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Author Topic: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.  (Read 18869 times)

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Halfpint

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Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« on: June 10, 2011, 05:45:53 PM »
At the Wagga Muster, I had a some photos copied and laminated with a bit of a pictorial history of our Moke over the 20 yrs or so we have owned her. I’ve been going to do a thread for a long time, but just never got around to it mostly because I didn’t take lots of photos early on, and I’ve learnt that we need lots and lots of pics! I can’t find an earlier album that had a few shots from just after we bought it, but what I have does start at her rebuild as a Blue 1981 Moke.

Now I’d had a lot of exposure to Mini’s as a kid, and many years ago my Mum bought a Moke painted with the Canberra Raiders colours and emblem, Like Turbo Tigers Moke, but Raiders. Any how, I thought she was mad, a Moke in Canberra, in winter! She offered it to me in the late 1980’s, but we had small kids and as an apprentice, had limited transport options.

Back in early 1990 we were camping on a reserve along the Murray River near Howlong, something we done a lot of. Boydy and his family came along with his 1978 Californian. It was lunch time on the 2nd day and we needed some ice (for the milk of course ;) ;)) and Boydy threw me the keys. So into town I went, and well, I had to have one. :o :o

Six months later I’d bought 2.  ;D The ’74 was not exactly what I was after so sold it on a couple of yrs later and concentrated on the ’81.
We’d found halfpint in the Dandenong Ranges. The owners had let their Daughter use it for a while, but a combination of young P platers, poorly maintained brakes and Melbournes weather and traffic saw the Moke involved in a rear end collision at traffic lights. Their sudden stop also resulted in the four wheel drive behind also running into the back of them. Fairly minor but still required some panel beating.
So in 1993 we finished building the carport and pergola area, and started stripping the Moke down. The A+ 998 engine ran beautifully, so decided the engine and engine bay could wait till later. We didn’t want it of the road for too long..

The Father in law came around a few times to give a hand, and my daughters loved to give a hand when ever they could.



Sanding seems to take forever, and after about 3 weeks, we were ready to get to a mates shed for some coloured stuff.





Re assembling didn't take long and from removing the first bolt to registered took about 3 months. I had done a fair bit of pre work though, like chroming special parts that I could easily replace with old bits, and used old rims while the sunnies got the powder coat etc etc.



So, Summer'93 was fun again.

More soon, screens giving me a head ache :-[

Cheers
Halfpint



"Ametures sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work"
Stephen King.

moemoke

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 06:26:46 PM »
Great story HP, So it's all Boydy's fault

Only takes one drive to get hooked ;D

How come your moke still looks like new after all those years ;)
Our Dynky was 'restored' about the same time but badly needs doing again :(
1976 Moke 1275cc (Dynky),
1976 Moke(Scarlet) current project,
1974 Moke with Suzuki GTI motor (project), 
1975 Moke rust bucket,
1967 Moke rust bucket

martin

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 06:54:28 PM »
waiting for the next instalment HP - keep it up!

I agree,one drive is all it takes....

Martin
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Halfpint

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2011, 07:39:55 PM »
Great story HP, So it's all Boydy's fault

Only takes one drive to get hooked ;D

Yep, Boydy had a lot to answer for, and he gave me lots and lots of answers ;D He'd been around Minis and Mokes for years before I met him, and without his good advice in those early years, well I wouldn't have what I have now.

At the time I was getting rid of my bikes, so it was appealing to still have the wind in my face, and carry the family at the same time, so yep, 1 cool car +1 weak moment = hooked ;D

How come your moke still looks like new after all those years ;)
Our Dynky was 'restored' about the same time but badly needs doing again :(

Patience Moe, I'm a one finger typist, and a slow one at that ;)

Ok, back on track,
'93 was great fun, and spent the year tinkering and driving everywhere around the Nth East region.
I'd replaced all the wheel brgs, replaced trailing arm pins, machined up some adjustable tie bars and Hi lo's. Just fixed something up now and then as I went, and while I was in there did a few more things that happened to be associated with it. Like when I fitted the hi lo's, replaced the ball and cups.
The stars allighned for a few years and I had Queens birthday wekends off for a couple of years in a row, so Boydy and myself set off in '94 for my first Motorkhana.

Of course we had to take the scenic route ;D ;D ;D


Pouring rain, muddy and sandy tracks were great fun ;D 8)


Camping at the caravan park with lots of others from all over was good fun, cold- yes, windy- hell yeh, would've blown the spots off my Dalmation, but had a great time arount the fire ;D


Sand got in everywhere. and when I got to paint underneath a few years later, I didnt have much sanding to do ;)


The 998 went ok, and I was having a ball, didn't get anywhere near the leaders, but I was only there for the fun ;D


Presentation night was a hoot. I ended up winning a trophey that trip for best............. Mini Derivitive............ I was stocked 8) Someone thought It was a nice car other than me 8) 8)

more to come, I have to re-scan some pics
Halfpint






"Ametures sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work"
Stephen King.

