Classic Car Catalogue

Invicta 1932

4½-Litre A-Type  
4½-Litre S-Type  
12/90 – new model
12/100 – new model
14/120 – new model
5-Litre – new model

Great Britain

Motor Sport October 1931
Models for 1932

The 1932 Invicta remains exactly the same as the current type, the price of the chassis being £750 and the complete car as a sports tourer, £875.
Specification: Engine 88.5 mm. bore x 120 mm. stroke (Treasury Rating 29.12 h.p.). Overhead valves, pump circulation, forced lubrication, Lucas magneto and Rotax coil ignition. Two S.U. carburettors, single dry plate clutch, four speeds (right hand gate -change), open propellor shaft, spiral bevel final drive, four-wheel internal, expanding brakes on 14in. diameter drums, Marles steering, main petrol supply from 20 gallon tank at rear, with quick filler cap. Auxiliary supply from 2 gallon tank on dash, petrol taps of both systems on instrument board, one gallon spare oil tank on dash. Special low-built dropped frame, underslung at rear. Wheel base 9ft. 10in., Track 4ft. 8in., Overall length 13ft. 6in., Overall width 5ft. 6in., Overall height to top of steering wheel 3ft. 6in.
Manufacturers' address : Invicta Cars, The Fairmile, Cobham, Surrey.
For 1932 Invicta offers three chassis, the 12 HP, the 30 HP and the 30 HP Sports, at £335, £680 and £750 respectively.
Invicta 4½-Litre 30 HP Sports Open Four-Seater costs £875. It has a six-cylinder OHV engine of 4467-cc (88.5 x 120 mm) capacity, developing 108 bhp at 3200 rpm. Like the small Invicta it has a dropped frame, underslung at the rear, with 9 ft 10 in wheelbase. The basic 4½-Litre, available with Saloon bodywork at £795, has 10 ft 6 in wheelbase.

£425 Five-seater Saloon on the 12 HP chassis, which is known as the Small Invicta. It has a six-cylinder OHC engine of 1498-cc capacity (57 x 97.9 mm), developing 45 bhp at 4400 rpm.

