Buses ROCAR DAC Bucharest Romania 1951 – 2004

Rocar DAC  LogoRocar

Rocar DAC
Bucharest DAC bus 1

 Rocar DAC 112 UDM bus in Bucharest, in the 1996-2006 RATB livery. RATB was the main operator of such buses in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with over 500 buses and 100 trolleybuses. No Rocar DAC vehicle is still present in the RATB fleet.

Body and chassis
Doors 1 to 3 doors
Floor type step entrance

1996 Rocar 117UD bus in Târgu Jiu

A Rocar 117 UD bus in Târgu Jiu. It was built in 1996.
2006 Suceava trolleybus 5049
 A Rocar 212E trolleybus in Suceava

Rocar DAC was a series of buses and trolleybuses produced by the Autobuzul (later Rocar) company of Bucharest, Romania, between 1979 and 2000. They were available in both standard (non-articulated), 12-meter models and articulated, 17-meter models.

For much of the 1980s and early 1990s, these buses and trolleybuses were the backbone of the urban transportation network of Romania since, throughout the 1980s, public transportation companies were not allowed to import any type of vehicle.

The buses were designed and built in a period of severe shortages, the main emphasis being put on economizing material usage and simplicity of the design. Most buses of this type did not have power or assisted steering, and only a small number of buses, built in the early part of the project (1979-1982) employed automatic gearboxes. The passenger area was also very spartan, having no interior sound or display systems, seats being built out of plywood, light fixtures being 6-8 small 12-volt light bulbs providing insufficient lighting.

During the late 1980s, some were converted to run on methane gas, by installing two or three gas tanks on the roofs. After the fall of the communist regime, the buses were converted back to diesel. DAC buses were equipped with Hungarian RABA-MAN engines, or with Romanian IABv engines capable of 192 horse power DIN and a 4 or 6 gears gear box for a maximum speed of 65 km/h.

In 1996, Rocar began replacing the model line-up with the new Rocar De Simon range that was produced until the bankruptcy of the company in 2003 (however, Dac 112 UDM buses were built until 2000). Most Rocar DAC buses have been withdrawn from service, and replaced with more modern buses. However, some survive with smaller transport companies, on some rural services and in small towns. Trolleybuses, on the other hand, have fared better, because of the higher purchasing cost and lower wear-and-tear, and are still a common site in cities such as Cluj or Kiev.

Models Buses

DAC 112 UDM DAC 112 UDMa

  • DAC 112 UDM – the standard 12-meter model, used for urban or suburban routes. This was the base model for all later designs. Available with two or three doors. Built between 1982 and 2000.


  • DAC 117 UD – the articulated, 17-meter model. Available with two or four doors. Built between 1979 and 1998.


  • DAC UDAN 2002 – an attempt at modernizing the DAC 112 UDM by replacing the engine and transmission of the DAC 112 UDM with an Euro 2 compliant model, as well as modernizing the bodywork. Only two were built before the project was deemed unsuccessful. Both are currently operated by RATB.


DAC 112 E DAC 112 Ea

  • DAC 112 E – Standard trolleybus, powered by one 115 kW direct current motor.

DAC 212 E DAC 212 Ea

  • DAC 212 E – Standard trolleybus, powered by one 125 kW direct current motor. Outfitted with an electronic command system for its contactors.

DAC 212 ECS DAC 212 ECSa

  • DAC 212 ECS – Same as DAC 212 E, but using a chopper system as a speed control. ECS stands for Electric Chopper System.

DAC 117 E(A) a DAC 117 E(A)

  • DAC 117 E(A)Articulated trolleybus, powered by one 115 kW direct current motor. Although some operators called these vehicles DAC 117 EA (with A form ‘articulated’; some also called the articulated buses ‘DAC 117 UDA’), all the VIN plates of these vehicles shows the correct name (without the ‘A’).

DAC 217 E DAC 217 Ea

  • DAC 217 E – Articulated trolleybus, powered by one 125 kW direct current motor. The most common model, with electronic command of the contactors
  • DAC 317 ETS – Same with DAC 217 E, but with the motor controlled by thyristors. ETS stands for Electric Thyristor System.

DAC 318 ET Tandem

  • DAC 318 ET Tandem – Articulated trolleybus, powered by two DC motors, working in tandem. Only one prototype was built.



