Moke Across The Ocean: Long-Stored 1966 Mini Moke

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This 1966 Mini Moke is currently in Kapaa, Hawaii, which would normally put a major damper on most purchasers in the other 49 states or elsewhere. Fortunately, the seller has realized this and is included shipment to Seattle, Oakland or Long Beach as part of the deal. It’s listed for sale here on eBay, with a buy it now of $6,500 but bidding starting at $1,000.

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In case this is the first one you are seeing, the Mini Moke was developed as an attempt to take the original BMC Mini platform and turn it into a Jeep-like vehicle for the British armed services. I don’t think it was ever used for that exact purpose, but many of them found homes at tropical resorts to move folks around economically or as low cost “dune buggies.”

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While accommodations are pretty sparse, I imagine they’d be pretty easy to replace if necessary as well. While this body looks ok in general, there are some spots of corrosion that are highlighted in the seller’s close up pictures. As much as these unusual vehicles are known to rust, I’d want to arrest the corrosion right away.

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You might be wondering if there is weather protection. Well–of a sort. I think this is more of a sunshade than anything else. Again, though, if you needed a new one made, it wouldn’t be difficult.

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Remember what I said about sparse accommodations? I think we’re there, don’t you? Of course, there are advantages to being able to rinse the sand out if you’re ferrying folks around a resort all day, right?

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Here’s the A-Series pushrod four cylinder, 997 cc in this case according to the seller. A single SU carburetor is probably enough in this case, especially given the lack of seat belts and even doors! I’ve seen solid Mokes like this listed for a lot more money than this one, but it’s got to be what you want; a Jeep CJ or Wrangler will handily outperform this baby off roader in every aspect apart from fuel economy. Is this Moke for you?

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Comments

  1. Roger Owen

    I would say that the ‘Buy it Now’ is on the button! These are becoming quite rare and sought after.

  2. DrinkinGasoline

    This would be fun using it around our acreage. Fabricate a new canvas shade as well as remove the back seats so we could toss some hand/yard tools in the back and putter off to the back forty for chores, etc. With our 20 cube trailer it would be very versatile. I’d rather have this than a 4 wheeler ATV. It’s a shame that I’m on the opposite side of the country.

  3. Dolphin Member

    These are fun beach cars, and they are appreciating, but…..

    Like with the recent Bradley kit car on BF, I hope bidders know what they will be getting before they bid, especially if the buyer isn’t very familiar with them and only sees it after it arrives.

    We had one of these as a rental in Barbados back years ago, and it was the perfect fun beach car, but these are tiny, and they have just about zero side protection, and not much in the front or rear either. I would only use it AT the beach, never to drive to and from the beach, or else on private property like DG said.These are tiny, and there is no roll bar.

    • Chas

      Seriously? Side protection, front and rear protection, Give me a break!
      Roll bars, airbags? Get a life!
      These things are pure unadulterated fun. If you want safety, go buy a new Prius! The engine is more than adequate for the tiny Jeep-like body shell and its extremely light weight.
      These are fast and a blast to drive and are extemely versatile. You can even drag your knuckles on the roadway while driving it anywhere.
      Kids, dogs and women love the adorable Moke and I can attest that we drive ours everywhere without concern or disappointment. I even let my 17 and 20 year old daughters drive it everywhere, and they actually learned to drive in our right hand drive Moke from Australia. We now have two of them, and I would recommend them as one of the most fun cars that is available in this or any price range, more smiles per dollar than almost anything else you could buy.
      This should definitely NOT be relegated only to the beach or the back forty. Take this versitile, adorable, fast, fun little buggy everywhere, and see how much your outlook on life improves instantly!
      Go for it. You will never regret buying or owning a Mini Moke! And the Mini engine is more than sufficient to get this tiny Jeep moving right along, and they handle quite well too, with a stiff rubber cone suspension, and very low center of gravity.
      I even put wheel dollies on the back of our 1966, and “drifted” it around the parking lot!
      /Users/chasgould/Desktop/Moke_drifting.MOV
      /Users/chasgould/Desktop/mokebyg.jpg

    • Dolphin Member

      Chas, thank you so much for your advice, but I’ll have to take your suggestion to get a life under advisement, since you seem to be saying that anyone who wouldn’t want to receive this Mini Moke in Seattle, Oakland or Long Beach—which is part of this deal—and then drive it anywhere might be making a big mistake.

      Maybe so, but if that means that I’m making a mistake in not driving a Moke home on the I-5 and then on various other No American motorways that are full of giant SUVs and pickups, 18-wheelers, stretch limos, and folks whose driving skills and attention in traffic seem less than real good, than I’ll just have to keep on making that same mistake.

      For one thing, the last time I was on the I-5 through L.A. the average speed was about 75 MPH and in my experience 75 MPH is faster than a Moke will go. And then there is the problem of those repeated 75 mph to 0 mph to 75 mph speed changes that can happen at commuting time, which I don’t see the Moke being good at.

      You might enjoy it, but I draw the line at driving a very small moving chicane in very fast traffic. Any time I think of driving a vehicle in which I am looking up at the tops of the tires on many of the surrounding vehicles, I get real uncomfortable.

