Mans Obsession With The Car

Mans Obsession with Cars and Motors
Mans Obsession with Cars and Motors

Yes, I am guilty! I am somewhat obsessed. From the earliest time of my childhood, I recall being surrounded by cars that my father would tinker with and later my older brothers. It was great as we didn’t have the internet and it was either TV, read a book, play in your room or help your dad.

Obviously I opted for the dad line. It was always fun but occasionally 11-year-olds are not strong enough to hold up a gearbox while dad goes looking for the missing bolt. It would often end up in some anger or frustration and inevitably being instructed to go inside and help your mother.

We had so many cars in the driveway over the years back in the 1970s I have honestly forgotten. However, I do remember that my obsession was so great that I didn’t even notice that the yearly car book my brother bought me for my birthday was 1971 and it was now 1973. By the time 1977 arrived the old British cars that we had sitting about and continuously breaking down were replaced by a Toyota Corolla. I was now surplus to the old man’s requirements as Toyota did not break down.

Over those years from 1973 to 1976 or so, I would often skim through that car book from 1971 admiring some of those cars I would never see or ever dream of owning any day soon. Often walking to school I would see the wealthy guy down the road rolling out with his Rover V8 with the Honey Comb Grill.


Other days my older sisters’ wealthy but somewhat pompously arrogant suiter would pop around with his Triumph Spitfire. He was an ok guy and would occasionally take this delinquent kid out for rides. These cars were in my book but I wanted to see a Lotus or Ferrari in the driveway. I know my dad did also but financially was never in a position to do so. Quite honestly if he was in the position I strongly believe he would never have bought one of these cars but there was a small flame burning.

As I aged my passion for cars never diminished. At no time did I ever consider getting my hands dirty and the thought of becoming a mechanic or technician never once crossed my mind. I wanted and needed to be in Car Sales. By 1980 my father had passed and times were changing. I was into motorbikes, girls and 1980s styled party drugs. Life was simple.

In 1989 I had my calling and landed an elusive job as a Used Car Salesman at a Ford dealership in Auckland. In those times you needed a license to operate as a salesperson for cars and be referred by someone. I dreaded this as my friend were the same ones that supplied all the excitement for the parties and getting their name spelled disaster. I don’t recall how I did it but I think I hired someone to endorse me. My career in car sales had begun.

Selling cars was and still is exciting.

It was love at the first sale. Added to that I received a really cool company car and business cards. I was in love with cars and myself. My desire to succeed in the Automotive business was beyond imagination. It was not just the cars I loved but the complete package that came with selling cars. The social life and people of your own kind. Mostly they were uneducated and clever misfits with a gift of the gab and I fitted right in.

From 1990 to today in 2020 I have always been involved with the Automotive industry both in New Zealand and subsequently in Japan. Initially, I was in it for my ego and desire to drive those cars from the yearbook of 1971. Later it was my blind ambition and lifestyle that kept me going. In later years from 2004 to present its survival and a newfound interest in actually starting to enjoy the cars I sell rather than the sale itself. I am finally getting to own and drive some of those special cars that I always dreamed my dad would buy but in reality, knew it was a pipe dream of my own.

Occasionally I venture out to the car auctions here in Japan like USS Tokyo or HAA Kobe and watch all the exporters and auction agents running about looking at cars for their customers. These guys drive up in their Toyota Prius of Kei cars with their cell phones glued to their ears talking to their clients counting dollar signs each time the phone rings or an email comes in. 70% of these people buying cars for their customers have no passion or love for cars and the internet has done this to them.

Then there is the customer on the other end of the phone with the passion and desire to own that special car. Yes, they are still out there and I am happy to serve them as an Auction Agent.

Contact me here anytime for support.


Graeme Cooke

Director at


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Written by Japans Car Man


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