Simon Young restored two minis over a 20 year period. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

IT was a childhood enthusiasm that lead Bendigo’s Simon Young to restore two of the world’s most renowned Works Minis to their former glory.

He’s the only Australian to have ever completed such a feat – taking a combined total of 20 years.

Four of the cars were brought to Australia from the United Kingdom to compete in the 1967 Southern Cross Rally after which they were sold off, raced, and left in garages.

In 1994 Mr Young was tasked with restoring and rebuilding one of them, before another in 2002,  a labour of love that took him worldwide to search for parts.

He said a key component of the restorations was capturing and recreating a moment in time.

“There is a photo of the two cars being unloaded in the docks in Sydney (in the 1960s), and we said that’s how they’ll be.”

He said it’s a passion for cars which drives him in all of his restoration work.

This year marks 60 years of the Mini.