1987 Best of Show Winner
April 17, 2021
1928 Minerva Type AF Hibbard & Darrin Transformable Town Car shown by Thomas Lester
Minerva Moters, a Belgian firm, first manufactured safety bicycles in the late 1800s, expanding to motorcycles and light cars at the turn of the century. In 1908, it purchased a worldwide license to produce Charles Yale Knight’s nearly silent double-sleeve valve engine, and its creations quickly moved to the top of the luxury market, becoming the choice of elites and film stars and royals the world over.
This Type AF is equipped with a 30CV, 5.3-liter, six-cylinder sleeve valve engine, and it bears a Transformable Town Car body built by Hibbard & Darrin and perhaps slightly customized by Paul Ostruk, who was the Minerva agent and distributor in both New York and Paris by the late 1920s. The car has both Hibbard & Darrin and Ostruk badging.
After several early owners, inventor and industrialist Thomas Lester acquired this car in 1985 and restored it for the 1987 Pebble Beach Concours, where it garnered the top award.
The car was acquired by Jack Boyd Smith Jr. in 2016, and he worked with LaVine Restorations to fully restore it again for the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours, where it won its class.