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Classic Era Minerva


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There are some scattered threads on Minerva in the forum but it certainly deserves a dedicated one.     Sleeve Valve engine equipped Belgian builder of high end cars from 1902 to 1938.

 

The eight cylinder "AL" was particularly interesting,  although they all had pretty big motors during the Classic era,  even the sixes.

 

This is a Rollston bodied car that I saw for sale at hershey years ago.

 

Car Style Critic: Minerva: Belgium's Luxury Car

 

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I believe Steve Babinsky restored the green car. I did a story on Minerva in New York  for Hemmings Classic Car magazine not to long ago. The new York selling branch for Minerva Motors in Manhattan spent a fair amount of $ on full page advertisements in the Salon catalogs of the 1925-29 era, as did the Chicago branch.

Minerva 1929 Minerva advertisement CHICAGOdealerphoto9.jpg

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14 hours ago, alsancle said:

There are some scattered threads on Minerva in the forum but it certainly deserves a dedicated one.     Sleeve Valve engine equipped Belgian builder of high end cars from 1902 to 1938.

 

The eight cylinder "AL" was particularly interesting,  although they all had pretty big motors during the Classic era,  even the sixes.

 

This is a Rollston bodied car that I saw for sale at hershey years ago.

 

Car Style Critic: Minerva: Belgium's Luxury Car

 

Actualy the first Minerva car was build in 1904, and the first sleeve valve apeared in 1908.  They build motorcycles from 1901 entil 1907.  And 1936 was bankrupt time.  Minerva engeneers had a new prototype of engine before ww I Called ' the Bournonville'  engine. It had rotary valves.  This engine was better and cheaper but due to WO I  it was not  succesful.  

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My main resources for information as to who was selling what , where and when are the Motor Show souvenir programs from London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels ( these all were about an inch or more thick and usually listed detailed information about the specific model of car, body style, specs for each car on display on a particular stand)  and in the USA the Salon souvenir catalogs ( custom coachwork) , plus periodicals of the era that were specific in their coverage of the annual automobile shows, and if you can have access to them the special newspaper sections of the main newspaper of the city the auto show was in that gives details and photographs, plus the advertisements list all the locations of the local dealers! There were also factory in house magazines that gave details - Dealer's only publications.

All of this is being stated here to try to help you know where to look! If you don't know what to ask or look for then you could be standing next to it and not give it a glance. This is how I do my research. I have been very fortunate to 1) first learn about their existence (most of this from the time I worked in Austin Clark's library 50 years ago)  2) have a keen eyed friend who was an auto book dealer in England look for what I wanted for me for 35-40 years, my friend author Michael Sedgwick put me on to this fellow as Michael used him as well.

 

Edited by Walt G
typo (see edit history)
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57 minutes ago, alsancle said:

Walt,  what color do you think that Murphy is in that picture?


 

Tan......they must have a bunch of paint barrels of medium tan.......I have seen a dozen originals and most were tan.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, Walt G said:

My main resources for information as to who was selling what , where and when are the Motor Show souvenir programs from London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels ( these all were about an inch or more thick and usually listed detailed information about the specific model of car, body style, specs for each car on display on a particular stand)  and in the USA the Salon souvenir catalogs ( custom coachwork) , plus periodicals of the era that were specific in their coverage of the annual automobile shows, and if you can have access to them the special newspaper sections of the main newspaper of the city the auto show was in that gives details and photographs, plus the advertisements list all the locations of the local dealers! There were also factory in house magazines that gave details - Dealer's only publications.

All of this is being stated here to try to help you know where to look! If you don't know what to ask or look for then you could be standing next to it and not give it a glance. This is how I do my research. I have been very fortunate to 1) first learn about their existence (most of this from the time I worked in Austin Clark's library 50 years ago)  2) have a keen eyed friend who was an auto book dealer in England look for what I wanted for me for 35-40 years, my friend author Michael Sedgwick put me on to this fellow as Michael used him as well.

 

Here is an example of a newspaper insert for the Toronto Auto Show:  https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=hqOjcs7Dif8C&dat=19130223&printsec=frontpage&hl=en  (scroll to end section)

 

They are interesting to read.  For a high-end car like Minerva, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver would be the most likely cities in Canada to have a dealer for them.

 

Craig

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I agree that the Murphy bodied conv. sedan was tan - there was more then one shade of tan! Often pre war was referred to as "drab" by the paint suppliers on their paint chips and also by the car manufacturers as well. Can you imagine post WWII era asking to buy a new car painted "drab medium".

