4 Pre-WWI Minervas

Pre-WWI Minervas

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018


1907 Minerva Type K 40HP Transformable Open-Drive Limousine Torpedo

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams managed to snag an unreal collection of Minerva automobiles for their Rétromobile sale. This is the oldest of the bunch, dating to 1907 – which was just five years after the Belgian firm built their first cars.

The Type K features a 40 horsepower 6.2-liter straight-six. This car was aimed squarely at the top of the market – right at Rolls-Royce. It’s a gigantic car, with an open (or covered) driver’s compartment and an enclosed limousine rear (but also with a removable top… which I guess makes this entire car technically a convertible). The body is by Belvallette et Cie. It was purchased new off of Minvera’s stand at the 1907 Paris Auto Salon.

It was discovered in 1966 and immediately placed in a museum. In 1981 it changed hands again and the collection it is coming out of acquired it in 1995. Did I mention that this 111-year-old car is entirely original? It’s been expertly preserved and it should bring between $420,000-$550,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $744,906.


1910 Minerva Model S 26HP Open-Drive Landaulette

Photo – Bonhams

The 1910 Minerva range consisted of three models, the entry-level 16HP, the top-of-the-line 38HP, and this, the mid-range 26HP Model S. The engine is a Knight sleeve-valve 4.1-liter straight-four. The body looks extremely complicated with a retractable top out back and a removable hardtop for the driver, which when both are down, leaves a little piece of roof sticking up in the middle.

This car was delivered new to France and returned to Belgium in 1918. The current collection acquired the car in 1999 and there was a restoration, but no one seems to know when it was performed. At any rate, it’s aged nicely and should bring between $110,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $205,736.


1911 Minerva Model Z 38HP Open-Drive Limousine

Photo – Bonhams

This Minerva looks a little bit newer than 1911, which I guess is a testament to its great design. The Model Z was the “big” Minerva for 1911, powered by a 6.3-liter Knight sleeve-valve straight-four making 38 horsepower. The body almost has a “C-Cab” look to the driver’s compartment, which is very stylish. Unfortunately, the coachbuilder is unknown.

This car was delivered new to Spain and entered the current collection more than 30 years ago. It’s thought to be mostly original, but it will require some freshening as it’s been sitting for a few years. Compared to some of the other Minervas in this sale, this car is on the cheap side, with a pre-sale estimate of $55,000-$67,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $87,969.


1912 Minerva Model CC 38HP Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Just like in 1910 and 1911, the 1912 Minerva line consisted of three models of differing power outputs with this, the 38HP model being the largest. It’s powered by a sleeve-valve 7.2-liter straight-four rated at 38 horsepower. That large displacement coupled with the Knight engine made for exceptionally smooth running.

This is a big touring car equipped with a second windshield for the rear passengers. Delivered new to the U.K., this car was pulled from a Scottish barn in the 1960s and restored as-needed before the end of the 1970s. It’s been on static display in this collection for up to the last 15 years, which means it’ll need a little TLC if you want to take it out on the road. It should sell for between $55,000-$67,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $156,075.

630K by Saoutchik

1928 Mercedes-Benz 630K La Baule Transformable by Saoutchik

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 28, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve featured a Mercedes-Benz 630K before and this car has much more attractive body work – from Jacques Saoutchik of all people, the man responsible for some of the most sought-after designs to ever come out of France. The 630K was the new name of the Mercedes 24/100/140 after the merger of Daimler and Benz.

Power here is supplied by a 6.2-liter supercharged straight-six – it puts out 100 horsepower normally and 138 once the supercharger is engaged. The “K” variant of the Typ 630 is the short-wheelbase version. Top speed was over 90 mph.

Only 267 Model K Mercedes’ were produced between 1926 and 1932. The early history of this car is not known, but it is believed that it has been in North America for many years. It was restored a while back, but not widely shown, meaning it is eligible for most major car shows. It’s a rare treat – Saoutchik body on a high-performance Benz chassis. It should bring between $1,000,000-$1,300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $973,500.

Voisin C3 Transformable

1925 Voisin C3 Cabriolet Transformable by Rothschild et Fils

Offered by RM Auctions | Paris, France | February 4, 2015

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Voisins are highly desirable cars because they’re just so unique. Gabriel Voisin was an aviation engineer but he was also a former student at the Fine Arts School of Lyon. So the combination of art and engineering really came together with his cars.

This C3 is a long chassis model powered by a 4.0-liter sleeve-valve straight-four making 80 horsepower. The body is by Rothschild and features a convertible passenger section behind the open driver’s compartment.

Delivered new to an American architect living in Paris, the car is being offered from the collection of John Moir, who had the car restored. Look for it to sell for between $200,000-$285,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Paris.

Update: Sold $243,656.

Hispano-Suiza Torpedo

1928 Hispano-Suiza H6C Transformable Torpedo by Hibbard & Darrin

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2013

1928 Hispano-Suiza H6C Transformable Torpedo by Hibbard & Darrin

Photo – RM Auctions

We featured a Hispano-Suiza H6C fairly recently and while that car was certainly cool, it really can’t match this one for looks. Check out the rounded fenders, swooping lines and the soft cream color scheme. It’s beautiful.

The body is by Hibbard & Darrin, a company comprised of two Americans living in Paris. Four-door convertibles really need to make a comeback (I’m looking at you, Cadillac) as the style is really elegant and imposing, something often not found on modern cars. The sweeping fenders on this car were actually added in the late-1930s after the car had seen a few owners. The engine is a 160 horsepower 8.0-liter straight-six.

This car was one of very few Hispano-Suizas delivered new to the U.S. And it’s also one of only a few H6Cs that are still around. Luckily, it happens to be one of the best looking as well. It can be yours for between $400,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $495,000.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2018.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2019.