1985 MINI MOKE

EN­GINE 998cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 40bhp@5200rpm TORQUE 50lb ft@2500rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 84mph 0-60mph 27.9sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 35-45mpg TRANS­MIS­SION FWD, four-speed man MoT 12 months ODOME­TER 4629 miles

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - BUYING & SELLING - Matt Richard­son

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

Hav­ing cov­ered fewer than 8000 miles from new, the still-tight sus­pen­sion gives a firm ride, though with some cor­ner roll. No power as­sis­tance means that the steer­ing is a lit­tle heavy at low speeds, but there’s no slack and even small move­ments of the steer­ing wheel are echoed by pre­cise ac­tions from the road wheels. The four-speed man­ual gear shift has a long throw and the gate’s a lit­tle rub­bery but all ra­tios se­lect eas­ily. The en­gine has smooth ac­cel­er­a­tion, the car feel­ing faster than it re­ally is.

BODY­WORK CHECK

What lit­tle body­work there is has been kept im­mac­u­late. There are no marks on the white paint nor dings in the panels. It’s just as good un­der­neath, where it ap­pears to be to­tally rust-free. The Moke wears the cor­rect 13in steel wheels shod with new tyres, and the orig­i­nal fac­to­ry­fit­ted hood, which stretches over the full roll cage, looks like new. The front and rear nudge bars are painted sil­ver to match the roll cage, and heavy rub­ber wheel arches help keep road spray off the oc­cu­pants.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

Util­i­tar­ian at best! There’s no car­pet, just rub­ber mats and not much dash­board. A heater and demis­ter hang be­neath the in­stru­ment pod, which con­tains just a Mini speedome­ter and four rocker switches. The nar­row show­er­proof black vinyl bucket seats are like new and the chunky Austin steer­ing wheel is good to hold; the 1980s/’90s-style Austin-badged cen­tre hub is non-stan­dard, but in keep­ing with the spirit of the car. Front seats are orig­i­nal and fit­ted with head­rests. The driver and front seat passenger get red in­er­tia reel seat belts, but those in the rear have to make do with static lap belts. All but the driver get a grab han­dle on the wide sills.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

The lit­tle A-se­ries en­gine is barely run in and amaz­ingly smooth, while the rest of the run­ning gear feels sim­i­larly tight and fac­tory fresh. The en­gine bay is gen­er­ally very clean, though there is some mi­nor sur­face rust in places such as the cylin­der block and clutch re­lease cylin­der. There are no wor­ry­ing noises or ex­haust smoke, and the flu­ids are clean, to the cor­rect lev­els and ap­pear to be healthy.

THE CCW VIEW

Built at the Por­tuguese fac­tory and or­dered by an English ex­pat liv­ing there, the car started life as a left-hooker and cov­ered only 3000 miles be­fore be­ing con­verted to right-hand-drive in 1994 by of­fi­cial Moke im­porter Dun­can Hamil­ton Ltd when its owner re­turned to the UK. The heater, rear locker and mph­cal­i­brated speedome­ter were fit­ted at the same time. The car’s his­tory is well doc­u­mented and it re­mains in fan­tas­tic con­di­tion, hav­ing spent its first decade in a dry cli­mate. A Moke Club in­spec­tion has con­firmed that it is all cor­rect for the year.

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