Minerva HistoryThe name Minerva was the name of a Roman goddess and later used for the designation of a line of vehicles. In 1883 a Holland individual named Sylvain de Jong immigrated to Belgium where he began manufacturing bicycles, also bearing the name of the Roman goddess. In 1899 he shifted his efforts to building automobiles.
By 1909 his vehicles were powered by a Charles Yale Knight sleeve-valve engine. The engine proved to be dependable, low cost, and durable.
In 1928 de Jong created a 'super-car' dubbed the Type AL which he introduced to the public a year later at the Paris Salon. It featured a four-speed transmission and 6.6-liter eight-cylinder engine capable of producing 125 horsepower. Sitting atop a long 152 inch chassis, it would hardly qualify for super-car status by today's definition. With its long body it could easily carry many passengers while providing a spacious and luxurious interior.
Like many early automobile manufacturers, the World War's and Great Depressions were difficult times to endure. The producers of luxury and exclusive vehicles were the most devastated breed when the Great Depression occurred. Their limited list of clientele became nearly non-existent and many were forced out of business. This was true for Minerva, closing their doors and ceasing producing near the end of 1934. The 1200 employee workforce was let-go and Minerva became part of history.