<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378

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Lot 406
1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring
Coachwork by Cann of Camden, London

Sold for US$ 41,440 inc. premium
1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring
Coachwork by Cann of Camden, London

Chassis no. 22378
Engine no. 22378

4,396cc, Sleeve-Valve Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Originally Minerva-GA Carburetor, replaced with later US made unit, c.26bhp
4-Speed Manual Transmission
2-Wheel Drum Brakes
Leaf Spring Suspension

*Rare survivor of this marque in the country
*Original example of rare coachbuilder
*Formerly in the Antique Auto Rental Collection in Los Angeles
*Sole sleeve valve car in the collection


THE MINERVA

Minerva - the 'Goddess of Automobiles' - was the finest make produced by Belgium's once vibrant motor industry. Founded in Antwerp in 1899 by Dutchman, Sylvain de Jong, Minerva began life as a bicycle maker, swiftly diversifying into the manufacture and supply of proprietary motorcycle engines before building its first powered automobile around the turn of the 19th Century. De Jong set up Minerva Motors SA in 1902 and thereafter his company progressed from being a manufacturer of engaging 'driver's cars' to one that looked more towards the chauffeur-driven carriage trade.

Built along Panhard lines, the early Minervas were powered by a variety of engines of sidevalve configuration and proved hugely successful, particularly in the UK where they were vigorously promoted by the firm's London agent, David Citroën (cousin of carmaker, André) who had joined de Jong on the board of a re-capitalized Minerva company in 1903, and for a while no less than the Honorable Charles Rolls was an agent. The adoption in 1908 of Charles Yale Knight's double sleeve valve engine - a design noted for its silence - enabled Minerva to establish itself in the forefront of luxury carmakers alongside marques of the caliber of Rolls-Royce, Hispano-Suiza, Isotta-Fraschini and Cadillac.

Once production of sleeve valve cars became the mainstay of Minerva production, from 1910 they would focus on a tri-model range of four cylinder 16, 26 and 38 horsepower cars, generally changing Model designations on an annual basis, and occasionally modifying capacity slightly. The 'S' was the middle of the range, with a 102x125mm twin-bloc engine of 4,084cc. It was succeeded by the 'X', then 'BB' and for 1913, the 'GG' as offered here. By this point the dimensions of bore and stroke had grown to 100 by 140 to provide 4,396cc, which was transferred to the road through a four speed 'box and shaft drive, wheelbases of 3.2 and 3.4 meters were offered. The aesthetic of the large shouldered radiator and Goddess motif remained consistent throughout of course.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This sporting Minerva Touring Car is most likely one of the cars supplied to the British market and wears distinctive coachwork by Cann of Camden, London. Cann's specialty was the supply of coachwork for the White steam car and other imported makes such as Benz, Brasier, Delaunay-Belleville and, of course, Minerva. The firm clearly enjoyed a close relationship with Minerva's London agents, as its stand at the Olympia Motor Exhibition of 1912 and 1913 featured Minerva models. One of the particular aspects that Cann designers pioneered, were bodies with a single door on each side of the car. Their logic would seem to have been that this was better for the overall structure of the coachwork.

This particular car is a fascinating example of their craft, it has those characteristic single side doors which open to reveal a commodious touring compartment, with an unusual configuration of 3 divided seats at the rear and then the driver and side passenger seats are on lengthy runners, so as to 'float' and allow access to front and rear. Cann proudly claim ownership of the coachwork "Carriage Work by Cann" as well as additional features such as the windshield which carries a marked disc. At this point, Cann would seem to have been in their heyday, providing coachwork for numerous luxury brands, but the business is not charted beyond 1913, suggesting some form of dramatic collapse. Regardless, at this point one is looking at a motorcar that is unquestionably a quality coachbuilt car.

Beyond its British origins, its history is not charted until its American life of the last 40 years. According to information on file, including old titles/registrations, by 1976 the car was owned by Antique Auto Rentals Ltd of Beverly Hills, whose proprietor was Steven J. Cooperman. From Cooperman it appears to have been sold to an Arthur Burrichter, of Boca Raton in 1977, and from there it passed into the hands of a New Hampshire based collector, Dr. Terry Bennett.

In 1992, Dr. Bennett's collection was offered for sale by auction, a sale which was clearly attended by Frank Spain as he was one of few individuals to acquire multiple cars that day. The Minerva was one such car. In the ensuing 27 years, the Minerva has rested in Tupelo, displaying another aspect of the development of the automobile, the sleeve valve engine, which for a time was considered the height of luxury across the globe.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, this vehicle is titled under the correct chassis number 27007DOR.
Contacts
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
<b>1913 Minerva Model GG Five-Seater Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 22378<br />Engine no. 22378
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