Jolly Blog

Eco Gloria – Our Sustainable Moke Experience

Eco Gloria – Our Sustainable Moke Experience

‘In this blog post, I’d like to delve into our sustainable Moke experience known as ‘Eco Gloria’

Eco Gloria is our exciting sustainable experience in partnership with our friends at Finca La Gloria ( Finca la Gloria is a permaculture estate boasting an intimate boutique hotel within an intensive agricultural development, where art, crops, and inner wellness, morph into one single philosophical statement.

We exclusively employ our sustainable mokes for this picturesque journey through the countryside from Sotogrande to Jimena. Cruising through hills, enveloped by nature, passing by herds of cattle and grazing horses, one finds a profound sense of tranquility. With the Mokes silently traversing, you can relish the breeze and take pride in minimizing your carbon footprint for the day.

The journey spans about 45 minutes, leading us to our friends’ charming estate nestled in the countryside, Finca La Gloria. Here, they graciously offer a tour of their permaculture farm, showcasing the fruits of their labor and explaining their sustainable techniques.

After the farm tour, guests are welcome to enjoy the estate while lunch is prepared. On hot days, guests can cool off in the pool or relax on the terrace. In winter, the cozy living room and fireplace offer warmth, while a game of pool provides entertainment. Guests can savor organic wine as they unwind.

Enjoy a farm-to-fork feast on the terrace, featuring vibrant salads and hearty mains crafted with care, all prepared with the freshest ingredients likely picked from the earth that same day. Afterward, take a moment to unwind or browse through a selection of locally made products, such as honey and preserves, before embarking on the return journey to Sotogrande aboard our electric Mokes. There is also the option of staying the night and enjoying the luxuriously appointed rooms, tastefully designed by its owner and renowned architect, Daniel Fábrega.

In essence, our ‘Eco Gloria’ sustainable moke experience invites you to embrace the beauty of nature, embark on an eco-conscious adventure, and create lasting memories in the process. Join us as we redefine the notion of exploration, one sustainable mile at a time. Are you ready to ignite your sense of adventure?

We invite you to watch the video and have a sense of this unique experience.

Contact us for more information and to reserve your Eco-Gloria

Jolly Blog

Classic Car Experiences

Classic Car Experiences

In this blog I wanted to write about classjc car experiences and in particular, one that we had the pleasure of trying over the Christmas holidays in London. We have various experiences that we offer ourselves here in Sotogrande, in the south of Spain, with our beautiful fleet of classic Austin Mini Mokes, that last for around 5 hours, and consist of a route from Sotogrande into the countryside of Cádiz or Málaga.

A few of our experiences visit some of the stunning ‘pueblo blancos’, or ‘white villages’ that dot the Andalusian countryside, such as Castellar de la Frontera (called the Mokastellar experience) or Casares (Mokasares experience). Along with the experience of driving a classic car, you might visit one of the pueblos blancos, taking in some history and culture too. You will explore some of the lesser known areas off the beaten tourist track, see some of the beautiful inner countryside, away from the typical sights of the Costa del Sol, and have a luxurious lunch in a hidden finca, a traditional village townhouse, or even in an exclusive polo resort. Our experiences are so much more than just driving a classic car. If you want to discover more, you can find more information on our website page

For now though, I would like to talk about a splendid experience we had in London during the Christmas holidays. SmallcarBIGCITY are a company based in London that offer similar services to ourselves, such as self hire rentals, tours, and experiences, but all with the classic Mini! They have a large fleet of classic Minis, some of which are Coopers (which are more powerful than the standard Mini with a larger 1.3 litre engine), all in impeccable condition. We were picked up in Lulu, a beautiful turquoise, convertible Cooper (  outside our front door by Robert, who was our guide for the day. He was dressed smartly, and was polite, charming, courteous, very articulate and extremely knowledgeable! A true English gentleman! We had The Beatles playing along Lulu’s stereo whilst Robert gave us the tour.

