Name:  Clay Nichols

Where I live:  Austin, Texas

Our Family Car:  2003 Mazda MPV

Number of Kids:  3


Ages:  9, 6, 3

Clay Nichols & Family

Macho, Ranch-Road Mud Accents Optional


Thing I love most
about my car:

Almost paid for, yet only 30K miles.

Thing I hate most
about my car:

l the rubber-neckers and paparazzi

Nicknames we call
the car:

Love Machine of Volcanic Hotness, the van

I don’t leave home

Huge tub of premoistened Costco wipes

Longest road trip
with kids:

5 hrs down to Port Aransas on the Texas Gulf Coast.  The kids freaked a bit on the short ferry
ride to the island, but porpoises showed up and saved the day.

Favorite driving
music when alone:

Son Volt, Wilco, Kathleen Edwards, Amos Lee, Ryan Adams

Favorite driving
music with kids in the car:

Jack Johnson, Calexico, Shaggy, Van Morrison

Worst car moment:
I have a terrible sense of direction.  I have lived in Austin for over 15 years and
still can’t make it to the gas station without getting lost.  Not such a big deal until I had kids.  My Oldest, who is very much an oldest child,
hates to be late. So for five years, starting when the kid is about four,
whether we’re going to the grocery store or the wilds of downtown, every time
the kids gets buckled in, my son would always ask “do you know where
you’re going?”  To have your
competency called into question every time you settle behind the wheel can be
tough on a guy’s ego.  So I bought a

Last car before
1996 VW Passat GTX Station wagon – so I was pretty
domesticated even before kids.

Weirdest item in
the family car right now:

My wife’s purse. 
She leaves it there 24/7.  Who the
hell leaves their most valuable possessions in the car all the time?  And she never locks the car.  I’m announcing this hoping one of you will
take the opportunity to teach my wife a lesson and make a few bucks in the

Drive thru dining?  Where?
No way.  I’m one of
those people.  Car…must…be…spotless.

My next car will
really be a:
Volvo C30 in a crazy two-tone color

When successfully finding his way around Austin, Clay Nichols shows up as Creative Director of Dadlabs, a site that helps today’s dads “tackle the issues of today: from breast feeding in public to head lice to poop in the tub.”