There’s no denying that motoring is a male-dominated industry the world over. In countries like Saudi Arabia women were not permitted to hold a driver’s licence until 2018. Here in Australia, women make the majority of household purchasing decisions and yet many continue to find the process of buying a car intimidating. Most women have experienced a condescending mechanic or two.
Long-standing marketing narratives would have us believe that all Australian women want is a sensible mini van or small SUV with cup holders, a handbag compartment and room for the shopping. There’s no denying that lifestyle heavily influences our choice of transport, but the truth is there are just as many women who like the power of a V8 engine as there are ladies who prioritise energy efficiency and safety.
Cherished cars, motorbikes, bicycles, boats and aeroplanes are often an extension of the owners’ personality and unique style. They are part of their story. Transport brings convenience, independence and empowerment. Increasing numbers of women are buying four-wheel-drives to travel Australia solo. New training businesses are emerging across the country, preparing women for flat tyres and break downs. There are brokerage programs to help women navigate the process of buying luxury cars. More people are treating classic collectable cars as valuable investments.
Crush Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Larine Statham has owned an EH Holden station wagon since she was 15-years-old. Inspired by our ‘Go Your Own Way’ theme, she recently gathered together a group of like-minded Bundaberg women at the ‘Hoons End’ of Bourbong Street.
These ladies love their wheels and are defying the so-called ‘soccer mum’ stereotypes.
Helen Sharpe – 1996 Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster S
“I first got my bike license in 1964 and learned to ride on a Triumph Thunderbird. Before my kids came along I worked as a bike courier in Sydney. My riding friends call me Freya, because they joke my flowing blonde hair makes me look like a Nordic Viking. I love the sound and freedom. I can’t bear to think of the day I will no longer be able to ride, but I’m 74 so I reckon I’m still going okay.”
Andrea Baldry – 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650
“This is my first and only road bike. The 650cc is plenty for me. I turned 40 and had this crazy thought that I might like to challenge myself and learn to ride a motorbike, so I went and saw Wayne at Bundaberg Motorcycle Training. The first thing I rode was a little Honda 250 postie bike – my smile was like a cracked watermelon. I have three teenage daughters and my husband has his boat. This was just for me. No one can ask anything of me when I’m on my bike.”
Larine Statham – 1964 EH Holden Special Station Wagon
“Lucy is my pride and joy. I’ve restored her twice with my late father. My decision to keep her as original as possible was the right one in light of Holden ceasing manufacturing in Australia. I’m a nostalgic, old soul who loves Australian beach culture. She’s my Sunday drive car that helps me slow down and reminds me of my university days and festival jaunts. I confess, nowadays my daily runabout is a small SUV. I could never unleash sandy toes, a wet pug and messy kids on the EH.”
Tracy Olive – 2019 Ford V8 GT Mustang
“I own G&T Auto on Woondooma Street, so cars are a big part of my life. I love my car. It puts smiles on faces, turns heads and has balls. I have modified it with low profile 20’ ROH rims. We also put in lowering springs, so it drags its belly everywhere which is completely impractical but looks hot. When I’m not at the workshop or driving my car, you’ll find me scuba diving. Underwater photography is my other great passion.”
Heidi Walk – 1970 Datsun 1200 Coupe
“Dad and I used to go to Willowbank Raceway. When I saw the Datsun, I fell in love. It was my second car and I drove it as my daily for years. There was rust and dings in it. It was off the road for six years and went through the 2011 floods. Dad helped me strip it and we rebuilt it. I couldn’t have done it without him. It was originally blue, but I found this ‘Hot House Green’ paint that was something a bit different. Originally, I wanted to drag it, but it ended up becoming more of a show car. One day I might put a Rotary engine in it.”
Megan Eaglesham – 1995 XJ6 Jaguar
“My husband Mark and I own three Jaguars: a 1988 XJS two door coupe and a 1974 XJ6 Daimler. We’ve owned the 1995 XJ6 for ten years. It has done 318,000 km and I drive it everywhere with the kids’ car seats in the back. With its leather seats and timber steering wheel, it’s super comfortable. It has that classic old Jag style that I love, but is new enough to have the ‘mod cons’ and performance that you need in a family car.”
Kallee Buchanan – 2010 Kymco 50cc Scooter
“I bought my scooter online for $700. I wanted to downgrade from my car to ride to work. I was looking for something that was cheaper to run but didn’t require a new licence. The weather in Bundaberg means I can ride it most days. It’s a lot of fun and so liberating. It only goes 50km/hr so I try to stick to town roads. I’m aiming to get my motorcycle licence later this year so I can go faster and cruise to Bargara to grab a coffee.”