Wednesday, August 8, 2012
How a Mini Moke fan from Bootle became Britain's newest car manufacturer
Charles Andersen said that he has been able to start remanufacturing the AMC Cub, an open-top fun car modelled closely on the original Mini Moke, for the first time in 20 years after he secured a new supply of parts.
He told Life On Cars: “As far as I know nobody else in the country in the country is making anything else like this - all the other firms who were building Mokes like these shut down years ago, so it's something that's completely unique.
"The reaction you get people when you drive it is incredible - everybody smiles and waves at you, and you get people beeping their horns at you as you go past. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it's a lot of fun."
Mr Andersen's firm, Andersen Motor Company, originally produced the Cub in the 1980s using parts from the Mini, but was forced to end production a decade later when the supply of parts for the cars dried up. It is only now, thanks to new parts being produced for the original Mini that he is able to put his car, similar to the Mini Mokes used in the hit ITV show The Prisoner, back into production.
He added that while other Mokes were available from Chinese firms, he added that his is the only one made in Britain and the only one to pass Individual Type Approval tests, including fully-tested seatbelts for both the front and rear seats. The car also uses the same engine as the Mini - a 1.3 litre A-Series engine, in this case lifted from an MG Metro - but just like the original Mini Mokes of the 1960s is not fitted with doors, windows or a roof.
A car fully built at Mr Andersen's Bootle factory will set you back around £12,000 - less than the cost of a brand new MINI - but aspiring engineers can build themselves one for as little as £4,000, using parts from an original Mini used as a donor car.
For more information about the AMC Cub, visit the Andersen Motor Company website online at www.amcgb.com or give Charles a call on 07903 573050.
Keep an eye on Life On Cars over the next few weeks for motoring correspondent David Simister's thoughts on what the Cub is like to drive.