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59Prototype

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About 59Prototype

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    Itabuna, Brazil
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    Prototype Mini Mokes

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  1. 59Prototype

    What was this for? Job card? 1959 Army Moke

    I’ve never asked the question before but presumably prototypes still belonged to the manufacturer (in this case BMC) and were out on loan to various branches of the services for evaluation. It would make good sense that in this case the army attached a card that gave instructions that the vehicle was not to be tampered with. In other words ‘It’s not ours so we are not in a position to mess around with it’. Is that a fair way to describe it? Clearly if the Nuffield Gutty had one, in much the same position as it was on the Mokes, it was a system that had been in place since at least the 1940s. How long did it carry on? What also becomes apparent was that it was a system that wasn’t just confined to vehicles. Looking at the photo of the one on the crate you can see that the three tags were designed to be bent over once the information card had been slid into position. Makes sense. I’ll tell you something now. It’s something that has puzzled me for over 30 years! At last I have the answer! Thanks everyone for your informative comments.
  2. I've been in discussion with a few friends about this holder. It's mounted in front of the passenger on the panel that could be loosely described as the dash. It's on at least one of the other 1959 Mini Moke prototypes. My guess is that some sort of document or card was slid in from the top. With the screw heads protruding it couldn't have been that easy to get the card or whatever to slide in. Obviously it's an army fitment and not just on Mokes. Can someone explain what it was for please? Many thanks. Graham Robinson
  3. 59Prototype

    Dating a military registration.

    Many thanks for your comments and advice. So it sounds as though it is best to forget about any sequence or series of numbers and go straight to the information on the vehicle record card, assuming there is one. That then begs the next question who holds the record cards? I seem to recall that the RAF vehicle records are at the RAF Museum, Hendon and the Army ones at the RCL Museum but who has the record cards for Royal Navy vehicles?
  4. 59Prototype

    Dating a military registration.

