This year, the second day of proceedings at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance was an example of great weather, good vibes, and gorgeous European and Asian automobiles from Great Britain to Belgium to the former Soviet Union. The Best Of Show winner was a car that captivated everyone who came near it with beauty, style, and above all, cold hard substance. The winner of Best of Show was this stunning Belgian-crafted 1930 Minerva 80138 AL, with coachwork by Vanden Plas. The owner is Judge Joseph Cassini III and his wife Margie Cassini of West Orange, NJ. Cassini is a recently retired judge with an excellent car collection that has won multiple awards. For instance, his 1934 Packard won Best of Show at Pebble Beach last summer, and his Horch 853 Special Roadster won Best Of Show at Greenwich just two years ago. He’s also shown a beautiful 1933 Duesenberg SJ at Hershey, which I had the pleasure of seeing last summer (it won Most Elegant American Closed Pre-War).
The Minerva, however, was the star of this show two Sundays ago. Finished in a pearl earth paint color, the bodywork is paired with a 6.6L straight eight sleeve-valved engine. Cassini claims that this is one of 8 surviving “AL” models with that engine left. Cassini’s opinion on winning the award with the Minerva was, “It’s pretty humbling to see it recognized for the work of art that it is.” He purchased the car at the Gooding auction at Amelia Island only a few months ago (fully restored) and is showing it for the first time at Greenwich. According to the auction house website (goodingco.com), this is a Pebble Beach and Amelia Island class winner and has won Best Of Show at other Concours events previously. After receiving his award, Mr. Cassini mentioned that he will be bringing another Minerva to the Elegance at Hershey this coming Sunday–specifically, a Rollston-bodied 1931 cabriolet sedan which I am eager to see up close. Many congratulations to Joseph and Margie Cassini for winning Best Of Show in the Concours International. Enjoy the photos.
I would also like to thank Gregg D. Merksamer for his help in providing information I failed to get on this Minerva after the show ended. Gregg, you are a great friend and eternally helpful.
-Albert S. Davis