AS A kid, Adam Gilchrist had his parents drop him off a block away from school to avoid the embarrassment of being seen in an orange Volkswagen Kombi.
Now the former Australian skipper and wicketkeeper-batsman is in the process of restoring his own Kombi van to tote his family on weekends away.
"Back then being seen in a Kombi wasn't cool,” Gilchrist recalls.
The Kombi will do only occasional duties, given Gilchrist has a Jaguar F-Pace as his regular wheels and the family appreciates the convenience features of the wagon-styled SUV.
"The seat heaters are the first things the kids hit when they get in the car,” he says.
"Then my eldest will be hooked up to the Bluetooth and playing music before we're out of the drive.”
It's a far cry from Gilchrist's first car, a blue Ford Telstar he dubbed "Eddie the Eagle” because of the eagle stickers on the front quarter panels.
The purchase came soon after British ski-jumper Michael "Eddie the Eagle” Edwards shot to fame by finishing last in his event in the 1988 Winter Olympics.
"I borrowed $3000 from my grandfather Frank to buy Eddie,” Gilchrist says.
”Once a week I'd go around and pay him back. He even had a book to write the instalments - and the interest - in.
"The only problem I had with Eddie was when he broke down in the Blue Mountains ... it cost me about half of the (purchase) price to have him fixed.”
The Telstar was sold when Gilchrist moved from New South Wales to Western Australia to pursue a Sheffield Shield berth and he's had a succession of sponsored cars since then, culminating in the Jaguar.
"I've done a bit with Tata (Jaguar Land Rover's parent company) in India,” he says of his half-dozen seasons in the Indian Premier League.
"I've known (JLR managing director) Matt Wiesner since he worked at VW Group (a former sponsor that provided him with an Audi A5 coupe).
"JLR actually offered me an F-Type but it's a bit hard to get the kids in the back, given there's no back seat.
"I did a drive day at Eastern Creek in an F-Type SVR and that was incredible.
"Cars for me are normally a way to get from point to point but when you have the good fortune to drive some of these cars it does make it fun.”
That need to get from point to point for cricket matches meant Gilchrist collected his L-plates as soon as he was eligible but he failed his first P-plate test.
"I wasn't too upset: 18 out of 20 people failed that day, so I think the assessor might have got out of bed on the wrong side,” he says.
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