Pow, Right To The Moon! Moke Mooncraft Racer


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As the owner of an Austin Marina race car, I feel fairly competent when it comes to the area of turning unlikely British Austins into racing machines. There’s even a “standard” Mini Moke that races in the same series I do, the 24 Hours of LeMons. But never, ever would I dream of turning a Moke into a single-seat sports-racing car and create a race series around it. But that’s exactly what this Moke-based racing car is, thanks to a company evocatively called Mooncraft! Thanks to Barn Finds reader John A. for this highly unusual find, located in Fountain Valley, California.


image courtesy betterparts.org

Considering the above picture is a stock Moke, I have to admit they did a nice job of making it look more like a sports car–look closely and you can see some of the Moke panels, like the hood and sides. But I still have to ask why start with a Moke in the first place?


As best as I can tell, Mooncraft made enough of these to support a single-marque racing series in Japan. I found a model of one in pink here, a green street version pictured here, and a few mentions of the race series on forums, but nothing else. This car looks absolutely mint, so if it was raced, it apparently was either at the front of the pack or the rear, because it doesn’t look like it’s ever been touched!


As you might expect considering its racing origins, the interior is pretty sparce. You can see the Moke dash, pedals, and interior panels clearly.


The engine is said to be the dead stock Moke A-series 998 cc engine, but with only 445 miles since new (admittedly, probably racing miles) it should be in fine shape. In case you are interested, it’s advertised two places, here on MiniMania.com and here on craigslist, both times at $46,500! Let us know what you think of this tiny, unusual sports racer find!

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  1. DanaPointJohn

    Your question sums this up perfectly, “why start with a Moke in the first place?”

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    • Jamie Palmer JamieAuthor

      I’m envisioning some situation where a distributor missed a decimal point and ordered 30 Mokes instead of 3, and had to figure out what to do with them… :-)

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      • Bobsmyuncle


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    • rusty

      dana said “Your question sums this up perfectly, “why start with a Moke in the first place?”

      funny you should ask this…I had always wondered if a moke could be turned into a sportscar…why?? well here in Australia back in the 70/ 80’s say,[when any convertibles were hard to find as we were never a convertible country till recently] its always been a pain to convert sedans into convertibles here as too much in engineering certificate stuff to pass.

      So I had wondered if it was possible to start with a moke being a convertible and work out a bolt on conversion…having seen this I realize yes it is possible and its not as bad as I imagined it could have been

      Infact I think its quite good, I myself would probably ditch the front spoiler and fill in the side pods but other than that they did extremely well to hide a jeep style body.

      thumbs up from me.

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  2. boxdin

    Being an old Datsun 510 nut I appreciate low power racing. Momentum is vital, smoothness out of corners is paramount. Its a completely different game compared to high horsepower cars. I prefer the low power type, its more fun and one gets into trouble less than spinning out w wheelspin.

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  3. Van

    I think I saw this car talk on a comercial.

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  4. pbryantr

    Mooncraft did the bodywork for some early Mazda Le Mans racers, didn’t they?

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  5. RayT

    In 10 years, Jamie will be regaling us with Barn Find Priuses with the “Yurastyle” package!

    BTW, I have to say the idea of turning a Moke into a single-seat racer strikes me as just about the pinnacle of insanity. Unless, that is, they built them around Twin-Mokes.

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    • Jamie Palmer JamieAuthor

      Ray, if I’m still writing for Barn Finds in 10 years, that would be a dream come true for me because I really love what I’m doing!

      That being said, Scotty drives a Prius, so he’d be more qualified :-)

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  6. Bobsmyuncle

    This thing is sooo cool! Imagine you and your buddies having these and renting the track for the afternoon. Heaven!

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  7. Edward

    Jamie, funny you should mention that: back in the late ’50s/early 60s, a large BMC dealer in Toronto, Ontario, ordered a bmc formula junior engine; somewhere, somehow, someone keyed in “10” instead of “1”. they sat for years, right by the parts counter, on small rolling frames, until, finally, one of my racing buddies grabbed the last one at a huge bargain. Only then did he tell just what is was. It cost the British Leyland a small fortune!

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  8. Dantheman

    Makes you wonder where the Go-kart business is going.

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  9. renzo
  10. herringchoker

    Many years ago, a Mini Cooper S racer from Ontario decided to enter his Mini-Moke in a vintage race south of the border. So he swapped the very potent engine from his race car into it. At scrutineering, the reaction was what you might expect.

    Came race day, the skies opened and it poured for the main event. The Moke pulled out a huge lead on the high-powered, high-priced machines and finished several laps ahead. As he told the story, the organizers invited him to never bring it back there.

    Like 0

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