A man thought to be New Zealand’s oldest driver sparked a frantic search tonight after setting off on a 250km solo car journey to visit family in Turangi and not turning up.
But the story has a happy ending.
Robert “Bob” Moorfield left Te Kauwhata at 8am today in his white Suzuki Baleno bound for Turangi to visit his daughter-in-law.
The journey takes about three hours but great granddaughter Shyla Moorfield told the Herald the centurion did not arrive.
“Has not got to his destination and we are very worried. Just wondering if you’d be able to share a photo around of him to see if anyone has seen him or his car.”
She said the family had no way of contacting him and wanted anyone who had seen him to get in touch.
Police had been alerted. A spokeswoman confirmed they were aware of the missing person report and were looking into Moorfield’s disappearance.
But the family has just been informed the long distance driver has been found safe and well.
“They found him! Shyla Moorfield said. “He was found in a motel in Turangi.”
A 2012 story in the Hamilton News said Bob Moorfield was most probably the oldest Subaru driver in New Zealand.
At the time, the Te Kauwhata retired farmer was one of only 11 centenarian licensed drivers in the country.
To celebrate his impending 100th birthday, Moorfield took delivery of a new All Wheel Drive Forester.
It was his third Subaru after he first bought into the brand when he purchased a new Leone 4WD station wagon, from Winger Subaru in Hamilton in 1984.
“Its main attraction was we could drive it across the paddocks when we went duck shooting,” he recalled. “It was also a much easier option than the heavy 4WDs I’d had until then.”
It seems Moorfield has switched car brands but not lost his love of driving.