A bright future for Young TImers Garage


Boutique, describes Young Timers Garage (YTG), located in the south-east Melbourne suburb of Keysborough

A bright future for Young TImers Garage
Young Timers Garage

Passion is what fuels Shaun Baker, his brother Steve and the team at this automotive dealership, specialising in classic and collectable cars. 

To view the eclectic line-up of cars, ranging from rare HSVs to Le Mans McLarens, an appointment is a must, ensuring privacy and so the staff can devote uninterrupted time with existing clients and potential buyers. 

Brokering vehicles between sellers and buyers, with word of mouth being a key driver, and combing the world for the best of the best classic and collectable cars, keeps Baker and his team flat chat. "We buy and sell cars from all over the world," Baker said, "and I can deliver a car to you in Italy. We currently have two cars we’re about to ship to South Africa." 

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Now in its third year of operation, 2023 saw YTG purchase the historic and iconic nameplate of race-car turned road-car manufacturer Elfin, from the Walkinshaw Automotive Group. 

Elfin was founded by Garrie Cooper in South Australia in 1959, became the biggest manufacturer of racing cars here and collected 29 major championship and Grand Prix titles. Formula One champion James Hunt won his last race, driving an Elfin MR8 Formula 5000. 

Cooper passed away in 1982, and in 1993 Elfin was acquired by former racer, Murray Richards, who in turn sold it in 1998 to Bill Hemming and Kick Kovatch. 

A collaboration with Holden and Elfin resulted in the road-going Elfin MS8 Streamliner, shown at the 2004 Melbourne Motorshow. The Walkinshaw Automotive Group bought the business in 2006 but closed its doors in 2009. 

"We met with Ryan Walkinshaw who said, ‘We want to move Elfin’. We thought he meant the car, but it was the company. So we sat down and thought about it and decided to buy it," said Baker

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Currently sitting in the YTG showroom is a bright yellow, latest model Elfin Type 5. 

Unfinished Elfin T5s and a stockpile of parts are sitting in several shipping containers. "We are putting together the remaining four T5s, two are already assembled and we are looking at bringing some investors together to potentially go in to low-volume production," Baker explained. 

He says the cost of making cars in this country is prohibitive, so is looking for a suitable destination overseas to manufacture the cars. Vietnam or other parts of Asia are firming as a logical choice. 

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"We’re working out suitable power plants, not a V8, as they make the car too nose heavy and technology has come a long way since 2006 so we can now build the bodies from carbon fibre," Baker says. "There’s so much tech we have access to these days. It’s about feasibility."

Baker placed an expression of interest for the Clubman T5 in a recent issue of Unique Cars and was humbled by the large and positive response of people seeking information. 

"If we get everything we need to manufacture, we will go ahead and each car will be bespoke."

Gazing into a crystal ball, Baker says, "If the planets align, orders for new Elfins could be possibly taken as early as next year, with delivery late 2025."

Let’s hope Baker and his YTG team get that intergalactic alignment. For more information, visit: ytg.co 

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