12 hp Saloon
Motor SportAugust 1932

THE 12 h.p. Invicta first appeared at Olympia last year, and attracted much favourable comment, and Messrs. Invicta now announce the introduction of a supercharged model.
The car is a welcome departure from the policy of unimaginative cutting-down which seems to be prevalent in some parts of the industry, and evidently the designer has been given a free hand to embody all the refinements which he considered desirable. The car was first built to give a good performance with an engine of low horse power rating, the power being obtained by the high-efficiency methods brought to light by racing. Now, by the expediency of fitting a "Powerplus" supercharger to the engine, the car takes its place among high-grade sports cars as a machine of distinctly brisk performance.
The six-cylinder engine has a bore and stroke of 57 mm. and 97.9 mm. respectively, giving a capacity of just under 1500 c.c., with a tax of £12. Overhead valves are fitted, operated by an overhead camshaft and set at 90° in a hemispherical head. The camshaft is driven by double roller chain, and the head can be removed for decarbonising without disturbing the valve timing. The chain sprocket drives the camshaft through a dog and a positioning peg. When the nut on the end of the shaft is slacked off, it allows the sprocket to be moved sideways sufficiently to clear the dog, and the head comes off on removing the holding-down nuts. A stirrup fitted about ½-inch under the sprocket prevents this from coming out of mesh with the chain, so that there is no chance of the timing being disturbed. Four standards and three intermediates carry the hollow camshaft and rocker shafts, and oil is fed into them through one of the standards, and thence to all moving parts. The rockers move on floating bushes, while the cam rollers are really roller bearings, since needle rollers run between the pins and the outer shells.
Steeply domed aluminium pistons are fitted, giving a compression of 6 to 1. The connecting rods are steel, the bearing metal being poured in direct. The crankshaft is a very massive affair, with triangular webs, and with the neat torque-damper fitted in front, the engine ought to be extremely smooth.
The main bearing lay-out is unusual, rollers being used in front, then two plain bearings, and at the rear end two ball races. Between these last is a piston which meshes with the camshaft drive above and the oil-pump drive below. The oil passes through a pressure filter before going to the bearings.
The "Powerplus" blower is mounted between the front dumb-irons, and being concealed by a fairing, is an exceedingly neat fitting, and the induction pipe embodies a hot-spot heated by exhaust gas led through ducts between the connecting rods. An electric pump supplies petrol from a tank at the rear of the chassis, while ignition is by coil, a spare coil being also fitted. The dash is of rigid cast aluminium, and the tools are carried in a box on top of it.
Engine and gearbox are made in unit construction, with three point suspension. The front of the engine is supported by a silentbloc bush on the front crossmember. A stout tube at the back of the engine is supported on the chassis by similar bushes. A four-speed gearbox with silent third is fitted, a short lever mounted on an extension bringing the knob conveniently within reach. An interesting detail is the graphite-impregnated clutch thrust-race, which never requires attention.
An open propellor shaft is fitted, with a metal universal joint at each end, and a steady bearing and another universal in the middle. The back axle is of the semifloating type, the final drive being by spiral bevel.
The chassis frame is of sturdy construction, 6-in. deep in the middle, upswept in the front, and passing under the back axle in the rear, as in the 4½-litre model. Semi-elliptic springs are used; those in front have a bronze trunnion bearing at their forward end and a silentbloc-mounted eye at the back, while the reverse arrangement is used for the back springs. Marles steering is used, and controls are grouped at the top of the steering wheel.
The brake drums are 14-in, in diameter, and the four brakes are operated simultaneously by pedal or hand lever. Two links connect the brake pedal shaft with the brake cross-shaft, thus avoiding operating shaft whip with consequent uneven application. The brake rods are all straight and run outside the chassis, so that they are easily got at and leave the back of the chassis free to allow the fitting of a well for the rear passengers' feet.
The gear ratios are 6, 8.15, 12, and 22.9 to one, and seem low until one realises that the engine is designed to run up to 5000 r.p.m.
This new Invicta model should prove a popular one, for the car is extraordinarily large and roomy for such a small engine capacity. In fact the chassis is virtually that of the 4½-litre model. The maximum speed of the car will be in the neighbourhood of 80 m.p.h., while the acceleration will be of the definitely sporting type.
With a tax of only £12, this new Invicta should have a wide appeal, combining as it does all the advantages of a roomy touring car with the high performance of an ultra sports model.
The price of the open 4-seater sports will be £465, and the manufacturers are : Invicta Cars, Ltd., The Fairmile, Cobham, Surrey.
September/October 1932

12-45 H.P. (1½-Litre) Model, £12 Tax, from £399.
9' 10'' x 4' 8'' Chassis (Available with Wilson pre-selector Gearbox), Saloon or Tourer.
September/October 1932