1993 United_Nations_field_hospital_in_Mogadishu_(1993)

1993 United Nations Cocar fieldambulance hospital in Mogadishu

Kolozsvari_trolibusz_DAC LogoRocar Rocar 33a-3 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Rocar 33f-2 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Rocar 35c avant-1 Rocar 37m-1 Rocar 37m-2 Rocar 40 Lugoj Romania Rocar 40cd-2 Rocar 40cd-4 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Rocar 40m-3

Rocar Ambulance

Rocar 106r-1

Rocar 106r

Rocar 106r-2 Rocar 106r-3 Rocar 108rd-1

Rocar 108r

Rocar 108rd-2 Rocar 108rd-3 Rocar 108rd-4 Rocar 108rd-5 Rocar 108rd-6

Rocar 108

Rocar 109rdm-1

Rocar 109rdm

Rocar 109rdm-2 Rocar 109rdm-3 Rocar 109rdm-4 Rocar 109rdm-5 Rocar 109udf-1

Rocar 109

Rocar 111rdt-1

Rocar 111rdt

Rocar 111rdt-2 Rocar 111rdt-3 Rocar 111rdtm-1 Rocar 111rdtm-2 Rocar 111rdtm-3 Rocar 111rdtm-4 Rocar 111udf-1

Rocar 111udf

Rocar 112rdtld-1

Rocar 112rdtld

Rocar 112rdtld-2 Rocar 112rdtm-1

Rocar 112rdtld

rocar 117ud 173 Rocar 122ud-1

Rocar 122ud

Rocar 122ud-2

Rocar 118

Rocar 122ud-3

Rocar 122ud

Rocar 207t-1

Rocar 207t

Rocar 207t-2 Rocar 207t-3 Rocar 207t-4

Rocar 207t

Rocar 211r-1

Rocar 211r

Rocar 211ud-1

Rocar 211ud

Rocar 318et tandem-1

Rocar 318et tandem

Rocar 318et tandem-2

Rocar 318et tandem

Rocar 318et tandem-3

Rocar 318et tandem

Rocar 412u-1

Rocar 412u

Rocar 412u-2 Rocar 412u-3

Rocar 412u

Rocar 812u-2

Rocar 812u

Rocar 812u-6

Rocar 812u

Rocar bus a ROCAR Bus ROCAR Classic Rocar DAC Boekarest Roe Rocar De Simon U412 Boekarest Roem Rocar De Simon U412-DAF Rocar De Simon U412E Trolleybus Rocar minibus-1

Rocar minibus

Rocar mtd-2


Rocar prototip-1 Rocar t311r-1 Rocar t311r-2 rocar_4 rocar_108rd-2 rocar_539 rocard Rocar-DAF-900 Rocar-DAF-901 Rocar-MTD-classic


Rocar-MTD-side-view-romaniancar MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA Romania_stamp_-_1975_-_20B_-_TV_12M roman-rocar-dac-109-udm-03

That’s it

RENAULT Buses, Cars and Trucks France Part VII Restructuring (1981–1995)


Buses, Cars and Trucks France

Part VII – Restructuring (1981–1995)


1981 gtt-gti-renault-30-decouvrable-img 1981 Renault 4L R4 Heuliez 1981 Renault 14 TS [R1212] 1981 Renault 18 1981 Renault 20 GTD [R1276] 1981 RENAULT Fuego GTX 2 litres 1981 Renault Master Série 1 1981 Renault Master Série 1981 Renault Midlum Tracer Strasbourg 1981 Renault R5 turbo 1981 Renault Trafic Série 1 http://www.autogaleria.hu - 1981 renault-14-gts- 1981 Renault-1981-LeCar-ad-a1-784x1024 1981 renault-trafic-1981-000025 1981 Verhoudingen_binnen_de_Renault-Nissan_Alliance 1981-88 Renault 9 Biarritz 1981-1983


