1967 SHELBY GT500

THUN­DER­ING THOROUGHBRED

New Zealand Classic Car - - CONTENTS - Words: Ash­ley Webb Pho­tos: Adam Croy

Through­out Hanlo Reyneke’s child­hood — ev­ery Sun­day for about nine years — he asked his friend Tjaart’s fa­ther for a ride in his AC Co­bra, but it never hap­pened. That was un­til one day, a few years later, Tjaart called Hanlo at work and asked him if he wanted to drive the Co­bra. He was tak­ing it to an event, he would drive up to the front door, and he needed some­one to drive it away af­ter­wards: Hanlo was the only other per­son trusted to drive the car. He ob­vi­ously jumped at the op­por­tu­nity, locked up shop straight away, and rushed to the lo­ca­tion.

The very first time he got into the car was in front of a few hun­dred peo­ple. He tried to find the ac­cel­er­a­tor pedal by press­ing ev­ery­thing in front of his feet but with no suc­cess, as he hadn’t re­al­ized that it was lo­cated to the right, be­hind the wheel tub, re­quir­ing some tricky foot ma­noeu­vring to find it. Feel­ing a lit­tle stressed and em­bar­rassed, Hanlo started step­ping harder in all di­rec­tions, only to fully step on the throt­tle and cause the crowd to go wild at the roar of the V8 en­gine.

But the em­bar­rass­ment didn’t end there. He drove it to Tjaart’s dad’s house in a neigh­bour­ing town, only to be told to take it across town to another garage. On the way, he de­cided to take the scenic route via the beach road. Feel­ing on top of the world driv­ing the Co­bra, Hanlo ex­pe­ri­enced his sec­ond low point of the day by run­ning out of petrol right in front of a busy tav­ern. Again with hun­dreds of peo­ple star­ing at him, Hanlo got out, pushed the car out of harm’s way, and called Tjaart’s mum (he didn’t want to call the dad) and asked if she could bring him some petrol. She turned up 15 min­utes later with a can of petrol, but it was im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous that she’d had a few drinks be­fore she got there and wanted to go for a joy ride.

Hanlo did even­tu­ally get the car to where it was sup­posed to be.

Suc­cess story

In Fe­bru­ary 2003, Hanlo moved to New Zea­land from South Africa, and, af­ter pur­chas­ing a few ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties, a car, and a tele­vi­sion, he had only $4K left in the bank. One day, in 2004, his mother, Lynn, said that she had found a house that she thought he should buy in Tuakau, which caused him to al­most fall off his chair, be­cause buy­ing a house wasn’t some­thing that he’d even ever thought of, as he had no money and knew noth­ing about fix­ing houses.

She then pro­ceeded to show him pho­tos of a di­lap­i­dated house that needed

restor­ing. He was even less im­pressed, but even­tu­ally agreed to buy it. His mother and step­fa­ther, Tom, lent him the bal­ance of the money required for the de­posit, as well as the money to ren­o­vate the house. Lynn also of­fered to help work on the house, as she had had pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence in ren­o­vat­ing houses. Five weeks af­ter buy­ing it, they were work­ing un­til mid­night each day un­til, even­tu­ally, the house was com­pleted. It looked amaz­ing, and the restora­tion bug bit again. Hanlo then bought and re­stored another four houses and built two more from scratch. Dur­ing the build of his first house, Hanlo had been made re­dun­dant from his job, which had shot his stress lev­els through the roof. While still building and look­ing for another job, he came across a com­pany called Source Com­puter Ser­vices in Pukekohe, which spe­cial­izes in all-in-one home and busi­ness IT so­lu­tions. He was very im­pressed by the ethics of the busi­ness, and ended up buy­ing a 50-per­cent share in the com­pany. Through­out the next decade, Hanlo’s prop­erty and busi­ness ven­tures pros­pered.

Sim­ply the best

In Novem­ber 2015, Hanlo’s wife, Rosie, was away for work for a week, and, be­ing bored, he started search­ing for a project car. He be­gan trawl­ing for an AC Co­bra, Co­bra, Shelby Co­bra, or a Shelby and even­tu­ally came across a gen­uine ’67 Shelby GT500. He im­me­di­ately knew that this was the car for him, think­ing that he might never have an op­por­tu­nity to get his hands on an icon like this again.

