Sometimes, what's special to us isn't always the most spectacular or amazing thing to others. Ryan has had an affinity for Mini's since owning his first car, which was a Mini. So owning a Moke was a logical choice.
She's old, temperamental, and not that pretty, but somehow she took a place in his heart at first sight. She became his conquest, her name is Esmeralda.
Mini Mokes share the same chassis as that of the mini, the same engine as well, but different front and rear subframes, it's origin is ironic as well. First used by the British Military, this car would drive on bases, and out where they were needed to transport persons, but as time went on and military vehicles changed they became "toys" for car enthusiasts.
With no doors or roof, or pretty much anything, these cars exposed drivers and passengers to the elements, Mini took advantage of this and continued producing the Moke, for Australian and Caribbean markets, yes we got a car. They were in the same class as the beach buggy with the same cult following as well.
This particular Moke was made in 1989, it carries the same 1L engine as the mini, and is also front wheel drive, paired with a 4 speed manual transmission, maximum power output stands around 43 bhp.
Ryan bought this Moke from its previous owner, after many many months of hinting to the owner he would like to purchase it from him, one day a few months after he stopped asking, the owner rang him up and said he was ready to part with it. It was in pretty good condition when he got it but it wasn't the best, so he took the time to repair it, mostly cosmetic.
When I met Esmeralda, she wasn't starting. I'm guessing her and Ryan would work something out.
Further in the back of the garage, we saw another project still in progress, this one was also special, it was a restoration of a Mini. I mentioned earlier, his first car was a Mini. this one had a little bit more added to it though, a roll cage was installed to help keep the frame rigid.
Odometer was intalled as well, with the iconic Mini look, and what looked like safari lights were placed next to the mini. I am personally hoping he adds those to it, so Ryan if you're reading this, add the lights, I think it would be awesome.
There is still a lot of work left do on this Mini, I am hoping to be able to see it when it's finished.
Many persons, I'm sure have fond memories of riding in a Moke, or in a Mini, filling it to capacity and going out for a day or night of fun, cars like this remind us of simpler times when cars were fun, relaxing and spirited.
- Alex, until next time, keep motoring.