What’s in Your Garage Podcast Episode #3 Bob Aldons Speaks to Russell White
Bob Aldons: G’day, this is Bob Aldons and welcome to episode three of “What’s in Your Garage?” A podcast for anyone who has petrol in their veins and enjoys a good car story. This episode is also brought to you by Car Business, the go-to place to get the best price on any new car that you want to buy, and from Gear Shifters who are about to release a brand new steel bull-bar which will take the Australian market by storm. And today in the studio is my good mate Russell White. And, Russell, welcome to “What’s in Your Garage?”
Russell White: Thanks, Bob. It’s nice to be here. It’s a bit like the old radio days reunited again.
Bob Aldons: It is, mate, it is. We’ve got you down here to talk about a number of things, but the first thing that I’m going to talk to you about, mate, is a few questions just to break the ice and get you relaxed, even though you don’t need to be. These questions run about like this: mate, what’s the best job that you’ve ever had?
Russell White: Best job I’ve ever had would probably have to be the same as what I do now, to be honest.
Bob Aldons: Is that right? Okay.
Russell White: That’s with both Driver Safety and the Australian Road Safety Foundation. I’ve had some pretty ordinary jobs.
Bob Aldons: Well, mate, that’s a great segway to talk about actually what it is that you do.
Russell White: Yeah, well, I guess I wear two hats. I run a commercial organisation, Driver Safety Australia, so we do driver training programmes for mostly corporate organisations. Right around the country, essentially, and that’s everything from online through to in-car and drive events and that sort of thing. We do some pretty special launch programmes as well for various people. That’s one aspect and then the other aspect is obviously what we do with the Australian Road Safety Foundation, and that includes events like Fatality Free Friday which has become Australia’s largest community-based road safety campaign. I mean, last year we had 15 million consumer impressions for that event, which was just incredible.
Bob Aldons: Mate, that’s huge. Fifteen million impressions?
Russell White: It is huge. And that’s happened two or three years in a row now. And then we obviously do the Australian Road Safety Foundation and events for people like Bob Jane with Tread Safety Week, which is what we’re doing this week.
Bob Aldons: And Russell, Car Business has just become involved with the Australian Road Safety Foundation. In fact, I’ve just presented you with a cheque for $776. It’s not seven million but it’s a start.
Russell White: Look, I’ll tell you what, from a road safety standpoint, Bob, I mean we really appreciate that support because everything we do wouldn’t be possible without the support that we get. So we greatly appreciate the support that we get from you, and certainly great to have you on board as a foundation supporter.
Bob Aldons: Oh, mate, it’s a pleasure to be involved. For the people listening to the podcast, what we do is every time that someone links with us or connects with us on LinkedIn, we put aside a little bit of money. And every car that we sell and deliver, we put aside another bit of money. And at the end of a quarter, we give Russell a cheque and we’ll look forward to improving that and getting it bigger and bigger as the months and years roll on.
Russell White: It’s great, Bob. I think as Car Business grows and it gets things developed further, we look forward to continuing that association, mate, for sure.
Bob Aldons: Well, those people who listen to this podcast in the future, Russell, they can donate. So how do they get in touch with the Australian Road Safety Foundation?
Russell White: The easiest thing is just to look at our Australian Road Safety Foundation website, and certainly if you Google Fatality Free Friday you’ll find us very, very quickly.
Bob Aldons: Let’s talk about Fatality Free Friday for just a moment. How long has it been going?
Russell White: We’ve just had our 10th anniversary this year. It started off really as an idea, a media release, and the first year we did it was just purely we put on a display of 1500 pairs of shoes in front of Suncorp Stadium and we called a few of our journo friends. And really, ever since then, everyone’s just gone … this just really resonates with the community. Because I’ve always believed that when we see real change come through, it’s because the community feel like they have empowerment.
Bob Aldons: Yep, they buy into it.
Russell White: ‘Cause up till that stage, I really think people thought it’s a police problem or it’s a government problem when actually it’s everyone. No matter how you’re using the road, it’s up to each of us individually.
