New Zealand Classic Car - - SPECIAL FEATURE -

Where does one even be­gin with a lo­cal com­pany as ac­com­plished as Me­tal­man? Its his­tory spans four gen­er­a­tions, en­com­pass­ing more than 100 years of com­bined ex­pe­ri­ence in the scrap-metal trade. It be­gan in 1945 in Welling­ton, as en­tre­pre­neur­ial Bob Proc­tor be­gan trad­ing as Proc­tor’s Re­claim, sal­vaging army-sur­plus stock in the post-war years. With his son, Bert, join­ing the team in 1964, the com­pany’s rep­u­ta­tion only grew. Bob passed away in 1974, and the reins were handed over to Bert and his son, Clark. Af­ter the duo re­al­ized the po­ten­tial af­forded by alu­minium- can re­cy­cling, Can- Man Re­cy­clers was born in 1988, of­fer­ing the pub­lic fairer prices and bet­ter ser­vice than its con­tem­po­raries. Five years was all it took for the small com­pany to grow into a re­spected and suc­cess­ful re­cy­cling and ex­port­ing op­er­a­tion, with cus­tomers through­out the coun­try and over­seas. In 1993, Sims Pa­cific Me­tals pur­chased the busi­ness and, af­ter 30 years in the scrap-metal in­dus­try, Bert called it quits and re­tired. Clark went on to be­come Sims’ key metal trader and, af­ter 20 months, he was ap­proached by Tas­man Pulp and Pa­per to head its re­cy­cling divi­sion. In­for­ma­tion that Clark gath­ered in his roles con­sis­tently sug­gested that cus­tomer ser­vice in the scrap in­dus­try was lack­ing. With old cus­tomers from the Can- Man days ap­proach­ing Clark to pur­chase their scrap metal, he soon found him­self back in the scrap-metal trade — this be­gan with a smallscale op­er­a­tion in 1999. With the help of a hard-work­ing man­ager, this was soon ex­panded to a small Mount Welling­ton de­pot to gauge pub­lic in­ter­est. Over­whelm­ing suc­cess forced Clark to search for a more per­ma­nent ar­range­ment. He pur­chased a bare lot of land in East Ta­maki and, fol­low­ing months of le­gal for­mal­i­ties, work be­gan on the site in 2001. Un­prece­dented growth forced him to look for land again in 2005; this time, it was in Takanini, ad­ja­cent to the South­ern Mo­tor­way, and 2006 saw a branch open up in Tau­ranga, plus one in Christchurch later that year. A branch was also opened in Waikato in 2007, to pro­vide the ser­vice that the re­gion so needed. Twelve months ago, the com­pany re­lo­cated its Ka­iapoi branch to Christchurch, on Cass Street in Sy­den­ham. Fur­ther im­prove­ments have seen Me­tal­man’s sites brought well into the 21st cen­tury, and the com­pany con­tin­ues to pro­vide the ex­cel­lent ser­vice and prices that built its rep­u­ta­tion. Me­tal­man is also the nam­ing spon­sor for the Targa Me­tal­man Clas­sic 2WD cat­e­gory. Clark will race this year, though in the In­stra Mod­ern 2WD class, be­hind the wheel of his tur­bocharged V6 Nis­san– en­gined Es­cort.

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