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 busbetween stopovers.
‘Scruffy’then became dead useful and essentialin 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 northin 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 wiseindeed 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

‘Scruffy’ being offloaded in Cairns for
safekeeping while ‘Yorkey’ looks on
The long and bendless road
Allen replacing a donut in the camping grounds
‘Scruffy’, Allen, Jill and ‘Cane’ with
Cairns in the background
The only camels we saw were at Norseman and these were cleverly made from corrugated sheets of iron
"Get me somestrong rope - we don't want to
lose this on our way back to Melbourne"