Ivan the Mini is a car born Feb 1960 with a VIN number showing it to be the 18062nd Mini off the Morris line. Originally it was Clipper Blue and one day may go back to that color. There are still spots on the car that I left the blue paint. Many parts on the car were from 1959 including some of the welding techniques that they used in the floors. It looks more like a 59 that it does to some later 60s. A couple of unique features to it being so early is that the turn signal stalk came with a cream cover which was replaced by green a month or two later. Door hinges are solid brass. Had a glass washer bottle that I replaced many years ago and then sold it to someone who wanted it bad! And in the US the top rear lens is red and the Morris badge on the boot says Morris 850.


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“Ivan” the Mini, named after my late father’s middle name. Dale “Ivan” Ficken April 6, 1930 – May 25, 1997. 

Dad bought Ivan from a Navy buddy of his that imported it new. At the time it was a complete 13 year old Clipper Blue 1960 Morris Mini Minor 850 sitting in his yard in disrepair. 

Ivan sat for a couple of year along side our house. Dad got it running, that is about it. As a kid of about 12 I would sit in it, dream of getting it on the road, and push the starter button on the floor while in gear to make it move along the side of the house.

1976, I am a freshman in HS and we had just moved to a new home. Dad decides it is time to take the motor out and rebuild it with me. Get everything in running order and teach me to drive it. I drove it and a 1965 Triumph Spitfire all through HS. I drove Ivan into my 20s.

Fast forward to 1986. Ivan now has a 1098 engine under the bonnet and a new red paint job, both literally days old and I decide I am going to drive Ivan from San Diego to Denver for the MMW meets MME. Mini Meets in 1986 did not have MINIs:). I will tell more stories about the Mini Meet later.

More to come…..

Earliest picture we have found sitting next to dad’s 1972 Chevy truck. (Which I still have sitting in the driveway.)