Nickomokeo

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2011, 09:37:08 PM »
Great story HP.
Nicko

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2011, 08:07:29 PM »
Thanks guys,


Great times continued and the Moke proved herself to be very reliable.  8) Except for a battery, a set of points and a coil… and a couple of brake light globes (…… I was having trouble with the rubbish trailer!) ::)

Some camping trips up around Corryong and Mitta Mitta were great, and even the odd ” come on, lets go fishing” would see me with one of the kids disappear for the day in the Moke. The girls didn’t mind a 2hr drive and an hr or so of fishing here and there all along the Kiewa river, or the Mitta river, always fun.

I drove to work every day, and every arvo ( almost, it was good to ride the pushy sometimes) and every night shift.
And Kids drop off to school was always in the Moke when they had the choice, and it didn’t matter to them whether it was -3 degrees in winter or 40 degrees in summer, our kids loved  being in the Moke, especially in December as the top came down at night and we checked out Christmas lights.



It was in early 1997 when I started day shift for a couple of years that Mrs Half-pint finally agreed to another Quarter-pint, so we started continued in earnest and soon after we had confirmation. This was fantastic news, I now had an excuse to build a shed, straight away, before bubs is born, because of course, I would not have time to build it afterwards :P, with all the nappies, the bottles----- well you get the gist. And it got me over the line.
It was January 20, 1998 that this ¼ pint was born.
So the shed was up, and benches well under way. Finally, I could work on the Moke in my own shed! Oh happy days!

Heres June “98. On the engine stand you can see the 1275’s  blue engine and clutch cover peaking out of the garbage bag ! It was there ready and waiting for the 998 to show signs of wear.



Well, it didn’t get a chance.!
We celibrated Christmas 1998 and sometime over the night of December 30th , some low life decided that it might be fun to grab it out of my carport and take it for a drive somewhere. >:( >:( >:(

Next day, I woke up early to go to work at 6am, walked out to the carport…. Looked around, and said “ S##t, I’m sure I parked it here somewhere!” ??? ???
But it was gone……………… Not there! :o :o

My heart raced, -------------- My blood boiled ( and the beer flashed off) … suddenly …………. I realised……………..

I should have taken more photo’s………… Damn it.!

I was speechless, which for me was something new, and I raced back inside and asked Mrs HP “ I did bring the Moke home from work, right?”, then did a jog around the block, up a few side streets and then took the OV up and down some back roads in the area.
But nope, no sign. Gone.  >:( >:( :o :o

Rang work and let them know I’d be a bit late and then Called the Police, and rang family and friends to keep an eye out.
My Dad was working on the Taxis part time and he rang them all up so they could watch for it as well.

There was nothing more I could do that morning, so I went to work. When I got there, all my workmates were wearing black arm bands, they used black electrical tape. It was a nice gesture, they knew how much the Moke meant to me. 8) :)

At lunch time I rang the local radio station and got onto the presenter. Knowing that he wouldn’t be too concerned over the theft of a motor vehicle, I needed to jazz the story up a bit! I told him that “someone had stolen my favourite bumper sticker and I would like it back”, he sort of paused, and said “What?”
I repeated “someone had stolen my favourite bumper sticker and I would like it back”
He asked what was so special about this bumper sticker, and when I told him it was attached to the white bumper bar of a 1981, Blue Mini Moke, he suddenly got it and started laughing. He was then interested in my story and mentioned it a few times over the radio that afternoon. :D

Well New Years celebrations were a bit sombre :( Lots of drives out to river reserves hoping some one had just bush bashed till it ran out of fuel. so halfway through January now, heading to 1/4pints first Birthday....... Oh well something good to look forward to :D

January 19, 1999 .... the day before his first Birthday, and 3 whole weeks of frustration, the phone rings :o :o :o :o

To be continued..................................................................................

HP
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 01:30:05 PM by Halfpint »
"Ametures sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work"
Stephen King.

Maddog

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2011, 08:23:52 PM »
Noooooo........ you can't stop there! ;D

Great stuff HP. I love the black arm bands - mates understand that sort of thing. ;) And you have a lot more old photos than I do.

Look forward to more, and thanks for sharing.


Cheers, MD.
Mickey 81 Californian Arnold 82 Californian Baldy 82 Californian Ron 79 Califakian Eskymoke 82 Californian

Step aside coffee, this is a job for alcohol!

Halfpint

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2011, 06:10:26 AM »
Oh theres more MD and Martin, just takes me a long time to scan pics, remember most of this is pre those fang dangle digital contraptions ;)
And just about to answer Moe's questions too.
Cheers
HP
"Ametures sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work"
Stephen King.

Nickomokeo

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2011, 07:27:57 AM »
Let me guess, your mates at work had taken it to the local panel shop to have it resprayed for you and are about to surprise you with a brand new looking moke. ;D

Nicko, on the edge of his seat.

Newie

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2011, 09:27:08 AM »
Great story HP and I'm sort of glad I didn't have time to read it before now, so haven't had to endure the suspense like the others. Looks like I've picked up the story just before a good bit anyway  :D

Hmmmmmmmmm..............................The title is "Mokes don't float" and you've already mentioned checking out river reserves looking for the lost Moke...................I'm fearing the worst, but at least we know it has a happy ending eventually  ;D


Newie

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2011, 09:52:04 AM »
I know what happens next  ;D  :-X

I was looking at one of those photo scanners the other day Tony,
Like a mini laminater but when the photo's get sucked through they
are scanned.

