TALK about scoring an ultimate surf wagon.
Gun junior surfer Isabella Nichols, revelling in the glory of being 2016 Women's World Junior Surf Champion before an inevitable graduation to global success on the WSL proper, has become ambassador for her local Toyota dealership, Ken Mills Toyota Sunshine Coast.
The Coolum native has been given a Toyota Fortuner large SUV to haul around surf boards and wet gear in her search for the best surf spots locally and beyond.
Ideal transport? The Toyota HiLux ute-based seven-seat SUV has the off-road talent to venture to hard-to-reach sites, plus there's ample room for mates to join a surf safari.
Isabella obviously has plenty of positives to say about the big SUV (as any good brand ambassador should!) but her Toyota driving life began slightly less reliably.
We threw our motoring questions at the future surf superstar to discover her car life past and present.
What was your first car?
My first car was called Delilah, she was a 1976 Blue Toyota Corona wagon. One of the quirks that comes to mind is how much she liked to break down.
Also as soon as you turned the key to start her you had to push on the juice to make sure she kicked in and let her idle for 10 minutes before she wanted to move.
Funny story about what happened to her. I was driving her back from the Gold Coast to Sunshine Coast.
She was smoking from her bonnet so I left her in Nudgee for a couple of days.
I went back two days later to pick her up and we got to Caboolture when she started smoking again and so I left her there and sold her to a friend for $100.
What are you driving now?
Right now I'm driving a 2016 Toyota Fortuner. What's there not to love about it?
It goes off road, I can fold the back seats down for extra space to fit my surfboards in, it's really economical and the sound system is mental.
I like everything about the car, it's amazing.
What's the worst car you've ever owned or driven?
The worst car I've ever driven is my dad's early 1990s Mitsubishi Pajero. The windows don't wind up and the driver's seat is being held up by an esky.
What car did your family have while you were growing up?
Dad had a white Holden Commodore wagon, but I'm not so sure about the year or exact model. Dad kept it until it was on its last legs and we sent it to the scrap yard.
What is your greatest frustration on the road?
My biggest frustration on the road would have to be drivers sticking really close to my tail. Tailgaters.
Do you have any preferred driving music?
Not really, I listen to the play lists I have made up, with Florence and the Machine, Black Sabbath, Nirvana, Dustin Tebbitt, The Beatles, Doors etc.
You're off on a road trip: what car would you take, where would you go, and who would you take with you?
I'd take the Toyota LandCruiser GXL wagon, we would head off to the Northern Territory (I would like to see Ayers Rock), and I'd take Maggie Beer so she could cook the best food on our journey.
If money were no object, what would be your dream car to buy?
If money was no object my dream car would be a 1957 Chevy Bel Air.
Who: Isabella Nichols.
Born: August 20, 1997.
Resume: Began surfing aged nine in her hometown of Coolum on the Sunshine Coast. Won her first World Surf League Junior Tour event at the 2015 Hurley Australian Open, followed by the 2015 Los Cabos Open of Surf Junior Series in Mexico. Won the Under-18 Australian surf title and became 2016 Women's World Junior Champion in Portugal last year. She is currently ranked 11th on the Women's Qualifying Series. The natural stance surfer was also the stunt double for Blake Lively in the movie The Shallows (2016).
See her: As brand ambassador for Ken Mills Toyota, Sunshine Coast.
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