PORTUGUESE MOKES

Production started in Portugal in 1980. Initially the Mokes were very similar to the last of the Australian Mokes - indeed, at first they were built from Australian ‘kits’.

1986 marked a major revamp when the distinctively ‘Portuguese’ Mokes were introduced. The Australian-style Mokes with their 13 inch wheels were dropped.

In 1990 production stopped and the rights to the Moke were sold to Cagiva, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer. Production restarted in 1991 with a revised hood design, some trim changes and, more significantly, the relocation of the radiator to the front of the car, with an electric fan. This made changing the contact points even harder than it had ever been on the early fixed-grille Mokes! (We recommend contact less ignition for obvious reasons.)

Although Cagiva planned to transfer production to Italy, they never did. The last Moke was built (in Portugal) in 1993.

The Civilised Moke

Once the tough Australian-style Mokes had been discontinued, the smart Portuguese Mokes made their mark from 1986. First and foremost, the mechanical components were brought into line with contemporary Mini practice, which included 12-inch wheels (by now the standard Mini fitment) and the return to standard-length rear radius arms. Utilising standard Mini parts brought savings for the manufacturer as well as good parts availability for the customer.

A full-size roll cage was introduced, making it possible to have 3-point inertia-reel seat belts for all four occupants. The hoods and sides-screens were modernised and conventional, well-shaped, adjustable seats were installed. Things like reversing lights, fog lights, hazard flashers, 2-speed wipers etc became the ‘norm’.

Engines

These were 998cc. Engine number prefix should be ‘99’

Gearbox

Lever comes from a square-shaped opening offset to one side of the tunnel. The same set up (but using rods shorter than on the Mini) as on all rod-change Mokes.

Wheels

  • 13 inches, until the Australian-style Mokes were discontinued.
  • 12 inches thereafter, using standard steel Mini wheels with plastic trims.

Brakes

Drums all round until 1986, then discs front/drums rear.

'Australian-Style' Portuguese Mokes with 13 inch wheels

These Mokes also came with:

  • a restricted steering rack
  • longer rear ‘radius arms’
  • a rear panel with special flared sections behind the wheels

Portuguese Mokes with 12 inch wheels

These Mokes also came with:

  • standard steering rack
  • standard rear ‘radius arms’
  • a flat, vertical rear panel

Other Body Features

Deflector screens either side of the windscreen were metal-frames glass.

Front grilles were removable.

Battery compartment had a lockable, hinged ‘door’.

There was normally a lockable compartment behind the rear seats.

Bumpers

These were like the Australian-style ‘roo’ bars, front and rear, but the dimensions were slightly different.

Fuel Tank

Mounted in the left-hand ‘pannier’, with the filler cap on the side.

Galvanised Bodies

The Australian-style Mokes were not built with zinc-galvanised steel, as used by the Australian factory! However, Portuguese Mokes from Summer 1988 were treated with a form of galvanising dipping process.

Lights - front

Like the Mini, the Headlamps incorporated the side lights, while the indicators were separate round lamps.

Lights - rear

A large, rectangular combined unit was introduced. Separate fog and reversing lights were offered (one of each).

Inside

On the post-1986 Portuguese Mokes, conventional seats with reclining back rests and full fore-and-aft adjustment were fitted at the front. A double-folding bench seat or double-folding single seats were fitted in the rear. NB - in some markets, the Moke was designated a 2-seater, so no rear seats were fitted and the rear foot-well was blocked off.

As more standard Mini parts were adopted, the 3-spoke soft plastic Mini wheel appeared.

The central instrument panel on Portuguese Mokes came with the usual speedo in the middle and four illuminated rocker switches (two each side) consisting of:

  • a 2-position master light switch
  • a hazard flasher switch
  • a fog light switch
  • a brake warning light test switch

On some model the speedo was also flanked by oil pressure and temperature gauges.

A parcel shelf was fitted on either side of the instrument panel, with a black rubber liner.

Where fitted, the heater was the compact but powerful Mini unit, mounted just below the instrument panel.

Multi-function Mini-style twin stalks took care of the lights, horn, windscreen wipers and washers.

Wipers

Standard Mini twin wipers.

Mirrors

Black rectangular mirrors were fitted to the 4cm extensions on the front wings They had sprung arms and elongated bases. These were probably the most useful mirrors fitted to a Moke. Unfortunately these distinctive mirror units are no longer available; and the glass, if broken, is not replaceable.

A Mini central rear view mirror was fitted to a special box section at the top the upper windscreen frame.

Hoods

Leaving aside the Australian-style folding hoods, The Portuguese Moke came with an all-new hood design which fitted directly to the full-height roll cage. The factory hood came with a metal bar at the rear, which was attached to the rear panel. At the front, there was an angle-section bar which was held in place by levers to the top of the windscreen. The hood was then tensioned to the roll cage. Full side-screens could be attached (by zips). These side-screens incorporated ‘doors’ that roll up (or, roll sideways, in the case of Cagiva hoods).

Check our Portuguese Moke Hoods for our own design of hoods for Portuguese Mokes, which we think are neater and more practical than the factory hoods.

Roll Cages

The change from the Australian-style low-back roll cages to the Portuguese full-height roll cages meant that 3 point inertia-reel seat belts could be fitted for all four occupants.