1931 Invicta 4.5-Litre S-Type Low Chassis Sports

1931 Invicta 4.5-Litre S-Type Low Chassis Sports 'Simplon' Coachwork by Carbodies

Invictas are about as indestructible in normal use as a car can be. Approximately 68 of the 75-or-so S-types built are known to survive and most are in excellent order, testifying to the fact that they have always been regarded as high quality motor cars. Indeed, in pre-war days there was a club dedicated exclusively to the model and members famously christened individual cars with names like 'Scythe', 'Scrapper' and 'Sea Lion'. 'S90' was named 'Simplon'.

'Simplon' was built in the early summer of 1931 and retained by the works as a competition car for regular Brooklands competitor Dudley Froy. In a letter to Motor Sport (June 1988 edition) A F Rivers Fletcher, who had first-hand knowledge of the works Invictas in period, says he believes that Froy's S-Type was completed using components taken from the car Sammy Davis had crashed at Brooklands. Although prepared for Dudley Froy, the Invicta was driven to a class win in the Ards TT on 22nd August 1931 by Tommy Wisdom and L Cushman, Froy having been sidelined with a broken arm. In October of that year 'Simplon' was driven in the BARC Closing Meeting at Brooklands by Mrs Wisdom.

At the 1932 Easter Norfolk Lightning Mountain Handicap, Froy lapped Brooklands at 108.03mph on his way to a brace of 3rd place finishes, and later that year at the Brighton Speed Trials the famous lady racing driver Mrs Kay Petre set the fastest time of the day. Froy then rounded off a successful season with a 4th place finish at Brooklands on 10th September. On 6th December 1932 Froy registered the Invicta for the first time, the number allocated being 'JJ 332'.

In 1933, 'Simplon' was offered for sale by William Arnold in Manchester (copy advertisement on file) and sold to dealer Jack Elliot. The car next belonged to David Lewis of London in 1936, followed by R Wyman, London in 1939. Major Granville Taylor then took 'Simplon' to the USA where it was owned by Hollywood superstar Tyrone Power.

Descriptions & pictures by conceptcarz & bonhams

Production Start 1931
Country of origin Great Britain