Bob Aldons: How did it start? What gave you the thought to do that?
Russell White: Well, I’d looked at road safety for a long time and, you know, I’d looked at other things like Clean Up Australia Day and Red Nose Day. And I thought, “You know, we just don’t do anything for road safety like that.” Literally, at the time I was writing my book and one of the guys that was helping me, we were doing the edit on it, and we were just having a break. I said to him, “Duncan, I really want to do this day of action.” And we said, “What could you do?” Anyway, literally the words Fatality Free Friday came out of my mouth. And because we knew Fridays were statistically one of the worst days for road crashes in Australia.
I think the main catalyst was I went to a road safety conference in 2006 and there was a chap there from the World Bank. And he said road safety is screaming out for two things. One was leadership and the other one was how do we increase the transfer of information? How do we empower people? They were the two things that just, they put a rock in my shoe from that day. And I can still remember those words as clear as a bell because I think the other thing that got me that day was I found out for the first time that 1.3 million people will lose their lives around the world on our roads. I thought 1.3 million. As much as much as I loved doing what I was doing with training a handful of people every week in a car, I really thought I’ve gotta do more. Hence, Fatality Free Friday was born.
Bob Aldons: Russell, from an Australian point of view over those 10 years, which states had the greatest improvement?
Russell White: I think nationally … I mean, every state’s had highs and lows. And states that seemingly have got it sorted or are improving, you know, Victoria’s been very much at the forefront. They’ve started to see now a slight reversal in those figures. And even nationally. I mean, in 1970 our road toll was heading towards 4000 people a year. It’s now come back through better car design, better road design, better enforcement, all those things. It’s come back to a point now where it’s around about 1200. Which is still not acceptable but it’s a lot less than the 4000 we were heading for.
Bob Aldons: Sure.
Russell White: I think what’s happened now, there’s a real concern in the road safety community that that figure has plateaued. So for us now to get this next generation of change, it’s got to come from something really big. We’re in the middle of our decade of action now from the UN in terms of road safety, and it’s pretty clear we’re well behind what we need to be in terms of getting the reductions that we’re looking for. So it does need a bit of innovation.
Bob Aldons: As a road safety advocate, and obviously your business is associated with better drivers and less outcomes that are not what we want to talk about, but what’s the one or two single tips that you’d give to a driver to reduce the incidence of death or serious disablement in a car accident?
Russell White: I think the fundamentals are look as far ahead down the road as you possibly can, keep your eyes moving as much as possible and, if you’re listening to this podcast in the car right now, then try and ask yourself that question, “Am I looking far enough ahead?” And you really need to be looking and moving your eyes around as much as possible. I think the other thing is drive to conditions, and that means not over-driving your vision or your level of grip. And if either of those two things diminish, you have to roll off the throttle pedal. And then I think probably just the … There’s another couple but I think keeping a decent gap between you and a vehicle in front, like a minimum of two seconds and more if required. But a minimum of two seconds. And I think the final thing is being fit to drive. You know, really ask yourself am I too fatigued, am I under the influence of something? I think if you can keep those keys in mind – vision, looking as far ahead as you can, driving to conditions, not being fatigued. And, of course, the fifth one is don’t be distracted. So just keep the mobile phones-
Bob Aldons: Keep the mobile phones in the glove box, not on your lap.
Russell White: Yep, keep it holstered.
Bob Aldons: Does speed have an influence on accidents, death and injury?
Russell White: Definitely it does. But it’s not just speed in isolation. It’s speed combined with those things that we’ve just spoken about. Poor driving ability, poor situational awareness and, really, people not giving themselves enough time to react. That’s the issue.
Bob Aldons: So if we then take this concept to somewhere like Germany where they’ve got massive speed on the autobahns and so on, what’s their accident history on the continent in particular but more so in Germany?
Russell White: Germany is an interesting one. It’s certainly, you know, probably if you look at the stars in terms of global road safety, places like the Netherlands, even the UK is extremely strong with their death rate per hundred thousand population. Australia-
Bob Aldons: When you say strong, low?
