Joan Winnum, 100, could be Melbourne's oldest active driver

Joan Winnum is five-foot tall, 100 years old, and born to drive.

And according to VicRoads, the centenarian from Wheelers Hill in south east Melbourne, could be the oldest active driver in Melbourne.

The Weary Dunlop retirement village resident has been a life-long car enthusiast since she started poking around car engines as a toddler with her father.

"I think the first words I could speak were, 'I want to drive the car'.

"When I was a little girl people used to say, 'What are you going to be when you grow up Joan?' And my answer used to be 'I want to be 18' [because] dad had told me you can't drive until you're 18."

KEEP THE MOTOR RUNNING: At 100 years old, Melbourne resident Joan Winnum, loves nothing more than getting behind the wheel.

KEEP THE MOTOR RUNNING: At 100 years old, Melbourne resident Joan Winnum, loves nothing more than getting behind the wheel.

Despite her age, Mrs Winum doesn't view the fact she still drives as that big a deal.

"I'm very sensible. If I felt uncomfortable or not happy with myself I wouldn't drive, but I feel perfectly at ease in the car. I'm not nervous and I'm not a mad driver."

VicRoads' records show that, in a state of more than six million people, only around 60 aged over 100 hold a valid driver's licence.

With many of those thought to be no longer actively behind the wheel, Mrs Winum is in rare company.

She lives in her own independent apartment at the retirement village and keeps up an active social network of friends, family and neighbours.

She was showered with attention for her 100th birthday recently, but struggled to see what all the fuss was about.

"People seem to treat it as though I've been very clever, or I've earned it or as though it's an achievement, but quite honestly what have I had to do with it?"

And when a certificate from a local politician marking her milestone arrived in the mail, Mrs Winum was outright indignant.

"A certificate! As though I've sat an exam to be 100, I mean, I ask you? They say politicians haven't much in the way of brains and I don't think they have."

She recalls the Great Depression of the 1930s, the advent of modern aviation, World War II and riding on steam trains on Melbourne's fledgling suburban rail network.

But asked what technological advancement during her century on earth most stands out in her mind, her answer says a lot about where her heart still lies.

"The introduction of automatic transmission in cars."