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.

From Around the Web...
The concepts on display ranged from vintage racecar reproductions to the latest in cutting-edge...
The concept commemorates Europe’s first series-produced turbocharged car…
The British marque and Italian coachbuilder will produce only 99 examples of the 600 hp roadster…
The 770 hp carbon-fiber convertible roared into this year’s Monterey Car Week and stole the show…
Escala won’t likely go into production, but its design cues will appear in Cadillac’s future lineup…
A classic example of French coachbuilding takes top honors at the Monterey Car Week event…
Only 100 examples of the pen will be made, one for each centennial 7 Series produced…
Genesis takes aim at luxury with its new G90, which we put to the test in British Columbia…
The only known unrestored example in its original livery makes it back to the Motor City…
UAE’s W Motors shows off its $3.4 million Lykan HyperSport and new $1.85 million Fenyr SuperSport…