Euro supercars don’t do it for Bathurst boy Archie Thompson
AFTER a glittering career as an A-League and Socceroo striker, Archie Thompson has one goal left: to buy himself an American muscle car. "I love the old muscle cars. My dream one day is to own an SS Camaro, '68. That's the car I want. I love old-school cars with V8 engines," he says.
The Fox Sports commentator saw plenty of exotic Italian and German supercars while playing for Belgian club Lierse SK but none tickled his fancy. "You'd see Ferraris and Porsches but something that gets me jollied up is an old school, done-up muscle car," he says.
The love of V8s may have something to do with the fact that Thompson grew up within earshot of Australia's motoring mecca, Mount Panorama in Bathurst.
Thompson has done countless laps of the famous circuit but none, unfortunately, in a V8.
"I used to catch the school bus around that track every single morning and afternoon. We used to collect kids all the way up the back of Mount Panorama, so I know that track back-to-front but I've never done a hot lap," he says.
He does, however, have an appreciation of the courage it takes to conquer the mountain in a race car.
"People don't get a real idea of just how steep some of those inclines are until you're going down it. Man, they're insane," he says.
His own experience of driving at Bathurst was a little different from the Great Race.
He learned how to drive by bush bashing on a mate's farm. "I just learned to drive in the paddock, paid for a lesson and then got the licence," he says.
Once he had his P-plates, he inherited his mother's Nissan Bluebird, and against his parents' express wishes headed for the big smoke.
"I drove it to Sydney, ran up the arse of someone and that was my first experience in my own car. My dad didn't want me to come home. He said, 'Stay where you are, I'm not coming to get you. Don't even bother coming home,' " he says.
With no comprehensive insurance, the repair bill was about $5000. "It got me around for a little while after that but it wasn't really roadworthy when it came time to register it. That was the end of that one," he says.
Professional football led to a sharp upturn in Thompson's automotive fortunes - he drove a Mercedes C-Class while playing in Europe and now has a Hyundai Tucson SUV, thanks to a sponsorship deal with Werribee Hyundai.
"It's a beautiful little car," he says.
His favourite feature on the Hyundai? Bluetooth. "I love my music when I'm driving," he says. "I can't deal with traffic unless I've got the music on and I can zone out."
A-LEAGUE GRAND FINAL
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