105-Year-Old Driver, Bob Edwards, Was on the Road Before Ford's Model T

'Driving is a Part of Me,' Says Edwards

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By Daniel Distant, Christian Post Reporter
June 6, 2013|10:52 am

A 105-year-old driver, Bob Edwards of New Zealand, is the country's oldest licensed driver. Edwards, who was born in Britain, has been on the road for 88 years, since before even the Ford Model T was first created.

The 105-year-old driver has a red four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi, and has managed to pass New Zealand's requirements to retain his driver's license once again. The country requires everyone over 80 to get a check-up every two years to ensure older drivers are still fit for the road.

"I don't think I'm old," Edwards told the Associated Press. "Not really."

Edwards, an exceedingly safe driver, claims he has only gotten one ticket and been in one car accident in his entire life. He's also one of the oldest drivers, being beaten out by American Fred Hale Sr., who drove until 108 in 1998, according to Guinness World Records.

Still, Edwards was around when cars first began becoming popular and widespread, earning his license at age 17 in 1925. He learned to drive on his uncle's De Dion Bouton, which had a lever instead of a steering wheel.

"It was something new," he said. "Cars were just coming in. I mean, it was marvelous."

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From there, driving would become an integral part of his life. He grew up in England but saw a Salvation army ad looking for young men to work in the then-empire's colonies.

"They told me Canada was very cold, Australia was very hot, but New Zealand, they said, was just right," he recounted. "So I picked New Zealand."

After converting a Dodge car into a truck, he started his own transportation business, working 16-hour days, and hiring new drivers under him. Although the gas rations of WWII ended his business- he went into the tour industry afterwards. He still drives today to get groceries, visit friends, and go to the doctor. His wife, 90-year-old Lesley, also depends on him, as she stopped driving nearly 30 years ago.

"As far as I'm concerned, driving is a part of me," he told AP. "I mean, that was me. I was a driver. And I could drive anything. Anything at all."

 

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