Photo: Simon Alekna.The lowdown: One of Australia’s most famous comedians, Austen Tayshus (aka Sandy Gutman) is best known for his 1983 release Australiana, which remains the highest-selling single in Australian recording history. Revered for classic lines such as ‘‘Do you wanna game of euchre, Lyptus?’’ and ‘‘How much can a koala bear?’’ He has performed more than 10,000 shows in Australia and other countries. Tayshus wrote and starred in the film Intolerance, which was named best film at Tropfest in 1998. He also won the best-actor award.
Current project: The Merchant of Menace tour. See austentayshus南京夜网 for dates.
The number of cars I’ve owned: 4
The age I got my licence: 17
Car lover gauge: 1 out of 5
What was your first car?
An old Jaguar I bought in the late ’70s. It was about 10 years old and it leaked a lot of oil. But it was a nice-looking car and I thought I deserved a nice-looking car.
What happened to it?
We had a pretty bad accident on the way to a show in 1986. I was with a girlfriend of mine and we hit a tractor that was turning right. She was driving and we went straight into it. The car was a write-off. I was OK but she was cut pretty badly. But she survived it. She’s fine.
What are you driving now?
A 2005 Holden Caprice. I bought it in 2006. I love this car. It’s perfect. I bought it because it’s got DVD screens in the back and when my children were young we used to drive from Sydney to Byron Bay in one go. They would stop fighting because they had a screen each. Prior to that, we only had one. It’s also a great workhorse. I’ve done about 200,000 kilometres in this car, just touring all around Australia.
What’s your ideal car?
To be honest, I think I’d go for another Holden. I’d go for another [Caprice]. They just seem to be very reliable and very comfortable. I’ve also thought about a Range Rover. I’m not interested in German cars because my father was a Holocaust survivor, so I’m not a big fan of the Germans.
What’s your pet road peeve?
People parking in front of my driveway – that’s what I hate the most. I also hate people who drive very slowly in front of me. I’m not a speed maniac, but when you’re on a highway, slow drivers can cause a lot of trouble.
What’s your favourite drive?
I like the highway between Byron Bay and Coolangatta. I think that’s a terrific road. I just wonder why the Pacific Highway can’t all be like that.
If you could go on a long road trip with absolutely anyone, who would it be?
Francis Ford Coppola, I think. I just love everything that he’s done in cinema. The first two Godfather movies in particular just interest me so much and I’m sure that he would have a lot to talk about – his involvement with Marlon Brando on Apocalypse Now, his involvement with Marlon Brando on the Godfather films, his involvement with De Niro and Pacino. I’m a graduate of the film school and cinema has always been my greatest passion. I could learn a lot from him, obviously. Follow Drive南京夜网.au on Twitter @Drivecomau Like Drive南京夜网.au on Facebook
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