12-90 H.P. (1½-Litre) Supercharged Model, £12 Tax, from £498.
Otherwise same specification as the 12-45 H.P.
Motor Sport October 1932
Invicta 1932 12/90 hp
To appreciate fully the charm which lies behind the performance and comfort of the 12 h.p. supercharged Invicta, it is only necessary to visit the works at Cobham, Surrey, in which this delightful car is built.
Works—the word conveys a vision of forbidding factory gates, long buildings with roofs sharply pointed at one side, a gaunt, grimy smoke-stack, and an air of unchangeable routine. Now picture to yourself an unobtrusive white gate off the Fairmile, on the Portsmouth road, leading up a hedge-bordered drive to a quiet old country house. In front are flower-beds, gravel paths, and a grass tennis court. Behind the house are extensive out-buildings, on the lines of stables, and in the drive are parked one or two cars. On a side-door is a small chromium plated tablet, bearing the inscription "Invicta Cars."
Entering the first of these outbuildings you will immediately notice that the walls are lined with many specimens of the taxidermist's art, stuffed heads of deer, antelope, bison and every conceivable kind of horned animal. This building is the service department, but as the reliability of Invicta cars is notorious — they have won the Dewar Trophy on two occasions —it is not surprising to find the place almost deserted. In the next building, however, you will see for yourself the meticulous care with which these famous cars are built. A dozen chassis are neatly lined side by side, in varying stages of construction, and on each unit skilled mechanics are working with but one aim in view, not to get the job in hand done by a certain time, but to ensure perfection in every part of the car.
This thorough, unhurried craftsmanship, amid such beautiful surroundings, is bound to leave its mark, and it is only natural that the Invicta possesses individuality and refinement to a degree impossible in a vehicle manufactured on mass-production lines.
We recently spent a most enjoyable day putting a 12 h.p. supercharged touring model through its paces, both on the road and on Brooklands Track, but before going on to recount our experiences of the car in action we must first draw attention to the coachwork, for seldom have we seen a 12 h.p. car of such generous dimensions. The driving position is exactly right, the steering wheel being perfectly raked, the remote control gear lever right to hand, and the hand-brake, being horizontal, does not impede exit and entry to the driving seat. As a possible criticism, we suggest that a "cutaway" on the driver's side might be an advantage, especially when cornering quickly. Lifting the tonneau cover we found a really roomy rear compartment with plenty of leg-room, such as is usually only met with on much more powerful cars, a praiseworthy feature being that the rear passengers are carried well within the wheelbase— but of the exceptional comfort of the rear seats, more anon! The hood folds flat onto a luggage locker behind the seats, and on this is mounted the spare wheel.
Leaving the Invicta works, we made our way by a roundabout route of winding lanes to Brooklands Track, and our first impressions of the car amply fulfilled the promise of its reputation. The clutch is delightfully smooth, and the gear change light and positive. First to second involves a slight pause, but the other changes can be made very quickly.
The winding lanes gave us an opportunity of trying the steering and road-holding qualities of the car, and in both respects the Invicta behaved admirably. It was almost impossible to cause any suspicion of rolling, and the steering, being fairly high geared and possessing a certain amount of self-centring action, gave one a pleasant sense of security.
Arrived at the Track, we carried out our usual acceleration and braking tests, through both of which the Invicta passed with flying colours. The acceleration is definitely good, as a glance at the accompanying graph will show, and for a 12 h.p. car carrying such roomy coachwork, is remarkable. In this respect the Invicta is ideally suited to modern traffic conditions of crowded main roads, a quick change down to second (on which the maximum is 40 m.p.h.), carrying the car forward in a most exhilarating manner. But the progressive surge does not end there, for on third and top gears the acceleration is equally good, and we have seldom driven a car more willing to go straight up to its maximum and stay there. Incidentally, the maximum on 3rd gear is 60 m.p.h. When cruising at 50 m.p.h. in top gear, with the blower gauge registering only a couple of pounds or so pressure, depression of the accelerator pedal results in a pronounced "kick in the back," which does not relent one whit until the speedometer registers 80 m.p.h. In fact, so good is the acceleration in top gear from quite low speeds, and so quickly does it reach its maximum, that we had the impression that a slightly higher top gear-ratio could be used with advantage. Needless to say, there is a complete absence of any flat-spots in the carburettor from a mere crawl right up to the maximum.
We then made tests of the accuracy of the Smith speedometer, and found the readings of the instrument to be exactly correct. As far as maximum speed is concerned, we need only say that for a whole lap our speed never fell below a steady 80 m.p.h. (the highest reading on the instrument), including the up hill gradient from the Fork to the Member's Banking.
The brakes are well up to the high standard of the rest of the car. No servo system is employed, yet the operation is smooth, accurate, and progressive. 14 inch brake drums should ensure long life of the linings, and should make the car suitable for Alpine work. A strong tie-rod from the axle to the frame prevents any turning of the axle when violent application of the brakes is necessary. A good point is that the hand brake works on all four wheels.
We have already remarked on the comfort and roominess of the rear compartment of the Invicta, and at Brooklands we subjected this detail of the car to the most searching test imaginable. As everyone knows, the surface of the Track from the Member's Bridge to the Railway Straight is far rougher—both from the point of view of small, deep bumps, and of large mounds and depressions—than any fast main road, so that any car in which the rear passengers can retain a small degree of comfort while negotiating this stretch of banking at speed can claim to be thoroughly road-worthy. But in the back seat of the Invicta we found that at 80. m.p.h. there was a complete absence of sharp movement or jolts, and beyond a slight heaving motion when some of the larger valleys were traversed, the car was every bit as comfortable as at 30 m.p.h. on a by-pass road. This extraordinary comfort is due partly to the exceptional length of the rear springs, and also to the fact that one sits within the wheel base of the car.
Summing up, we found the 12/90 h.p. supercharged Invicta to be a car of many different characteristics. It combines the quietness and flexibility of a town car with the briskness of a first class sports car; the comfort of a large touring car with the economy of a small 12 h.p. car. Viewed separately under all these heads the 12/90 h.p. Invicta is exceedingly good value at £498.
Motor Sport November 1932
Sports cars for 1933.

