Making a CanCar - Coke Moke

The Coke Moke
The two most important things you have to consider when making a CanCar are firstly the car itself, and secondly the cans you wish to make it from. These decisions are not as easy to make as might seem the case.
The car itself must be easy to represent by using flat panels, single curvature panels, or combinations of the two. Most popular subjects like VW Beetles, Minis, and anything modern, are virtually all compound curves. This makes them impossible to represent in a realistic way. The easy answer to that problem is to pick something easier, or compromise on the realism aspect. The Mini Moke, however, was designed with ease of production in mind. As such it is perfect for replication as a CanCar.
The choice of cans may now be decided upon. By looking at the colour(s) and graphics on your target can you have to assess how they will translate into the different parts of the car. I have spent considerable time wandering around supermarkets and liquor stores "checking out the cans". This usually creates acute embarassment for my wife, and some suspicion and confusion for the store keepers. Sometimes however, like the Coke Moke, the choices are obvious, even to me.
Having made those fundamental choices the plan may now be drawn up. The basic size of the car is decided by the size of the can. The wheels are made from the bottoms of two cans put back to back. The further up the can you cut the bottoms off, the wider the resultant wheel will be. You can't alter the diameter of the wheel so you have to scale everything else to suit. The size of usable panel you get from the sides of the can, when it is cut open, determine the size of part you can make from it. This has to be considered when drawing the plan, and sizes and positions of things often have to be jiggled about to find the best fit.
With the plan completed, and the guesstimated number of cans emptied, work may commence.


The Plan


The Wheels (8 can bottoms needed)


Raw Material (tops & bottoms cut off)


Sat 26th Sept 09.  Starting work!

Measuring up to see which part of the can will match.

Notice how the side panel appears to have impressions pressed in it. This involved a lower layer completely covered with can, and an upper layer with holes through it. The same area of can has to cover each so that the graphics follow from one level to another.

Racing Fuel Filler Cap

The fuel filler cap is actually a mirror screw chrome dome. It was lying about and I thought that would make a nice fuel filler cap!! The cap is sitting on top of a small disc of balsa, which in turn is sitting on top of a disc of can which has been stuck down inside out. Some pins pushed through around the outside to complete the illusion. Little details like this can be put together quite easily and the improvement they make to the car is tremendous.


Sun 04 Oct.  The Bottom

With there being three different types of Coca-Cola can available now, I have the option of putting more colour into the cars. Here you can see that I have used Coke Zero black for the bottom. 


Wheel Arches

Here you can see how the wheel arches are all lined with can. Sometimes it is impossible to achieve any cohesive alignment of the graphics, so pieces with no graphics on them are the best to use.


Grille Workings

Here I am laying out the details of the grille. The front of the car is covered with masking tape and I am about to mark where the slots go. These will then be cut out and black paint applied to simulate the slots. You can see some of my reference material at hand, you never have too much!


Roll Bar

Solid aluminium rod is used for the main bar as it can be bent properly. The aluminium tube can not be bent as it just collapses if you try. It is used for the straight support though. The mounting plates are balsa with can on them inside out, and dress makers pins through each corner.


Moke Face

The grille is simulated with black paint. The head lights are discs of balsa with can stuck on in opposite ways. The indiwinkers are thin rings sliced off the end of an aluminium tube, with small discs of balsa pushed into them. Marker pen was used to colour the balsa before they were inserted. 


Back Lights

These are a repetition of the front indiwinkers.


Sat 10 Oct.  Windscreen

Some 1.6mm diameter galvanised wire has been bent and added on to represent the windscreen frame.



You can see how much detail can be added with things like wire, pins, paper clips, little screws and washers, and card.



The seats are made of 1mm balsa covered with Zero Coke can. The piping is red electronic hook-up wire.

The seats are just resting in place to see how they will look. I'll clear lacquer them separately from the car before final assembly.


Sun 18 Oct.  Rear Suspension  

You can see the brake plates with a hose coming from each into the bodywork. There are also representations of radius arms and telescopic dampers. This is a little HOTROD Moke so it should obviously have a beam axle rear end!


Front Suspension

Top and bottom suspension arms, trackrod end, drive shaft with CV boot, swivel hub, brake plate, and brake hose. All present and correct.


Sump and Exhaust

These details help break up the plain flat bottom.




Sun 25 Oct.  Wheels

Rim, spokes, hub, hub nuts, centre cap, and tyre valve.


Mon 26 Oct.  Finished!

Four weeks of part time work has produced this.

Check out the new page, called Moke, on the website.