Sixties icon the Moke, a cheap, fun car favoured by stars of the day including Brigitte Bardot and the Beatles, is coming home with production moving entirely to the UK.
After a relaunch by Moke International last year, the car was engineered in Britain but construction took place in France.
An agreement with Northampton-based engineering firm Fablink means all the production is being brought back to the UK, keeping the Moke true to its British heritage.
Isobel Dando, chief executive of Moke, said: “Since reviving the marque we have recaptivated existing enthusiasts and introduced an entirely new generation to Moke’s perfect combination of fun, utility and open-air thrills.
“This has been reflected in significant demand from our home market, affirming our plans to light up beach resorts around the world through the global market introduction of the ultimate waterfront-to-beach house vehicle.”
The relaunched Moke has been reworked slightly from the original design based on the Mini, resulting in a vehicle that is slightly larger than the original with more more passenger space.
The company said relocation of production was made possible by a government grant from the Niche Vehicle Network and was part of a “significant investment that signals long-term commitment to the growth of the brand”.
Privately-owned Fablink has grown to more than 700 staff since it was set up in 2005, and has six sites across the UK.
It has previously provided design, manufacturing and engineering services for car companies including Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover and Morgan, and other high profile industrial businesses such as Cummins, CAT and JCB.
About 50 staff will work on production of the Moke at the Northampton site in Britain’s automotive heartlands, suggesting initial production volumes running into three figures.
The Moke sells for a base price of £20,000, with its 1.1-litre engine giving it a 68mph top speed.