1982 09 Renault linha 1982 Karetka_pogotowia 1982 Renault 4 GTL 1982 Renault 9 GTL 1982 Renault 11 GTX 1982 Renault 11 turbo ph2 1982 renault 18-Turbo 1982 Renault 20 2,2L 1982 Renault 20 Turbo 4x4 Paris-Dakar 1982 Renault 20 TX 1982 Renault bus_master_14zitter 1982 RENAULT D 38 T (Dodge spain) 1982 RENAULT et SAVIEM (1965). 1982 Renault F1 1982 Renault Fuego Cabriolet Concept 1982 Renault Fuego 1982 Renault HEULIEZ GX 17 1982 Renault linha 1982 06&07 1982 Renault r5 alpine Benzine 1982 Renault S36 achète la branche utilitaire de Talbot U.K 1982 Renault Trafic Bora 1982–89 1982 Renault Trafic camper 1982 Renault 1982 Renault-9-France-1982 1982 Renault™ 30 Turbo Diesel 1982 Torino Fuego 1982_Renault_R5_Turbo_Front_1 1982_Renault_Trafic-1


Renault 251983 Renault 25

1983 b83tsw 1983 R 20+30 1983 r30tstx 1983 Renault 5 Gordini Turbo 1983 Renault 5 Turbo 2 1983 RENAULT 11 3 door (1983 - 1986) 1983 Renault 11 TSE [X37] 1983 renault 11 tse electronic 1983 Renault 11 1983 Renault 11a 1983 Renault 14 TS 1983 renault 18i 1983 1983 Renault 25 V6 Turbo 1983 Renault Avantime 1983 Renault Fuego Turbo3 1983 Renault Gabbiano 1983 Renault RE 40 1983 Mulhouse FRA 1983 renault_fuego_turbo_rear_silver_1983_b 1983 Renault-14-03 1983 renault-30-07 1983 renault-alliance-1 1983 renault-alliance-2 1983 renault-alliance-3 1983 renault-alliance-4 1983 renault-alliance-5 1983-Renault-5-Turbo-2


1984 361 Renault Traffic T1200 Camper (1984) 1984 Fuego R 1984 HPIM1217 1984 MGG Renault Master T35 ambulance kenteken MC-01 1984 Renault 4 VIEWTY2 1984 Renault 30 TX (03) 1984 renault 1984-18-TL-Type-2-001_2 1984 Renault Aliance l 1984 Renault Alpine A310 1971-1984 1984 Renault Encore Hatchback. - 1 1984 Renault Espace a 1984 Renault Espace 1984 Renault R5 Turbo II Front 1984 Renault Trafic T 321 Kampeerauto 1984 1984 Renault_9_Cambridge 1984 renault_1984-Alpine-A-310-V6-Group-4-001_1 1984 Renault_Espace_First_Iteration_Blois_1984 1984 renault_supercampus_1 1984 renault5-GTL 1984 Renault-Espace--1984-1991- 1984 renault-espace-ren_geb_393_1 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 1984_Renault_R5_Turbo_II_Front_1


1985 0urbo3 1985 2009-Renault-New-Alpine-Concept-Design-by-Marcello-Felipe-1985-RN-92-Side-Angle 1985 2009-Renault-New-Alpine-Concept-Design-by-Marcello-Felipe-1985-RN-92-Side-Angle-1024x768 1985 Alpine Renault A310 LeMans 1985 Concept Renault espace1do1 copie copie 1985 concour 1985- PR100.R - Grenoble 1985 Renault 11 1985 Renault 20 Ambulance 1985 Renault Alliance Convertible 1985 Renault Alpine A310 (02) 1985 Renault C 260 1985 Tipper Truck 1985 Renault d38 t355 1985 RENAULT Espace (1985 - 1991) 1985 Renault Funeraire Hearse 1985 renault r5 turbo ii 1985 RENAULT T35 VANDECASTEELE OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 1985 Renault-18-breack 1985 renault-18-break-01 1985 renault18turbo-ouverture 1985 Renault-25-France-1985 1985 Renault-Alpine_A_310_V6_Group_4 http://www.autogaleria.hu - OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 1985 Saviem TTL 1985 small 1985 Warwick Renault 1985 Monaco Car

Although its cars were somewhat successful both on the road and on the track, including the 1984 launch of the Espace – Europe’s first multi-purpose vehicle – Renault was losing a billion francs a month and reported a deficit of 12.5 billion in 1984. The government intervened and Georges Besse was installed as chairman; he set about cutting costs dramatically, selling off many of Renault’s non-core assets (including a minority Volvo stake, Gitane, Eurocar and Renix), withdrawing almost entirely from motorsports, and laying off many employees. This succeeded in halving the deficit by 1986, but he was murdered by the communist terrorist group Action Directe in November 1986. He was replaced by Raymond Lévy, who continued along the same lines as Besse, slimming down the company considerably with the result that by the end of 1987 it was more or less financially stable.