I am from London originally, born in Greenwich, and still visit frequently despite living in Spain. So I thought that my knowledge of London was fairly substantial, but Robert really put me to shame! The tour lasted for 2 hours and was absolutely fascinating. The more famous landmarks that we stopped at I obviously knew about (Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Tower Bridge, and Tower of London for example), but I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the in-depth knowledge and interesting stories that Robert told us about these tourist hotspots. Furthermore, there were many little hidden streets, which only a car as small as a classic Mini can fit down, where he took us which I had no idea about! These tiny streets would lead us to some lesser known gems of London, of which you would not see on the London tourist bus. And of course, each of these places had an amusing, interesting, or curious story behind it that Robert would articulately tell us, either whilst skillfully navigating the London streets, or when we occasionally stopped to get out of the Mini to stretch our legs a little.

Doing a tour with smallcarBIGCITY in my own home town reaffirmed my belief that classic car tours or experiences are by far the most interesting, different, exciting, unique, and definitely COOL way of visiting a region or town, even if you think you know it well! I would highly recommend doing these type of experiences wherever you go in the world, whether it be a Cadillac or Mustang along Route 66, a Citroen 2cv or Mehari in Provence or St. Tropez, a classic Mini in London, an Aston Martin DB6 through the Cotswolds, a classic Fiat 500 in Rome, a Porsche 911 or Mercedes 190SL in Bavaria, or of course a Mini Moke in Sotogrande!

If you do ever go to London, I highly recommend doing one of the tours with smallcarBIGCITY. You can find out more information on their website

We have exciting plans and ideas to expand our own experiences, to include longer distances with luxury accommodation and dining, with routes around Andalucía that last for a few days and include extra activities other than driving, such as wine tasting, olive oil tasting, and other gastronomic experiences. Watch this space!

Jolly Blog

Things To Do In Sotogrande

Things To Do In Sotogrande

For our first official blog by The Jolly Mile it makes sense for us to talk about the best things to do in Sotogrande. These are the things we recommend doing whilst exploring Sotogrande in one of our Mini Mokes.

  • A Round of Golf

Sotogrande is probably best known for its golf, with five excellent courses in the area, so it only makes sense that this is first on the list. Even for non-golfers, such as myself, it is something of a must just to immerse yourself in the Sotogrande lifestyle. Almenara and La Cañada are good courses for the low to mid-handicapped, and for the more rounded players, there is La Reserva, which has a reputation for being the most challenging of the five, Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, which is probably, in my opinion, the most beautiful, set in the heart of Sotogrande Costa by the nature reserve, surrounded by luxurious villas, with the coastline and views of Gibraltar and Africa, a joy to pass by in one of our Mini Mokes during the sunset, and finally, there is Valderrama, also a stunning course with cork trees dotted around, and of course the most famous, after hosting the Ryder cup back in 1997.

Polo Valley is a private polo resort located just outside of Sotogrande. It is truly a spectacular place, with its stables, horses, finca, polo fields, and lake, all beautifully maintained. One of the many activities they offer, besides learning to play polo, is a river hack. This is a horse ride that takes you down the river that runs nearby the resort. And I don’t mean riding along the riverbank…no, no…you will actually go down the river and, depending on the time of year and how much it has rained, you could be completely submerged in the water on your horse. You can even float on your horse! It is an extraordinary experience and an absolute must. The Polo Valley team are wonderful and friendly and will make yourself feel completely at ease. Without doubt one of the best experiences in the area.

  • A Day at the Beach

If you want a relaxing day at the beach there are plenty of options. Sotogrande has three main beaches, and even a man-made inland beach too. The main beaches are Torreguadiaro, with the beach clubs Bahía de Limon and Chambao if you want a sunbed. There is also Playa Sotogrande, which has Gigi´s and La Brisa sin Prisa chiringuitos to choose from. Lastly, to the other side towards Gibraltar, lies the Guadalquitón beach. This is quieter and certainly feels wilder than the other two beaches. Trocadero and Bunker beach club are situated at the start of this beach. The final option, and a bit different, is The Beach at La Reserva. This, at the time of writing, is the first man-made sandy pool to exist in Europe. Created using the fine white sand from the beaches in Tarifa, fresh water from the Guadiaro natural water reserve, and surrounded by Provence inspired landscape gardening, it really is what they like to call, barefoot luxury. Furthermore, they have what are by far the most comfortable and luxurious sunbeds I have ever laid on. They also have excellent food, with the best sushi in the area. The Beach is the option if you really fancy treating yourself.

