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Saturday, 2 July 2011

Prisoner Mini Moke Survives!

    Just when you think that the Prisoner has thrown up all the surprises it can, there is always one more thing to be discovered. For example, the picture below is of CFC 916C, which was thought to be the only Prisoner Mini Moke to have survived the series. Pictured here at Portmeirion in 1993.
Four Mini Mokes were said to have been converted by Wood & Pickett in the summer of 1966 for the Prisoner series, and transported to Portmeirion in September 1966. Each were subtly different, and parts and fittings were swapped around during the course of filming. Some of the Mini Mokes, if not all, were later returned to London for use in studio filming. Two registrations were CFC 916C and HLT 709C, the first having been owned by Max Hora the once proprietor of the Prisoner shop at Portmeirion. The Moke fell into disrepair in the late 1980's, but which was restored. But later again fell into disrepair, and was eventually sold to a fellow enthusiast of the Prisoner, who restored the Moke for a second time. And the latter, featured in publicity material produced by Barton Motors. And it is the exciting news that HLT 709C has been discovered in storage in a barn in Holland, where it has been for many years, and is pictured below.
A Dutch restorer and afficianado has purchased the Mini Moke, with a view to restore the Village taxi to it's former glory.
    The Mini Moke, still complete with it's original candy striped canopy and the remnants of the canopied Penny Farthing on the bonnet can be seen, although with its two rear seats removed, also minus the interior trim, spare wheel and candy striped wheel cover, together with the missing front seat covers.
    It is believed that this Mini Moke was owned by someone involved in the original series production of the Prisoner.
    Whilst previous Mini Mokes connected to the series have not been one hundred percent verified to have appeared in the series, there can be no doubt whatsoever of this Mini Mokes provenance, which is proven by the license plate HLT 709C as seen in the next picture.




    It is this Mini Moke which featured the Prisoner episode Living In Harmony, driven onto a back lot at MGM Studios, which was used for the American Wild west frontier Town of Harmony, by actor David Bauer as No.2, as seen in the next picture taken from the episode.


      Certainly in the past there have been many finds to be linked to the Prisoner, but none so in recent years. HLT 709C, for fans of the Prisoner is certainly the find of the decade. And in itself is proof that there are still finds, linked to the series still out there, waiting to be discovered.    Be seeing you

11 comments:

  1. Hello David

    I am editor of the Mini Moke Club magazine, Moking, and have found your write up and pictures very interesting. Would you give your permission for me to use it in the Club's magazine, with obviously a credit to yourself? You can check me out on the Club's website www.mokeclub.org
    thanks
    Roy Scott

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  2. Hello Roy,

    By all means, a pleasure to do so.
    If you are reading this, I shall contact you direct via the Mini Moke Club website, if I have not already done so.

    Regards
    David

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  3. hi..have we met?? we have attended the last 3 conventions at p/m with our restored 1967 english mini moke..i came across your article about the "found " moke in holland..any news?? i suppose there is no chance its for sale!! although i swore i would never restor another one after my year long battle with Austins RUST!!!regards phill.u.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Phill,

      We will have never met, but thank you for your comment. I was a member of Six of One for 15 years and atteneded every Prisoner Convention at Portmeirion from 1989, my last being in 2001.
      At the moment I have heard nothing more about the Mini Moke, but I cannot imagine that the person who purchased the Mini Moke would put it up for sale. I can only imagine she is undergoing a full restoration, how far that restoration has gone I have no idea. But be assured that when I hear something, I shall post the news here on my blog. The Mini Moke CFC 916C, which was kept at Portmeirion by Max Hora during the 1980's into the mid 1990's was in a terrible state of repair and needing complete restoration, for a second time. Mind you when at Portmeirion the Mini Moke was not garaged, and left open to the sea air all the time, and that induces rust.

      It was good to hear from you
      Regards
      David
      BCNU

      Delete
    2. thanks for reply..my moke has just had a 4 page feature in MINI magazine.shot on a beach near our home in fareham hants u.k...if you get a chance.plz have a look in a newsagent..can email some fab shots of moke at p/m..inc..tony sloman/rachel herbert/justine lord.etc..im not on face book..daughter is....so perhaps she can post photos..regards phill upshall.

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    3. Hello Phill,

      A four page feature on your Mini Moke, you must be proud, and I congratulate you. As it happens I'm out later this morning, so I'll drop into WH Smith and have a look for MINI magazine.
      Yes I would like very much to see pictures of your Mini Moke, I'm always interested in anything connected to 'the Prisoner.' I'm not on Facebook either, however I can always be contacted by email at stimpyfor6@msn.com

      Regards
      David
      Be seeing you

      Delete
    4. will email u some pics...phill.u.

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    5. Hello Phill,

      I've seen the emails you sent, but not the pictures as yet, I will down load them shortly, and of course email you in reply.

      Have a good day
      David
      Be seeing you

      Delete
  4. Hi, drove a moke around Portmerion at the 1980 6 of 1 convention. Today these vehicles are worth around £15,000 which is amazing!

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    Replies
    1. Hello Phil,
      Now I remember two Phil's from Prisoner conventions, I shall not use either surname for reasons of privacy.

      That 1980's Prisoner convention must have been one of the earliest ones held at Portmeirion. I cannot recall, was it one of the one-day conventions held at Portmeirion, or was it a weekend convention? And the Moke, I take it, it was in Village livery, perhaps the one that used to be housed at Portmeirion, as in the top picture.
      I was wondering how the restoration of the Mini-Moke is progressing, but I cannot seem to find out anything.

      Anyway good to hear from you.
      Very kind regards
      David
      BCNU

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  5. Hello David, I have just sent you an email. Best regards, Oliver

    ReplyDelete