2022 Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction

1981 Leyland Mini Moke Californian





Engine 998cc four cylinder
Gearbox Manual
Body Work Open 4-seater
Colour White
Trim Blue
Wheels Steel
Brakes Disc/drum


This lot is no longer available

The Mini Moke was designed by Sir Alec Issigonis and John Sheppard and intended for military applications. But the military rejected it on numerous grounds including its tiny 10-inch wheels and lack of ground clearance. The Moke (an antiquated word for mule) was subsequently offered in civilian form as a low-cost, easily maintained vehicle. The first Mokes were manufactured at BMC’s Longbridge, Birmingham plant, with 14,518 produced in the UK between 1964 and 1968. But this charming original proved most successful in Australia with 26,000 manufactured between 1966 and 1981 (and known as the Mini Moke until 1973 when the name was changed to Leyland Moke). Ten thousand were made in Portugal between 1980 and 1993 when production ended.  From 1968 Aussie Mokes got 13-inch wheels with longer rear trailing arms, which made them more practical for gentle off-road or beach use than the British version. There was also a widening piece welded to the wheel arches (front and rear) to allow for wider tyres and rims. The solid metal seats of the British Mokes were replaced with tubular-framed ‘deck-chair’ seats. The name ‘Californian’ – originally applied to an export version intended primarily for an unresponsive US market – and the 1275cc motor were applied to Australian market Mokes with denim seat covers, more comfortable seats (which concealed the same basic frame within), spoked wheels and complex tubular (‘roo bar’) bumpers). Australian Mokes were exported to many countries, and pioneered large-scale exports of Australian-made vehicles. Leyland Australia made much of these exports in its advertising.