  • Watch the Polo at Santa María Polo Club

Sotogrande is also famous for its polo, and a trip to Sotogrande would not be complete without a day at the polo at Santa María Polo Club. In all honesty, it feels more like a social event than a sporting one, but that makes it even more interesting. Soak up the glitzy atmosphere with the sound of galloping horses in the background, have a couple of glasses of champagne or feast on some Argentinean style (asado) barbecued steak, browse around the boutique shopping stalls, mingle with the glamourous crowd, and maybe even watch some of the polo. Santa María holds one of the international polo tournaments every year in August and is the centre court for polo in Sotogrande.

  • Shopping at El Mercado de Levante

If you are looking to do some shopping, then we recommend heading to the new marina, where you will find the Mercado de Levante on Sundays all throughout the year, and also Wednesdays in the summer. Full of interesting and unique items and stalls, such as hats, clothes, photography and art. There are the permanent shops on one side of the marina, and the water with the yachts moored on the other. With the addition of some very good restaurants, such as La Quilla and Foodisiac, it makes for a splendid atmosphere, and a nice way to start a Sunday.

  • Aperitif at Ke bar

Shopping at the marina leads nicely on to no.6, an aperitif at Ke bar. Ke is one of the first bars to open in Sotogrande port and has become known as the ‘meeting’ point. Locals will see familiar faces, having a ‘caña’ and some olives, whilst people watching, and also car watching, as there tends to be a fair few interesting vehicles that pass by, our Mokes included!

  • Afternoon ‘Tee’ at La Reserva Club Restaurant

Although having afternoon tea is not a particularly Spanish thing to do, the Afternoon ‘Tee’ at La Reserva Club Restaurant in the golf club house of La Reserva, is a very nice experience, with excellent sandwiches and cakes, in very pleasant surroundings on the terrace of the restaurant overlooking La Reserva’s magnificent golf course. At just 20€ per person it is well priced too, and definitely worth doing.

  • Dinner at Cancha II

Continuing with the culinary theme, another must on your stay in Sotogrande is dinner at Cancha II restaurant. Set next to the exquisite polo fields of the Ayala polo club, the surroundings are spectacular, as well as the building, with its dark wood and large terraces. The food is also excellent, specializing in gourmet Argentinean meats, grills, empanadas and wines. Argentinean grills are a typical food in Sotogrande thanks to the polo influence in the area, and this is a culinary delight that should not be missed.

  • Walk along the Guadalquitón beach

We previously mentioned the Guadalquitón beach as one of the options for the day at the beach, but in my personal opinion, I prefer to keep this beach reserved for long walks, during the evenings when the sun is going down and it is cooler. It stretches way out towards Gibraltar, and you can walk all the way to Alcaidesa and even La Linea, the last Spanish town before reaching Gibraltar. The views are spectacular, with ‘The Rock’ at the forefront, but also with Africa in the background, and with the sun setting, with the sky turning pink and purple, it can be very pleasant and romantic.

  • Cocktails at Trocadero

What better way to finish off the long walk along the beach than with a cocktail at Trocadero. This is a large beach club, with three pools, set by the beach with fantastic views of the sea. It has a colonial African feel in the design and décor, and serves tasty cocktails with chilled ambient music. An appropriate way to bring this blog to a close.

Jolly Blog

A Brief History of Sotogrande Spain

Sotogrande was founded in 1962 by the Filipino-American businessman Joseph McMicking, who was the president of the Ayala Corporation in Makati, in the Philippines. He also served for the United States Army as a pilot in World War II. He was inspired by the luxury resort development called The Forbes in the Philippines, as well as the Pebble Beach resort in California from his time studying at Stanford University, and was looking to create something similar, an exclusive resort and community. His requirements in his search included fertile land, a river, access to plenty of water, large and unspoiled beaches, and close proximity to an airport.

