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Interview with a petrolhead

Hey guys! We have started the new column “Interview with car enthusiasts”. Usually car lovers are open-minded and are glad to share their interest and passion about cars. It is always interesting to hear the stories and the place cars occupy in their life. Recently we had an interview with a petrolhead and drift racer Gerard Dol.

Let’s start with the place cars hold in your life. Do you consider yourself a petrolhead? Is your job connected with cars or is it just your hobby?
Yes, I consider myself a real petrolhead. I was born and raised with cars. My father had an automotive company that became mine 10 years ago, so I still work there.

So you were raised with cars, can you remember how it started? When did you realize that cars were a big part of your life?
As a young boy, I spent many hours on the racetrack, and I always loved playing with toy cars. There was no doubt that my life was based around cars, at the age of 10 I started to help my dad fixing cars.

Let’s talk about your first car. What was it? Do you still drive it now or are there only good memories left?
My first car was a Datsun 120 Y coupe from the year 1975, and I bought it when I was only 11 years old. I fixed it and then sold it again. The first car that I owned when I got my driver’s license was an Opel Ascona 20 SR/E.

Obviously, cars are more than just a type of transportation for you, but how do you feel about them? A lot of car enthusiasts say that a car is their friend, can you say so? Does your car have a name? :)
Oh yes, you can fall in love with a car, but I don’t give it a name. But they can make you so happy. For example, take my Nissan Skyline; I see it as my baby, my child. When it is not sitting in my garage and is on its way somewhere, I feel strange and a little upset.


Do your friends support your hobby? How many of them share your passion?
I have a big group of friends who share the same hobby and passion for cars. My wife is less happy with my hobby, especially since our son (now 15 years old) has started sharing the same interest: drifting cars.

A BMW guy will probably never swap his car for a Mercedes, and JDM knobs will never drive European cars. What about you, are you stuck on one brand, country or style? What makes your favorite car brand so special for you?
This is a very difficult question. I always had a passion for Mercedes and I have been driving a Mercedes C 350CDI station since 2010. This is my daily ride. But when it comes to my passion for drifting, I have a BMW M5, a BMW M3 and a BMW 327i. And that’s not all; for the drift competitions I also have two Nissan Skyline R33s, one is for demos. So yes I also have a JDM passion, and after all I love classic cars. So I think I’m the exception to this question. But for my daily ride, I stay with my Mercedes.


Time to dream. We all have our dream garage, but not enough money to be Jay Leno. If you had the possibility, what cars would be in your garage? Give us your top 3-5 or even 10 cars.
Well my top 4 look like this:
1 1972 Datsun Skyline
2 1971 Ford Mustang Mach1
3 1970 Mercedes SL Pagode
4 Mercedes 350SE 6.3 AMG

Would you modify and tune your car, or would keep it as original as possible?
When you look at some modified cars, they look amazing. But if I had to choose I would go for the original lines of a car, to see the pure beauty of it.

Car events, shows, and meetings, they are like big family gatherings. Do you visit them?
Yes I visit them, not only in the Netherlands but also in other countries. For me, it’s a day of enjoying all those cars and a chance to meet the owners.

There are lots of different car contests from the rally of Monaco and Lemans to street drag and drift racing. What types of car races do you like the most? Have you ever taken part in one yourself?
Yes, I do visit racetracks and especially the F1, and of course I follow drift races. I use live streams to watch competitions in Japan and the USA. When I race I do this in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and France.


Are you a member of a car community or club?
No, I’m not really a member, but using social media I have a lot of contacts with clubs and people who share the same passion as I do.

Gerard, thanks for the interview! It was a great and interesting experience. I hope you guys enjoyed it as well. Now, if you are a true petrolhead and are glad to share your automotive life, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will post your car story right away! : )
Alex
July 18, 2016
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