was a prominent Belgian luxury automobile
manufactured from 1902 until 1938.
In 1883, a young Dutchman, Sylvain de Jong (1868-1928) settled in Antwerp
Bicycles and motorcycles
Minerva started out manufacturing standard safety bicycles
in 1897, before in 1900 expanding into light cars and "motocyclettes", particularly motorized bicycles
which were a forerunner of motorcycles
They produced lightweight clip-on engines that mounted below the bicycle front down tube, specifically for Minerva bicycles, but also available in kit form suitable for almost any bicycle. The engine drove a belt
turning a large gear wheel attached to the opposite side of the rear wheel as the chain. By 1901 the kit engine was a 211cc unit developing 1.5 hp, comfortably cruising at at 1,500 rpm, capable of a top speed of , and getting fuel consumption in the range of . These kits were exported around the world to countries including the United Kingdom
, the Netherlands
, and other British territories of the time.
As engine power increased, frame ruptures became increasingly common, and by 1903 Minerva had developed an in-frame design for their bicycles, with the engine mounted above the bottom bracket
, while still also offering the clip-on kit. From 1904 Minerva began focussing more on car production, and while development and production of the Minerva motorized bicycles... Read More