1931 Invicta S-Type Low Chassis ex Alain de Cadenet
The S-Type or low-chassis was the last and best of all the Invictas. Created by Captain Noel Macklin from his country home in Surrey from 1924, and with a marque name meaning invincible, undefeated, and unconquered, Invictas were sporting cars of the finest quality, distinguished by their handsome looks, high power to weight ratio, and competition achievements. No less than speed legend Raymond Mays had a pair of S Type Invictas, saying they gave him some of the finest motoring he ever had, able to crest main road hills at nearly the century, the magic 100 mph.
First registered SN 5469 in Scotland’s Dumbartonshire, Invicta S-Type chassis S95 retains its original sporting tourer coachwork by Carbodies. The earliest recorded owner from 1946 was a Mr Leslie Trevor of Liverpool, beginning more than 40 years of continuous family ownership. Famously discovered in Kent and reappearing in a 1988 Sotheby’s auction in remarkably original but mechanically sound condition, even then the Invicta was an extraordinary find and was hammered down at 2.5x the original estimate, acquired by enthusiast Peter Fowler in partnership with Lord Iliffe.
After a praiseworthy feature by Mick Walsh and Mike McCarthy in the March 1989 issue of Classic & Sports Car alongside three other Invictas (“the most honest of the bunch, loose and free living, almost organic – I loved it”), SN 5469 was consigned to restoration in the early 1990s. Derek Green of Cedar Classics in Hartley Witney, specialists in the Invicta S Type, carried out a full restoration completed in 1994, with a photographic record of these works on file. With a FIVA passport issued in 1997, a Mille Miglia entry was accepted for that year, and a further photo on file shows the Invicta participating in the 2000 Mille Miglia.
In October 2003 she was sold to the late great mewsman, racer and motoring personality Alain de Cadenet. In a testament to the Invicta’s qualities, de Cad became captivated by the history of the Invicta marque and the people involved. Keeping her for nine years, he enthused about the Invicta and would use her for longer trips and rallies in preference to his 8C Alfa. From 2012 she was acquired by a close friend of de Cadenet, and continues to be fastidiously maintained, recently benefitting from an engine and gearbox rebuild. The engine installed is the uprated Meadows engine as fitted to Lagonda but the original as delivered crankcase 7560 remains with the car.
One of the most desirable sporting tourers ever, cherished by discerning long-term owners, and presented in immaculate condition, this low-chassis Invicta is striking in appearance, outstanding to drive, and sure to delight her fortunate next owner – on the road and at a range of the best motoring events.