1978 Leyland Moke California 998cc four from Australia and New Zealand
Most enjoyable and fun car I have owned
Nothing so far, as I have only driven it on sunny days. Plus I am now living in England so the car is up on stands in a shed in Australia for the moment.
I have had a few cars in recent years, including a modified Subaru WRX, SAAB turbo, Mercedes 190E 2.6 and 1967 Fiat 124. But out of all of these cars the Moke is the most enjoyable to drive. Not as fast as the subaru or comfortable as the Merc, but what else can you simply just jump into (has no roof - instead has a custom designed & powder coated roll bar) and drive? Better yet, what car runs for a week on $5 petrol?
I bought the car for $750, then sanded the whole thing back to bare metal and had it resprayed in blue with a white roll bar. I think it is californian because of the white sunrasia wheels and gills at the front, but could be mistaken. I have ditched the old carburettors for twin SU's which are bigger than the engine itself to make it go better, it actually suprises quite a few cars off at the lights.
My wife hates the car as it is too unsafe. I must admit I won't be hitting too many freeways with it, but it is perfect for loading up some mountain bikes and heading up a big dirt hill in. A friend of mine was almost killed in one when he was side-swiped by a car, hence safety is a zero. You are the crumple zone!
To summarise, a friend has offered a considerable amount of money for the car, but I refuse to sell it, as I can see myself taking this out on sunny weekends for many years to come.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 7th February, 2006
1981 Leyland Moke Standard 998cc from Australia and New Zealand
No frills Fun, Fun, Fun, but if you want comfortable driving, forget it
Clutch slave cylinder @10,000km replaced under warranty
Front suspension trumpet collapsed @ 15,000km Repaired under warranty
Wheel bearing failure at 20,000 km
Rear brake cylinders leaked at 50,000km
Air filter poorly sealed and was obviously leaking through the life of the motor.
Paint easily chips and scratches.
HUGE turning circle for a small car.
Speedo inaccurate- drive at 60 indicated and every car goes past-sit on 70 indicated to just keep up with the traffic.
Canopy fairly well shredded after 20 years.
This is motoring at its most basic, but being based on the Mini, the Moke has inherited the sharp handling that the Mini was well known for.
The 998 motor was enough to propel the moke to 100kph, a little faster with a tail wind, however being a mini engine, numerous, cheap bolt-ons are available to get a lot more out of it.
I used it a lot on the dirt (great fun, but you get absolutely plastered in dust as the canopy acts as a vacuum cleaner) and problems with the sealing of the air filter box meant that by 100,000km the motor was pretty much cactus, so a "big"1275 motor with all of the hot-up options and much more enjoyment.
Moke Owners always smile and wave to other Moke Owners- how many Commodore (or any other make) owners wave to other Commodore owners just for having a Commodore??
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th February, 2006
10th Aug 2012, 23:40
My wife crashed it - Oh well, time to move on in life... anyone want a second-hand wife?
1981 Leyland Moke Standard 1.0 4 cylinder petrol from Australia and New Zealand
A great poor man's convertible
Blown head gasket at 54,000 Klm.
Broken diff at 60,000 Klm.
Vinyl hood fell apart costing $1,200 to be replaced.
This is the best car I have ever owned!
It is fun, reliable, cheap to run and gets looks where ever I go.
The body is galvanized so it should not rust.
All the running gear is straight off the Mini so parts are easy to come by.
It is great off road, but with only 6" ground clearance you are limited to where you can go. Sand is big enemy as the Moke bogs down straight away. The up side is with the weight being only 535 kg, with a few friends you can just lift it out of trouble.
A heater does come with most models, but rug up in winter because it's pretty ineffective when the winds come through the vinyl hood. In summer with the hood down, sunburn is an issue to consider as well.
A very sociable car, for no matter where you go, someone has got a story about a Moke.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd November, 2003
2nd Feb 2006, 00:51
Yep, Great fun, but can be frustrating when anything internal goes wrong, especially with gbox, clutch or diff, motor out for repairs. The Black hood is better that the denim in terms of longevity, but not as stylish (some would disagree. As for driving in sand, let the tyres down to 15 psi and have some fun!!
I had 100,000km of hastle free driving in mine before the motor started to cost more in oil than fuel, so a big 1275 motor and lots of hot-up bits (All interchangeable with Mini) and I have a fun mobile that sounds great and goes surprisingly well.
17th Jul 2006, 13:40
Hey isn't Leyland from England and didn't they used to own Jaguar back in the early 70's and 80's? Will someone help me out here.
26th Oct 2006, 23:53
Leyland Australia was the Aussie branch of British Leyland- They built Minis, Mokes, buses, trucks, and assembled completely knocked down versions of a number of BL cars, so yes, the same Leyland that built the Jaguar during the 70's.
The last year's production of Minis and Mokes in Australia used a number of parts sourced directly from England, including complete motor/gearbox units and steering racks as the Australian supplies of these parts ran out towards end of production.
Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 3 reviews