As we have celebrated the iconic Mini – in its many guises – over the last few months – please see here our previous post Mini – Best selling Car in Britain we were keen to bring you an update on the Mini story.
Original Mini designer Sir Alec Issigonis saw the potential that his car had for the British Army and devised the Mini Moke – “Moke” being an ancient word for donkey! – to provide a light weight military vehicle. Sadly, with its low slung body and poor clearance didn’t win over the top brass! However, it did see service in the Australian Army.
The Mini Moke became a very cool utility vehicle amongst the surfing communities in Australia, the USA and Southern coasts of Europe. Over 14,500 Mokes were produced at BMC’s Longbridge plant (Birmingham, UK) between 1964 (at an initial cost of £405 – and only available in “Spruce Green”) and 1968.
By 1993, an additional total of 36,000 Mini Mokes had been manufactured under license from BMC in Australia and Portugal. In 1989 the Italian motorbike manufacturer, Cagiva purchased the manufacturing rights and made around 1500 “Mokes” – as they couldn’t use the Mini name.
In 2010, BMW the owner of the Mini name showed a concept, the Mini Beachcomber at the Geneva Motor Show – no further production has resulted.
We have recently been in contact with the manufactures of the Nosmoke – cleaver name – which is an electric version of the Moke revived by French engineers who are fans of the Mini Moke. The Nosmoke is made in China and finally assembled in North East France.
The Nosmoke can be driven by a 16 year old in Europe, has a range of around 80–100km range (from 8 lead-acid batteries) and boasts a top speed of 70 kph. This is an eco-friendly revival of an iconic car and is priced to attract the sort of cult following enjoyed by its predecessor.
If you’d like a Nosmoke let me know and we can help configure your perfect eco-vehicle for your villa, the beach or the golf course!
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Image courtesy of BMW Cars, Nosmoke, Classic and Performance Cars and others
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