What is a Moke?

What is a Moke, you ask? Type the word into any search engine and you are likely to come up with a whole bunch of suggestions (hopefully this site was offered as one of them). Some include the following:

  • The English are quick to point out that, in colloquial English terms, Moke means "Donkey". But who in their right mind would want to suggest these clever little cars could ever be referred to as stubborn, stupid and somewhat unattractive.
  • In the islands (Hawaii etc) a Moke is another name for an Island person with a 'natural' attitude, a relaxed attitude, a local, or islander. The kind of person who was 'uninhibited', and full of personality. Perhaps a little 'unrefined', raw, or a bit rough around the edges.
  • In New Zealand, according to the Maori language, a Moke is a loaner. A person who operates outside the rest of the pack.
  • In Australia there is only one meaning for the word Moke. Look up any reference and you will see the picture of a small squareish car with no roof or doors and the word "Fun" written next to it.
  • Staff at OFMD have suggested that M.O.K.E. is simply the acronym for - Makes Our Kilometers Enjoyable.

Fact is, nobody we have spoken to so far has come up with what we consider a logical story that seems plausible. There are a lot fanciful yarns out there but until somebody comes up with something of substance, the name Moke remains a mystery.

As close as we can tell, Moke was simply a bunch of letters thrown together to describe a concept car dreamed up by Alec Issigonis. Alec had previously been very successful with designing the Mini (or Mini Minor as a lot of people know them). He had hoped to make a few bucks by selling Mokes to the Army. But sadly, the Army knocked back the idea. Apparently they also couldn't figure out the acronym that made up Moke.

Good old Alec eventually became Sir Alec (or Sir Moke as the crew at OFMD like to call him). We would like to say, thanks Alec old buddy. You designed one of the worlds most fun little cars and you can relax in the knowledge that, we are all still out there, hammering the crap out of them.

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