The weight of the 12/100 chassis is minimised by extensively drilling.
Seldom has a Motor Show at Olympia revealed so many new sports cars, and quite one of the most interesting from the point of view of competition work was the new 12/100 h.p. Invicta.
The engine is a 6-cylinder of 57 mm. x 97.9 mm., 1,498 c.c., with two overhead camshafts operating inclined valves, which provide the ideal hemispherical combustion chamber. A Powerplus supercharger is mounted directly on the front end of the crankcase and fuel is supplied by a single S.U. carburettor, while there is a special starting carburettor fitted in the induction manifold. Petrol is drawn from a 15 gallon rear tank by means of an electric pump. A 2 gallon sump with a geared pump and filter should ensure adequate lubrication. Ignition is by Rotax coil, the same make of lighting and starting electrical equipment being used. A single dry plate clutch takes the drive to a Wilson-type pre-selective gear box, which is self lubricated by its own oil pump. The operating lever is mounted on the steering column, below the wheel. The transmission is completed by an open propellor shaft with oil tight universal joints, and a spiral bevel rear axle.
The chassis is a massively constructed dropped frame, extensively drilled, and is braced by 5 cross members and a cruciform cross bracing in the middle. The low build of the car is completed by underslinging the frame members at the rear. Marles steering is used, and Lockheed brakes operating on enormous 14 inch drums. The springs are semi-elliptic fore and aft, the latter being very long.
A new type of radiator, of very deep section and with a sloping front, yet retaining the well known Invicta characteristics, gives the car a most attractive appearance.
The whole car is a sturdily built piece of work, and its performance next year in competition will be watched with great attention.
The price of the chassis is £645, and of the complete car, with open 4-seater body £750.
Motor SportNovember 1932
A visit to the Olympia Motor Show.

Another twin overhead camshaft car was to be seen on the next stand, namely the new Invicta 12/100 h.p. 1½-litre sports chassis. This interesting newcomer to the ranks of competitive British sports cars looked very promising, and although the chassis is of very generous proportions the weight has been cut down as far as possible by drilling. The Powerplus supercharger is driven direct off the front end of the crankshaft. I heard a rumour that the car will make its debut in next year's 1,000 Miles Race—everyone will wish it the best of luck. Incidentally this self changing gear idea has taken root to an incredible degree this year, and the 12/100 h.p. Invicta is fitted with a Wilson gearbox.



  Event: Entered: Raced: Finished: Best results:
27.03.1932 Brooklands Senior Long Handicap       D. Froy 4,467 c.c. 3rd
27.03.1932 Brooklands Lightning Mountain Handicap       D. Froy 4,467 c.c. 3rd
01.08.1932 Brooklands Senior Mountain Handicap       R. Mays 4,467 c.c. 2nd
01.08.1932 Brooklands Lightning Mountain Handicap       R. Mays 4,467 c.c. 1st
10.09.1932 Brooklands Mountain Championship Race       Raymond Mays 4,467 c.c. 2nd
          Dudley Froy 4,467 c.c. 4th
  Event: Entered: Raced: Finished: Best results:
01.1932  Rallye Monte Carlo     1 1 Donald M. Healey 4½-Litre 2nd
03.1932 R.A.C. 1,000 Miles Rally       182 Donald M. Healey 4½-Litre 1100→ 5th
  29.07.1932 Coupe des Alpes 3 3 3   Donald Healey 4½-Litre Coupe des Glaciers
            C. M. Needham   Coupe des Glaciers
            A. C. Lace   Coupe des Glaciers

Coupe des Alpes