Buy­ing Abroad: The best places to bag a Mini Moke

Buy­ing a Mini Moke over­seas is a good call, but the UK of­fers an al­ter­na­tive

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling - Theo Ford- Sagers

More Mokes – the rufty-tufty Mini spinoff – were made in Aus­tralia than in the other two coun­tries where it was made – Bri­tain and Por­tu­gal. Most of those built in Bri­tain were ex­ported and con­sid­er­ing their habit of crum­bling into the earth at the first sign of a Bri­tish win­ter, grow­ing scarcity and creep­ing val­ues, you might think that buy­ing a rust-free model from sunny Aus­tralia is a no brainer. And you might have had a point a few years ago.

To­day, how­ever, com­plete Moke body shells are be­ing made in the UK. Leo Jack of Moke Pan­els in Som­er­set (www.mokepan­els.com, 01278 786993) used to im­port pro­ject Mokes from Aus­tralia to re­store, be­fore de­cid­ing to fab­ri­cate com­plete bodyshells here in­stead. Now, he says, buy­ing from Aus­tralia is no longer nec­es­sary. Af­ter you’ve ac­counted for the time and ex­pense of sourcing a good ex­am­ple from Aus­tralia – and the in­her­ent risks of buy­ing a ve­hi­cle that you haven’t seen – you might as well buy a new bodyshell (£5500 +VAT) from Moke Pan­els, in or­der to re­store a shabby Moke that’s al­ready here, or sim­ply build one up us­ing run­ning gear from a stan­dard Mini. Ei­ther way, you’ll end up with a ve­hi­cle that you know you can trust. You’ll also be sup­port­ing Bri­tish en­ter­prise too...

But if you value originality and right-hand drive, then there’s a fair se­lec­tion of Mokes in the Aus­tralian clas­si­fieds, par­tic­u­larly in the £8000-12,000 bracket (ex­clud­ing ship­ping and duty). Do be­ware dodgy restora­tions though; welded re­pairs and home­made pan­els are com­mon. ‘They’re open ve­hi­cles, and are usu­ally kept out­side, so they do rust all over, even in Aus­tralia,’ warns Leo, who ad­mits to hav­ing been caught out him­self be­fore.

Later Euro­pean Mokes were made in Por­tu­gal, and are now scat­tered through­out Europe. Their price tags can be rather in­tim­i­dat­ing – espe­cially in Ger­many, for some rea­son – but we reckon that find­ing a solid one and then driv­ing it home would be a pretty decent idea for a sum­mer hol­i­day…

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