On the way to the Top
By Dave Margison

In August 2013 I had a visit from those Fab Two Mokees Jill and Allen Whatmore.
They had driven up from their Melbourne home to Cairns in their converted Hino
bus. This now luxurious mobile home boasts of everything including the kitchen
sink. Their beaut Moke 'Scruffy' was quite happy to sit quietly on its trailer as it
followed the bus between stopovers.
'Scruffy' then became dead useful and essential in the multitude of city and town
stopovers where it was used to nip around easily. The mobile home being
impractical for parking in such places.

'Scruffy' is a mighty fine 1978 Moke with a 1275, its name being derived from its
somewhat tarnished appearance. For this tremendous trip its insides were packed
with a multitude of spares which from experiences during past Moking adventures
were now deemed to be essential.
A really brilliant modification was the replacement of the original windscreen
frame with one that was perfectly rectangular. This makes the windscreen far easier to
replace if devastated by road rocks and thus eliminating a great deal of nail biting.

The now retired Jill and Allen were making their way to the Top of Cape York in
Queensland the farthest anyone can drive north in Australia, any further would have
required a floatation device. On the way they met up with a mob of seven like-
minded mobile home fans in Mareeba so they were not short of travelling
companions.

The drive from Cairns to the Top is not a pleasant one and is perhaps more for
enduring than enjoying. This is due to the corrugated nature of the road which
varies between 'very' and 'awfully'. They were wise indeed when they decided to
leave 'Scruffy' and its trailer behind at my place in Cairns.

At home in Melbourne Jill and Allen are the proud owners of another roadworthy
Moke called 'Maxx' along with 10 more Mokes which are all resting on one of their
pannier sides to save storage space. It is envisaged that in the fullness of time each
of these Mokes will have a new and loving owner.

For more about the Whatmore,s Moking adventures visit their blog
whatmorebus.blogspot.com.au
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