Retired army company sergeant Richard Curry is a man who is used to leading from the front.
Old habits die hard and it is Richard’s unique love affair with the Nissan Qashqai and dancing that now inspires others to follow his lead.
“I’ve bought seven new Nissan Qashqai cars since 2011. Five of my neighbours bought one having test-driven mine. My son drives one. My daughter-in-law’s father has one and she is going to buy one too and a cousin from Cork has just taken delivery of one like mine,” said Richard.
“They all came to see my cars, liked what they saw and bought one themselves. I’m responsible for five Nissan Qashqai car sales on a street of 20 houses, maybe I should be on commission,” quipped the 73 year old from his home in Naas, County Kildare.
Richard bought his first Nissan Qashqai in 2011, just five years after retiring from the Irish army where he trained as a carpenter and served for 44 years, including tours of duty to Cyprus and Lebanon.
‘My love affair with Nissan started when I was driving the Nissan Patrol in the army. I fell in love with the car but I couldn’t afford it at the time. The Qashqai launched and I bought my first one in 2011,” said Richard.
“Since then I have had new cars in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. The car is an absolute treat to drive. It’s great value for money, comfortable to drive, sturdy, reliable and full of extras like sat-nav, cruise control and heated seats,” he added.
“I had a hip problem for years before I took any action and I also suffer with hip inflammation which required cortisone injections. The height of the Qashqai suits me, making it easy to swing in and out of the driving seat.”
“The steering wheel is great because you can adjust it and drop it. I drive with it down all the time and I find it very comfortable. I love the interior and the heated seats.”
“The first four cars were diesel, but I don’t do big mileage anymore, maybe 20,000 kilometres a year, so I decided to go for a 1.2 litre SV petrol automatic.”
Richard enjoys a busy social life and is an avid dancer. He drives to dances twice a week in Kildare, while also making fortnightly visits to Waterford to go dancing with his brother and twice yearly trips to dances at the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney.
“It keeps me active. It’s all the quick step, fox trot, waltz, maybe a bit of line dancing. I love country and western music. I’ve been dancing since back when I joined the Army Apprentice School in Naas in 1961.
“Lawlor’s ballroom in Naas had all the big bands like Dickey Rock, The Royal and The Miami and we used to be there Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Dancing in those days went on until 3 a.m.. It was jammed packed. We were like sardines in a can. They called it The Ballroom of Romance.”
“I go for the steak on the stone in Lawlor’s every few weeks now to meet up with friends for the banter and craic and to reminisce.
“I do a lot of my driving at night so I like the automatic headlights, the lane departure warning and the emergency braking technology in the car. I don’t use the sat-nav much but I have it set for home all the time. It doesn’t matter where I am, I can get home.”
Richard continues to apply the skills of his trade to help family, friends and neighbours out with small maintenance jobs and believes that his Nissan Qashqai is the perfect partner when he is out and about doing these goodwill deeds.
“I love to keep in touch. I have a shed with all the tools in it, so I’m always on call. I still do little jobs. I help people with presses and small maintenance jobs, nothing heavy. The car is ideal, fold back the seats, pop in the tools, deadly”.
“I have three sons and five grandchildren aged two to 11. Occasionally I collect the grandchildren from school. You could have three of them in the car and there’s plenty of room in the back, good seat belts so they’re safe and lots of room for their luggage and bags in the boot”.
“The Around View Monitor is great and I love it for parking. When you select reverse you have the camera straight away. If you’re parking forward then you just go into the camera mode. I use it all the time to get between the white markings and it also warns you if something is moving nearby”.
“It is a fabulous car. I love everything about it. Even just to stand back and look at the exterior. The shape of it. It’s beautiful. I’ll get another one next year and look forward to buying the first EV version”.