1933 Invicta 12/45hp Tourer Coachwork by Carbodies Registration no. Not UK registered (formerly) VE 9447 Chassis no. L238 Engine no. 8A 235
In its all-too-short lifetime Invicta carved out an enviable reputation for building fine sporting motor cars, the bigger Meadows-engined models in particular offering class-leading performance and impeccable build quality. For customers less concerned with ultimate performance, the company offered the 12/45. Introduced in 1932 and built to the firm's customary high standards, the 12hp 'Small Invicta' was an intriguing exercise in circumventing the ludicrous tax on engine capacity that dictated British design policy between the wars. Strongly built and well finished in typical Invicta fashion, the 12/45 used a 1½-litre, six-cylinder, single-overhead-camshaft, Blackburne engine and was available with either tourer or saloon coachwork. Like its big 4½-Litre sister, the Small Invicta had a massive chassis with wide-set springs for maximum stability; nevertheless, it was geared for good acceleration.
Contemporary press reports praised the car's beautiful proportions: 'the wheelbase is long and the track full width... the effect is to suggest a machine in at least the 16hp class... the chassis is very low in relation to the ground, which enables the height of the complete closed car to be kept as low as 5ft... this effect is secured without suggestion of freakishness.' This low centre of gravity also aiding and abetting roadholding.
Regrettably, the smaller Invicta had arrived too late to influence the company's fortunes and production ceased in 1933 after approximately 50 cars had been built.
This particular Invicta 12/45 was first registered 'VE 9447' on 23rd October 1933 and originally finished in black and silver. Among its previous owners (see old-style logbook) is a Mr F B Clothier, of Sturminster Newton, Dorset, who acquired the car in 1969. By the time of Mr Clothier's ownership, the Invicta had been repainted green but it became dark blue before sale to Mr D M Hardy, of Tadworth, Surrey in 1972. It is evident from correspondence between Messrs Clothier and Hardy that Clothier rallied the vehicle regularly, and the sale was delayed to enable rally commitments to be fulfilled.
The Invicta was extensively overhauled during Hardy's ownership by various vintage car specialists, and bills indicate he still owned the car in 1975. A photograph of the Invicta, still with original registration 'VE 9447' when owned by Mr Hardy, is reproduced in 'Automobile Quarterly' Volume XV, No. 3.
An article in the Australian journal 'The Herald' dated 14th January 1977 indicates that motor dealer John Ould purchased the Invicta in December 1976 from a 'motor museum in England'. Advertised for sale by John Ould, the Invicta was purchased for display in the York Motor Museum, Western Australia in April 1979. The car returned to the UK in 2009 and has since formed part of an impressive collection and sitting beside an Invicta S-Type Low Chassis. Offered with sundry bills and old-style logbook, the car has seen little use and remains in very good condition. Although not presently registered, 'L238' is UK taxes paid.