AF 32 CV Sport Sedan
Drivetrain: 5,954 CC Sleeve-Valve Inline 6-Cylinder Engine, Zenith 2-Barrel Carburetor
Transmission: 4-Speed Manual Gearbox, Double-Side Chain Drive
Brakes: 4-Wheel Dewandre Vacuum-Servo Mechanical Drum Brakes
Suspension: Front Solid Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Live Rear Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Minerva was Belgium’s premier marque, producing luxury automobiles for royalty and titans of industry. One feature setting the Minerva apart from its competition was the use of the Knight sleeve-valve engine, a design that was said to ensure longevity and silent operation. Left to the owner’s whim was the selection of coachwork.
As the firm hit its stride, Minerva cars were popular among Europe’s elite as well as the wealthy and famous in the US. Minervas were legendary for their build quality, advanced engineering, and craftsmanship, and were comparable in many ways to Rolls-Royce’s benchmark Silver Ghost. Sharing the indigenous cantilevered rear leaf-spring suspension with the Rolls Royce, the sophisticated Minerva was also on par with the smoothness of its ride, its ease of maintenance, and, due to the sleeve-valve engine, its quiet operation.
This Minerva Sport Sedan, with its deeply V-shaped windshield and dramatic blind rear quarter – one of just two in this body style – is likely the car that was pictured on display at the New York Auto Salon at the Hotel Commodore in 1926. The car also made an appearance in the 1937 film A Damsel in Distress, starring Fred Astaire.
Finished in a deep green with long-swept fenders in black, the beautifully proportioned Lebaron coachwork features a low top with a high beltline, dramatically minimizing the height of the windows, and is perfectly accented by correct Willocq-Bottin Supralux headlamps and aluminum wheel covers. The headliner, and the spacious rear compartment features two occasional jump seats. Jaeger gauges are mounted with a deep-set polished aluminum dash, and the individual windscreen panels tilt open for ventilation.