|We didn't buy our Moke to be in a Moke Club. Nor did we buy it to cruise to the beach. We purchased our Moke to go spotlighting. It seemed the obvious answer, being able to drive around the paddocks at night with the top completely off, a couple of shotguns and a high powered riffle rattling around with their butts in the passengers footwell, plus a slab of beer in the back and a bottle of Jim wedged into the side curtain bar. The perfect hunting machine.
Turned out, it was absolutely hopeless for spotlighting. It was fun to fang around the paddocks in the dry, or even in the wet, when you could get some speed up. But it was abysmal at trying to creep up a grassy slope once the night dew set in. We had an old Morris A30 ute that would go further and that's an insult to any vehicle if ever there was one.
The Moke got the sack as the spotlight vehicle. So it became the shopping trolley and general round town hoon machine. It excelled as a diving board for the dog whenever we pulled a handbrake turn up our gravel road and it was fairly adept at crossing curbs at a single bound when the traffic became congested. Although, in our little town, congestion only mean having more than one car on the road at a time, so, often, with no excuse, we had to drive up the curb just for the hell of it.
Our local cop hated our little Moke. He would wiz down the only road to the tavern in the hope of catching us. But word gets around quickly in small communities and he was constantly and rightly pissed off to see a bunch drunks driving home through the paddocks in the little yellow chariot. We can tell you, there was much laughter, skyward fingers and bare arses aimed in his direction.
At one stage in the Mokes life, we had a German Sheppard Cross or Alsatian as some people call them. We say Cross because he was. This dog was always quietly agro. He had an extremely poor attitude. We got him by default. An old guy who drank at the local pub died and left us the dog simply because we were the only people that had ever patted the thing. What we didn't know was that, the old guy had used the dog as a regular contender in dog fights. It probably explained the dogs few missing teeth and crazed stare. The Moke provided the perfect platform for this maniac dog to show off his talents. The first time we were treated to a special display was in heavy traffic. A bunch of young thugs pulled along side with the windows down and buckets of "Doof Doof" music blaring out. As we sat waiting for the lights, amidst comments like "Couldn't you afford the rest of the car", one of the young thugs thought it would be funny to make dog barking noises. We were impressed because, the dog continued to sit calmly on the seat smiling with his toothy grin. Next thing, all we saw was the pucker of his ring hole as it disappeared through the window of the thugs car. There was a certain amount of torn clothing and a small amount of blood before we regained our composure and managed to drag the silly bastard out by his tail. Just as well because there was smoke everywhere and plenty of wheel spinning when the bunch of much quieter "loudmouths" made their escape, down the road, as fast as they could. We didn't know whether to pat the dog or tell him off. We did however, get a short chain fitted to the Moke.
Our moke has been everywhere and done everything, including a straight eighteen hour run from Melbourne to Brisbane with the top down, two cases of champagne and drunken bar staff on board. The only thing that passed us were two semi trailers, one of which we tailgated (up to the windscreen) for several kilometers before he found a long enough downhill run to out-distance us. The young woman (drunk) in the passenger seat kept falling asleep and would occasionally slump and hang over the edge of the side boxes, held only by her lap belt . She was a big girl, difficult to drag back on board and the stone chips in her forehead were starting to become unsightly. The solution came in the form of a roll of gaffa tape which, after many layers, had her fairly well embalmed to the seat. We had to pour our own drinks after that.
The Moke was never an embarrassment to us although we placed it in numerous "awkward" situations, including the mounting of a fire hydrant in the middle of Melbourne as a result of a bungled high speed sideways handbrake parking attempt (country boys should never be let loose, on their own, in the big city). Later parking displays were reduced to simply picking it up by hand and throwing it into the parking space.
As regard mishaps, there were far too many to recount and we loved every single one of them.
The Moke remained in our care for a number of years becoming just as much a part of the family as the cat, dog and grandmother. It watched over the progress of two children and bought many happy hours to neighbors and friends. It was a sad day when it became the victim of a fund raising activity created by a divorce.
Although we don't own the Moke any more, we like to think it is still out there somewhere and that one day we might see it again (are those violins we can hear in the distance?).