Walt

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Next to a soft gray, tan would show the design and surface development best without eliciting a strong emotional reaction to the color.  Murphy certainly wanted their custom-bodied cars to stand out from the run-of-the-mill cars on the street, with the elegance of the design instantly recognized.

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5 hours ago, Walt G said:

Can you imagine post WWII era asking to buy a new car painted "drab medium".

Now you ask for a "frozen" color if that's how you want your new BMW.  Mercedes Benz same 'drab' finish is their "Magno" line.

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/news/industry-news/matte-paint-is-a-growing-trend-but-is-it-worth-the-extra-hassle-and-money/article32317159/

 

https://www.motor1.com/news/22619/mercedes-canada-announces-matte-paint-option-for-designo-program/

 

Craig

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11 hours ago, 8E45E said:

 

What is old is new.    Toyota has a "Potato" color which looks like it sounds.

 

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3 hours ago, 1935Packard said:

The Nerthcutt collection has this interesting '28 Minerva that I always enjoyed seeing back when I lived nearby.  It's a really cool-looking car.

 

Looks like a Hibbard and Darrin.    Also licensed to Derham I think.   Same body on a PI

 

1929 Rolls Royce Springfield Phantom I Convertible Sedan Hibbard Darrin  luxury retro t wallpaper | 2048x1536 | 230382 | WallpaperUP

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1 minute ago, alsancle said:

 

Look at me talking out of my ass and almost hitting the target.

 

 

We all suffer from verbal diarrhea at one time or another.....the trick is not to suffer from the explosive kind!

 

And, to be honest......I would have made the same faux pas ...................once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken. 🤔

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3 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 

 

We all suffer from verbal diarrhea at one time or another.....the trick is not to suffer from the explosive kind!

 

And, to be honest......I would have made the same faux pas ...................once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken. 🤔

 

You mistake my comment as admitting a mistake.   Flyod-Derham and Derham are practically the same thing.  In fact, they may have the attribution wrong 😀

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Hibbard and Darrin licensed the rights to build that convertible phaeton and convertible coupe design to Derham, also to Gill in England and D'Iteren Freres in Belgium.   Someone knowledgeable in the nuances of the designs of how to tell who built which ones by the details will have to chime in.

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1 hour ago, 58L-Y8 said:

Hibbard and Darrin licensed the rights to build that convertible phaeton and convertible coupe design to Derham, also to Gill in England and D'Iteren Freres in Belgium.   Someone knowledgeable in the nuances of the designs of how to tell who built which ones by the details will have to chime in.

 

 

Unfortunately, they are probably all six feet under.

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14 hours ago, edinmass said:

I have only seen two Floyd Derham cars.....both were much uglier and less well built. So you may be correct.

Ed: What were the two Floyd-Derham bodied cars you've had a chance to examine?  If you can tell us without revealing current ownership.  I've read on the coachbuilt.com site and elsewhere that the short-lived Floyd-Derham firm contracted their body construction of the cars ordered with  Wolfington that was primarily a commercial body builder.  Perhaps the reason the build quality was less than stellar?

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One was a Locomobile convertible sedan...........it was very vertical and unattractive. It had a lot of unusual custom features, including its own radiator design. The other was a Rolls English chassis rebodied and it was a closed car, also vertical.......but more traditional than the other one. Both cars left a poor impression on me. 

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On 11/5/2020 at 12:48 PM, alsancle said:

I posted this in one of the other threads.  I think this car is still around.

 

 

The_Pittsburgh_Press_Sun__Oct_19__1930_.jpg

Frank Dickson was also a Rolls Royce and Packard dealer, and he was a pilot.  Died unexpected on april 19 1960. His place called shenley garage in Pitssburg.

 

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On 11/18/2020 at 1:56 PM, md murray said:

I had a lot of fun seeing that one in it's 50 plus yr. hiding spot - you would never have guessed it was in there. I personally liked it better without the discs, but I guess it cleans up the appearance? 

minerva.png

I like the disks, but would have been nice to have them all match and have all the mounting parts too.

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  • 5 months later...
On 11/18/2020 at 6:09 PM, alsancle said:

I think most of you know the story on this one.   What an awesome car.    I believe it is off to a well known restorer who happens to love original cars.

IMG_2923.JPG

I guess this is the one featured on Wayne Carini's  chasing classic cars ?

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3 hours ago, Eystein Sedberg said:

I guess this is the one featured on Wayne Carini's  chasing classic cars ?

 

Yes.  Wayne and partner bought it from estate, ended up selling it at Gooding.  Went to a guy that loves original cars and sleeve valve cars.

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The car now has an excellent home and a caring owner who will get the car on the road in time so we can all enjoy seeing and hearing it run.

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