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Saturday 9 December 2017

Village Taxi – HLT 709C

What a Fantastic Restoration Job!
   In July 2011 the Prisoner Mini-Moke HLT 709C was found in a barn on a farm in the Netherlands by Olivier and Christiaan Bos who planned to restore the Moke to her former glory. However their plans were not fulfilled, and eventually the Moke was put up for auction at Classic Car Auctions in August 2015 and sold
for the sum of £13,750.

    How HLT709C was taken from MGM film studios after the filming of ‘the Prisoner,’ and ended up being used as a farm run-about possibly transporting animal feed, bails of hay, and probably buckets of pig swill, which would be very menial work for such a once proud Moke, is unknown. But certainly she was in a very poor condition when she was found. {Pictured right} The barn was open to all weathers, the paint work grubby, and rusting. The canopy in a very shabby state, the back seats were missing, the wood panelling rotting away, and the Penny Farthing on the bonnet faded. With a flat tyre never repaired, the spare and wheel cover missing, she was abandoned to the back of the barn, left rotting and uncared for.

   The new owner turned out to be an old friend. What a fantastic restoration job has been carried out during the past two years. HLT 709C was one of four Mini-Mokes produced in such livery for ‘the Prisoner,’ however she did not go to Portmeirion for the filming in September 1966, instead was confined to the MGM film studios, appearing in the episode ‘Living In Harmony.’ HLT 709C certainly looks her part once again, pictured {top and above} at Portmeirion for the Prisoner’s 50th anniversary, having now been restored to her former glory.        
 Be seeing you


  1. HLT 709C was the first Moke to go to Portmeirion in September '66, appearing in several episodes including Arrival being driven by McGoohan himself !

    1. Hello Philip,
      Good to hear from you. Thank you for putting me right. I thought HLT 709C was damaged in an accident on the way to Portmeirion, is that right, or was it another of the Mokes? The Moke Number 6 finds parked in the street in 'Many Happy Returns' shows damage to the front off-side mudguard.

      Best regards

    2. David... HLT 709C was the Moke that was damaged during filming of the series and was returned to Elstree/MGM Borehamwood after being used in the first batch of episodes including Arrival and Many Happy Returns. During the recent restoration the damage done in 1966 could once again be seen under the layers of old paint !

    3. Hello Phillip,
      Good to hear from you.
      Thank you for the interesting information about HLT 709C, that the damage from all those years ago was still there, simply covered up by paint. When stripped back revealed more history about the vehicle.