Radford Moke

I suppose when your car’s paint job has worn away so much over the years, that the various shades of undercoat are exposed right down to patches of shiny metal, it may be time for some action.

Such was the case with “Little Bewdy” my 1967 Little-Wheel Moke. Years of “leg, body, leg” entries and exits had formed a mosaic on the side boxes. The Empire Green livery, so familiar with most early Mokes had had its day and the time for a make-over was now a commitment, not just an idea.

Not having the skills of a master craftsman, but with more of a “have-a-go” attitude, I set the goal to “renovate” rather than “restore” the Moke. Such a definition gave me some leeway not to be too fussy, make some minor modifications, but still work towards a good job.

I announced the news to Chris, my eldest son, that ‘we’ were going to paint the Moke – with a brush! Chris responded with one of those “I’m not sure what’s going to happen here, but I’m with you dad” looks.

Brush painting Mokes had history in our family. Dad brush painted my first Moke, “The Sentimental Moke” back in the ’70s from Lime Green to Bright Red using a Dulux Polyurethane two-part paint. Then I had a go in the ’80s when converting my second Moke into an electrician’s work truck.

A trip to the Dulux factory in Melbourne was the first stop and I tracked down the ideal paint for the job – Weathermax HPR Polyurethane Signal Red with it’s special undercoat and thinners. Strong; tough; hard to scratch; hit it with a hammer; bright and shiny; and could be done at home.

The Moke’s body was in remarkably good condition, considering what she had been through.

Since 1984 when I purchased her, this little car has travelled thousands of kilometres, or I should say miles (as does the Speedo), in and around Australia. From Kakadu to the Flinders Ranges, Ayres Rock to Mt. Kosciusko, Little Desert to Andado on the edge of the Simpson, and the Grampians. Moking with the Moke Owners Association in this vehicle has opened up the beauty of our great Australia.

Traveling in convoys of Mokes, amongst friends, has created life-long memories of good and hard times, with heaps of mud, dust and fun. I may even have got bogged once or twice. Regular jaunts with a Moke convoy in the rear-view mirror as the green little-wheeler led the way.

If you would like to read the rest of this story, order your copy of Issue 24 of The Mini Experience. <plumshop>41</plumshop> <plumshop>44</plumshop>

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