HUNGARY - CIRCA 1986: A stamp printed in Hungary shows Renault 5 GT Turbo 1985 and Renault 14 CV 1902, circa 1986 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 1986 brosur1 1986 images 1986 N257-Paris-Dakar-Renault-B90-4x4 1986 Pic-2 1986 Police_Paris_CRS_vehicule_dsc06486 1986 R Trucks 1986 racetruck_1986_15_001 1986 Renault 4 Limo 1986 Renault 5 1.4 Automatic 1986 renault 11-Turbo 1986 renault 390 1986 Renault Alliance convertible 1986 Renault Alliance 1986 renault apart_trafic_camper 1986 Renault B90 4x4 1986 Renault Espace Taxi Ville De Paris 1 (1986) 1986 Renault Espace Taxi Ville De Paris 1a 1986 Renault Express 1100 Break 1 1986 RENAULT PR 100a 1986 Renault R 25 V6 Injection 1986 Renault R5 Turbo2 1986 Renault R-390, 6x6 1986 Renault TRM-10000, 6x6 1986 RENAULT9 1986 renault-11-ts-sedan-5-puertas- 1986 renault-21-1986-wagon 1986 Renault-21-France-1986 1986 renault-ferrand 1986 renault-fuego-turbo 1986 Saviem SB2 1986_Renault_Trafic-1 1986-Renault-W60 1986-Truck


1987 catalogue renault 1987 r11 1987 Renault 5 1987 Renault 21, Coche del Año 1987 1987 Renault 340 1987 Renault Alliance GTA . 1987 Renault BA03A0 1987 RENAULT C C 290.26 1987 Renault Espace Ambulance 1987 RENAULT Espace Turbo DX 1987 Renault Espace type 1A 1987 Renault GPL 1987 Renault GTA 1987 Renault Master T35 ambulance 1987 Renault R4 JP4 Frog Cabrio 1987 Renault Super ambulance 1987 Renault Type  Midliner S 110 1987 Renault_G290_002 1987 RENAULT-R25-V6i--1987- 1987 Renault-Supercinq-France-1987 1987 RENAULT-Trafic-4X4_1-ico 1987 Saviem TL30 1987-93 RENAULT VI PR 180


1988 Megane Concept 1988 Renault 5 GT Turbo 1988 Renault 5 GTR 1988 Renault 5 1988 Renault 9 1988 Renault 11 p 1988 renault 365 1988 RENAULT A610 Alpine GTA V6 1988 Renault Espace I Minivan 1988 Renault Laguna 1988 Renault Medallion 1988 Renault Mégane [W06] 1988 renault megane concept 1988 Renault Megane 1988 Renault SC10R 1988 Renault truck 1988 Renault 1988 Renault_19_GTX_1988 1988 renault_medallion_apri_bw_1988 1988 Saviem powder tender 1988 Saviem SG3 1988-renault-megane-concept-car-4


1989 Renault 5 GT Turbo EBS RHD Convertible 1989 Renault 18 1989 Renault 19 1989 Renault Espace 3 1989 Renault Espace TXE I 1989 Renault Master 1989 Renault Nevada RT 2.2 5-door estate 1989 RENAULT R5 GT turbo 1989 renault_19 1989 renault_megane 1989 RENAULT19Chamade-2057_1 1989 Renault-19-GTX-1989 1989 Renault-19-Spain 1989 RENAULT21Hatchback-2051_1 1989 Renault-21-Nevada-SD-1989 1989_Renault_Espace-1

