Minerva Off-Roader

1957 Minerva C22

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2013

1957 Minerva C22

Minerva built some of the grandest European automobiles of the 1930s. But then war broke out and ruined their business model – as happened to just about every other manufacturer (some adapted well and prospered during the war by building military vehicles).

So when the war ended, Minerva was borderline broke and couldn’t develop anything on their own. So they looked to the U.K. and some of their manufacturers to see if there was anything they could license. They found a few, among them, the Land Rover. The Series I Land Rover was introduced in 1948 and Minerva picked up the license shortly thereafter. The trucks arrived in Belgium as complete knock-down kits, which they then assembled, badged as “Minerva”s and sold to the Belgian army. The difference being that Land Rover’s were aluminium-bodied and the Minervas used steel.

By 1956, the licensing agreement ended and Minerva developed its “own” version of the Land Rover. There were two versions: a long wheelbase and a short wheelbase. The C22 was the LWB version and both were intended for civilians. The engine is a 2.3-liter straight-four. Very few of either model were made before Minerva shuttered its factory. In fact, it is estimated that only three C22s were built and only a few dozen C20s. So it’s very rare. It should sell for between $33,000-$46,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Paris.

Update: Sold $55,500.

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