Welcome to our new column: Unexpected Hobbies. The honour to kick off this new chapter of Estimator has been given to our president a.k.a. Great Leader: Robert Arends. While most of you probably have at least a vague notion of who he is, there was only a small circle of select people who truly knew Robert and his passion. Until now. Admittedly, even we had no clue that his favorite past-time activity wasn’t showing of his suit or scheduling new board meetings; it’s quite the contrary: cruising in his self-tuned Honda.
Do you have a name for your car?
Not really, but if I would have to choose one it would be The Beast, since when I go for a drive I always say “Unleash The Beast!”
How did you end up doing car tuning?
It’s a 1990 Honda Civic ED7, so it’s an oldtimer. However, you don’t notice anything of that when you’re driving the car, it still goes like hell!
I ended up in the scene via my twin brother, he was already into these sort of cars, older models from Japanese brands such as Honda, Nissan and Toyota. That’s why he ended up buying such a car and I really liked the design. So when he told me there was a Honda from the same generation for sale for a good price, I didn’t hesitate for a minute.
So what’s the model of your car and do you have a part that you’re most proud of?
It’s a 1990 Honda Civic ED7, so it’s an oldtimer. However, you don’t notice anything of that when you’re driving the car, it still goes like hell! The part I’m most proud of would be my rims, since I sprayed them myself. They used to be silver, but I turned them into black rims with red wheel nuts and I’m really fond of it.
What’s the top speed of the car?
I’m not sure actually, I haven’t had the chance to really test it yet. Also, as an exemplary citizen I never drive too fast, of course.
What would be an ideal car for the board?
I guess it would be a minivan, since it has to be spacious enough for the tall guys in the board (shoutout to Jeroen, Ijsbrand and Rob). So perhaps like a Chevrolet van or something, but it would definitely need to have a nice sound system: we all like music very much.
Did you ever do drag racing?
No, I just really drive for my own fun and don’t compete in races.
What would you do if someone carved something in your car?
Well, I wouldn’t be too happy with it, of course. I wouldn’t really do anything, though. That’s also why I don’t bring my car to Rotterdam. I always leave it with my parents, because it’s safe there. It’s a rather wanted car, because it’s quite rare with the engine that’s in it. If I had to guess, I’d say there’s only about sixty cars of this type in the Netherlands.
I’ll drive it until I can’t anymore, but I will never sell it
My car has been broken into two times already and the first time, I actually caught the thief in there. So, that is why I’m quite careful with it now and it’s full with locks and alarm systems.
Do you ever plan on selling it?
No, I don’t think I’ll ever sell it. Right now, I’m just maintaining it, so I do the reparations that are needed and of course I don’t have that much money to spend yet. Though, when I start to work, I know that I’m going to invest in it even more. I’ll be able to buy new parts and new rims and such. So, I’ll drive it until I can’t anymore, but I will never sell it.
How often do you take your car for a ride?
Whenever I’m with my parents, in the weekend, I go for a drive and that’s really my hobby. A lot of people do think it’s a bit weird, because for example, my perfect Saturday is when I get in my car at around 1 p.m. and I just drive around on the highways around The Hague and Rotterdam. I’ll just be out there for two hours or so and a lot of people ask me if I’m crazy, because I basically just drive by myself, on the same roads, with my music at full volume. And I don’t do anything else, I just drive, but I really like that. You don’t have to think about anything, you just focus on the road.
Do you prefer driving alone or with friends?
There’s one more thing about the car: I lowered it, so only one more friend can sit in it. Otherwise it gets too heavy and I can’t get over the speed bumps, so I mostly go for a drive by myself in the weekends. Although, because my brother also has such a car, sometimes we go together. He drives his and I drive mine and his group of friends also all own a car like this, so then we go to these kind of meetings where you meet other people that also drive these types of cars. Furthermore, we also go to Track Days, like in Zandvoort, from time to time. My brother races, I don’t, but I go to watch there. Riding with the squad, I would say.
Why is your name “Robert”?
Because of the way you pronounce it, you might think it’s with two b’s, but my name’s only spelled with one. My parents had actually agreed on writing my name with two b’s, but then when my father was on the way to the city hall to register my birth, he decided that “Robert” with one b sounded and looked nicer, so he wrote it down like that. And no, my mother wasn’t mad at him. Talking about my parents: they just celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary year last week! Anyway, I’m very happy with my name, because I think Robert with one b is much nicer than Robert with two b’s.