Russell White: Low, I mean, yeah. They’re heading to around two and a half, three, for every hundred thousand. Australia is around about six. Germany sits in the middle there somewhere. I think the thing with Germany, and I must admit I haven’t physically been there, people that I’ve spoken to that have say there’s a very strong discipline, lane discipline, around autobahns. Like you know very quickly if you’re in the wrong place.
Bob Aldons: Yeah, ’cause you’ve just got to get out.
Russell White: ‘Cause the market dictates where you should be. So that’s one thing. I think what’s interesting, though, is that typically, even though they’ve probably got the best cars on probably the best roads, once a year there’ll usually be an 80 or a 70 car pileup on an autobahn because it’s foggy and no-one’s adapted to the conditions. So even in the best of worlds. And really, the M1 motorway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the way that road’s built, that’s not necessarily too far away from an autobahn standard. Yet obviously it’s nowhere near the result that an autobahn would have.
Bob Aldons: But we seem to have those high speed incidents, not during the day because obviously the traffic doesn’t allow you to have that excessive speed, but at night where some of those other influences that you were talking about come into play.
Russell White: Yeah, and I can remember we were so close. And we were talking about Fatality Free Friday before. To do it nationally is incredibly difficult. Like at least, on average, five people will lose their lives on every Friday in this country. And we were very close to having one year, and there was one crash that claimed five people in one hit. And it was everything we fight against. It was unrestrained people. They were under the influence of something. The car hit a power pole. It snapped the pole off at the base. It’s torn the car to pieces and again, you’re right. Clearly at that level there’s excessive speed involved and not a survivable thing at all.
Bob Aldons: Yeah, and that’s a really sad thing. But, again, how do you convince those people that it’s not the right thing to do?
Russell White: It’s a huge challenge. I think part of it is you’ve got to get community buy-in. We’ve got to make the community more aware of that and empowering them to do something, making them think that they can actually make a difference. And then I think you’ve got to keep the education up, and not just at the last minute. I’m a firm believer that I think we need to have programmes that start as early as prep and at pre-school. Have a separate programme that goes through primary and then there’s a whole separate piece before they get their licence.
Bob Aldons: So it’d become part of the education system?
Russell White: Yeah. For example, your prep messages might just be you have a character that they can identify with. It’s something that we focus on. Maybe seatbelts, driveway safety and not distracting mum and dad. And that might be the simple side of it.
Bob Aldons: So that’s the kids saying to mum and dad, “Hey, mum and dad, have you got your seatbelts on?”
Russell White: Yeah.
Bob Aldons: So coming from the children?
Russell White: Yeah, and have the children own it. Because again, and I think the other thing, if we had that in place and then we had a stronger effort around work-related road safety, those two things would eventually merge. So the new generation come through, the work-related safety stuff goes on with the current group, but eventually … it’s a generational thing but that’s how you could get that sort of change.
Bob Aldons: Russell, I’ve got two questions for you from that small bit we talking about. Is it too easy for teenagers to get a licence?
Russell White: I don’t know if “too easy” is the right word. I tend to think that for what they get prepared with, it’s appropriate for that level of education. An example might be you can’t get a child, who’s only had pre-school level of education and armed only with that knowledge, to pass a high school exam or get a business degree.
Bob Aldons: Yep.
Russell White: There’s a journey that goes with that.
Bob Aldons: Sure.
Russell White: So I think the same thing applies. I think we release them too early, with not enough overall knowledge. They might have mastered or had a feel for the fundamental movements and the fundamental mechanics of driving, but once they get their licence there’s no progression to build on that. And I think that’s one of the issues.
Bob Aldons: See, one of the things that I did when I got my licence is my dad made me go and do a road safety or driver safety programme where I was told, shown, how to do skids and get out of a skid and so on. And, you know, that’s a long time ago. But it doesn’t seem that anything’s progressed from when I was 17 to when I’m now 59.
