Michael Reeves’ Mustang Mach I Transformation

Michael Reeves’ Mustang Mach I Transformation

“I commend Matamata Panelworks without hesitation. They are honest and committed, good communicators and committed to excellence.”

The 69

At the beginning of 2007 I started the search to acquire a 1969 Mustang Mach l. lt was certainly more challenging than what I had anticipated.The standard of what is available in New Zealand is remarkably poor and of course trying to buy one from the US or Australia is fraught with challenges and dangers. Around November, after numerous attempts, I eventually purchased a 1969 Mach I Mustang which had been owned by the same gentle man since around 1972. After having missed out on so many cars, based on the inspection of photos, I agreed to pay $40,000 from the proud Auckland owner for the car. lt superficially was in quite remarkable condition.


I had the car picked up and delivered to Wellington, thus I never met the vendor in person.


I then joined the Manawatu division of the Mustang owners club and started researching who were the quality providers of service and who would have the expertise for a restoration and conversion from left hand drive to right hand drive.

After much enquiries the parties of the proficiencies and competencies and confidence to take on such a task, clearly was Matamata Panelworks.

I had to take into account I needed extensive panelwork, mechanical work, adherence to excellence, and I needed to deal with people that were good communicators and had the utmost of integrity. The bottom line is that I needed to have a lot of confidence in the party.

Matamata Panelworks

I travelled from Wellington to Matamata for the day and had the pleasure of meeting Malcolm Sankey. I immediately liked Malcolm because what he said is what he meant. Malcolm is one of two owners. I would describe Malcolm as a big teddy bear that is earnest and meticulous.


After considerable discussions and agreement on specifications, which was no easy feat, I had decided on a complete rotisserie restoration, inclusive of new wheels, new suspension, new running gear, new brakes, new exhaust system, new glass, complete panel and paint restoration, new chrome, new fittings, new suspension, in fact I can’t think of anything that I didn’t replace. The process, attention to detail under taken by Matamata Panelworks was exhaustive.

The team at Matamata Panelworks are clearly a class act. They have achieved excellence in array of expertise’s being mechanical, panel and paint. The car is of course, in vastly superior condition than what it was on the day it was made new.


The process entails in the first instance agreeing on the scope of the work to be completed. In this matter Malcolm was extremely helpful. There is no end of decisions to be made with different causes and effects. lt very much depends on what outcome you want and expect, and of course, can afford. We then agreed on the specs as to what work would be done.

The process was incredibly consultative. I was consulted on dozens of occasions for input and received countless emails from the team, including continuous updates of photos by email, which of course was quite enjoyable.

The bottom line issue is, for anyone seeking the services of a professional team to restore car I commend Matamata Panelworks without hesitation. They are honest and committed, good communicators and committed to excellence. And for anyone wishing to complete a quality restoration of your car, they are certainly the team.

Level 6
The Todd Building
95 Customhouse Quay
New Zealand

Tel:   04 499 5522
Fax: 04 499 8850
e-mail: michaelreeves@clear.net.nz