    Before starting a new post I searched the forum and found this but the question isn't really answered. However it was back in 2008 so I'm wondering if the answer is now available? Why I ask is that recently I was discussing military registration numbers with a friend and whether there was any way that you can tell when they were first issued? I have the VRNs for the Army, Navy and RAF but am aware that they are not official lists. In fact did I once read that they were compiled from photos, and although useful, are not totally accurate? Occasionally a year is mentioned in a list but mostly they give just the military number and the vehicle it was on. So once again is it possible to date a vehicle more or less from the number as it is with civilian registrations? As an example I know that 07 RN 49 was issued to a 1959 Royal Marines Mini Moke so do I assume that ‘07’ is from c. 1959? Perhaps there is an article or a website that would more fully answer my question about the years. Does anyone know? Graham
  5. I continue to research the very early history of the Mini Moke i.e. 1959-1964 and a question has arisen about the 4x4 versions that Austin built in the experimental workshop at Longbridge under the direction of Sir Alec Issigonis and W.J. (Jack) Daniels. (These 4x4s are not to be confused with the Twini Mokes that had an engine front and rear. A totally different kettle of fish!) I am aware that Rolls-Royce at Crewe designed the 4x4 gearbox and drive train assembly for the Austin Champ. As the Champ had a RR engine anyway it was presumably a logical tie-up between the two companies for RR to design the 4x4 gearbox and drive train assembly. With this background in mind, does anyone know if it was RR who designed the gearbox and drive train assembly for the 4x4 Mini Moke? If no-one can say for certain what's the odds that it was true? Graham Robinson (With prototype Mini Moke - 14 BT 18)
  6. I am a member of a Facebook page that is all about old memories of Bournemouth and Poole. Today someone has posted a photo of an omnibus cum milk lorry that operated in an around the area. Here's the photo: Comment has been passed that it was probably a WWI lorry converted after the war was over. Would anyone like to pass comment? Three things of note. The man standing on the right appears to have a false leg. Could he have lost it during the war? The registration is EL 927 which indicates Bournemouth. EL ran from 1903 to 1924 so it's not a great deal of help in trying to pin a date on the vehicle or the photo. Finally it says DECOY just above the bonnet. I assume that's the manufacturer but after an extensive Google search I am none the wiser.
  7. Robin Many thanks for posting the photos. I had my thoughts on what the Moke was but then had someone else check it out for me. We both believe it to be a standard production Moke made at Longbridge, Birmingham, England between 1964 and 1968. Obviously being LHD it was one exported to the States. I know that the photos were taken a few years ago but at the time it looked to be in first class condition. It's a complete aside from this but in 1967 together with two other 'Limies'(!) I worked at the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel in Atlantic City for about 3 months. We were on student exchange visas. After finishing at the hotel we went down to Washington and in being shown round the Capitol Building by a hotel guest and his wife who had befriended us, we got to meet and shake hands with Robert Kennedy. Sadly a year later he was assassinated. Graham
  8. Wally is already aware of the following tale and I have a feeling I have mentioned it before on this forum. Around 1987 I went to look at the Mini Moke (14 BT 17) that was at the time displayed in the Museum of Army Transport, Beverley. It's now in the Haynes Museum at Sparkford. I was in the process of restoring my 1959 Moke and was on a fact finding mission. I asked someone at the museum if they could tell me what colour army green was as I wanted to make sure I painted my Moke the right colour. Whoever I spoke to said: 'Look at all the exhibits you see before you and they are all different colours!' he said 'There is no such thing as army green. I think it was what they happened to have in the paintshop at the time!' Perhaps a slight exaggeration but the point was made. In the end I settled for Deep Bronze Green and in hindsight I now know that it was the right choice. If you think about it it's logical that colours varied a little especially during WW2. Nowadays we have the advantage of rapid communication, emails, computers and fancy technology which enables us to get things spot on. They had none of that 70 odd years ago. It was more important to get the damn thing out on the road or up in the sky! Of course they were right. Say for example a Spitfire was painted in slightly the wrong shade? Would they have sent it back to be re-sprayed? Not on your Nellie! Graham
  9. I've found a photo of a filler cap on a 1963 Mini Moke that has me baffled. The filler cap usually used on Mokes was the same as used on Land Rovers of the time. This one is a bit different. Can anyone tell me what it was from? Graham Bournemouth
  10. Ruxy Yes, you're right, BMC engine green was also called MOWOG green but I think that this was simply BS Mid Bronze Green. I think it's what's called clever marketing that in turn let's them charge a few more bob for punters to obtain the 'correct' paint! Thanks to everyone else for your comments on Deep Bronze Green. If I read things correctly, although it was a colour mainly associated with Land Rovers it wasn't a colour exclusive to Land Rover so other vehicles (non Land Rover) could also have been painted the same colour. Graham
  11. Deep Bronze Green Until recently I had always thought that Deep Bronze Green, a popular choice for Land Rovers, was actually a Land Rover colour. However I now believe it to be a British Standard (BS) colour that Land Rover decided to use. Hence it was not specific just to Land Rovers. That now makes sense as I believe that the 1959 prototype Mini Mokes made by the Austin Motor Co. (as part of BMC) were painted Deep Bronze Green. At that time BMC were nothing to do with Rover and Land Rover. What's more I had always thought that BMC engines were painted BMC Engine Green. It now seems that BMC Engine Green was no more than BS Mid Bronze Green! Have I painted (if you'll excuse the pun!) a fair picture or is there more to add? Graham Bournemouth
  12. 59Prototype

    What does MTOR stand for?

    Many thanks Wally. Yet another Moke mystery solved! Graham
  13. I have a copy of an official report on the Mini Moke circa 1960 that came from the National Archives. One sentence reads: User trials reports have been favourable but the Army and Royal Marines have stated they have no requirement. A MTOR has however been raised by the Air Ministry. Can anyone tell me what MTOR stands for? I would guess at Military Transport O???? Report but I'm probably well wide of the mark!! Graham Bournemouth
  14. Richard and Wally I now think you are right. It's 1966, or possibly 1967 but by 1967/68 it was taking a real pounding in the BBC Autopoints. By 1971 it was in bits and being sold. What I have recently established thanks to help from Wally is that this Moke actually started life in 1959 as a Royal Marines Moke, 07 RN 49. I've even found a photo of Lord Mountbatten sat in it at Middle Wallop in September 1959. It's certainly a Moke with some history! ...............all I need to do now is find out who T J Nightingale was, or is!!!
  15. I've recently learnt that 'T J Nightingale - Bordon Military Security Room, MT Wing' was involved in 1971 with the sale of 20 BT 30 one of the 1959 prototype Mokes. He wasn't aware at the time that it was a prototype. It's a long shot in asking if anyone knows or knew him but worth a try. If I knew what his first name was that might help. If no-one here knows the answer is there anywhere else that I might try? Is there a Bordon blog anywhere? Here's a photo of 20 BT 30 taken from Wheels and Tracks. As an extra question does anyone know where and when the photo was taken? As far as a year is concerned I would guess at around 1964/65 but I really don't know. The car in the background might be a clue. Is that a Fiat or a Lada? Graham Bournemouth
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