Russell White: To now. And if you compare that to how the automotive industry has changed or how cars are designed or how we even enforce the law, we are still really entrenched. I mean, I know the graduated licencing system has delivered some amazing benefits in terms of young people’s road fatalities and that sort of thing. But I think we’re still missing the point, is that we’re not providing a learning pathway-
Bob Aldons: A journey, yep.
Russell White: It seems to get to the licence and, like I said before, that’d be like saying to the preps or the Year 3s, okay, you’ve got the basics now. Off you go.
Bob Aldons: Yeah, go to uni.
Russell White: Go to uni and it’ll all be alright. You’ll all figure it out. And I really believe as an industry, the driver training industry, we have to get smarter with how we do things and how we provide, I guess, the channels or that information to the next generation.
Bob Aldons: So who’s got to step forward and do that? Is it state governments? Is it a Federal Government initiative? In that perfect world, what would you do, Russell White?
Russell White: I think you’d have to have federal leadership, for a start. And I think having a national approach to it is critical. I would then be looking at, because the licencing is dictated by the state governments, to a large degree that sets the bar. Whether you like it or not, whatever the requirement is, that’s what people will aim for. I then think you’ve got to have, in my view, an incentivized approach to licencing as well. So you could say to someone, okay, if you want to go through the normal process that’s fine. It’s going to take you X amount of time and all that. But if you strive to be a bit better, we will issue, for example, a gold licence. Now that gold licence might mean you get discounts on your tolls. It might mean you get a discount on insurance. But I think, like a frequent flyer card, if you can attach tangible benefits to that, well people will go, “Oh hang on, actually I value that a little bit more”. Now, the argument would be people should say, yes, everyone should value their licence. But I think the reality is that if we spend so much on the stick, there’s not really much of a carrot. And I think if we incentivize things a little bit, it could have a positive change.
Bob Aldons: So obviously if we encourage the newer drivers to do better, you could say, well, you’ll get a 2%, 5% saving on your registration or CTP because you’re not going to have as many accidents as the people who do, or don’t take that on?
Russell White: And again I think just as much as you get that gold licence, well with that comes a bit more responsibility. Like if you’re caught doing the wrong thing, then you lose all of those privileges and we’re going to hit you pretty hard because you’re setting an example for others to follow. But I’ve seen it in sport, Bob. I’ve seen it in, you know, just even from my own daughter’s experience with things like tae kwon do. I know how much they valued that next graded belt because it meant something. And I think if we could somehow get the same thing with the licence, rather than just everyone get the same one, I think … And that might mean to get that licence you have to do a bit of time on a motorbike, you have to do a bit of time in a truck. I think there’s things that we could do to incentivize it. Yes, and understand that, yes, the current things have to maybe take place. But there’s a way to because again, probably as you know, if you give people that bit of encouragement, that incentive, and if it means something, they’ll strive to do it.
Bob Aldons: They’ll strive to achieve. So how does the community go to the State Government, as the responsible body, and say the current system’s broken, or it’s never worked? We want to see something new? How do you get a government to buy into that?
Russell White: Well, again it’s got to come from that grass roots level of support. And I think we, I mean, from the foundation’s standpoint we’re sort of constantly looking at how we can build that. And we’re building those relationships with governments across the country. And that takes time. But then, I think once you get those things in place, it starts to get this groundswell of people wanting change. And I think that’s the illusion that we’re possibly under at the moment.
The road toll has come down because cars are better, roads are better and our emergency medical response is better. We need to then look at, if we’re going to do this next big change, we’ve got to get the community on board with that. Start to make it an issue, not just something that somehow is someone else’s problem.
Bob Aldons: So how does the community start that groundswell, Russell? Is it jumping onto the Fatality Free Friday website? Is it onto your Facebook page? How do we encourage people to get involved?
