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OKA An Aussie Icon

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1 year 10 months ago - 1 year 10 months ago #239147 by Lang
OKA An Aussie Icon was created by Lang
Video from the OKA production days in the 90's.



I love my OKA. Nindigully at sunrise.




This bloke is a bit of a tosser but it shows the popular Cummins 6BT conversion with rare manual most Cummins conversions have the Allison auto.

Last edit: 1 year 10 months ago by Lang.
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1 year 10 months ago #239178 by ElectricDreams
Replied by ElectricDreams on topic OKA An Aussie Icon
So what happened? Marketing, management, sales, street appeal, safety rules, parts, reliability?

Shame another Australian manufacturer has gone

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1 year 10 months ago - 1 year 10 months ago #239179 by Lang
Replied by Lang on topic OKA An Aussie Icon
The company took Malaysian investment for a major expansion, I believe for Middle East sales, as they were in a sound position. It was asset stripped overnight and collapsed. I will try to find the full story.

A short history of OKA
OKA was originally founded in 1986 by Mike Walker. The idea came from, as the story goes, a group of mining executives, drinking beer as they sketched a basic design on a beer coaster. Fast-forward to the early 1990s, and the first XT model OKAs were rolling out the door to miners, farmers, fire fighters, 4WDers and government bodies.

The company grew through the 1990s, going public on the 7 December 1994, to the tune of $5.15 million. After 250 XT models were made, the new LT model brought significant mechanical changes and updates.

A total of 449 OKAs were built over the years at the company's facility at Bibra Lake, south of Perth, before financial disaster struck. Along with finding a loyal following in Australia, around 30 OKAs were exported overseas to 12 different countries.

The company stopped trading in 2012, after a forensic audit in 2011 revealed alleged misappropriation of funds by senior management, and stolen intellectual property.

Mr Paari Vell, a Malaysian businessman who owned OKA at the time, proceeded to mothball the company, looking either to restart it in Malaysia or sell it to a buyer in Australia. And in the meantime, supply of this unique Australian-made off-roader dried up.

Dean Robinson formed a new company: OKA All Terrain Vehicles, and took ownership of the OKA brand in 2017. Since then, he has been busy slowly building the business up into something bigger. Along with the new RT model in development, the company is also remanufacturing existing OKAs in its R-Series line and supplying a steady stream of parts and spares for existing owners.

I believe the misappropriation of funds by senior management means the son of Paari Vell, the Malaysian investor, who had been appointed CEO. The story goes he disappeared from Australia one night after transferring every cent of disposable company assets to a foreign bank account. It appears to have been a planned operation.
Last edit: 1 year 10 months ago by Lang.
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1 year 10 months ago - 1 year 10 months ago #239181 by Lang
Replied by Lang on topic OKA An Aussie Icon
This was written a couple of years ago. I think he is onto his second or third 6 wheeler and a number of standard 4 wheelers. The beauty of the OKA is it is a whole bunch of standard components and owners of older OKAs are having them upgraded or completely rebuilt with Cummins, Isuzu and even Chev V8 diesels with usually Allison autos. These upgrade jobs are supporting the development of the new models.



OKA Today
Although the look and premise of the OKA hasn’t changed, many of the components have. The older Perkins diesel engine has been replaced by a more powerful and more efficient common-rail Cummins engine, which makes 138kW at 2500rpm and 700Nm between 1200-1700rpm from it’s 4.5 litres and four cylinders.

Additionally, an Allison six-speed automatic transmission replaces the old manual gearbox. Running through Dana differentials of varying sizes (depending on specification), power gets to the ground via big 36-inch tyres suspended by leaf springs all-round.

If that's not big enough, the OKA can be fitted with gigantic 42-inch tyres.


These changes, Peter says, makes the OKA ‘sweet as a nut’ to drive.

While most are being built to order, There is currently one OKA ready for sale: a single-cab cab chassis, for $150,000, plus on-road costs. From there, it can be optioned with a variety of gear, body styles and configurations. Virtually everything is customisable, as Peter explains:

“I’m building a six-wheel drive for a client at the moment, which is going to be a motorhome. It's about a $400,000 deal. It's got enough fuel to go 3500 kilometres, and 800 litres of water. It's got 11 tonne GVM, but we won't get to that. I'm just welding up a frame for a dead weight load of four tonne, for trials.”