Great write up so far. Will be keeping up with this one.

Samm

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2011, 08:42:33 PM »
Great read 284, look forward to the Climax... like Newie has alluded to looks like the Murray might come into play :o
Happy Mokin
Regards
Pete

1981 Californian 1275 Galv "Mighty Moke"

"Just because you're breathing doesn't mean you're alive!"

Nickomokeo

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2011, 07:14:32 AM »
HP, your killing me.
This thread is the first thing I check out when I log on.
It's like waiting for part two of Dr Who.
Nicko, (who would be tearing his hair out if he had any)

martin

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2011, 11:02:28 AM »
Quote
This thread is the first thing I check out when I log on

me too - and Im checking several times a day even when I should be working
Martin
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Halfpint

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Re: Mokes don't float! Halfpints story so far.
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2011, 04:35:24 PM »
Ok, sorry guys, 1/4 pint had some impromptu surgery on Saturday ( He's home now and ok, just resting) and I couldn't get a good run at typing, so here goes…

Not having the Moke was really depressing.  :( I had to get mine back, or get another one. They were the only options.
There was the obvious immediate transport issues, the not knowing what happened and also the dreaded insurance people to talk to. So first things first.

Boydy had not long had a 1963 850 mini that needed a bit of work for rego, so he offered it to me if I’d fix it up and get it registered. So into the shed we went and spent a couple of nights getting it up to a satisfactory standard. There was the usual stuff to do, ball joints, brakes, stearing rack, and did I mention brakes :o etc. The little 850 motor was pretty tired and I could grab the harmonic balancer and turn the motor over easily by hand. But it started every time, and ran really well. So lots of hrs into it and I had transport again. Phew, one thing down.

The second week of January now, and even after an article in the local Border Morning Mail newspaper there were still no real leads or sightings :'(. There were a few phone calls from people seeing Mokes from all over the place, even a sighting near Shepparton, which is nearly 200 klms away, but nothing that traced back to our car. >:(

Even with all the stuff happening, we had tracked down another Moke. 8) It was in my price range and described as “Needs work”, Ok, I new what that meant, well I thought I did. ::)
 
It was 450 klms away and I needed had to have a look, so we booked a motel, packed up the kids and set off to wonderful Wonthagi……. We arrived at the Motel late on Friday night, brushed away some cob webs so we could put the key in the lock and went in. We got the kids ready for bed and then gave the guy a call to let him know we were in town and to try and sort out a time to have a look at the car in the morning. “ Yeh yeh, just give us a call when your ready”.  :-\

Oh K!

So we rang early in the morning and he gave us an address in town to meet him.
When we got there, he started telling us a story about his life with Mini’s and Mokes, which on the whole was good, but after a while, I just wanted to see the Moke! “ Ok, well, it’s like this” he started, and I turned to the Mrs with a look she recognised instantly, of--- here we go.! ::) ::)

Turned out he was going through a very bitter split up, and the car was on the property. He needed to negotiate with the ex to get out there and have access. Then he told us how the kids had paddock bashed it, blew up the motor, hit a big stump etc, etc.
This was turning out to be a very strange experience.  :-\

So now we were all in the car heading out of town to see this Moke, and at the property gate we were met by the other half. Wow, tension at this point was heavy, and the glares traded between them froze animals and insects for 20mtrs in all directions. This was getting very uncomfortable……… But I wanted another Moke, even if this didn’t turn out to be the one.

We were guided to a shed and shown a Red 1980 Californian. Pretty sad, no engine ( it was scattered in a small workshop just off the main shed). All the bits were there, Cali rims, front and rear bars, discs, steering wheel, roll bar. There was some damage from where they’d hit a stump that I was a bit worried about, it was pretty obvious due to bark hanging out of between the tyre and rim. The driver’s side pod had received quite a shunt from underneath as well. :o :o
I didn’t dislike what I saw, and was feeling better about it now, so we started negotiating a price.  It was difficult, because it seemed his ex was also a part of it as he kept looking over to her, ??? as if for approval, or maybe he was just keeping an eye on her in case she started going all Ninja at him. Must admit, I was waiting for just one wrong word from either of them too for it to erupt :o

10 minutes discussing it and “Right, done, Sold. I’ll be back next weekend with a trailer” and we shook hands over it. I Left a $100 deposit and Mrs Farmer seemed a bit better now, and I’m sure she almost, ever so slightly, tried to smile a bit. Time to get out of dodge.

Back home now and on Monday morning we start to organise a trailer, Mrs HP didn’t wan’t to go back down to Wonthagi, the nervous twitches had started to subside by now ;) and anyway, with all that’s happened lately, a quite weekend at home was needed!

I’ll get back to the pick up later, other stuff happened next.

Right, back to that phone call, Tuesday January 19- 1999.

Mmwwhahah..................................
 ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
Halfpint




« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 04:39:23 PM by Halfpint »
"Ametures sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work"
Stephen King.

 

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