      And yes, I already know that’s not very macho of me.

      BTW, I never mentioned air bags…not sure where that came from. Don’t remember saying that the engine wasn’t adequate for the tiny body shell, either. I like the Moke. It’s those other giant machines out there that make me gunshy. That, and some of their drivers.

      • Chas

        I apologize. My comments were not intended to insult. I only meant that if you like and enjoy vintage cars, it goes without saying that we give up a considerable amount of safety, as technology has advanced so fast in that area. I agree that these things (and many other older cars) are no fun on the highway, but they are a blast around town and most other places.
        As a collector of small cars & motorcycles, i just get tired of people talking about how dangerous they are, usually with no personal knowledge of having owned or driven them. People often say “I wouldn’t want to get hit by a semi hauler in that thing, to which I respond, “what car would you want to get hit by a semi in?”
        If you buy a 1957 Chevy, you won’t have airbags, seat belts, ABS, traction control or side impact beams, and you will get a steel dash to crush you. Your are correct that you would have more peripheral protection, but all old cars are dangerous. Enjoy them carefully.

  4. David L Member

    Rust, rust, rust. Cars on Kauai have major rust problems! Former brother in law had a car I watched disintegrate in about 4-5 years and I mean disintegrate. Front end, fenders and hood came loose so it bounced around on the roads. Panels rusted out major. This one looks like it might be on its way to that. Sad.

  5. Chas

    Here are my daughters in our Aussie Moke! They were much younger then, but that is when they learned to drive on this right hand drive Mini Moke.

    • Dave Wright

      You must keep a shotgun by the door with daughters like that!!!

      • Chas

        I do, indeed!

  6. SunbeamerStu

    The most stupidly reckless and fun drive I’ve ever taken was made with a rental Moke. Still smile about it 30 years later. A very entertaining little car.

  7. Bill McCoskey

    Back in the late 80s I managed a $10 million rental villa in Barbados [the London Times said it was the finest in the Caribbean], and we had a Portuguese made Moke – the ones with the 15″ wheels. Since our staff had to pick up guests at the airport along with their luggage, if more than 3 guests needed transport there wasn’t room for their luggage, so we would send one of those horrid little Mitsubishi microbus taxicabs.

    So I came up with the solution: As Mokes were everywhere in Barbados, I bought 2 wrecks, one with front damage, the other with rear damage. You guessed it, I cut the damaged parts away, and welded the good parts together, adding angle iron braces to all 4 sides of the main body box sections. Lengthened the exhaust, fuel & brake lines, & e-brake cable, and voila — a 6-passenger Moke limousine, plus room for luggage in the back! It ran well, had sufficient power with the 1200 engine and considering the fairly flat roads with speed limits of 35mph, it was fine for the island.

    But I hit a snag when I tried to put the car on the road, the MOT [Ministry of Transport] refused to give it the OK for use, saying it had to have a certificate of safety from the Moke factory in Portugal! That’s when I realized why there were no stretched limos of any kind on the island, & why there were so many microbus taxicabs!

    Ended up selling the good parts off the body, then scrapping the rest. Had the internet been around, I would have sold it to someone in the USA & exported it.

  8. Roger Owen

    Do you have any pictures? Would be very interesting to see!

  9. Bill McCoskey

    Sadly, a lot of my Barbados [and other automotive] photos were consumed in a lightning-induced fire that destroyed my antique car restoration shop and office in 1998. However I think I might have the first generation drawing of the proposal I submitted to the owner of the estate, for his approval. Will go search my Barbados files & if I still have it, I’ll scan it & post it here. The piece is fairly rough, having created it from a drawing in the factory sales catalog I got from the Moke dealer in Bridgetown, Barbados.

  10. Bill McCoskey

    Found the original proposal for the Moke limo. This was created by taking 2 copies of the factory brochure and doing a cut & paste. The differences between what I built and this rendering were as follows:
    No 4th row seats, and the 2nd & 3rd row seats were the fold-up bench seat usually found in the back seat. I had envisioned being able to fold up the other 2 rows of seats & carry a large amount of luggage, or 6 passengers & luggage in the rear area.
    Front seats were not high back. Mine had 15″ steel wheels. Was painted blue.

    I also remember after building it and running the car over a few large bumps, it had started to bow in the center, with the 2 side “boxes” spreading apart in the middle, behind the 2nd ro of seats, so I put in a tubular support from side to side at the top, just behind the 3nd row of seats.

    If you are familiar with the steel lattice trusses used in roofing systems, the ones with steel rods forming triangle shapes along the entire span, I took one of these [I believe it was a 6″ tall version] and welded/bolted it in an inverted fashion down the center of the passenger area, under the seats. These 2 modifications stopped most of the tendency to bow the body, but it didn’t help in keeping the body from twisting when one wheel was higher than the other 3. However that didn’t really matter, as there were no doors to pop open or get stuck!

    I will say that while I never had the opportunity to get it stuck in the town’s narrow streets, it did have a terrible turning radius!

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