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Coachwork by Hibbard & Darrin
n award-winning example of Belgium’s finest motorcar, this Minerva AK features custom coachwork by Hibbard & Darrin. Powered by a sixcylinder, sleeve-valve engine, the AK model employs a generous 149.5" wheelbase chassis, the ideal platform for this stately town car design. While its original owner remains a mystery, Robert C. Wellwood of Ohio acquired it in 1938, as evidenced by a newspaper article chronicling his pursuit of unusual marques. In the 1980s Mr. Wellwood commissioned a restoration of the car and in 1993 the restorer acquired the Minerva and has owned it since. The 4,000-hour, bare-frame restoration was completed in time for the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, where this car received the Co-Chairmen’s Trophy.
Its black and gray exterior paint make for a stately presentation, accessorized with Marchal headlamps and distinctive “see-through” Hibbard & Darrin running boards. Equally exquisite is its interior, with the driver’s seat finished in gray leather in a grain matching the top material. The rear passenger compartment is upholstered in gray wool broadcloth with folding seats within the chauffeur’s division. Interior woodwork combines burl walnut and mahogany, complemented by inlaid German silver.
Just nine Minervas are known to the Classic Car Club of America, making it a rare sight. This carefully restored example with limited ownership offers the promise of high praise on any show field.