REGARDED as one of the greatest rugby union players ever to lace up a boot, Mark Ella remains a living legend.
Back in his day Ella was regarded as the epitome of fast, playing five-eighth.
Now working for National Indigenous Television as part of SBS, he took time out this week to discuss his motoring past and present.
What was your first car?
My first car was a yellow Toyota Corolla (early '70s model) when I was 19 years old.
I picked it up from Church St in Parramatta and made it all the way along Parramatta Rd to Concord Rd on my way home when a women failed to stop at a red light and smashed into me. I drove it for 20 minutes then had to catch a taxi home.
The only quirk it had from memory was the passenger seat, which at the wrong moments collapsed with the passenger lying flat on his/her back. My girlfriend (and now wife) wasn't that impressed. It lasted me for a couple of years before I sold it.
What are you driving now?
I currently drive a Kia Sorento, which is great.
I have been driving Kia vehicles for about five years now and I am impressed with their quality and reliability because they just get better with every model.
What car did your family have while you were growing up?
Growing up in an indigenous community with five sisters and six brothers my mum and dad couldn't afford a family car so we spent most of our time using public transport or hitching rides with friends or relatives.
What is your greatest frustration on the road?
Just the usual - slow drivers in the right lane, drivers who drive well under the speed limited and particularly P-plate drivers who always drive well above the speed limit.
Do you have any preferred driving music?
Living on the Central Coast and working in Sydney I tend to listen to the radio more often than not mainly for the traffic updates, which have an influence on which route I take.
In my earlier days I used to listen to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, which probably reflected on my reckless driving. These days as I get older I listen to mainstream Australian rock although my driving hasn't improved...
If you were to pick anyone in the world to go on a road trip, who would it be?
My mate Woody because he is a mechanical genius and would be able to keep the car on the road under any circumstances and he talks that much that there would be little chance of me falling asleep at the wheel.
What is your dream car?
If I had millions in my bank account it would be a toss-up between buying a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse or Kitt out of Knight Rider.
Who: Mark Ella.
Born: June 5, 1959.
Resume: He earned 25 caps playing Test rugby for Australia from 1980-1984, accruing 78 points. In 1982 he captained the Wallabies in a Test against New Zealand. In 2005 he was one of the inaugural five inductees into the Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame.
Today: Now the executive producer of NITV Sport at Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Australia.
Mark Ella is a Kia ambassador.
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