Flower Power

We gave a detailed history of the Special Export, or Californian, Moke in Issue 10.

In essence, YDO30 was developed to meet an order for 100 Mokes from the US Virgin Islands. As such, they had to meet Californian emissions and safety laws, which required the 1300 (1275cc) engine from the Austin America, with its charcoal canister and exhaust air pump.

Safety improvements included relocating the fuel tank to the rear, to allow the fuel cap to be placed outside the passenger cabin, side repeater lights front and rear, hazard warning lights, separate turning indicators and parking lights, two-speed wipers and reversing lights.

When the Virgin Islands order fell through, the 100 Mokes that were virtually ready to export were converted to right-hand-drive and released in Australia as the Californian Moke. However, in Leyland Australia literature they were variously referred to as Emissions Control Model (Export) and Moke Special Export. These days they are usually called Export Californian, to differentiate them from regular export models and from the later Californian models from 1976 to 1982.

Released in December 1971, for $125 more than the standard Moke, at $1,675, these Mokes retained the low-back seats. They are identified by the chassis number prefix, on the compliance plate and stamped into the radiator shroud, YJBAB12R.

Australian Design Rule (ADR) 22, which stipulated head restraints on front seats, came into effect on 1 January 1972. Consequently, all subsequent Export Californian Mokes, built originally in right-hand-drive and identified as YJBAB13R, and all standard Mokes built after this date, had head restraints.

As Australian emission rules didn’t require the air pump at this time, it was deleted from the specification. The Californian Moke also retained drum brakes on the front, despite having the 1275cc engine.

The Californian name was coined by the marketing folk at Leyland, to give the model youth appeal and to identify it with “fun in the sun”. The Californian Moke was available in six colours: Arianca Tan, Camino Gold, Cadiz (a bright orange), Crystal White, Gambier Turquoise and Jet Red (see side panel).

To set it apart from the standard Moke, two new trim patterns were available – Verve, a black and white rose pattern; and Bali, the orange flower design.

The Californian also had its steering wheel and windscreen frame painted in body colour. Wheels, hood bars, passenger grab handle and bumpers were painted “silver chrome” and chrome dress rims were fitted to the wheels. There was also a vinyl spare wheel cover, rubber front floor mats, rubber non-slip pads on the front pannier tops and optional rubber body and bonnet stripes available.

To read the rest of this story, grab your copy of the magazine from your local newsagent, through this website or get the digital issue online.


The BMC Experience Issue 22. Jul-Sep 2017 Magazine

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