Kaikohe residents were left scratching their heads when a car managed to hit a tree and flip onto its roof at lunchtime on a broad and empty street.
The crash occurred around noon on Monday, leaving the vehicle upside-down in the middle of Routley Ave.
A bystander told the Advocate the accident had occurred on a particularly wide road with no other traffic. The Honda hatchback, which had no number plates, was pushed to the side of the road to allow other cars to pass.
When the bystander returned two hours later for another look all four wheels had been removed.
Senior Sergeant Brian Swann, of Kaikohe police, said the driver had planned to take the vehicle to a nearby scrapyard but lost control as he was accelerating out of his driveway, struck a tree a few doors away and rolled.
It was believed a mechanical fault, possibly affecting the steering, had caused the crash.
Police were still considering what action to take against the driver, who was uninjured. Options included a fine for driving an unregistered vehicle or a charge of careless driving. Mr Swann said he should have put the car on a trailer to get it to the wrecker's yard.