Robb Design Portfolio: King of the Road Trip

1930 Minerva AL Van Den Plas Cabriolet
Belgian manufacturer Minerva, known as the builder of "the car of kings and queens" because its customer base included European monarchs, was the Continental equal of Rolls-Royce during its pre-Depression prime. In 1929, the company began producing the largest of its chassis, the 6,800-pound AL. Equipped with a powerful yet quiet 6.6-liter, in-line 8-cylinder, sleeve-valve engine—and, in the case of the car pictured here, custom-made luggage that fit precisely in the trunk—the AL was a perfect long-distance traveler.

Minerva made fewer than 50 ALs; nine survive, and this is the only one that received three-position drophead coachwork by Van Den Plas. Artistry abounds, with silver the metal of choice for the radiator mascot and other details.

Found in disrepair and first restored during the 1970s, the car underwent a correct restoration by Alan Taylor beginning in 2003. It won its class at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and was a runner-up for that year’s Best of Show.

Photo by Patrick Ernzen/RM Sotheby's
RM Sotheby’s has assembled a special sale of approximately 30 postwar sports cars dubbed the...
Photo by Gerald Farber Photography
The pebble beach Concours d’Elegance and the surrounding four days of automotive auctions (...
The $275,000 open-air roadster can lower its top in 14 seconds and hit 62 mph in 3 seconds…
Photo by Basem Wasef
The new edition features a striking monochromatic color scheme and carbon fiber accents…
A half-century after its historic victory in Europe, Shelby’s iconic racer returns to celebrate…
Today’s german auto museums are much more than vaults filled with old cars: They are structural...
Battery pack improvements give the car the ability to go from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds…
Classic Ferraris and Porsches will be on display in all of their glory…
In addition to the Ferraris, rare cars from DuPont and Carrozzeria Touring will also be spotlighted…
The Porsche Cayman GTS is a serious sports car with a long, low profile...