There is only a team of four at OKA at the moment, but the potential of growth is big. Alongside 4WD enthusiasts with a healthy budget, the utility and layout of the OKA lends itself perfectly to government, fleet and commercial work.

So while OKA is a brand with some history and runs on the board, it’s now running as a lean startup waiting for a big break.


"All I need is one phone call from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, and that would change.” Peter said enthusiastically.

"OKA is currently being considered as a 1.4 (tonne water capacity) tanker for use fighting bush fires with brigades state-wide. A locally designed and built solution for firefighting, what a great idea. And it comes with a proven track record.”
Last edit: 1 year 10 months ago by Lang.
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1 year 10 months ago #239183 by Mrsmackpaul
Replied by Mrsmackpaul on topic OKA An Aussie Icon
There's a fella on Facelessbook been doing one up for a while now, seems to be a alright bit of gead
They should sell well but I guess they dont have the cool factor of a Dodge Ram or a big F truck
Or even a dual cab Cruiser

But practicality of them should win hands down for the serious grey nomad that really wants something useful

Dad looked at one many uears ago but Mum reckobed it lacked comfort

Paul

Your better to die trying than live on your knees begging
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1 year 10 months ago #239188 by Lang
Replied by Lang on topic OKA An Aussie Icon
Paul

I have been everywhere in my OKA from Kimberley to east Arnhem, Cape York and two Simpsons. Absolutely the best ride on corrugations and rough, better than a Range Rover or Landcruiser wagon. Seating is very comfortable. A bit slow but solved with gears for off road. Not to be compared with a standard Landcruiser or ute type 4x4 but with Isuzu, Canter, Unimog 4x4 vehicles.

I have been going to sell it several times for stupid money offers but the cook absolutely refuses. With 250 litres of fuel, 200 litres of water, solar panels, shower toilet and permanently set up dining and beds it is unbeatable as an all rounder. It might look long but only 8 inches longer than a Landcruiser and can park in shopping centre bays. The dual aircon is set up for the 14 seat bus version but I have rerun it to all blow in the driving cab and you need a jumper on 40 degree Simpson days.

The thing that will stop us is Bev's knees smashed in a bike accident 20 years ago preventing her climbing up but at the moment at 76 she still springs into the seat.

Lang
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1 year 10 months ago - 1 year 10 months ago #239190 by Lang
Replied by Lang on topic OKA An Aussie Icon
This will give you an idea of my OKA set up. Every one is different.


This is as I bought it.


Bugger!



Rebuild to camper.


Inside shot. Shower on right with porta-potty. Lid swings up for head height when showering. I have an external shower as well. My cabinet making is not perfect but does the job for us.



Double Bugger!
Last edit: 1 year 10 months ago by Lang.
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1 year 10 months ago #239193 by Mrsmackpaul
Replied by Mrsmackpaul on topic OKA An Aussie Icon
You've done well there Lang

Have you ever had any dramas with axles or transfer case etc

And how easy would they be for parts ?

I reckon they are a great idea

Paul

Your better to die trying than live on your knees begging
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1 year 10 months ago - 1 year 10 months ago #239195 by Lang
Replied by Lang on topic OKA An Aussie Icon
Paul

As I said the OKA is all off the shelf.

The axles are Dana 60 front and Dana 70 back some of the most common axles in the world.

The Engine a Perkins Turbo 110 as you know in many tractors, boats and machines in Australia, and worldwide.

New Process NP205 transfer, Dana Spicer gearbox also universal.

Ford handbrake, VDO instruments etc etc. Aircon is the same as Kenworth and many other vehicles as is the Alternator. Power steering also Ford/Chev light truck. Almost every bit is a common generic item. F250/350 free wheel hubs and wheel stud pattern.

I have had an engine shutoff switch, brake pads and front wheel bearings handed to me over the counter in small country towns.

This is why most OKAs, despite their hard use, are still alive with people like me just rebuilding them over and over again.

Lang

This is early last year an OKA gathering on the Murray east of Renmark
Last edit: 1 year 10 months ago by Lang.
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1 year 10 months ago #239196 by ElectricDreams
Replied by ElectricDreams on topic OKA An Aussie Icon
OKA Ossie Combie Association

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