Russell White: Well, I think it’s a case of getting, I guess, more people involved in things like Fatality Free Friday. But drilling that down to more a community level of how can you get a group of like-minded people to start to come together and form? I mean, we’ve seen that a little bit from the foundation. I mean, I’m getting … I think one of the reasons I founded it was that I was convinced that people wanted to do something about road safety but they had nowhere to go. I mean, if you’re looking at another type of issue in society, you generally went, okay, well we know we’ve got to go to XYZ Foundation or whatever. You know, people like Glenn McGrath have done a fantastic job with raising awareness.
Bob Aldons: Great job, yep.
Russell White: And I see my responsibility with road safety as the same sort of thing. So it’s about people contacting us and looking at how they could contribute to it.
Bob Aldons: Look, you know, it’s something that when we set up this new company, the guys who were designing our website and social media said why don’t you go and donate something to the hungry kids in Thailand. And I said, “Well, that’s a great thing that they’re doing but I want to do something for the motor industry in Australia.” And that’s where the idea came from with the Australian Road Safety Foundation. And we’re thrilled to be involved. And if we can do anything else, Russell, we’ll be there.
Russell White: Well, I’ll definitely take you up on that, Bob. Because I think that’s the thing. When you look at a global … And see, that’s a really good example. As tragic as those other issues are, and they’re all important, but from a road safety standpoint, like I said, 1.3 million people around the world will lose their lives. And for every one of those, there could be 20 or 30 other people seriously injured or hospitalised.
Bob Aldons: And that’s right. We don’t talk about the quadriplegia or the paraplegia, do we? We only talk about the lives lost.
Russell White: Yep. And I think that’s the thing. It is preventable and if we, as the UN does … they talk about it as a global health epidemic. So it’s not a road crash, it’s a health issue.
Bob Aldons: I suppose the question is, if 1.3 million people were killed tomorrow because of an atomic explosion or a terrorist attack, what would the world do to stop it?
Russell White: Absolutely. You’d demand action instantly. I think because it is a daily, it’s almost like a drip. You know, you tend not to maybe notice it until you’ve been impacted yourself. But when you look at those figures, and that was really the thing that shocked me. It was the thing that got me off my proverbial tail and started looking at what could I possibly do to try and change that? Because again I knew that … remember, we’ve got a global vision for the foundation because there’s underprivileged, there’s developing countries that need our help equally as much. Australia is a separate. We’ve got our own issues here but just don’t go into Africa or places in Asia. There’s a lot of work to be done there too.
Bob Aldons: We’re talking with Russell White, who’s the founder of the Australian Road Safety Foundation and, Russell, this last 10 or 15 minutes has been really, really good. It’s something that the community that I’m involved with needs to get involved. I’m on a dangerous drivers tack at the moment with unroadworthy vehicles on the roads in Queensland, and all of those things can lead to loss of life.
Russell White: Absolutely.
Bob Aldons: And, mate, we’re going to talk to you about my stuff now, and the reason we call this podcast “What’s in Your Garage?” is, first of all is, Russell White, what is in your garage?
Russell White: Well, Bob, it’s a funny thing. I’ve ended up … Are we talking normal cars are we talking just whatever is in there?
Bob Aldons: Whatever’s in your garage, Russell.
Russell White: I was on the hunt for something exotic, because I think once you’re a car person you’re a car person.
Bob Aldons: Yep, petrol in the veins.
Russell White: And we were talking off air how much I love Italian sports cars, but it’s something that I can aspire to. But one of the things, and I didn’t believe I would ever end up with this, but in my garage, as we speak, I have a black 1985 Pontiac Trans AM that happens to have a red scanner light in the front of it and can talk, and has the Knight Rider TV dash. And Kit proudly sits in my garage and we’ve done a few things with him for car shows and for displays.
Bob Aldons: Was that at the RACQ Motorfest a couple of months ago?
Russell White: Correct.
Bob Aldons: Goodness. That was yours?
Russell White: That was Kit. So it was quite a bizarre thing because I was looking for this … again, I had this fantasy of this Italian sports car and it just didn’t happen, so-
Bob Aldons: An Italian sports car versus an American muscle car?
Russell White: A muscle car that talks.
Bob Aldons: Why does that sound wrong?
