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.