1930 Invicta 4½-Litre Series 'A' High Chassis Tourer Coachwork by Corsica Coachworks Ltd. Registration no. FB 8906 Chassis no. Chassis no. A91 Engine no. 7358
Captain Noel Macklin'a Invicta company established, in just twelve effective short years of production, a name revered in motoring circles, mainly influenced by the sensational Low Chassis 4½-litre 'S' Type cars which slightly overshadowed the other excellent sporting motor cars from this Cobham based manufacturer. Backed by Oliver Lyle and the fabulously wealthy Earl Fitzwilliam, Macklin drew on the expertise of engineer/racing driver J.G.Parry Thomas in the early days and the design office expertise of W.G.Watson, so it was not surprising that Invicta would set the bar at a high level.
It was however the meeting with engine manufacturer Henry Meadows that created the turning point in the company's fortunes and Meadows was to build the 1½-litre , 3-litre and 4-1/2-litre engines for all subsequent models. The powerful and robust 4½-litre engine first appeared in an Invicta at Olympia in 1928, in a high quality chassis costing just £50 less than the contemporary Rolls-Royce 20/25hp. This engine was to power the 'A' and 'S' type cars and few contemporary cars could match the Invicta 4½-litre cars for torque and outright performance. The High Chassis cars arguably offered greater touring comfort than their contemporary Low Chassis siblings.
The Series A Invicta first appeared in August 1930 and we understand that this car was first registered on 2nd January 1931, making it therefore of 1930 manufacture. Corsica Coachworks of Grimaldi Street, North London, were the favoured coachbuilder. Corsica never exhibited at Olympia and the operation never had more than twenty employees. Yet the low overhead operation attracted the sporting fraternity who worked closely with the constructors to create some of the most exquisite British coachwork of the 1930s, notably on the 1931 Daimler Double-Six chassis, Donald Healey's Dolomite and on several Bugatti Type 57s. Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo and Squire were among other chassis to be Corsica-clothed.
So here is a powerful thoroughbred British sports car, well able to embarrass the drivers of other 4½-litre motor cars from more fashionable manufacturers, and handsomely clothed by Corsica. The present owner bought the car from Bonhams dispersal sale of The West Collection in Devon in 1998. It had previously been bought for The West Collection from a Peterborough enthusiast and little used in its time in Devon. Its new owner, the vendor, embarked on an extensive seven year restoration programme, stripping the coachwork to bare metal and re-liverying the car in black. All chromework was re-plated, the interior re-trimmed in red hide and new hood, hood envelope and tonneau cover in double duck were fitted along with new carpets. The radiator was re-cored and plated by Oldham Radiators. The engine was re-bored and new pistons fitted, the rods re-metalled and the cylinder head re-built. A new clutch and clutch stop linings were fitted and the gearbox rebuilt with a new third gear by respected Irish engineer, the late Clive Mew. The rear axle was checked and fitted with modern axle shaft seals, all brakes were re-lined, new king pins and bushes fitted, the electrics were re-wired and a new speedometer cable fitted. New tyres and tubes completed the restoration. Since completion of the restoration the car has covered approximately 3,500 miles with distinction, taking part in two of the prestigious Irish Veteran and Vintage Car Club's Gordon Bennett Rallies in Ireland where it currently resides.
The full history of this car was misplaced while in The West Collection, however we can advise that the DVLA have a record of the car and have indicated that the appropriate registration document will be issued to a new owner upon application.