Welcome to this month’s edition of Ask a Gearhead, our Q&A series with enthusiasts and influencers in the automotive space. Last month we spoke with Jessi Combs, and this month we are pleased to feature Freddy Hernandez!
Freddy runs a Youtube channel under the pseudonym “Tavarish,” where he shares opinions and reviews on all things cars. Most will know Tavarish from his contributions on Jalopnik, but he now devotes most of his time to chronicling his triumphs and struggles as a car enthusiast on Youtube. You can also check out his website and follow him on Twitter.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAMILY CAR GROWING UP?
The one that stands out to me the most was a 1987 Honda Civic. It was pretty small, I think it had like a 1.3 carbureted four-cylinder. Just the smallest, most gutless thing in the world. But I cherished it because I was young and that’s how I was introduced to cars.
WHAT’S THE WORST THING YOU’VE EVER DRIVEN?
I actually bought a Yugo for my friend at Jalopnik, Mike Ballaban. I got it as a gift, because he was a car journalist that didn’t own a car, and I thought that wasn’t right, you know? I drove that car from New jersey to New York and it was the sketchiest ride of my life. But I also have to say the Smart Fortwo. Just because it’s a modern car where they should’ve known better. It has all these build quality and driveability issues — it’s not a car for anybody.
IF YOU COULD OWN JUST ONE CAR FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Well it would have to be a jack of all trades. Something like an AMG E63 wagon that is fun and turbocharged and can do everything.
FAVORITE ROAD TRIP?
I did a road trip a few months back with David Tracy, and we went from Detroit to Moab, Utah with David’s 1948 Willys Jeep and a Ford Raptor. We only took back roads to get there. And that was because the Willys Jeep didn’t have an overdrive, so the maximum speed he could do was like 38. It took us a really long time, but I saw some beautiful roads. Kansas has some good roads — it’s arrow straight but there are rolling hills and it’s pretty desolate. Those were some of my favorites.
YOU’RE DIRECTING FAST & FURIOUS 9, WHAT’S THE HERO CAR?
I’d approach it from a business perspective — what’s going to get units sold? So probably something new, whatever FCA’s got coming out soon, maybe the Dodge Demon 2. I would bring back the Supra if I wanted to do something cool, but I think it’s had its time in the spotlight. Plus I wouldn’t want to make Supra prices any higher than they are.
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST ANIMAL TO RIDE IF IT WERE SCALED UP TO THE SIZE OF A HORSE?
A hornet, because they have really good agility in the air. You could put a saddle on it and I think it would be pretty scary to see that thing flying around. And also attack capabilities, it can sting and not die, which is cool. That would be the closest thing to a dragon you could have without creating a fire.
IS IT ACCEPTABLE TO WEAR FLIP FLOPS WHILE DRIVING? WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED DRIVING FOOTWEAR?
The acceptability goes up the longer you’re in the car. If you’re going for a quick drive, take some good driving shoes. If you’re doing a 16-hour trip and you’re not barefoot halfway through, you’re going to have some foot problems. And if you’re wearing flip flops with socks, you shouldn’t be doing anything at all.
WHAT DO YOU KEEP IN YOUR CAR AT ALL TIMES, JUST IN CASE?
Obviously a charging cable, and aux if there’s no bluetooth. For the cars whose paint I care about I like to keep microfiber towels and some spray wax, just in case a bird decides to take a long running dumper along the side of my Aston Martin.
WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO MARIO KART CHARACTER?
Toad. He’s built for speed.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN THE BIOPIC OF YOUR LIFE? AND WHAT IS IT CALLED?
They’d call the movie “I’ll Get to it Tomorrow.” And I’d be played by a washed-up ‘80s action star. But not someone big, definitely a B-lister. Someone you’ve seen a million times on daytime TV but never on the big screen.
IF YOU HAD AN ICE CREAM TRUCK, WHAT SONG WOULD YOU PLAY FROM THE SPEAKER?
I get anxiety when I cause other people distress, and I know some people would be annoyed with my ice cream truck jingle. So I’d play a recording of my voice saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry” over and over. Something very polite. It wouldn’t be a good business model but it’s something I’d likely do.
WHAT IS THE SINGLE LAST CAR YOU RENTED?
I just got done with a Tesla Model S from Turo, and it was great, I’m making a video about it. I wanted to test it out because I wanted to see what an electric car was like, especially where I live in rural Florida. And while there are some drawbacks, it makes a lot of sense to have. It got up and went, I really liked it.