1989 Renault G-290, 6x6

1989 RENAULT S 130

1989 Renault R series


1990 Renault → Alpine → V6 Turbo 1990 1990 RENAULT 5 SUPER  EXPRESS 85-90 1990 Renault 19 Cabrio 1990–92 1990 RENAULT 19 CHAMADE GTS 1990 Renault 19 Chamade 1990 Renault 21 Turbo 1989–93 1990 Renault Clio 5-door 1990–97 1990 Renault Clio 1990 Renault Espace TXE I 1990 RENAULT Express 1.4 Trail Finder, camper 1990 Renault Master T35 TD Série 1 1990 RENAULT R19 16v Phase I 1990 Renault Traffic heuliez_gx17 1990 Renault Traffic 1990 Renault 1990 renault_1990-Laguna-Concept-001_3 1990 Renault_Master_front_20080326 1990 renault-19-chamade-gts-02 1990 Renault-1990 1990 RENAULTClio-1931_1 1990 Renault-Clio-1990 1990_Renault-Clio_1.7_RT_5-door_1990-02

1990 gts-Renault-Major-1990-by-jolly-verv-renault-C 1990 Renault 25 baccara v6 turb 1990 RENAULT 340.38 1990 RENAULT G 300 (8 x 4) 1990 RENAULT G 300 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 1990 Renault-Dodge 10m Buses 1990 RW37 Renault 50 mini  midi bus


1991 300renault2uo81991 Auto Renault 19 5-Door1991 magnum_design_11991 Renault  Dodge 4 x 4 Military Truck1991 Renault 19 16-valve1991 Renault 19 Chamade 19 GTX Chamade 19911991 Renault 19 postOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1991 Renault 4201991 Renault Clia1991 Renault Clio1991 Renault Major 350-385 420 SPRING SPRING 19911991 RENAULT Midliner 1701991 Renault R 380 Major 19911991 Renault R380 MAJOR1991 Renault racetruck_1991_481991 Renault Scenic Concept1991 renault_19-pic-82149237261604430601991 Renault_Espace_2_V6_RT_19911991 Renault-19-Spain-19911991 Renault™ Clio 1.9 diesel RN1991 South_Western_Ambulance_X434BFJ_(1)1991 Williams-Renault FW14, Hungaroring, 1991In 1990 Renault strengthened its collaboration with Volvo by signing an agreement which allowed both companies to reduce vehicle conception costs and purchasing expenses. Renault had access to Volvo expertise in upper market segments and in return Volvo could take advantage of Renault designs for low and medium segments. In 1993 the two companies announced their intention to merge operations by 1 January 1994 and both increased their cross-shareholding. While in France the idea of merging was reluctantly accepted, in Sweden the opposition was outspoken and the Volvo shareholders rejected it.


1992 BLBscannew1 1992 RENAULT 19 3 Doors 1992 Renault 19 Bergerac, Biarritz, Executive 1992 Renault 19 Cabrio Azur Phase II 1992 Renault 21 Turbo 1992 Renault Clio 1992 Renault Espace Van Minibus 1992 RENAULT G 280 1992 Renault GBH 1992 Renault Midlander GPL 1992 Renault Midliner Fire Truck 1992 Renault R 340 Major - tracteur 1992 Renault R 380 Major 1992 Renault R19 Cabrio 1992 Renault S53RX 1992 RENAULT Safrane 1992 Renault traffic Westcountry Ambulance_M243OOL 1992 Renault Truck salvage vehicle 1992 Breakdown truck 1992 Renault Zoom Electric City Car Concept 1992 1992 Renault 1992 Renault_Safrane-3 1992 RENAULT25-2031_2 1992 renault-truck-rvi-r380-major-de-1992-(france)--6363


1993 750 1993 fw15c-will-imol-pros-1993 1993 Ren TRM 10000 KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA 1993 Renault 19 1993 Renault 19a 1993 RENAULT AE 385H 1993 Renault Alpine 1993 Renault bl 1993 Renault Clio Williams. 1993 Renault GBC-180, 6x6 1993 Renault Laguna-2 1993 Renault M200 Fueltank 10m3 1993 Renault R 19 Convertible 1993 Renault Safrane 1993 Renault ScreenShot-clioW 1993 Renault TRM-700.100Т, 6x6 1993 Renault Trucks T high inspiré du film Avatar 1993 renault twingo_1993 1993 Renault В-110, 4x4 1993 renault__midliner_210_1993_1_lgw 1993 Renault_21_2.0_GTX_Manager_Nevada_1993 1993 renault-9-turkey-1993c 1993 renault-messe,chateauroux-pl-210113p1_1 1993 renault-trafic-blauw-1993- 1993 sans_t15 1993 SHE001347_01l 1993_Renault_Espace-4

