History of the Moke

The Mini Moke has been described by some as the most improbable of the Mini variants. It was by far the least successful derivative in terms of UK sales and yet paradoxically, it was also the derivative that remained in production for longest.

It was also totally impractical as a passenger car and largely useless as a commercial vehicle, yet this cheeky little mini Jeep had two saving virtues. It was immense fun if the climate was right and it was perfect for the holiday hire car market in warmer climates. As a consequence, after production ended in England, it was moved first to Australia and then to Portugal.

Production finally ended in 1992, nearly 30 years after the first vehicles had left Longbridge.

Further information can be found in the sections below.

Prototype Mokes English Mokes
In the late 1950s the British Army were looking for a lightweight and air portable runabout. It was clear that the compact and self contained engine / transmission unit of the Mini would be ideal for such specialist uses. With no interest from the military, in 1963 BMC decided to develop a version for the civilian market using the original 80 inch wheelbase version.
Australian Mokes Portuguese Mokes
Assembly of the Moke began in Australia in February 1966 at the Sydney plant in Zetland and initially the design was almost identical to the English Moke. The presses and jigs were shipped from Australia and in July 1983 production started at a recently decommissioned British Leyland assembly plant in Portugal
Cagiva Mokes  
After production under Austin Rover Portugal ceased in July 1989, Rover put the whole operation on the market, inviting bids for manufacture of the car under licence.  
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