Once upon a time there was a little car called a Moke. Father of the Moke was Sir Alec Issigonis who designed it at the same time as the Mini Saloon.
Alec's company started knocking up pre-production prototypes around 1959. They also made a whole bunch of other prototypes, including a couple of four wheel drive Mokes with dual engines (one in the front and one in the back). But sadly they stopped playing around with prototypes around 1964 sometime.
Apparently the first Moke to roll off the production line happened in January 1964 at BMC's Longbridge factory in Birmingham, England. But it was a short lived love affair with the Poms because they closed it down some time in late October 1968.
The production of Mokes was then reshuffled to BMC's factory in Sydney, Australia, where they had already been producing the Moke since 1966. The Aussies thought they had a real winner on their hands and kept plugging away with the Moke until early 1982 when even a number of specification changes could not save the good old motorised trailer.
The Portuguese were quick to think they were going to pick up a growing leisure vehicle market. So in 1983 they started production in Portugal. Initially a joint venture with British Leyland using the Australian specification, the control soon changed to Austin Rover Portugal and the Moke undertook quite a large revision. Sadly the Portuguese Moke suffered the same fault as the Australian one and in 1989 production hit the wall.
The Moke went into limbo for a while but eventually the manufacturing rights were sold to the Italian company Cagiva (the motorbike people). In 1991 they went back to producing practically identical Mokes in Portugal. But once again, appreciation waned slightly and in early 1993, the last Mini Moke rolled off the line.
That's the full story. The kids should all be asleep by now. We know we are. This little cars life spanned a number of years and is now history. But history is a bore, it's more fun driving the things. So get out there.