Here are my tips on getting the Moke you want before you die, and how to enjoy it without having the wife say "I told you so!".....
They all look better in a photo!
Never buy a moke without seeing it. No one will take a photo of the bad bits, and there will probably be some. It's a pain in the bum, but you really need to travel and have a look at it. And to make a comparison, you really look at more than one.....
Beaten is better than eaten.
A few dents can be knocked out. Some missing parts can be replaced. A seized engine can be rebuilt. But terminal rust is much harder to fix - and much more expensive. Not to mention demoralising...
A good Moke is a good body. The rest is all just bits bolted on.
If you want a Californian, buy a Californian.
Yes, you can find the parts and fit them. But what will it cost? And how long will it take?
And at the end of the day it still isn't a Cali.
And while I've used a Californian as an example -this also applies to any particular moke you fancy. If you want a little wheeler, great! If you want an early 70's Cali, even better. But do your research and buy the closest to what you want, and save yourself a lot of trouble.
I'll replace the 998 with a 1275 later.
Sounds easy, doesn't it? And it is - if you have the money! But 1275's aren't exactly cheap or easy to find. And to be legal you should also fit disc brakes, and you'll want a bigger exhaust, radiator, carby... Before you know it you have spent $5000, which is more than that 1275 Moke you passed by because it was too expensive!
The best way to get a 1275 is to buy a moke with one in it.
There's a few bits missing, but it's cheap!
Unless you have a secret stash of moke parts or enjoy scouring ebay every day, buy the most complete Moke you can find. Parts are getting harder to find, and more expensive.
Nothing is impossible of course, and some people enjoy the hunt. But it quickly stops being cheap.
It's an original 1966 big wheel Californian, with an 1100 motor.
No it's not - it's a bitsa. If you want an original moke, do your research.
It's a bit rough - but I'll do a quick rebuild.
You can do a quick rebuild, or a good rebuild - but not both. And neither are cheap. If you plan on taking your children to school in your Moke, or want to spend quality time with your friends and family on the weekends - don't kid yourself!
Rebuilds take a long time, and cost a lot. If time is important to you, buy someone else's finished project and enjoy it!
All the rust has been cut out.
And what has replaced it? A proper replacement panel, or a bit of folded sheetmetal?
Personal choice of course - but if I can tell the floor has been replaced I walk away.
Supercharged 1380 Street Weapon!
Fantastic! Scare the pants off you and put V8's to shame!
Just be sure you can live with it day to day, and won't cost you an arm and leg when it breaks. Mokes are very light, and even a standard 998 can be fun - and probably more reliable.
Mokes are more fun to drive than fix!
Be realistic with your abilities and budget, and don't fall for the first Moke you see.
I've lost count of the unfinished projects I've seen for sale on eBay, or the people who pulled the motor out for a quick rebuild 20 years ago.
Don't let this be you - there are plenty of good honest Mokes available that you can drive home and won't demand all your time every weekend.