- This great specimen of the Classic Mini Cooper S was specially built on January 27, 1970 and delivered to Kjell Qvale, owner and founder of British Motor Car Distributors Ltd. in San Francisco. This Mini was given to Mr. Qvale's eldest son as a graduation gift, was sold some years later to a technician who worked at their dealership and was later purchased back by Bruce Qvale in an effort to keep the car in the family.
One of only 79 1275 cars constructed (50 total for export) in 1970, and one of the last Austin Cooper S MkII cars to be built, it is reported to be the last Mini Cooper imported to the western U.S. and quite likely to the entire country. It's truly a very special car with a lengthy history behind it. All modifications and accessories are period correct to the early '70s.
Featured on the cover of the 2009 British publication "Mini: An Intimate Biography" and in the June 2007 issue of MC2 Magazine, this Mini (an "Original California Car") has spent its entire life north of the Fresno/Clovis area and has been driven and shown throughout California and beyond. As more information is made available to me, and as soon as I can take some more detailed photos, I will update the info here...
As the sixth owner of this nearly all original car I am genuinely honored and truly blessed to to be the proud owner of this well preserved classic. While formerly known by some as Dr. Dave's Mini, it will be forever preserved in my care as the Qvale S.
***Update - October 2014
At the 2014 SCCA Runoffs, held at Laguna Seca, I had the pleasure of speaking with former car owner Bruce Qvale and Joe Huffaker Jr (owner of Huffaker Engineering) who were able to fill me in on quite a few unknowns about previous ownership, as well as dispel a couple of rumors regarding its history. As a former owner of this car, Bruce and his close friend Joe built a very nice street sensible 1380 for it. With the possible exception of some head work, it appears as though it has been untouched since being built some twenty years ago. I was also able to appreciate the close connection between Bruce and Joe, not just as racers but as close childhood friends who, in Bruce's words, are truly "car crazy." My invite from Joe to bring the car to his Sonoma shop for a little "look-see" is the next thing on my list. After I've had the chance to do that, I'll update again...