Stars and their cars: Virginia Trioli takes the driver’s seat

Living Well | Interview: Peter Wilmoth | Photos: John Donegan | Posted on 11 February 2020

Journalist, author and ABC Radio host Virginia Trioli shares her favourite car memories.

It's all about the wagon for journalist, author, and radio and television host Virginia Trioli. From the EH Holden her parents dove when she was growing up to the reason she picked a people mover over an SUV, we got behind the wheel with ABC Radio Melbourne Mornings host to talk all things cars.


Talking cars with Virginia Trioli



First set of wheels?

My first car was a Honda Civic Pro T, basically a blue box on wheels, with a very high centre of gravity and absolutely no power. I think it cost me $5000. I was in my mid to late 20s. I didn’t get my licence until I was in my early 20s. It was an absolute thrill. I remember that sense of freedom which has never left me. You get in behind the wheel, shut the door and can go anywhere.

Currently driving?

I drive a station wagon now. I’m not a fan of SUVs because there’s not much room in them. We have a labrador and a kid with all the stuff. We’ve had to put a pod on top for all the bags that won’t fit in the boot.

Childhood car?

As a child my family drove an EH Holden station wagon. I’m one of seven and we could fit nine people in that car.

Favourite road-trip memory?

I took some great road trips in that car, buzzing up and down between Melbourne and Bendigo where my friend lived. Whenever I went there she’d load up the car with boxes of wine. This little car could fit about 18 cases of wine. It would slow to a crawl on hills but it could really go when you needed it to.


Favourite road to drive in Victoria?

I know no one really says they like the Princes Highway but I like it as you leave Lakes Entrance and start to take the road north heading up towards Eden and Merimbula. It takes you through some beautiful country and some lovely little hamlets.

If money were no object?

I would embark on an international search to find a Maserati Mexico. They were made in Italy in the mid-’60s. When I worked at The Age I used to walk up William Street past the law courts and most days there was a powder-blue Maserati Mexico parked there. It was like a James Bond car but cooler. I couldn’t afford it but I slipped a note under the windscreen saying ‘If you ever want to sell this car...’ They never phoned me. 

I would never be caught driving...

A Rolls Royce. I imagine it would be like taking a large superannuated ferry out on the street.

My pet driving hate is... 

If there is no room for you in the intersection, don’t enter it. Do not block all the other traffic going the other way. When that happens I’ve come close to turning off the ignition, getting out of my car, going up to the person and doing something possibly unforgivable.

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