New definitions of cheap

Sixties icon the Moke, a cheap, fun car

Right. And I live where one of those – or the 2CV equivalent, there are a couple around here – would be most, most, fun. Except:

The Moke sells for a base price of £20,000, with its 1.1-litre engine

That’s not my definition of cheap. Maybe that’s me and my anchoring of prices in the past. Or perhaps it ain’t cheap. If it’s the second I’d guess that it’s the costs of not mass manufacturing there….

24 thoughts on “New definitions of cheap”

  1. The Moke started as a stripped down Mini, did it not?

    Probably not these days, since Minis are now much bigger luxurious-ish BMW products..

  2. Yes, basically a Mini floorpan with sides to give it stiffness & make it look vaguely like a jeep. Not seen one for decades.

  3. Cars have got a lot more expensive in the last ~10 years due primarily to regulations. A base-model Fiesta now has a list price of £16,500, vs about £9k a decade ago. A 1-litre turbo is a lot more expensive to make than a naturally aspirated 1.4 and will use more fuel in normal use, but it scores better on the Magic CO2 Test, so that’s what you have to have. Similarly, more expensive alloys are being used in key structural components to maintain or increase strength to meet more stringent crash tests while reducing weight. Electronic stability programs are now mandatory, which adds a load of sensors, wiring, electronics and complexity. And unless it’s hybridised (more cost and weight) it won’t score a low enough number on the Magic CO2 Test, so the price will need to include the purchase of some regulatory credits which will subsidise some rich dude’s Tesla.

    This is bound to need some regulatory credits as the aerodynamics alone are going to kill its chances of getting a low MCT number. You’re also splitting the cost of jumping through the bureaucratic hoops of type approval across a pretty short run of vehicles, and the cost of doing that only ever goes one way…

  4. Funky little things but not cheap exactly. Runabout for your holiday home perhaps?

    Would you get much choice under £20k for a new car in the UK?

  5. The way that I read the article was that the Moke was cheap back in the 1960s rather than now.

    On the subject of regulations, my sister in law was involved in a pretty serious crash when a driver trod on the wrong pedal and shot out of a side road straight into her path. Both drivers walked away from an accident that would definitely have been fatal just a few years ago.

  6. I’d say the Mehari was much the better car. The Moke looked like an off-roader but was only drivable on smooth tarmac. Suspension far too stiff. Once took a Mehari up a mountain on a goat track. The 2CV suspension just ate the bumps.

  7. New versions of classics just mark you out as a silly old bugger in my view. That was then, this is now. There are some amusing electric open runabouts which would be my choice for the market or beach run on a sunny day.

  8. “Would you get much choice under £20k for a new car in the UK?” But who on earth would buy a new car (except under the present circumstances)? I mean, I know the rest of us need silly buggers to buy new cars so we can buy second hand ones but fail to see why anyone spending his own money would buy new unless his needs are odd enough to be met only by a new car.

  9. Would you get much choice under £20k for a new car in the UK?

    Still a fair amount. The Dacia range being the obvious with the base Sandero at £9000.

  10. @ Stonyground

    There isn’t a simple relationship between safety (your sister walking away from a crash) and cost when it’s socialised across every car that is sold. Your adding many £1000s to save a decreasing number of people.

    Just like you can spend 100s of billions of pounds (if you are a total set of dickheads) and have the same number of people die whether or not it’s from old age or “with” CV-19.

  11. I had a couple of original minis and thought that they were great fun to own and drive. I love my modern SUV though, just so versatile and practical.

  12. The original Mini’s were very good to drive. Why they did so well in motorsport. They still are. They’re probably “quicker” on anything other than motorways than their modern equivalents despite being slower & worse acceleration. One rarely has to slow down for anything. But you won’t find many people today who could drive one. Or a lot of other older cars. Modern cars don’t require the skills.

  13. “who on earth would buy a new car”

    Couldn’t one, at a different scale, make the same argument for clothes. The charity shop is so much cheaper, just as functional…

    I was once in an accident in a Moke, decades ago. No other cars involved (and no I wasn’t driving). The odd thing is that, as it rolled, I simply fell out of it…. (no seat belts)

  14. Dennis, Pointing Out The Obvious

    $27,460.10 for an open top piece of shit with a 1.1 liter engine.

    And the French can’t figure out why Australia decided to have the ‘Mericans and the Brits build their submarines.

  15. Oooo, I’ve never felt comfortable about wearing other people’s clothes since I stopped having to wear my older brother’s cast off vests and pants

  16. Given it’s light weight and a 1.1 litre engine, how can it have a top speed of 68mph?

    Brick aerodynamics.

    The original Lotus Sevens had a 1.2l engine and they struggled to get to 90mph. Good acceleration and round-the-bendyness but up against a wall of air. The successor Caterhams can do 155mph now but that’s with a serious race pack.

  17. “Given it’s light weight and a 1.1 litre engine, how can it have a top speed of 68mph?”
    Could be gearing. If they’ve meant it for mild off road/towing they’ve gone for torque rather than speed. Or simply a limiter. 68mph=110kph. With that thing, shouldn’t think you’d want to go any faster. Short wheel base will make it directionally unstable. The shape, very vulnerable to cross winds. And as I mentioned above, there’s not many people with the experience to drive a car like this. Anyone actually remember what it felt like to drive a Mini saloon at 70 mph? A lot different from say a modern Fiesta at the same speed.

  18. There was a way of driving a Mini where the front went where you wanted to go & the rear followed because it didn’t have any option. So you went round a corner using the power to steer with the steering wheel turned in the opposite direction to the corner. Effectively going sideways. Remarkable quick way round, but having got out at the destination one might find ones passengers asking around for a lift for the return journey.

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