1931 Minerva Model AL “Windswept” Convertible Sedan by Rollston
Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2013
Minerva is one of the great makes of the 1930s. They built big, powerful, imposing cars for the rich elite. The cars came adorned in the fanciest coachwork from the most respected of coachbuilders. This particular Minerva meets all of the above criteria.
Dutchman Sylvain de Jong started manufacturing bicycles under the name Minerva in Antwerp, Belgium in 1897 before moving onto automobiles. In 1930, the Model AL was introduced. It uses a 6.6-liter sleeve-valve straight-eight making between 120-130 horsepower. The wheelbase of 152 inches was one of the longest you could get, giving the folks at Rollston a lot of room to work with when crafting this exquisite “windswept” convertible sedan. The “windswept” referring to the distinct “in-motion” look the car has when sitting still – the sharp angle of the doors, A & B pillars and roofline.
Rollston provided some of the most expensive coachwork you could buy in the 1930s and the Minerva AL chassis was also near the top of its own list. In fact, it was so expensive, only about 50 were ever built and you had to have deep pockets to get one. This car was purchased new by the son-in-law of R.J. Reynolds (of tobacco fame). Over the years, it has maintained its exclusive price, with a pre-sale estimate of $900,000-$1,100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Scottsdale.
Update: Did not sell.
Update II: Sold, RM Auctions, New York, 2013: $660,000.