Joseph McMicking Founder of Sotogrande

He sent his cousin, Freddy Melian, who also worked for Ayala, to explore potential areas across the Mediterranean coast of Spain that would satisfy his requirements to build an exclusive resort and community. When Freddy came across the finca called Paniagua, in the San Roque municipality of provincial Cádiz, riding by motorbike, he found everything that McMicking was looking for. Large, unspoiled beaches along the Mediterranean coast, the river Guadiaro and the nearby natural water reserves, plenty of rural and fertile land, and within close proximity to the airstrip of Gibraltar. The area fit the bill perfectly. Along with his nephews, Jaime and Enrique Zobel, they decided upon the finca Paniagua, which had an area of 1800 hectares, and decided to name the development Sotogrande. Financiera Sotogrande de Guadiaro SA was incorporated on 19th September 1962 and plans for the development were swiftly drawn up.

Cortijo Las Canas, then known as Finca de la Campana, that lies in between Pueblo Nuevo de Guadiaro and the old Guadiaro, was also purchased, as well as Finca Valderrama, where the equestrian centre La Hípica is now based, behind what is now Hotel Encinar. Finally, Finca El Conchudo was also bought, and, together with finca Sotogrande, completed the collection of 5 fincas to create the estate. There were plans to buy the Finca Guadalquitón but these were abandoned as it was an area designated to military use. It is worth mentioning that during those times, a foreigner was not actually allowed to buy land in Spain without the express permission of the military. The authorities however, under the command of General Franco, did not oppose, seeing it as a national centre for tourism.


With planning permission granted from the authorities, McMicking and his cousins got to work. One of the first objectives was to create a golf course. McMicking commissioned the renowned golf course designer Robert Trent Jones, and what is now Club Real de Golf Sotogrande was created. The Club Real de Golf was not only one of the best designed golf courses in Europe, but also became central to life in Sotogrande, becoming the meeting point for the Sotograndinos, for golf, parties and social life in general.

Sotogrande Spain Top View

Enrique Zóbel was a keen polo player and president of Manila Polo Club, and in 1965 he oversaw the construction of the first polo field in the area by the beach and Guadiaro river estuary, called La Playa. The first tournament took place in 1967. That same year, in order to accommodate the growing number of national and foreign visitors, the old hostal called El León, in the area of finca Valderrama, was completely refurbished and extended to become Hotel Tenis, named aptly for the tennis courts that still exist today, albeit abandoned. This hotel, located just off the exit 130 of the A7 motorway, and close to the restaurant La Cabaña, is still operational and is now named Hotel Encinar. They also created the first beach club (now Trocadero) in Sotogrande, conveniently located just opposite Real Club de Golf, then called El Cucurucho (translated as cone or cornet), named as such for the peculiar large architectural cone on the roof of the building. During the mid-60s, word started circulating around the elitist circles throughout the globe about this discrete paradise called Sotogrande, to live, or for holidays, and it became one of the places to be.

Club Real de Golf Sotogrande

All was going so swimmingly during the swinging sixties, until 1969, when the government under the orders of General Franco, closed the border with Gibraltar. This suddenly cut off the ever so convenient access to Sotogrande through the Gibraltar airport, not just for the foreigners but for the Spanish too that used to fly from Madríd, as Málaga airport did not open until 1972 and even then the road along the coast to reach Sotogrande was still being constructed. The golden era of Sotogrande abruptly came to an end. 

However, this sudden isolation restricted foreigners, but not the Spanish. It is for this reason that maybe the resort, quite to the Spanish delight, did not grow as much as other coastal towns nearer to Malaga airport during the tourism boom of the 60s and 70s, and continued to be a discrete and hidden gem.

