1967 SHELBY GT500
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.
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
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