Matamata Panelworks’ open corral

14 March, 2016

On Sunday, March 13, Matamata Panelworks opened the doors for all to see for the 10th year running, to showcase their state-of-the-art facilities and workmanship. 

From rather humble beginnings, Matamata Panelworks has grown to become one of New Zealand’s leading restorers of all things Mustang. From high-end customs to concours restorations, Malcolm Sankey and his talented team also extend their creative expertise to other marques, and are definitely not afraid to tackle anything when it comes to restoration projects, including the likes of exotics such as De Tomaso Panteras and Ferraris. 

Matamata Panelworks’ open days have become a popular must-see for many, and judging by the impressive line-up of muscles cars and other machinery, this year’s event was yet another success. 

Held on a beautiful day, this year’s event provided the establishment with a great opportunity to show some of their finest work to date. 

Under construction, the level of skill and the time invested is evident in the amount of metal-fabrication work required to build this one-off custom-built ’Stang. 

Wild horses require wild power, and it doesn’t get much better than this impressive hoof-pounding Ford V8 power plant.

It’s not all about wild horses and American muscle though; this Fiat Bambina is getting treated to a full restoration. 

For those who attended this year’s Matamata Panelworks Open Day, there was undoubtedly plenty of impressive projects under way, as well as many of their completed award-winning cars, which are testament to the company’s high-quality workmanship, attention to detail, and commitment to customer satisfaction.  

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.