Cult car catches the eye

There is just something appealing about a Mini Moke and many people dream of getting behind the wheel of one of these iconic machines for a cruise.

A Moke gets people thinking of lazy summer days at the beach and basically a lots of free and easy times.

If you want to see a mob of Mokes - then we have good news for you.

Plans are well underway for a monster Moke event to be held in Jervis Bay next year.

Mokin’ Jervis Bay starts on April 7 next year and organiser Col Loudon said interest in these dream machines is booming.

‘I anticipate a minimum of 50 cars and possibly up to between 100 to 145 vehicles at the event,” the St Georges Basin resident said.

“This has morphed its way into an international event basically and we have a couple of people are interested in coming over from the Netherlands -  if  they can make it.”

Cars will be coming from all over Australia and people have been booking accommodation since January this year.

Moke enthusiasts love showing off their machines.

“These people will drive their cars anywhere in Australia,” Mr Loudon said

The words Mini Moke gets people feeling nostalgic.

“It comes back basically to the 1960s and the free spirit life style,” Mr Loudon said.

Col Loudon talks about his Moke

Mr Louden and his wife Jan love their Moke and when you cruise around in a hot pink machine people take notice.

“Heads do turn and we have a klaxon horn fitted so we scare the living hell out of people when they are walking around town,” he said.

“We use it to have a lot of fun and ours was used as a bridal car as it was not only pink car the couple could find and the Moke went out for the bride.

“We even got stopped in the Snowy Mountains because people wanted to know if it was legal to drive around without doors.”

The Loudons have won a few people’s choice award at car shows - in the Moke area for their car.

They have owned their Moke for three-and-a- half-years and invested $40 000 in it.

It’s Mrs Loudon’s car but Mr Loudon did most of the work.

It was yellow when they bought it, they stripped it down and pulled everything off the body.

“It was a ground up restoration and so any bush bearing or rubber item in that car has been been replaced and that is why it’s so expensive,” Mr Loudon said

The Loudons love their Moke and their siblings share the same love affair.

Moken’ Jervis Bay is fundraiser for the Jervis Bay Community Men’s Shed and is also an event for people who like cars in general.

Locals can take part in the event.

“If you are in the Shoalhaven and have a Moke we want to know about you,” he said

He knows of people with Mokes, people restoring Mokes and of course many others know about Mokes.

Mokes came  in the 1960s and Mr Louden is a bit of an expert.

“They came out as a little wheel version with 10 inch wheels on it and was predominantly a military vehicle initially but did not quite work for the military because they were too low,” he said

“It was decided to release them to the recreational market and put 13 inch wheels on them and most Mokes were not built as Californians.  

“Californians came out in the late 1970s/early 1980s and that was a ploy for the US market.”

Money will be given to another charity group if the funds exceed what is needed for the community shed.

Money will be raised through the sale of merchandise, caps, shirts, crystal mokes and stubby holders.

People have booked in a caravan park since January and the group has a Facebook page Mokin’ Jervis Bay if you want to find out more information.

Members of the public, on Saturday April 14, can head to Huskisson Beach to check out all the Mokes.

Moke spare parts

  • The Mini Moke is a vehicle based on the Mini designed for the British Motor Corporation (BMC).
  • The name comes from "Mini" – the car with which the Moke shares many parts—and "Moke", which is an archaic dialect term for donkey.
  • The Moke has been marketed under various names including Austin Mini Moke, Morris Mini Moke and Leyland Moke.
  • The initial design was a prototype for a light military vehicle in the style of the American Jeep, but its small wheels and low ground clearance made it impractical as an off-road vehicle.
  • It was subsequently offered in a civilian version as a low-cost, easily maintained utility vehicle.
  • The Moke finally achieved success as a beach buggy becoming a popular cult vehicle around the world
  • The original Moke used identical engine, transmission and suspension parts from the Mini Van.
  • The first Mokes were only built at BMC's Longbridge, Birmingham plant. 
  • 14,518 Mokes were produced in the UK between 1964 and 1968
  •  26,000 were produced in Australia between 1966 and 1981, and 
  • 10,000 were produced in Portugal between 1980 and 1993 when production of the Moke ended.