Russell White: And it was like … but it’s funny, though. In my head I was thinking, while we were talking before, I thought, “Wow, a talking car like in my generation”. Kit was the first autonomous car and as we head towards potentially autonomous vehicles, I thought that could be an angle. Then I thought, “Mm, a talking car. Kids at pre-school would love that.” And they wouldn’t know what it is but they’d know. They’d just go home and say, “Mum and day, this car talks.” The parents would know but the kids would just-
Bob Aldons: Excuse me. So do we call you the Hoff from now on?
Russell White: It’s funny, I’ve got a bit of that. But it’s not something that makes sense very well. In fact, the car I bought the car off, he said, “Russell, you’re the normal person that’s rung me about this car.” But, Bob, it was such a funny thing. It was the last thing in the world I ever thought I’d own. The thing is, as a kid of the 80s, everyone knew it was Magnum PI, it was David Hasselhoff, it was the Knight Rider and all that.
Bob Aldons: I would have preferred you to stay with Magnum PI and the Ferrari-
Russell White: Well, I was aiming that way but it just sort of fell, I fell horribly short. I was just looking around and then when I thought this Italian thing won’t happen, I thought, “Oh, maybe I’ll just get a Smokey and the Bandit Trans AM.” And then, lo and behold, I found this Trans AM-
Bob Aldons: This thing’s popped up.
Russell White: And it’s funny. It was converted in Reno in Nevada. I’ve since made contact with the guy who did the original conversion. And there’s actually really a cult thing about people converting Trans AMs-
Bob Aldons: So is this the original kit car? Is it a lookalike or-
Russell White: No, it’s a replica.
Bob Aldons: Replica? Okay.
Russell White: There’s a number of people that build the dash and build all the scanner lights and all the electronics, and some people really go to town on it. I was lucky. I bought this car already done so … oh, the only thing I changed was his interior was black and so I changed it to the tan interior that is in the show, so it-
Bob Aldons: Okay, so besides Kit, was else is there, mate? And you can give your sponsors a plug if you like.
Russell White: Yeah, well obviously we’ve got a relationship with Kia at the moment.
Bob Aldons: Stop. Right, keep going.
Russell White: Obviously I’ve got a relationship with Kia at the moment, Kia Australia, so we’ve got a number of Sorentos and Ceratos and Rios that we use for our driver training, so-
Bob Aldons: And they’ve been with you for a couple of years now?
Russell White: Yeah, we’ve had a three year relationship with them and it’s been terrific. So I think as we forge ahead, having a vehicle partner is a really important thing from a training standpoint. Plus, they’ve obviously helped us get the message out.
Bob Aldons: Yeah, that’s fantastic of Kia to do that. And, you know, they’re one of the up-and-coming car brands in Australia, and good to see them partner with your company in terms of road safety. And besides the Kias, what else is there?
Russell White: I’ve got a … As in non-automotive things? I’ve got a surf ski. I’ve actually got two surf skis. I love going out-
Bob Aldons: A surf ski?
Russell White: Yeah, they’re-
Bob Aldons: Not motorised?
Russell White: No, not motorised. It’s a good thing for fitness. I head out on the Currumbin Creek every Saturday morning with a team of blokes. We just have a paddle and we have a coffee afterwards and talk a lot of rubbish.
Bob Aldons: Well, we don’t want to talk about surf skis because they don’t have engines but, okay, the nest part of these three questions is, of all the cars that you’ve owned in your lifetime, what’s been your favourite?
Russell White: What’s been my favourite? I’d probably … Well, see, I’ve been in an unfortunate position. I’ve had a lot of vehicle partners so I haven’t really owned very many cars. I’d have to say Kit’s probably my favourite one at the moment, simply because he’s just … I love the look on people’s faces when I pull up next to it.
Bob Aldons: Okay, Russell, and the last question to do with cars is, if money was absolutely no object, what would you buy?
Russell White: Oh, Bob Aldons, this is … ’cause I’ve probably got about 12.
