AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 26: Merv Hughes of Australia prepares to bowl on December 26, 1990 in Australia. (Photo by Getty Images)
AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 26: Merv Hughes of Australia prepares to bowl on December 26, 1990 in Australia. (Photo by Getty Images) Getty Images

Cricket's Merv Hughes can’t stomach drink and drug-drivers

MERV Hughes, a big man with a massive personality and a trademark monster moustache, tends to buys vehicles to suit. The former Australian cricketer's first car was an HT Holden wagon. Hughes bought it after his mate Snapper taught him to drive.

"Snapper gave me some driving lessons around the back streets of Torquay. I was 17, it was 1979 and we were in an old blue Torana," Hughes says.

"The roads weren't as congested back then so I'm pretty sure people were relatively safe. As long as you were sensible about it, you weren't arcing up or mucking around, the coppers were pretty good."

First car: HT Holden.
First car: HT Holden.

The HT was chosen for its roominess, as was Hughes's next car, a VP Commodore wagon. "I'm a big bloke and they were just comfortable (cars)," he says.

These days Hughes pilots a Ford Ranger, usually towing a 5.5m Quintrex Frontier in his role as host of the Channel One HD television show, Merv Hughes Fishing.

"It's good to have something with a bit of guts," he says of the turbo diesel Ranger. "The Frontier is a pretty hefty boat so it needs something with a bit of torque in front of it and the Ranger is best in the class.

"I had a petrol Territory before that and it'd go anywhere but we chewed through a bit of fuel. As a family car we've just gone from the Territory to the Everest. It's a natural progression while still part of the Ford family.

Family car: Ford Everest
Family car: Ford Everest

"I still prefer driving the Ranger because you've got more room in the back - and there's a bit of stuff to take when you're out fishing and camping."

Hughes has also spent time away from the water driving in variety club bashes in remote Outback locations.

"It's good fun and it's for a good cause," he says. "More recently, I did the big drive up to Wagga then up to Mudgee. It's a long trip and I'm generally pulling the boat but I always try to have a mate with me and we have a good laugh on the way.

"I saw a funny Facebook thing the other day: those who drive slower than you are morons and those who drive faster than you are idiots."

Hughes doesn't find the prevalence of drink and drug-driving nearly as amusing.

"You really just hope people will catch on. More and more people are getting caught for drink and drug driving as it is - you just shouldn't be behind the wheel. I feel sorry for the cops to have to clean up the mess."

Hughes sticks to the Ford stable for his dream car. "I'm just a basic bloke, so I like the thought of the Mustang soft-top but two seats isn't going to work out ... I'm just happy with the Ranger."

Dream car: Ford Mustang
Dream car: Ford Mustang


Hughes will be at the Victorian Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow, February 21-26 at the Melbourne Showgrounds, Flemington. View ​