've owned over 50 cars and keep a list of them on my computer.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR?
The first one that I drove was a 1976 Hillman Avenger - green. My parents bought it new and they got rid of it in about 1998. My brother and I learnt to drive in it. The first time dad let us drive it I was about 10-years-old. He used to take us to an abandoned airfield where he would teach us clutch control - the poor Avenger went through hell and back.
WHAT WAS YOUR BEST/WORST CAR?
My first car which I do still own was a Zenith Blau 1967 VW Beetle 1500 deluxe. I love that car. I love it to the point where I've never been able to get rid of it and will probably end up being buried in it. It's been off the road for the last four years but I'm hoping to get it back on the road by 2010. That's the car that I passed my test in, went to college in and enjoyed my first years of driving in. Nostalgia has got the better of me.
In terms of my worst car - I've owned some pretty bad ones. I made a mistake once - I bought an Mk1 1978 Golf Diesel. Admittedly, I bought it for £60 from a very rough part of Manchester. It nearly blew up as I was driving it away but I managed to get it going. I drove it home at about 30mph and advertised it for sale as soon as I got back.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM CAR?
Luckily most cars that I dream about I've either owned or they are within financial reach or nearly. I'm not one of these people that kind of yearn for like a McLaren F1 for example. I've always liked stuff that's attainable.
I think the car in my dream garage would be a Porsche, either a very early 911 or a 356. I've never owned a Porsche and I'm a big fan of the simplicity and purity of the shape. It's a cliché for a car journalist to want a Porsche but you know the fact is if you've ever driven one it's simply about driving the car - not about fancy gadgets. A lot of people are shocked at how basic 911s are but that's the beauty of it.
If I every get a chance and am wealthy enough I'd probably build a couple of my dream cars - a couple of strange hybrids. I've got an AMC pacer at the moment- the Wayne's World car - and I want to convert one of those to battery power so you have a really state-of-the-art hybrid but it just looks like a rubbish old car. But that requires eccentricity and wealth and I've only got one of the two.
DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE A GOOD DRIVER?
I'm fairly careful and observant so I make a point of not driving too quickly. I've got some points on my licence which just breaks my heart. The other thing is I'm fortunate enough to drive on tracks fairly frequently so you tend to save up your bravery pills for just larking around on a track because if you get it wrong you aren't going to hit an ice-cream van or a child.
It's so hard to drive fast and safe on the roads now and we all speed now and again. I just think it's harder and harder to do it. There's a difference between being a good driver and a fast driver - anyone can drive fast but its driving safely that is the hard bit. If you've ever been in a car with someone who is an exceptionally talented driver they can drive exceptionally fast but you don't ever feel that you are in danger.
WHAT DO YOU ALWAYS KEEP IN YOUR GLOVEBOX?
I cleared my glovebox out recently because I moved cars. One thing I have had for the last five years which is a bit naughty is a toy camera which you hold up to the light and you look through the lens and click it and its actually got pictures of naked ladies from the 1950s.
Because they are sort of vintage it doesn't seem quite so rude. The women are probably in their eighties or not even alive now which is a bit weird. I got it from a joke shop and if I ever get stuck in traffic I know it's there to pass a bit of time. I always have a few basic tools as well, like a little screwdriver set that you get in crackers at Christmas time. They have helped me in times of despair so I always carry them. I often have a charger for my phone and sometimes a satellite navigation device.
But actually, to be honest, I always carry a map. I'm quite old school like that - even if I'm in a brand new car with a really good sat-nav the map always comes with me because I don't believe all sat-navs. Maps don't lie at the end of it. I also have a pair of Hillbilly teeth to be a bit strange in traffic and to brighten up someone's day. I put them in and smile at someone next to me. It works really well on the M25.
WHAT DRIVES YOU MAD BEHIND THE WHEEL?
The middle lane of the motorway scenario is just an absolute nightmare. I've honestly taken to undertaking people now and making full eye contact - then violently swerving in front of them.
I give them 10 miles grace - if within 10 miles they haven't worked out what they are doing wrong or haven't even looked in the rear-view mirror - which is usually the case - I pounce.
If I ever get caught by the police I will just say: 'Look they don't know what they are doing wrong and you aren't going to do anything about it so why don't us other, better motorists become polite vigilantes?'
I also don't like seeing people smoke behind the wheel. I've got a bee in my bonnet about the fact that you can legally smoke which is like fire and drugs - all-be-it a legal drug - yet I can't swig a bottle of Evian behind the wheel because that's illegal. How exactly does that work? It's ridiculous.
Or people driving with their seats so far back. You know like rude boys. They crank the seat down so far away from the steering wheel that even someone like me who is quite tall and has got quite long arms can't reach it. How are you supposed to drive the damn thing?
WHAT'S THE BEST MUSIC TO DRIVE TO?
I'm not someone who listens to the same music all the time because I get bored and I drive a lot of miles. I like Kraftwerk, Queens of the Stone Age, Depeche Mode, Lostprophets and The Beach Boys. I like old, I like new and I like quiet music if I want to relax. I like metal and early 90's dance music that I grew up with. The later two genres are perfect if you're driving on your own at night and you need to stay awake.
HAVE YOU EVER HAD A CRASH?
Yes, sadly I've had several, but thankfully most of them haven't been my fault. My most recent one was May this year. I got hit from behind on the A1 near the Hatfield tunnel by a white van man who was tailgating me. When the traffic slowed down he didn't and he went into the back of the Clio Sport I was driving. The poor old Clio Sport took quite a big hit and so did my neck. I've had whiplash for about the last five years - I think I've got quite bad neck problems now.
I have unfortunately crashed a Dodge Viper before - that's probably my most memorable one. I wasn't even showboating around it was a really cold, frosty morning in November and it spun on me and I ended up in a forest.
That was an £80,000 car - I believe I did about £40,000 of damage to it. So it was quite a bad moment in my driving career really - a very low-point.
I've jumped a car before but that was intentional - I did it for a stunt. That hurt my neck also and started the major problems.
WHO WOULD BE YOUR PERFECT PASSENGER?
You've got to have a laugh, especially if you are on a long journey - a bit of humor - probably fairly base level humor. Obviously apart from my wife - who is my perfect passenger - I'd like to go on a road-trip with someone like Justin Lee Collins. I think he'd be a good laugh.
WHAT'S THE CRAZIEST THING YOU'VE EVER DONE IN A CAR?
The jump that I did in a Ford Sierra - that was quite a big stunt. I think I jumped it 72ft distance wise and about 25ft in the air. It went a bit wrong really because we weren't supposed to jump it that high. But I hit the ramp in third gear when I was really supposed to hit it in second gear. So that was sort of painful but nevertheless a memorable experience.
I built a double-decker smart car which I accidently trashed. And I did the Elk test with it - it passed the first time. The second time it sort of ended up on its side in some trees.
WHO CLEANS YOU CR AND HOW OFTEN?
Definitely me. I'm very protective about that sort of thing. I take great pride and enjoyment in cleaning my own vehicles. I probably wash my cars every four weeks. In the winter I'll get underneath them a bit more because you know the salt is the work of Satan. I don't relax very easily and one of the things I do find relaxing is actually valeting cars. So I take pride in a really quality polish which is a day long job - my wife thinks I'm nuts when I'm out there in the rain.
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