1966 Mini Moke

Transmission: Manual
Mileage: 59300
Colour: Green

Some cars have found an unlikely cult status thanks to their presence in popular culture, and the Mini Moke is one of the most significant.

Developed by the British Motor Corporation with the primary purpose of being an inexpensive, simple-to-build and air-portable military vehicle based on the Mini, the Moke was originally a bit of a disaster – its low ground clearance and lack of off-road ability making it less popular with the forces than BMC expected. An ill-fated experiment with a twin-engined four-wheel-drive model was attempted, but was far too complex.

It was never the utilitarian success for which BMC had hoped, but the Moke more than made up for it by becoming an icon in its own right, beloved of celebrities including Brigitte Bardot and Michael Caine (both of whom were enthusiastic owners) and made famous by TV series and films including Captain Scarlet, The Persuaders, The Avengers, Tiny The Giraffe, UFO, Catch us if You Can, The Man with the Golden Gun and Moonraker. But it was the car’s starring role in cult TV series The Prisoner, around which the Welsh village of Portmeirion was built, that truly gave it fame – a fleet of four Mokes being used to ferry the village’s incumbents around as taxis and starring in every episode.

The Moke was also a big export success for BMC, for while the British weather didn’t really offer much opportunity to enjoy what was essentially a pared-down Mini with a canvas roof and no heater, other climes made it much more attractive, especially Commonwealth countries where cars could be constructed locally and imported in kit form.

And that’s what we have here – a 1966 Mini Moke assembled in South Africa, where it has lived for the 54 years of its life so far. The car was fully restored last year and has now been imported into the UK to enjoy a second life, with a fresh paint job and an assurance that there’s no hidden rot.

What makes it special?

This is a wonderfully charming little car, having emerged fresh from a full restoration that included a new canvas top, British Racing Green paint and an interior retrim. The car is largely standard, but has been personalised to the previous owner’s tastes.

In terms of its heritage, the car is a Leyland-Morris of South Africa model, pre-dating the BLMC merger and the point at which the RSA operations became known as Leyland South Africa. It was built at the Leykor plant in Blackheath, near Cape Town and is one of the earliest Mokes made for the nation.

This level rarity, coupled to its astonishing rot-free condition, makes it one of the most unusual Mokes on the market as well as one of the best future investments.

Outside

The body of the Moke is exceptional, with a lovely paint finish in rich British Racing Green, the result of a recent high-quality respray.

It’s set off by the bumpers, lamp surrounds, wheel and hub caps finished in matt black instead of the usual chrome – a non-standard but very smart look that really complements the Moke’s utilitarian nature – more so than the more common approach of excessive chrome and larger alloy wheels that appear on many Mokes. The new hood is very smart and fits neatly.

But it’s the condition of the underside that really stands out – the floor is free of corrosion in all of the usual rot traps and is hiding no nasties – it’s a remarkable car.

Inside

There’s not a huge amount inside a Mini Moke to start with, but what there is in this one is in fine order. The four individual seats have new black cushions on them which are – as you’d expect – in great condition, while the floor is protected by a tailor-made black rubber mat.

Otherwise, it’s a standard Mini steering wheel, a speedometer, three pedals, a gear lever and a handbrake… and that’s your lot.

Engine and running gear

The 59,300 miles on the clock can’t be proven, but this is a low usage car and has also been subject to a full mechanical overhaul so the numbers on the dial are somewhat academic.

As well as an engine rework, the Moke has had a stainless steel exhaust system fitted and several refurbished ancillaries, such as the alternator and radiator, along with a stainless steel air filter.

The appeal

Fully refurbished, unusual and beguilingly cute, this little Moke is a cut above anything else on the market right now, not least because it has come from a dry climate, meaning it has no corrosion issues. As a fun summer classic, an unusual twist on the Mini theme or a fascinating artefact from the empire that was once the British Motor Corporation, it’s a real charmer.

