Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ageing Mini Moke still creating smiles

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Bucklands Beach resident Janine Robinson will display her unique 1966 Morris Mini Moke at this year’s Auckland Brit and Euro Classic Car Show. Times photo Wayne Martin

All Janine Robinson wants from her 1966 Morris Mini Moke is to zip down to the beach or marina in it and have a coffee with her friends.

That’s good as her eye-catching black British convertible, which is powered by a small 850cc engine, isn’t built for travelling at motorway speeds.

The Bucklands Beach resident’s Morris will be among the more than 1200 vehicles on display at this year’s Auckland Brit and Euro Classic Car Show at Lloyd Elsmore Park in Pakuranga on Sunday, March 5.

Robinson says Mini Mokes can be found around the world and they’re popular on resort islands such as Australia’s Magnetic Island.

“There used to be a fleet of them on Waiheke Island, but in New Zealand I think there’s only about three of this year left.

“They came out in 1966 so this is one of the first ones.”

What makes Robinson’s car even more special is that despite its advanced age, it still has the original engine.

She says she was inspired to buy it by enjoyable childhood memories.

“We used to do a lot of yacht racing over in Australia when we were younger.

“Someone had a fleet of hire cars so we always used to hire these to run around in and get all our yachting gear off the boats and back to the hotel rooms or into storage.

“They were just an incredible amount of fun and I’ve always wanted one.”

While looking for a Mini Moke to buy she saw others advertised for sale but none of them were right for her.

The one she’s driving was previously owned by two different people for a combined 40 years, she says.

“I didn’t care so much about aesthetics. I bought it sight unseen during the [Covid-19] lockdown.

“I said I want it to start, run, have a warrant of fitness, and registration.

“I want to know I can get in and go and that it has no rust.

“When it turned up on back of the car transporter I wasn’t disappointed.

“It was exactly as described to me, with no rust and just a horrendously bad paint job, but you pull all the floors up and they’re absolutely mint.”

The car’s last owner before Robinson spent an “awful lot of money” on it, she says.

“The book of receipts that came with the car was thick so no expense was spared on the mechanicals.

“That’s what I was more interested in because all I want to do is drive it down to meet my friends at the beach or marina and have a coffee.”

The Auckland Brit and Euro Classic Car Show is from 10am-3pm on Sunday, March 5, at Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga.

The car show is set to feature a flyover of vintage NZ Warbirds aircraft just after midday and a special display of ‘micro cars’. Entry is free.

The show is sponsored by Times Newspapers, the Howick Local Board, Protecta Insurance and NZ Classic Driver.

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