Name: Jason Howard
Who he is: Welsh-born, Toronto-based baritone opera singer who is starring in the classic musical South Pacific at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts from Aug. 12 to Sept. 5
What he drives: A plum-coloured 1995 940 Turbo Volvo in Toronto. This car is incredible.It’s never, ever broken down. No matter how cold it is, it starts every morning.
Why the Volvos? I chose Volvo originally because of their reputation for being safe cars. My wife’s uncle had a write-off once in a Volvo wagon and the police officer said “If this hadn’t been a Volvo, you’d be dead now.” So I’ve always remembered that. We have a couple kids, so we wanted something strong.
What type of driver are you?
I can drive very aggressively if I need to. When I was in Wales, I was an amateur rally driver. Apart from singing, I would say one of my highest skill sets is driving. I always took to driving naturally. I learned when I was sixteen — illegally. I bought a car when my parents were on holiday. They weren’t too pleased when they came back. I was desperate to drive.
What was rally driving really like? You know that saying about driving by the seat of your pants? Well, I could tell by a sensation in my hips when the car was going to start to slide. I’d rally in a Ford Escort, which is a real rear-wheel car, and it’s just a different technique than driving a front-wheel car. So, I really know how to control a fishtail.
Do you have a dream car? I’d love to get a V70R Volvo. It’s 300 break horsepower and it’s beautifully finished. But the main reason I’d like to get it is that it has a tremendously strong all-wheel drive on it.
Heather Buchan is a Toronto-based journalist whohas worked at Homemakers,Canadian Living, Canadian House & Homeand, most recently,Hello! Canada, where she cut her teeth in the world of celebrities.