The bizarre accident occurred just before 2pm yesterday when a 1984 Chevrolet Corvette soft-top appeared to lose control after turning from State Highway 1 into State Highway 10 at Awanui, north of Kaitaia.
The Corvette left the road, shot down a bank, flattened a wooden fence and demolished a jetty, before hitting a new boat moored in the Awanui River.
The driver legged it before an astonished Craig Harrison, who was working on the boat, could get a look at him.
The aluminium landing craft, called Jet Runner and purpose-built for tour company Harrison’s Cape Runner six months ago, was undamaged.
The same could not be said for the fibreglass-bodied Corvette.
Mr Harrison said he had boarded the boat minutes earlier, planning to do some work ahead of a survey on Friday.
He looked up when he heard the sound of a V8 engine and saw the Corvette skittle the fence as it headed straight for his boat.
Article continues below
He said the crash gave him “a bit of a fright” but the jetty appeared to have taken most of the impact.
He felt the boat move when it was struck but there was plenty of give in the mooring rope, and it appeared to compensate for the impact.
In all his years with boats, Mr Harrison had never heard of one being hit with a car.
Keith Doel of Harrison’s Towing in Kaitaia said it was the first boat versus car crash he had been called to.
“He’s lucky the wharf was there, or he would have ended up in the boat or in the tide,” Mr Doel said of the driver.
Police are investigating the crash, which occurred in moderate rain. The Corvette was not believed stolen.
The fame of the 1984 Corvette was boosted by the 1980s action TV series The A-Team.