1993 Renault S45R Bus



1994 FJ60 - Resize 1 1994 imola 1994 1994 Italeri 784 Renault echelle Pivotante pompier 1994 magnumy-sasa-sro-002 1994 RENAULT 21 Sedan 1994 Renault 385 TDI 1994 Renault Clio a 1994 Renault Clio 1994 Renault Espace F1 1994 Renault Express [F40] 1994 Renault Mack Maxter (1994-1996) 1994 Renault TRM 10000 1994 Renault Twingo 1.2 Ragtop 1994 renault__vends_superbe_c300_rvi_6x4_1994_1_lgw 1994 renault-g340-8-x-4,ae5d5bc6-1 1994 Renault-Laguna-Spain-1994 1994 Renault-Renault Clio Williams 1994 renault-trucks-uk-renault-magnum-renault-magnum-611067-FGR 1994 Tipper truck RENAULT S150 Midliner, 150PK, 4x2, 1994_Renault_Safrane-3 1994_Renault-Ludo_Concept_1994-03-400x300

A revitalised Renault launched several successful new cars in the early 1990s, including the 5 replacement, the Clio in 1990. The Clio is the first new model of a generation which will see the numeric models replaced by new cars with traditional nameplates. Other important launches included the second-generation Espace and the innovative Twingo in 1992. The launches were aligned with an improved marketing effort on European markets. In the mid-1990s the successor to the R19, the Renault Mégane, was one of the first cars to achieve a 4-star rating, the highest at the time, in EuroNCAP crash test in passenger safety.


1995 Renault 19 5-door hatchback 1995 RENAULT C 300.26 1995 Cement mixer Truck 1995 Renault Clio 1.2 1995 RENAULT CLIO SPORTIQUE CAMPER 1900cc DIESEL 1995 Renault Clio Stimson Sportique camper 1995 Renault Clio Williams 1995 RENAULT Clio 1995 Renault Evado 1995 Renault IMG_4119 1995 Renault Laguna a 1995 Renault Laguna Evado 1995 Renault Laguna 1995 Renault limo 1995 Renault Magnum N99 MSN 1995 RENAULT Manager G 340ti.26 Truck 1995 RENAULT Megane Scenic 1995 Renault Midliner 180 Tipper 1995 Renault mjlb663c 1995 Renault PR100-Austral Denning Bus Canberra 1995 Renault Race 1995 Renault Rapid Diesel x 2 pieces 1995 Renault Safrane 2.1 dT 1995 Renault Safrane 1995 Renault Twingo phase II 1995 Renault Twingo 1995 Renault-9-Argentina-1995 1995 Renault-Clio-16v-1995 1995 renault-clio-1995-03 1995 RENAULT-R19-Cabriolet--1995-1996- My beautiful picture 1995_renault_initiale_01_m 1995_Renault_Spider_004_4670 1995-laguna-grandtour-1b

That was

Part VII – Restructuring (1981–1995)

only one left

Part IX

till now

motor(cycles), cars, trucks, buses, MINERVA Antwerp Belgium IMPERIA







Société Anonyme Minerva Motors
Industry automobiles
Fate dissolved
Founded AntwerpBelgium (1900)
Founder(s) Sylvain de Jong
Defunct 1956
Products bicyclesmotorcyclesautomobiles, Buses,

The Minerva was a prominent Belgian luxury automobile manufactured from 1902 until 1938. The company became defunct in 1956.


In 1883, a young Dutchman, Sylvain de Jong (1868–1928) settled in AntwerpBelgium.

Bicycles and motorcycles

2 a Minerva motorized bicycle in Australia

A man on a Minerva motorized bicycle in Australia near the turn of the 20th century, by Alice Manfield
2a 1902 Minerva 211 cc
1902 Minerva 211 cc
2b 1903 Romania 1¾ pk
1903 Romania 1¾ pk (Minerva)
2c 1908 Minerva 432 cc (8 pk) zijklepper
1908 Minerva 432 cc (8 pk) zijklepper
1910 Minerva motorcycle
1910 Minerva motorcycle
small Minerva History
Small Minerva later BSA

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 side of the rear wheel opposite to the chain. By 1901 the kit engine was a 211cc unit developing 1.5 hp, comfortably cruising at 30 km/h (19 mph) at 1,500 rpm, capable of a top speed of 50 km/h (31 mph), and getting fuel consumption in the range of 3 L/100 km (94 mpg-imp; 78 mpg-US). These kits were exported around the world to countries including the United KingdomFranceGermany, the NetherlandsAustralia, 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 and motorcycles continued through to about 1909, they increasingly became a less significant part of the company.