Location: Road and Race Automotive, United Kingdom
Contact:
Jack – +44 7545 301656

www.roadandrace.co.za

Description

1966 Mini Moke

Transmission: Manual
Mileage: 59300
Colour: Green

Some cars have found an unlikely cult status thanks to their presence in popular culture, and the Mini Moke is one of the most significant.

Developed by the British Motor Corporation with the primary purpose of being an inexpensive, simple-to-build and air-portable military vehicle based on the Mini, the Moke was originally a bit of a disaster – its low ground clearance and lack of off-road ability making it less popular with the forces than BMC expected. An ill-fated experiment with a twin-engined four-wheel-drive model was attempted, but was far too complex.

It was never the utilitarian success for which BMC had hoped, but the Moke more than made up for it by becoming an icon in its own right, beloved of celebrities including Brigitte Bardot and Michael Caine (both of whom were enthusiastic owners) and made famous by TV series and films including Captain Scarlet, The Persuaders, The Avengers, Tiny The Giraffe, UFO, Catch us if You Can, The Man with the Golden Gun and Moonraker. But it was the car’s starring role in cult TV series The Prisoner, around which the Welsh village of Portmeirion was built, that truly gave it fame – a fleet of four Mokes being used to ferry the village’s incumbents around as taxis and starring in every episode.

The Moke was also a big export success for BMC, for while the British weather didn’t really offer much opportunity to enjoy what was essentially a pared-down Mini with a canvas roof and no heater, other climes made it much more attractive, especially Commonwealth countries where cars could be constructed locally and imported in kit form.

And that’s what we have here – a 1966 Mini Moke assembled in South Africa, where it has lived for the 54 years of its life so far. The car was fully restored last year and has now been imported into the UK to enjoy a second life, with a fresh paint job and an assurance that there’s no hidden rot.

What makes it special?

This is a wonderfully charming little car, having emerged fresh from a full restoration that included a new canvas top, British Racing Green paint and an interior retrim. The car is largely standard, but has been personalised to the previous owner’s tastes.

In terms of its heritage, the car is a Leyland-Morris of South Africa model, pre-dating the BLMC merger and the point at which the RSA operations became known as Leyland South Africa. It was built at the Leykor plant in Blackheath, near Cape Town and is one of the earliest Mokes made for the nation.

This level rarity, coupled to its astonishing rot-free condition, makes it one of the most unusual Mokes on the market as well as one of the best future investments.

Outside

The body of the Moke is exceptional, with a lovely paint finish in rich British Racing Green, the result of a recent high-quality respray.

It’s set off by the bumpers, lamp surrounds, wheel and hub caps finished in matt black instead of the usual chrome – a non-standard but very smart look that really complements the Moke’s utilitarian nature – more so than the more common approach of excessive chrome and larger alloy wheels that appear on many Mokes. The new hood is very smart and fits neatly.

But it’s the condition of the underside that really stands out – the floor is free of corrosion in all of the usual rot traps and is hiding no nasties – it’s a remarkable car.

Inside

There’s not a huge amount inside a Mini Moke to start with, but what there is in this one is in fine order. The four individual seats have new black cushions on them which are – as you’d expect – in great condition, while the floor is protected by a tailor-made black rubber mat.

Otherwise, it’s a standard Mini steering wheel, a speedometer, three pedals, a gear lever and a handbrake… and that’s your lot.

Engine and running gear

The 59,300 miles on the clock can’t be proven, but this is a low usage car and has also been subject to a full mechanical overhaul so the numbers on the dial are somewhat academic.

As well as an engine rework, the Moke has had a stainless steel exhaust system fitted and several refurbished ancillaries, such as the alternator and radiator, along with a stainless steel air filter.

The appeal

Fully refurbished, unusual and beguilingly cute, this little Moke is a cut above anything else on the market right now, not least because it has come from a dry climate, meaning it has no corrosion issues. As a fun summer classic, an unusual twist on the Mini theme or a fascinating artefact from the empire that was once the British Motor Corporation, it’s a real charmer.

Location: Road and Race Automotive, United Kingdom
Contact:
Jack – +44 7545 301656

www.roadandrace.co.za