19th Jun, 2024 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Lot 103

1927 Invicta 3/4½ Litre High Chassis LC Tourer
A well prepared and highly competitive VSCC eligible racer

Sold for £63,000

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: YT 8613
Chassis No: LC 162
MOT: Exempt

  • Regularly campaigned at a number of VSCC and MRL racing events where it was highly competitive
  • Won third place in the 2019 Goodwood Members' Meeting John Duff Trophy
  • Three Litre chassis that is fitted with a ‘race-prepared’ 4 1/2 Litre Meadows power unit
  • Fitted with an ENV 150 Pre-Selector Gearbox and upgraded differential and half shafts to handle the power
  • Supplied with a large history file with stacks of receipts for works and correspondence including a buff logbook showing ownership from 1955

Noel Campbell Macklin started the Invicta Car Company in 1925 and although it became one of Britain's classic sports cars his original aim was to build a car in which changing gears would become virtually unnecessary. Production continued until 1933 in Cobham, whereupon it moved to Chelsea until the outbreak of war, with its last four years being spent back in Surrey at Virginia Water.

The fledgling firm initially built six prototypes that coupled a two-litre, six-cylinder Coventry Simplex engine together with a four-speed gearbox in a Bayliss-Thomas chassis and these were found to perform very satisfactorily. The press launch showed that it could go from a standing start in top gear up the steep Guildford High Street but unfortunately, all six engines were ruined when they were left without antifreeze during a cold spell meaning it was back to the drawing board and Henry Meadows was approached for one of the six-cylinder, overhead valve power units that had established an enviable reputation for durability.

The first production model was fitted with a 2,692cc Meadows unit and was named the 2½ Litre in SC (Short Chassis) and LC (Long Chassis) forms to suit the customers' choice of body style - however soon Macklin was in search of more power. With Invicta in mind, Meadows devised a new 2,973cc unit for the new Invicta 3-Litre which was introduced for 1926. Flexibility was of prime importance to Macklin and the 3-Litre could be accelerated from virtually walking pace to its 70mph-plus maximum in top gear.

It was during 1926 that Macklin's sister-in-law, the 25-year-old Violet Cordery, undertook a number of long-distance journeys which included taking a team to Monza where they captured World records for 10,000 and 15,000 miles and then in another outing covered 5,000 miles at Brooklands at an average speed of more than 70mph. They won the Dewar Trophy for Invicta, which was presented by the Royal Automobile Club, and in 1929 she won it for the second time with a Brooklands' run of 30,000 miles in 30,000 minutes. Quite a lady that did wonders for cementing the marque's sporting status.

In late 1928, the Meadows block and head were redesigned with the bores equally spaced and therefore no longer in line with the crank pins. This permitted a bore of 88.5mm giving 4467cc and this unit was fitted to the new-for-1929 Invicta 4½ Litre 'NLC' and 'A-Type' models and went on to be fitted to the famous 'S-Type' Low Chassis models which are considered to be one of the most desirable pre-war British cars of all time. The 4½ Litre engine unit had a power rating of up to 180bhp as standard, giving a rough top speed of 95mph, however many of these units have been highly developed for racing and can deliver in excess of 200bhp when used in anger.

First registered on the 2nd September 1927, 'YT 8613' was originally built as a 3-Litre, Long Chassis Invicta. The early Invicta records are believed to have been destroyed during the Blitz, so therefore little is known of the original body style of the car. The first record we have on file for the ownership of the Invicta is from 1955 with a continuation buff log book, when the car was owned by a Mr Raymond J. Menday of Dartford, Kent, and the engine number stated at that time was '6566'. At some point in the car's history, 'YT 8613' was fitted with the Meadows 4½ Litre unit numbered '8526' plus an ENV-150 Pre-Selector gearbox and an angled bulkhead which were believed to have only been fitted to 4½ Litres and S-Types rather than the flat example used in the 3 Litre. Interestingly, a very small number of late 3-Litre cars were reputedly modified to 4½ Litre specification by Dolphens & Lenarts for the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad based out of Scotland Yard, so this car could well be one of those examples.

The vendor, who is a repeat Invicta owner, bought LC 162 in 1995 from a Mr Rides of Weston Super Mare who had owned the car since 1988. Upon acquisition, the plan was to upgrade most of the componentry in order to race the car at VSCC events. On file there are masses of receipts on file for various works, including for preparation to race specification at over £35,000. The vendor has subsequently used the car for a huge number of race meetings in the VSCC and Motor Racing Legends events over the years, where the car was proved very competitive with a number of podium positions and overall wins throughout the years. The car was also invited to the Goodwood member's meeting in April 2019 - proving its eligibility for those types of events. The vendor has now decided to sell the car as the chance acquisition of a Low Chassis 'S-Type' recently presented itself - and this car is now seeing more use on the track. It is therefore now a fantastic opportunity for any aspiring racer to acquire a very interesting and genuinely fast vehicle for use either on the road or the track.

Upon inspection, 'YT 8613' presents as a well-used, but delightfully patinated racing car. The vendor advises that he has "corrected major issues with the bodywork as they have cropped up, but not to expect a concours queen - this is a working track car". The car is bodied as a Four-Seater tourer with a pleasantly aged Cream Leather interior and it is believed that the front and rear wings are original to the car. A long-range petrol tank has been mounted to the rear of the body with an electric SU pump providing supply to the carburettors. Mechanically, the seller has stated that the ongoing maintenance has been "top-notch" so everything works as intended and that driving the car is "hilarious" thanks to over 200bhp on tap from the thunderous Meadows power unit. The pre-selector gearbox also provides a instant gear change and is pleasurable to work without the frustration of grinding gears - although with the incredible amount of torque supplied, constant changing may not be entirely necessary and is therefore pleasurable to use on the road (for which the car is fully registered!).

Eligible for a number of racing events including the Le Mans Classic and a rare example of the exclusive Invicta marque, 'YT 8613' is a wonderful opportunity for any prospective owner who wants to get the most from their car.

For more information, please contact:
Lucas Gomersall
07484 082430


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 19th Jun, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Venue Details 

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