At a recent Airshow at Melton, Victoria, Australia. I came across this gem, had to rush the shot between people crawling all over it. The car is a Minerva and the year I don’t know, also attached to the side of the vehicle was a Penny Farthing.
Here is a little history I was able to dig up on the Minerva.
Minerva, the Societe Nouvelle Minerva S.A., began by producing bicycles before moving on to motor cars, a Panhard like prototype appearing in 1902. The company quickly grew and was Belgium’s largest manufacturer by 1911, employing 1600 people. The company enjoyed racing success winning the Belgium Grand Prix in 1907 and at the Isle of Man TT in 1914 coming 2nd, 3rd and 5th, although it was suggested that this success was partially due to the dense smoke produced by the vehicle’s lubrication systems making it virtually impossible for others to pass!
Sold as “The Car Of Kings and Queens” the cars were bought by the rich and famous all over the world – customers included King Albert and Hollywood stars. These vehicles had 5.9 and 6.3-litre engines and were very luxurious, considered to be in a similar class to the Rolls Royce. During the 1920s Minerva were producing over 2,000 cars a year with the majority coming to Britain and sold by C.S. Rolls. However, by 1928 the cars market was declining as more technically advanced cars were produced, particularly by the Americans, and the depression gradually spread throughout Europe. Thus in 1930 when the company launched the AL – an eight cylinder, 6616cc capable of producing forty horsepower, it was not a success and the decline of the “Goddess of Automobiles” continued until the company merged with another Belgium car manufacturer, Imperia, in 1936.
Canon 7D, Canon 15 – 85mm IS USM Lens.
Best viewed large.