Despite having less foreigners visiting, however, the resort did continue to grow. The first Gold Cup polo tournament was launched in 1971, and a second polo field was inaugurated in 1974 and called Paniagua. The old Cortijo Paniagua buildings were extended and became a commercial centre.

In 1974 McMicking once again turned to Robert Trent Jones to construct the second golf course for the resort, called Nuevo Sotogrande. In 1981 it was renamed Las Aves, and then in 1984 it was bought by local resident Jaime Ortiz-Patiño, who had it remodelled, and renamed as Valderrama. This became one of the most prestigious golf courses not just in Spain, but in Europe, hosting the Volvo Masters from 1986-96 and 2000-08, the 1997 Ryder Cup, the Amex World Golf Championship in 1999 and 2000, and the 2016 Spanish Open.

Sotogrande ISS

In 1978 the International School of Sotogrande (ISS) was founded by a group of local residents led by George Moore, retired Chairman of Citigroup, who wanted to offer a British style education with a Spanish influence to the local and once again growing international community. The school was originally located in Paniagua, but in 2001 moved to the upper end of La Reserva.

With the aim of revitalizing Sotogrande and turning the annual losses the entity was suffering into a sustainable business, a marina was planned for the area to the east of the Guadiaro river estuary, in order to open up to the middle classes, with sea and beach front apartments. The land was acquired in partnership with Juan Miguel Villar Mir, and Puerto Sotogrande SA was formed. This attracted notaries, accountants, lawyers and architects to the area, joining the already existing aristocrats and financiers, who, until then, had made up the bulk of the professionals in the area. This was a pivotal moment for the resort, which, until then, had been solely for the elite and aristocracy, but, for the first time, it opened up to a more middle class gathering. In 1987, the marina was inaugurated with the official name Puerto Deportivo Sotogrande. A new hotel, the Club Marítimo, was constructed in the port, as well as beachfront apartments and another beach club, Octógano.

Santa Maria Polo Club Sotogrande

Santa María Polo Club continued to grow, hosting more games and tournaments every year, as well as attracting more visitors and more sponsorship. In 1985 the La Playa polo fields were completely destroyed by a devastating storm, and so the club built two new fields called Río Sotogrande 1 and II. By this time the polo fields at Paniagua were no longer used. In 1992 the fields of Puente de Hierro I and II opened; and in 1995 the Hacienda de San Enrique I and II fields were built. In 2003 two of four new Los Pinos fields were inaugurated, and in 2008 the 2,500 square metre pavillion was opened. The two Rio Sotogrande fields were abandoned.

The Ryder Cup of 1997, held at Valderrama, coincided with the construction boom on the Costa del Sol. During the next 10 years a number of large development projects arose, whilst luxury villas were also constructed in the many plots of land available. Another 3 golf courses were also built, La Cañada, Almenara, and La Reserva. Almenara possessed a 4 star hotel and spa to compliment its golf course. This hotel has just had a €40m refurbishment carried out this year (2021) and has reopened as SO Sotogrande, a luxury 5 star hotel which will surely bring a more constant flow of tourism to the resort throughout the whole year.

La Reserva continues to grow to this day, with new developments within the complex, ranging from luxury villas, such as The 7, and The 15, to high end apartments, such as Village Verde. In 2018, La Reserva created the first man-made inland private beach club, with an adult pool, ‘sandy’ pool with beach, and a lagoon. La Reserva is now more of a country club, than just a golf club, with the beach club, tennis and padel courts, golf, and two restaurants.

An extension of the port was later constructed by Sotogrande SA, in the form of a new marina, which offers many more berths for boats, new luxury apartments, and retail units for restaurants and shops that, along with the market on Sundays, has created a very pleasant atmosphere which offers another option to the port.

So what of the future? It is clear that Sotogrande will continue to grow. With the pandemic of Covid-19, both foreign and Spanish young professionals and families have moved permanently to Sotogrande from the cities for a better quality of life. What I feel is important for the resort is that it keeps its unique characteristics as a place for discretion and humility, where residents can enjoy the high quality of life on offer, without the ostentatiousness of other luxury resorts in Europe. If it manages that, it will continue to be one of the best places to live in Europe, and we could well enjoy another golden era, the first of the 21st century.