Minerva engines exported to the UK powered the very first Triumph, among others. Motorcycle production would continue until 1909 or 1914, and during this period Minerva became one of the world’s premier names in motorcycles and motorcycle engines. (For instance Chater-Lea produced Minerva-engines in the UK.)


In 1902 De Jong added cars to his production as well with a 6 hp four-cylinder model. In 1903 he founded Société Anonyme Minerva Motors in Berchem (Antwerp). Volume car production began in 1904 with a range of two-, three- and four-cylinder models with chain drive and metal clad wooden chassis and the Minervette cyclecar. The 8-litre Kaiserpreis won the Belgian Circuit des Ardennes race in 1907.

3 1931 Minerva 8 AL Rollston Convertible Sedan

1931 Minerva 8 AL Rollston Convertible Sedan

Charles S Rolls (of future Rolls-Royce fame) was a Minerva dealer in England selling the 2.9-litre 14 hp (10 kW). The most important market for the manufacturer remained England, where at £105 the small 636 cc single-cylinder Minervette was the cheapest car on the market, followed by the Netherlands and France.

In 1908, Minerva obtained a worldwide Knight Engine license. The Knight motor, developed by Charles Yale Knight in the United States, used double sleeve valves and ran almost silently. All future Minervas would use these engines. Sporting successes continued with the new engines including the Austrian Alpine Trials and Swedish Winter Trials. Customers for the Minerva would include kings of Belgium, Sweden and Norway, Henry Ford and the Impressionist Artist Anna Boch.

During World War I Sylvain de Jong and his engineers were based in Amsterdam where they maintained development of their automobiles. Minerva cars were used for hit and run attacks against the Germans initially with rifle fire and light machine guns from simply protected open topped vehicles. These vehicles became increasingly sophisticated until trench warfare robbed them of the mobility needed for their hit and run tactics.

4 1937 Imperia Minerva AP 22 CV limousine

1937 Imperia Minerva AP 22 CV limousine

In 1920, they returned to Belgium to restart the production of luxury cars with the 20CV 3.6-litre four-cylinder and 30CV 5.3-litre six-cylinder models.[7]The manufacturer’s star rose not only in Europe, but in the United States as well where American film stars, politicians and industrialists appreciated the cars. The Minerva had the same quality as the Rolls-Royce, but was slightly less expensive. In 1923, smaller models were introduced; the 2-litre four-cylinder 15CV and 3.4-litre six-cylinder 20CV with standard four-wheel brakes. In 1927, the 30CV was replaced with the 6-litre AK and also a new 2-litre six, the 12-14, was introduced. Large cars continued to be a specialty of Minerva’s, and in 1930 the then almost-compulsory-for-the-time straight eight was introduced in two sizes; the 6.6-litre AL and the 4-litre AP. The last Minerva was the 2-litre M4 of 1934 but it did not sell well.

With the financial crisis in the 1930s, the company was restructured as Société Nouvelle Minerva but in 1934 merged with the other major Belgian constructor Imperia. Imperia continued to make Minervas for a year and the AP until 1938 and from 1937 badged some of their cars and trucks for export to England and France as Minerva-Imperias. Just before the outbreak of the war, a group of businessmen from Verviers bought out Minerva.

5 Minerva Land Rover. Note the sloping front faces to the wings

1952 Minerva Land Rover. Note the sloping front faces to the wings

After World War II the company produced a version of the Land Rover under license for the Belgian army up to 1953. There were plans to re-enter the car market but these did not get beyond the prototype stage. The company struggled for survival and made the Continental-engined Land Rover-like C20 until 1956.

193 Minerva landrover 1903 Motor-Minerva2 1905 0218Auto-Minerva6 1905 0606Motor-Minerva