Wedding anniversary 'bump' restarted

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 28/02/2014

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Willie Mathys' 20th wedding anniversary hit a bump in the road when he crashed his 1968 Mustang near Toko.

The Mustang was one of more than 400 American cars cruising back from Whangamomona on Wednesday afternoon. The convoy came to a bit of a halt after the Mustang rear-ended a Toyota Estima near a railway crossing.

It also meant Mr Mathys couldn't take his wife Barbara and their girls Mikayla, 12, and Nicola, 10, out for their anniversary dinner that night. Mrs Mathys and the two daughters were instead taken to Taranaki Base Hospital to be checked by medical staff.

Despite the abrupt stop to the first day of the Americarna tours the family were in high spirits yesterday afternoon.

Mr Mathys said the "Americarna family" had come out in full support and there had be at least three offers of cars.

The family yesterday drove a 1969 purple Ford Mustang to Waitara and to Inglewood.

The car belongs to Taranaki businessman and Taranaki Daily News 2013 Person of Year, Bryce Barnett.

Mr Barnett had lent the car to the family for the remainder of Americarna so they could still take part in the festival.

Mrs Mathys said the family was so grateful to Mr Barnett, and to John Rae who had taken really good care of them, and their damaged car.

"After we left the hospital the girls were asking how we were going to participate, because we didn't have a car anymore," she said.

"Now we have this. We are just so blown away."

Mr Mathys has full insurance on his Mustang, which he has owned since 2009.

The car was insured through John Rae Insurance and Mr Rae had organised to have the car picked up, assessed and repaired.

"He has just been amazing. He came straight up to the hospital and gave my girls hugs and stayed until we were sent home.

"He's been so caring, he's just like a big teddy bear really," he said.

Mr Mathys estimates his Mustang has cost him about $60,000 all up, including the cost of buying it and getting a few things restored and fixed up.

He did not know yet how much it would cost for the car to be repaired, but had no doubt he'd get it back soon.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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