Jolly Blog

Sotogrande Car Rental

In this blog, we are going to talk about Sotogrande car rental and why the Mini Moke in our opinion is the choice in Sotogrande.

So why is it necessary to rent a car in Sotogrande? Well, although Sotogrande may be sparsely populated, it is actually a very large resort. I mean, think about it, there are 5 championship golf courses all within Sotogrande! The size of the resort is approximately 25 square kilometres. Its pretty large, with plenty of nature, including hills, golf courses, cork trees, beaches and the sea.

Unfortunately, public transport in the area is not great either, and quite unreliable. Having a car gives you the freedom and independence that staying in a resort as large as Sotogrande requires. In fact, you will probably need a car for just about anywhere you go within the resort, whether it be to the supermarket, the shopping centre, the golf or tennis club, the polo, the beach or the port. So clearly, one needs a car to move around here. It’s not just to get around the resort either. Whilst on holiday one can also visit the beautiful white villages nearby such as Castellar de la Frontera, Jimena de la Frontera, and Casares, all within half an hour drive from Sotogrande.

So, we have gathered that it is absolutely necessary to rent a car when staying in Sotogrande. Now, this is where The Jolly Mile comes in. So, why rent with us? Why rent a Mini Moke for your stay in Sotogrande?

Sotogrande car rental, we provide the X factor, or the fun factor, or the Jolly factor if you like! What does everyone want on their holiday? Fun! I’m absolutely convinced that you will have more fun on your holiday if you rent a Mini Moke instead of a normal car. After three years running this business, I have seen it with my own eyes and through the feedback of our very happy customers! I know what you are thinking though…you´re thinking, but what if we want to travel further afield, and visit cities that are too far to go in a Moke, such as Marbella, Málaga, or Tarifa? What we find is that a lot of families hire two cars, a normal one that can be practical and used for long distances, and a Mini Moke too, to use locally.

Group of close friends driving a Moke along a palm tree-lined road on a sunny afternoon.

There are many reasons why you should rent a Mini Moke with The Jolly Mile, such as the following;

  • Is not just your regular Sotogrande car rental. Its personal, accessible, and friendly customer service. 
  • Trust – 37 reviews on Tripadvisor and counting, all 5 stars!
  • 2020 Travellers Choice award – this is an award by Tripadvisor for attractions that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
  • Whatsapp – available on WhatsApp to communicate.
  • Little Paperwork – we try to do as little paperwork as possible. Nothing worse than endless forms to read and sign. Of course, we have to have some, but far less than the usual car rental company!
  • Delivery and collection to your home – this means no waiting around in a stuffy office, convenience and time saved.
  • Fuel included – we deliver the Moke with a full tank of fuel and you do not need to return the Moke with a full tank. This is one of the things I most hate about renting a normal car. On the last day of your holiday, already stressed about getting to the airport on time and not missing your flight, the last thing you need is to have to search for a petrol station as close to the airport as possible in order to return the car with a full tank.
  • Airport pickup – some of you may also be thinking…ok we would love to rent one when we are in Sotogrande, but then how do we get there from the airport? This is why we offer a pickup and dropoff service to/from Málaga airport. Drive a classic car without the hassle of maintaining it.
  • Look good and move around in style – I assure you that the Mini Moke is one of the coolest cars you can drive in, and it receives more attention than a Ferrari!
  • FUN – Yes, it’s that word again, but it is such a FUN car! Especially for kids!
  • JOLLY – and sooo jolly! I think what I like most about the Mini Moke is the effect it has on people and passers-by. Everyone loves it, and everyone smiles. Enjoy the feeling of driving a classic car.
  • A real driving experience – driving a Mini Moke feels like proper driving. You are low and close to the ground, there is no power steering, there is the smell of petrol and the sound of the engine, and with no doors or roof (although perhaps a canvas hood), it really is a true driving experience.
  • Look cool – oh yeah, and you look pretty cool whilst you drive it too.
  • Jolly Mile Spotify playlist – no need to try to find the songs that become attached to your holiday memories, just put on The Jolly Mile playlist on Spotify! A mix of all types of music, but all songs that will have you singing with that warm summer feeling.

