A PORSCHE salesman in Sydney cringes every time he sees Barry Du Bois on Channel 10’s The Living Room. Du Bois decided to treat himself to a new set of wheels after signing on as the building and design expert for the lifestyle show — and a Porsche Cayman caught his eye.
“I went in (to the dealership) fully intending to buy a Porsche Cayman and I asked the guy for a test drive,” Du Bois says.
“I looked like a tradie and the salesman looked at me and said, ‘No, you can’t have a drive’ and I walked out and thought, ‘You’ve probably just saved me $140,000.’
“I can afford just about any car that’s out there — I’m fortunate that money isn’t really the issue for me. I like the classic looks, so a (Ford) Mustang, around 1973 or ’74. If you gave me a new Ferrari I wouldn’t get in it.
“I’m not obsessed with cars as a status symbol but I do enjoy them. Right now the car that suits my family is the car that suits me.”
That vehicle is a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. Du Bois uses it to transport his twins as well as ferry surfboards and paddle boards.
“The kids just bounce in and out of it or I can have four mates in the car and four boards on the top of it and that’s pretty much the perfect vehicle for me,” he says.
“I started off in the Outlander PHEV and I really enjoyed the whole petrol-electric battery concept but the car had to grow as the kids did.”
Du Bois still rates a Holden HJ Sandman as the favourite among the cars he’s owned.
“It was more about the fact I was a cabinet-maker in those days and it could carry all my gear but it was lined out with velvet, mirrors on the ceiling and a mattress,” he says.
“It was a big step up from my first car, a mustard yellow 1973 Galant. I got it cheap because it was hail-damaged and I changed the clutch in it three times. The worst smell on earth is the smell of a clutch that is burning out.”
Du Bois also has a project car on the go but that one’s for his son, Bennett.
“It’s a 1975 Ford F100 with a 302 V8 and I’m having it rebuilt at the moment. It’s a three or four-year project but that is the car my son will drive.”
Daughter Arabella is also in line for a restored classic — once Baz finds a suitable example.
“I want a 1972 or ’73 Merc convertible. That was the other car I wanted to have but could never afford.
“There’s something about the classic shape of cars from that era I’ve always appreciated and I want my kids to enjoy it too.”
Life Force, the book by Du Bois and The Living Room co-host and best mate Miguel Maestre, is on sale now. The book chronicles the good times and the bad. Du Bois is being treated for his second bout of cancer.