2021 Shannons '40th Anniversary' Timed Online Auction

1981 Leyland Mini Moke Californian

$25,000 - $35,000


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Engine 1275cc four-cylinder
Gearbox Four-speed manual
Engine No. 12H706AAHZ29544
Chassis No. AKFPD19Y 101502
Body Work Utility
Colour Blue
Interior Ivory
Trim Vinyl
Brakes Disc/drums

Vehicle Report

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Designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, father of the Mini, the Moke originally entered production for the civilian market in 1964, with most of the British production earmarked for export. Essentially a stripped down, utilitarian version of the Mini, the original military design brief called for a car light enough to be dropped by parachute, and with the ability to cover difficult terrain. But the Moke's career as a military vehicle was curtailed because of its limitations off road. The Moke utilised a unique construction technique, comprising two box-section outer sections connected by a floorpan, with front and rear subframes onto which the suspension, brake and wheel assemblies were attached. Ultimately the Moke found favour as a cheap and cheerful run around in markets like Australia, where it was in production from 1966 until 1981. Changes made to suit local conditions included a wider track, bigger 13-inch wheels, longer rear trailing arms, new seats and locally made 1098cc engines from 1969 until 1976, when the introduction of strict new ADRs saw the Moke revert to the cleaner, imported 998cc unit with an air pump. British Leyland's Australian arm came up with a special edition known as the ‘Californian’ in September 1977, with denim seat covers on more comfortable seats, a matching roof, unique multi-spoke ‘Sunraysia’ style wheels, and bull-bars front and rear. For enthusiasts, this is the most desirable model. An ideal beach runabout, the Moke is cheap to run, fantastically entertaining to drive, and has plenty of room for surfboards in the back. More than 26,000 were made in Australia and many were exported to clients as diverse as the Israeli Army, however the survival rate is poor and thus those left are in high demand today.


- 1981 Mini Moke Californian
- Full restored
- Best we have seen

Over recent years the Mini Moke has grown in statue as a fun run around particularly when the sun is shining. As a result, increasing numbers of them are being rejuvenated, and to a standard previously reserved for high-end collector cars. This 1981 Moke is arguably the best we have ever seen, having been fully restored to a very high level. Making it even more desirable, it’s a genuine Californian with the 1275cc engine, so it would be a fantastic platform for summer fun. It was repainted in a superb light blue colour in 2016 and still presents in excellent condition, and importantly it has the Californian signature bull bars front and rear, and matching Sunraysia-style wheels, all finished in crisp white and again near-flawless. Inside, the two bucket seats are trimmed in ivory vinyl and all the interior accoutrements have been refreshed. There’s a new black roof too and a set of factory mudflaps. Other detail work has included new rear lights and new rubbers. So, this ’81 Moke presents in fantastic condition inside and out. Recent mechanical fettling has been extensive too with around $7500 spent, which included a new clutch, new headers and exhaust, and an uprated radiator, plus a myriad of other detail work. The restored Californian also comes with what amounts to a full service history from 2015 to 2020 at Minis Plus (Bayswater, Victoria), which is captured in a folder of receipts and various associated paperwork, along with a spare set of keys. If you are looking for the best Moke Californian in Australia, this is probably it. Previously on Victorian club registration, the 1981 Mini Moke Californian is being offered for sale here unregistered.

Note: Shannons advise that all potential buyers research all vehicles before purchase to authenticate originality.

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