1931 Invicta 4½-litre Low Chassis S-Type  Chassis no. S40 Engine no. 7407

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Lot 143
1931 Invicta 4½-litre Low Chassis S-Type
Registration no. WD 2024 Chassis no. S40 Engine no. 7407

Sold for £ 265,500 (US$ 340,769) inc. premium
1931 Invicta 4½-litre Low Chassis S-Type
Coachwork by Vanden Plas

Registration no. WD 2024
Chassis no. S40
Engine no. 7407
Launched in September 1930, the low-built S-Type Invicta was one of the fastest and most desirable sports cars of its day. Its styling has been described as “traditional British sports car at its best”, with swooping external exhaust pipes and a low, low profile achieved by a chassis frame that was underslung at the rear and swept up over the front axle. Power came from a 4½-litre six-cylinder engine specially built for Invicta by Meadows of Wolverhampton. This was one of an exclusive handful of cars on the British market with a top speed of 100 mph. This particular Invicta, dating from March 1931, is one of only a dozen S-Types out of some 77 built to have bodywork by Vanden Plas.

It was identical to the S-Type shown on the maker’s stand at the 1930 Motor Show. First registered on 13 March 1931, WD2024 was sold by the Birmingham dealer Flewitt Ltd to John Harry Ansell (who later bought a second low-chassis Invicta). In 1938 it was registered to Clifford Motors of Southampton. The name of its owner from 1940-42 is given in the file as a “Sub-Lieutenant T. Thistlewaite” – could this have been racing driver and former Bentley Boy, Thomas “Scrap”
Thistlethwaite? – but the next owner, who bought it in June 1942, only kept it for two months before selling it to George Milligen for £175.
Milligen soon discovered the reason for the hasty sale: “The man I bought it off was shortly afterwards being pursued by the police for murdering his wife but he escaped and installed himself on a yacht in Malta Harbour, so they couldn’t get him.”

The Invicta was repainted in George Milligen’s favourite shade of RAF Blue and over the next sixty years was much used – his service notes indicate a total of 50,00 miles, which included trips to his favourite winter retreat in the South of France - and received the meticulous maintenance that characterised the ownership of all his cars. In 1955 the engine was rebuilt by Laystalls, resulting in an almost 15 per cent improvement in the power output, and Milligen’s notes indicate an easy top gear range of 6-90 mph, when the engine was turning over at just 3500 rpm.
1931 Invicta 4½-litre Low Chassis S-Type  Chassis no. S40 Engine no. 7407
1931 Invicta 4½-litre Low Chassis S-Type  Chassis no. S40 Engine no. 7407
1931 Invicta 4½-litre Low Chassis S-Type  Chassis no. S40 Engine no. 7407
1931 Invicta 4½-litre Low Chassis S-Type  Chassis no. S40 Engine no. 7407
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Buyer's Premium Rates
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25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
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