The Jeeps that jet-setters in St. Barts use to hop around the island are finally available in the U.S. You can buy one for $24,950 and believe it or not, they are street-legal even.
Moke Jeeps became famous after Brigitte Bardot drove one packed full of dogs in Saint-Tropez nearly 40 years ago. Even James Bond drove a Moke, albeit briefly, in “Live and Let Die.”
The automobile was first commissioned by the British Army to the British Motor Corporation back in the 1950s. It was known to be a lightweight car that could be easily rolled out of planes and attach to parachutes. The name “Moke” comes from an obsolete British term for “donkey,” according to the company. Unfortunately, the vehicles failed inspection in 1959 after complaints were made regarding the ground clearance and the “weak” engine.
The BMC commercialized the Moke Jeep in 1964 and sold it as “Austin Mini Mokes” to reduce company debt. This was still not enough, however, because less than 1,500 units (of the 14,518 made) sold. This led production to cease just four years later, in 1968. Eventually, after 30 years of production, their total number of sold cars reached 49,937 within its first 30 years of production.
In 2015, a group of British entrepreneurs purchased the brand and renting them out on the posh islands where they vacationed — increasing their popularity. But now that a couple of companies are selling them stateside, we wouldn’t be surprised if you spied quite a few in the Hamptons this summer.