Me and My Motors – Alastair Waite

Continuing our feature on cars that get Teessiders’ pulses racing, business owner Alastair Waite talks us through his motoring love life…

Alastair Waite

From: Osmotherley

Job: Owner of Altec Engineering and business investor.

My current cars: I’m fortunate enough to have two cars I really enjoy. One is an Audi S8, which I class as my mobile office. It was owned by Audi HQ in Milton Keynes and was used to pick up Audi directors from the airport. My other car is a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, which is my toy.

Best feature: The Audi’s best feature is the fact it looks very normal and sedate from the outside but is actually a potent piece of kit. It came with £35,000-worth of extras that I didn’t pay a penny for! Most important to me is the £4,000 Bang & Olufsen sound system, but other features include rear seat entertainment with window blinds, voice command for navigation, media and communications, reclining rear seats and relaxation massage seats all round. For the Porsche, it’s got to be the four-wheel drive with ceramic brakes, allowing me to explore its potential – within the limits, obviously!

Best drive-time music: Either early stuff by Led Zeppelin – you could lose your licence listening to Rock and Roll and not paying attention, or anything by Nothing but Thieves, who are my new favourite band.

Best place to drive it: The North York Moors, which I do often. Once a year a group of us take our cars to Scotland along a route that takes in Glencoe, Skye, Applecross, Inverness, Lecht and Glenshee.

My favourite car when I was young: It has to be my first car, which was a Renault 4 GTL bought with my own money. That first car feeling of freedom is something I will cherish forever. It was the one of the ugliest cars in the world and one of the slowest, and the brakes weren’t great either – but with a maximum speed of about 70mph I didn’t need them.

My parents’ cars: Volvo, Morris, Saab and a Vauxhall but my dad hand-built a replica 1935 Bugatti and then swapped it for an old but mint condition Mercedes 500 SEL.

My worst car: Vauxhall Viva in Canary Yellow.

My last car: Porsche 911 Turbo.

My dream car: McLaren 570S or an Eagle E-Type Jaguar in British racing green. Eagle restore and build E-Types, spending about 4,000 hours on each, with a new engine and switchgear that actually works well.

My worst crash: Thankfully they’ve all been minor but I did write off an Audi A8 when a van decided to alter the shape of the front.

The maddest place I’ve driven a car: Majorca – the road down to Sa Colobra with hairpins, altitude, mad tourists and madder locals made for a very interesting journey.

The car journey I’ll always remember: Driving the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to San Diego was pretty special and everything I thought it would be.