Hanlo was also of the opin­ion that the ’67 is sim­ply the best-shape Mus­tang ever built; plus, it was the first time that Car­roll Shelby had shoe­horned the mon­strous 428ci (7.0-litre) V8 en­gine into a Shelby. It is also the last ‘true’ Shelby, be­cause that was the fi­nal year that Car­roll Shelby was in full con­trol of Shelby Amer­i­can be­fore pro­duc­tion was moved to the Ford Fac­tory in ’68. To top it all off, the Shelby GT500 that Hanlo had stum­bled on was a com­pletely num­bers-match­ing car, with very low mileage. Hanlo knew that his first choice, an AC Co­bra, would have to go on the back burner, be­cause he sim­ply couldn’t pass up the op­por­tu­nity to buy the Shelby GT500. He could see from the pho­tos that the car required a mas­sive amount of work, but this was ex­actly what he sought: his next project had been found.

When Hanlo told his wife what he wanted to buy, he joked and said that it was a di­rect re­sult of her leav­ing him for a week, al­low­ing him to get bored. She just laughed ner­vously, prob­a­bly won­der­ing what he’d buy next time she went away for a week! When­ever she does, she still jok­ingly tells him, “don’t buy any more cars,” and he hasn’t — yet.

Most peo­ple say that building a new house is very stress­ful on your re­la­tion­ship, but, af­ter hav­ing just fin­ished building a new in house in Pukekohe, in 2015, and ren­o­vat­ing their in­vest­ment prop­erty, Hanlo and Rosie’s re­la­tion­ship was stronger than ever. For­tu­nately, Hanlo knows he has the most in­cred­i­ble wife in the world, and that

Hanlo and Rosie never in­tended to build the car for com­pe­ti­tions or shows; it was sim­ply built to their very high stan­dards be­cause they be­lieve that any­thing worth do­ing is worth do­ing right and to the best of your abil­ity

she would be there to sup­port and help him through the restora­tion process.

Into the deep end

It’s in Hanlo’s na­ture to jump into the deep end of any project, and then just deal with any­thing that comes up, one thing at a time. But, as he’d never re­stored a car, he knew that he would need help to as­sem­ble the jig­saw of parts — he had no idea where any­thing went.

The first item on the agenda was to find the best Mus­tang restora­tion spe­cial­ist in New Zea­land. Hanlo spent a month con­tact­ing ev­ery­one around the coun­try, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the Auck­land Mus­tang Own­ers Club, and one name keep com­ing up: Steve Sankey, of Clas­sic Amer­i­can Restora­tion Ser­vices (C. A.R.S.). Ev­ery­one praised his work. This was great news, be­cause Steve just hap­pened to be in Pukekohe as well — it was meant to be. Hanlo ar­ranged to meet Steve, and one of the first things he said was, “I hear you have been ask­ing a lot of peo­ple about me”, to which Hanlo replied, “I like to do my home­work on the peo­ple I want to work with.”

That af­ter­noon, they sat in Steve’s of­fice and care­fully checked through all the Shelby’s pho­tos and doc­u­men­ta­tion. Steve quickly iden­ti­fied that the car was the real deal, and said that he would be happy to help with the restora­tion process. Hanlo wasted no time con­tact­ing his brother-in-law, Alex, who lives in New York, and asked him if he would go to Mas­sachusetts to make sure that the per­son ad­ver­tis­ing the car was le­git­i­mate and that all the doc­u­men­ta­tion and pho­tos were in or­der and the car was as ad­ver­tised. Once Alex con­firmed ev­ery­thing was in or­der, Hanlo im­me­di­ately bought the car and ar­ranged for the car and all the parts to be shipped to New Zea­land.

The car ar­rived here while Hanlo and Rosie were in the UK, but Steve was happy to col­lect it and take it back to his shop. Steve sent pho­tos to the cou­ple of him pick­ing it up from GT Lo­gis­tics, and Hanlo couldn’t wait to get back to New Zea­land to see it for the first time.

