Revved up: bright yellow ‘Buttercup’, a 1947 MG TC Special, was due for some light maintenance work last week. Photo: KATIE MARTIN

Speedy pieces of history

May 15, 2021 BY

TUCKED away amongst the many warehouses in Kangaroo Flat is Simon Young’s British Sporting Cars, a restoration and reconditioning workshop servicing vintage classics.

Together Mr Young and his partner Shelly run the business which moved to its current location in 2005 following its establishment 25 years ago by Mr Young and his late father.

“Primarily we deal with the restoration of old British cars, mostly built before 1975. We do all our own engine work in house, our gear boxes in house. We do everything except body work and paint and trim,” he said.

“We also run cars in competitive events so we make up our own modified breaks and different things that the cars might need for different events.”

Mr Young’s self-described “affliction” with the stylish vehicles began at a young age and his talents for restoring their intricate insides were inherited from generations of family work in similar industries.

“I got a ride back from my grandmother’s house in Geelong when I was about six years old with my Aunt in her 850 Mini and there was just something about it,” he said.

“I fell in love with it then and there was never any doubt what my first car was going to be.

“My father was a mechanic, originally my family came from England to here to work on steam engines. He was into motorbikes and rally race motorbikes so it was just everywhere, but they weren’t into English stuff.

“The other half of my family have been here forever and they are all fitters and turners and motor mechanics and practical people.”

Built to perfection, the cars lined up in Mr Young’s shop are an expensive investment for himself and his clients, but he said the process of revitalising them is a rewarding and nostalgic one.

“There’s a sociological aspect to these things where people see a Mini Cooper S, they think of the Italian job, the Beetles, Twiggy, Mary Quant and it is that whole mindset,” he said.

“People want to be part of that even though it’s a piece of history now. The cars themselves are tangible.

“We need to keep reminders of our social history.”