In Great Britain the word Moke is derived from an archaic term for Donkey. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mini Moke may seem kind of archaic, but would paying this zebra-painted car's price make you look like a total ass?
The Moke was a derivative of Issigonis' brilliant Mini, and was even more spare than even that bare bones car. Originally intended as a military vehicle - light enough to be dropped by parachute - the Moke's lack of power and four-wheel-drive doomed it to being 4F even after wild twin-engine editions were built to make up for those deficiencies.
This 1967 Moke appears to be an odd duck even by Moke standards as it feature extroverted Zebra stripe paint and expressive Cromadora 10" alloy wheels - yes that's right, you can get tires for your Moke at the same place they sell lawn tractor parts.
Under the Moke's Jeep-like bonnet - secured with nothing more than a pair of rubber stays - is an 848-cc edition of the tried and true BMC A-series engine, in this case probably putting out something in the neighborhood of 45-bhp. Not one to be left out of the fun, the engine's valve cover has also been given the black and white paint treatment.
The Mini, and by association Moke, drivetrain is an amazing bit of British engineering. The first thing you'll note is that the radiator isn't facing into the wind, freeing up space in the engine bay for the coil, which is almost as big as the motor itself. Instead, engine cooling is handled by a radiator that pulls air in from the left-side wheel well, sort of like if you had to breathe through your arm pit.
The other bit of ingenuity is the dropping of the engine into the gearbox - the four-banger and four-cogger sharing lube and space like the original odd couple. This was a brilliant bit of space-saving engineering and worked well enough if you were religious about your oil changes.
Behind the firewall, there's less car here than a Volkswagen Thing, and on par with the parsimony of a Lotus Seven. Four seats - all with your hip-points riding above the step-over bodywork, are boxed in by square sections that keep the car from folding over itself. Atop that is the most simplistic weather protection device since Mark Twain's eyebrows. The top, along with the seat covers, are done up in a fine flesh-tone, which is sort of the color you'd imagine a zebra might be if you were to give it a Brazilian.
BMC's original code name for the Mini Moke was "buckboard" and no more appropriate sobriquet would be fitting. Few Mokes made their way stateside, and this 43K-mile one happens to not only to already be here, but to have managed to make it through the Byzantine labyrinth that is California's DMV registration machinations. That's got to count for something.
Its $19,900 price tag must also count for something, and it is now up to you to determine if it counts for being a Nice Price, or if its seller is smoking zee Crack Pipe. What do you think, is this Moke worth $19,900? Or is that too much to spare for a Brit so spare?
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