Mak­ing it their own

When Steve and Hanlo had first spo­ken, Hanlo said that he and Rosie were keen to get in­volved with the restora­tion and do as much of the work as pos­si­ble, to make the car their own. Steve was happy with this ar­range­ment, and un­der­stood that it wasn’t be­cause of the money; the rea­son­ing was much deeper than that.

The project be­gan in earnest, with Steve Sankey and Steve Jamieson dis­as­sem­bling the car, split­ting ev­ery weld and

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join to check for rust, re­pair­ing what needed to be re­paired and re­plac­ing what needed re­plac­ing, while sav­ing as much of the orig­i­nal car as pos­si­ble. Un­for­tu­nately, most of the car, from the wheel arches down­wards, had to be re­placed due to rust. The floor­pan looked like Swiss cheese, with big chunks com­pletely rusted away. While Steve and Steve worked on the body­work, Hanlo and Rosie started restor­ing many of the other parts, one piece at a time. Luck­ily, they have a friend, Ja­son, with a sand­blast­ing shop in Pukekohe, and he was kind enough to teach them how to use the equip­ment, which they were able to ac­cess dur­ing the week­ends. They worked as a tag team in the booth, sand­blast­ing ev­ery­thing. It was ex­tremely time-con­sum­ing, and hard and hot work in the booth with all the gear on.

Ev­ery sin­gle com­po­nent was dis­as­sem­bled and stripped down to each in­di­vid­ual nut, bolt, and washer. Ev­ery­thing was ei­ther re­stored, re­paired, and re­con­di­tioned, or re­placed if it couldn’t be saved. Work­ing through all the in­di­vid­ual com­po­nents took a very long time and com­pletely oc­cu­pied their garage. Hanlo even­tu­ally in­stalled ad­di­tional shelv­ing units for the re­stored parts, which they eas­ily filled, along with their en­tire garage floor.

As cur­rent care­tak­ers of the car, Hanlo and Rosie felt it was very im­por­tant to hon­our its her­itage and re­store it back to fac­tory spec­i­fi­ca­tions, right down to the cor­rect fac­tory-coded hoses and clamps from a Shelby parts provider in the US. Dur­ing this time, the en­gine was also com­pletely stripped, checked, and re­assem­bled.

Once all the body­work and parts had been re­stored, the Shelby was ready to be sent to the painter for them to ap­ply the orig­i­nal Dark Moss Green colour. Once the Shelby ar­rived back from the painter, it was time for re­assem­bly. Hanlo asked Steve if he could as­sist with this process, and took a month off work to do so. They worked on the car ev­ery day with the help of Steve Jamieson and Rosie help­ing week­ends — as a re­sult, they as­sem­bled the en­tire car in a month.

Worth do­ing right

Hanlo and Rosie never in­tended to build the car for com­pe­ti­tions or shows; it was sim­ply built to their very high stan­dards be­cause they be­lieve that any­thing worth do­ing is worth do­ing right and to the best of your abil­ity.

In say­ing that, they are so happy with the re­sult that they wanted to show ev­ery­one what great work the team at C.A.R.S. had done, and they took it to Big Boys Toys ear­lier this year to dis­play the Shelby on the C.A.R.S. stand. At the show, they were ap­proached by the Auck­land Mus­tang Own­ers Club ask­ing if they would con­sider join­ing the club and en­ter­ing the 2018 Eller­slie Clas­sic Car Show to rep­re­sent the club in the Teams Event, which they agreed to.

Once again, Steve Sankey stepped up, along with other club mem­bers, to help pre­pare the car for the show. They spent weeks clean­ing the car, and, to their delight, scored 553 points out of a pos­si­ble 590, which was the third-high­est score of all the en­tries. They were only beaten by a team of two glo­ri­ous Mercedes-benz 300 SL road­sters, and were only 10 points be­hind the best car and one point be­hind the sec­ond-best car.

Since then, Hanlo and Rosie have been en­joy­ing driv­ing their car and shar­ing it with friends and fam­ily. Hanlo con­tin­ues to look for an AC Co­bra project car to add to the col­lec­tion, but it might be a while, be­cause Rosie ab­so­lutely loves the Shelby.

When Hanlo started restor­ing mo­tor­bikes at the age of 16 with his friend, Wil­lie, in his un­cle’s garage, he al­ways loved the pride, joy, and sense of ac­com­plish­ment achieved by hard work

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