I think the best way to conclude this blog is to say that I like to think of The Jolly Mile as not a car rental company, but rather one of the experiences. When you rent a Mini Moke, what you are getting from us is not just a car rental, but an experience, that I assure you will make a truly positive difference to your whole holiday experience and memories.

Feel it, live it, Moke it!

Jolly Blog

The History of the Mini Moke

For our second blog by The Jolly Mile I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the interesting history of the Mini Moke and how it came to be the car that it is today and the cult status that surrounds it.

Did you know that the word ‘moke’ means donkey? Despite this rather unfortunate comparison, The Mini Moke became an iconic car to move around in the worlds sunny hotspot areas such as the chic French Riviera, Miami, Australia, and the Caribbean. It became synonymous with stylish holidays and lots of fun and manages to evoke a unique feeling of freedom that few cars are able to achieve. Now its making a comeback, with The Jolly Mile in Sotogrande, Spain. Its once again becoming the must have vehicle. Read on to discover its interesting history and where it stands now.

1959 – The Birth

 To many people’s surprise, the first Mini Moke was designed for military purposes as a front-wheel lightweight utility vehicle, back in 1959, for the British army. It was designed by the legendary Sir Alec Issigonis, the inventor of the classic Minis, who prior to creating the Mini, used to design military vehicles, mainly during World War II. However, the Moke proved somewhat unsuccessful, with its low grounding it was too easily stopped by any objects, and its weak 848cc engine was not too popular either, so it was rejected by the army, although the Royal Navy did show some interest in it for use on the decks of its aircraft carriers.

1962 – Second Shot

Undeterred by this initial rejection by the army, the BMC (British Motor Corporation), worked on a new design which featured larger wheels, improved suspension, and in general better off-road capabilities. However, the army remained unimpressed. Therefore, in order to recover the development costs, BMC decided to commercialize the vehicle for civilian use.

History of The Mini Moke

1964 – Third Time Lucky

So, in 1964 BMC then produced a new version aimed for the general public, with smaller 10” wheels, from its factory in Birmingham, England. Production continued until 1968, by which time 15,000 English Mokes had been manufactured, of which only 10% were actually sold in the UK, with the rest all exported. For this reason, despite the Austin Mini Moke appearing on the British television series The Prisoner, production was ceased.

The History Of the Mini Moke

1968 – The Australian Moke

Production then switched entirely to BMC´s factory in Sydney, Australia, where Moke assembly had been taking place since 1966. Here they made some changes to the spec, with larger 13” wheels replacing the 10” ones, and a larger 998cc engine. These changes were implemented to suit local conditions and appeal to a more commercial market.

The History of the Mini-Moke

1983 – The Portuguese Moke

In 1983 production then restarted at BMC’s factory in Portugal under the control of Austin Rover, and lasted until 1989 with around 10,000 units produced. All but one of our collection are the Portuguese model.

History Of the Mini-Moke

1990 – The Cagiva

In 1990 the manufacturing rights were then sold to the Italian company Cagiva, which produced almost identical looking Mokes to the Portuguese model. The main difference are the back seats, which are individual seats, rather than the bench style of the Portuguese model. You can see this difference with Minty (our white and green Moke). Production continued until 1993, when the last Mini Moke was made. In total, during the 30 years of production, 50,000 Mokes were produced in the various countries.

Present – So What Now?

The Moke is making a comeback! There are now new Mokes being assembled in France. There are two new models, ‘Moke International’, and ‘Nosmoke’. Nosmokes are electric versions of the Moke, and Moke International produce both petrol and electric versions. Aesthetically, they are not as pleasing on the eye as the originals, and not as fund to drive either, but for those of you who are more environmentally aware, watch this space as we may have some of the electric Mokes in our fleet soon!