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Mini Moke.

The Mini Moke was motoring at its most basic - a box-sided tray on wheels with a windscreen and the simplest of seats. In a warm climate it was great fun for taking down to the beach, a sort of four wheeled motorbike, but it was very draughty in the cold and wet with the "rag top" up and it did not offer much protection when mixing it with semi-trailers on the freeway.

The usual bodywork was a soft-top but if you wanted a minimalist delivery van the Mini Moke's tub made a good basis for one - as in this Post Office van. It is not in harness now and was on display at the Historic Commercial Vehicles Show.

The Moke was born in response to the British Army's search for air transportable vehicles. It was certainly light and compact, particularly with the windscreen down, but the front wheel drive, small wheels and low ground clearance cannot have given sufficient mobility, although experimental four wheel drive mokes were built - with two engines and transmissions, power at each end!

The big military orders fell through but the Moke went on to become a cult, a real classic car. If buying a Moke: Mechanical parts are shared with the Mini and are quite readily available. The body will probably suffer from rust because of the limited weather proofing, and the vehicle may have been used on or near the beach, but it is of simple slab-sided construction and easy to work on.


Go to the 4x4 Moke page

  • 1960, Austin investigate a light weight minimalist vehicle suitable for air transport for the British Army.
  • 1963, Mini Moke prototype built but the Army abandons interest.
  • 1964 August, civilian Mini Moke released, based on the front wheel drive Minicar with an 850cc engine transversely mounted.
  • 1966, Moke production transferred to Australia.
  • 1968, larger 13" wheels raise ground clearance to 8", 1100c engine fitted.
  • 1972, Californian Mokes produced with 1275cc motor for the US market.
  • 1981 November, Leyland Australia stops building Mokes but production is transferred to Portugal.
  • 1992, Moke production stops in Portugal. Tooling sold to Cagiva of Italy who build 1500 Mokes

Thanks to the Moke Owners Association for dates.

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