Bob Aldons: No, it’s only one. You’ve only got to pick one.
Russell White: Only one. I would have to say it’s either … it would have to be a Ferrari 488 or an Aston Martin.
Bob Aldons: You’re not aiming high enough, mate. I said money was no object.
Russell White: I’d love just an exotic sports car like that, just to have a bit of fun and a bit of … I don’t know. I’ve always just loved them. And it’s not just from the performance. It’s the art of them. It’s just they’re-
Bob Aldons: And very so. It’s a brand, really, that doesn’t seem to be appear in major manufacturing that comes close to Ferrari, in my opinion.
Russell White: See, you look at … I mean, you get to that standard there are so many wonderful cars. I mean, you could go for a Meraki and you go for even a – I haven’t driven one – but a new Honda in a six. BMWs and those sorts of things. There’s a lot of beautiful cars around.
Bob Aldons: My word.
Russell White: And you get to that level. But I think there’s just something about a Ferrari. And look, maybe it goes back to the 1980s with a 308 GTS ripping around Hawaii that still resonates. ‘Cause I still look at those cars. A 308 or a 328 GTS is still, to me, gorgeous from every angle.
Bob Aldons: They’re magnificent motor cars.
Russell White: And there’s not too many cars that do that. You know, I think there’s just an art to them which, I think, is really stunning. And I think that’s part of the mystique that a brand like that has.
Bob Aldons: My word. Look, I read the Enzo Ferrari story and that in itself just took Ferrari to a whole different level for me. You know, what he did, how he did it and what he achieved in his lifetime. Fantastic stories. But, yeah, so I’m sort of looking at the Bugatti Chiron at the moment. It’s a weird looking car as far as cars go. But if money was no object, it’s a LaFerrari for me.
Russell White: Oh, yeah, that’s-
Bob Aldons: Particularly the new roadster which is about to come and be revealed at the Paris Motor Show.
Russell White: That’ll be an amazing car. And again-
Bob Aldons: And it’s all sold. Every single one of them has been sold.
Russell White: Wow.
Bob Aldons: At about $2.8 million each.
Russell White: Just small change.
Bob Aldons: Yeah. I was reading an article in one of the Sunday papers where they’re now customising the high-end cars like Ferraris and McLarens and Bentleys and Rolls and so on. Having this very rare wood panelling. Not veneer but wood carved into the dash, and diamonds and ostrich skin on the seats. There’s one guy who was talking about silk seats but they have to manufacture it in such a way that it’s not going to wear out in three or four years. So quite amazing, quite amazing.
Russell White: And there’s so many things you can do with it. I did a trip to the Middle East and this is a few years ago now, but some of the cars you just saw in the carpark of the hotel, just unbelievable. The customizations, it’s like money’s-
Bob Aldons: Yeah, I remember I was in Hong Kong a number of years ago and saw my first Pagani Zonda, and I thought, “Wow, what a car that is.”
Russell White: Yeah.
Bob Aldons: And, you know, not even thinking about how much it is or how hard it is to get one, but there’s some great cars out there.
Russell White: And there’s something about that exclusivity. If they can know they’re hand-done. That some engineer guy’s been toiling away there in the middle of the night, either designing or doing the stitching or, you know, it’s a certain type of … it’s fantastic.
Bob Aldons: Hey, Russell, we’re going to wrap it up now, episode three. And we’ve been talking to Russell White, the founder of Australian Road Safety Foundation and the managing director of …
Russell White: Driver Safety Australia.
Bob Aldons: Driver Safety Australia. So anyone listening to this podcast, if you have a need or have a desire to train your drivers in your company or even your sons and daughters on how to drive a car better, get in touch with Russell. Google Driver Training Australia on the website and you’ll find him. Great to have you with us, Russell. Thank you very much.
Russell White: Thanks, Bob. I’ve really enjoyed it, mate. And thanks to you and thanks for the support from Car Business too, mate. It’s fantastic.
Bob Aldons: Great stuff, thanks Russell.
Russell White: Thanks mate.