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Welcome arrow Articles arrow Personality Profiles arrow Hon. James P.C. Tien, JP, Chairman of the Liberal Party
Hon. James P.C. Tien, JP, Chairman of the Liberal Party PDF Print E-mail

Legislative councillor James Tien is an avowed car enthusiast and the owner of a Bentley Turbo R.  Bentley Ahead! talked to him about his cars and other aspects of his life

The Hon. James Tien, JP

What was your first car?

I returned to Hong Kong from the States in 1971 and bought a Datsun (now Nissan) 240Z.  A great car;  a real classic.

Where did you learn to drive?

In 1964 I was at college in Boulder, Colorado and four of us clubbed together to buy a 1953 Oldsmobile automatic for US$200.  We all learned to drive in that Olds.

What do you like most about your Bentley?

It is comfortable and solid. It is probably the best car to ride in the back of.   It has large wheels and tyres which give it an excellent ride as well as good handling.

How many other cars do you own?

I have six cars in total: as well as the Turbo R, there is a Ferrari F355, a Porsche Carrera S - the one I probably drive most - two Mercedes: a CLK 320 and an S500, and an Audi A4 Wagon.

You have a boat, an 80-foot Riva Opera.  How does it compare to a Bentley?

I used to receive a magazine called Symbol, which contained only features about Riva boats, Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars and Ferraris.  I think that says it all.  They are each the ultimate in their own special way.

Where is your favourite place for a holiday?

Either skiing in Vail, Colorado, or cruising in the Mediterranean.

Where is your favourite place in Hong Kong?

On my boat, I think.

Your favourite restaurant?

Victoria City Seafood Restaurant on the second floor of the Sun Hung Kai Centre.  They do marvellous Chinese food, especially Shanghainese, Chiu Chow and Cantonese delicacies.

What improvements could be made to the Bentley range?

I am not keen on the rear of the latest Arnage;  it looks odd.  The Turbo R, though, I could not improve.  It has great looks; a big, lazy engine; it's quiet; and it has a very efficient air conditioning system.  The Turbo R has everything a back seat passenger could want.

The new Mid-size Bentley, currently being developed in Crewe, is due in a couple of years.  Would you consider changing your car then?

No, because I already have a variety of cars.  I have plenty of choice.

What do you look for in a car?  Speed?  Comfort?  Style?

It depends on my mood!

Do you think taxation of the motorist in Hong Kong is too high?

Yes, undoubtedly.  And on red wine!  The government is stifling the quality of life in Hong Kong.  After all, there is no tax, for instance on the boat I bought;  or on a Rolex watch.  Why should cars and a good red (wine) be heavily taxed?

What changes do you think the government should make in respect of motor vehicles, to improve air quality?

Private cars are not the problem.  It is taxis and the light goods (diesel) vehicles.


Do you think the government unfairly targets private cars as a cause of air pollution?

It is more the trucks, as I have said.  Increasing tax on private cars will not reduce air pollution.

How do you rate MD Motors' service?

They are too eager to replace parts, instead of repairing a component.  I am talking about the entire industry, not just MD Motors.  The motor industry needs to improve and not just make money out of parts and repairs.

Is owning a Bentley a luxury or an essential?

A luxury!  All my cars fall into the luxury category.

If I was forced to choose just one car, I would have to compromise.


The Hon. James Tien, JP, was talking to Jeff Heselwood
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© 2019 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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