Heroshot

1931 Invicta 4½-Litre S-Type Low Chassis Tourer

Simplon chassis number S90
Engine No. 7348
Bonhams Goodwood SpeedWeek
Thursday, 1 January 1970
$1,136,930
Not sold at a high bid of
1,300,000
Reserve
278
Lot Number
#2
Older restoration
Bonhams
Auction House
Chassis No. S90, Engine No. 7348. Black over dark red. 4467-cc, 100-hp six, 4-speed manual. Fold-down windshield plus twin aero screens, black-painted wire wheels, dual sidemount spares, twin driving lights, quick-release Le Mans-style fuel filler, suicide door (passenger side only), carpeted rear shelf, black cloth top boot, 4-spoke banjo steering wheel with wrapped rim.

Evaluation: Invicta chassis number S90 is claimed to have a colorful history. Like other Invicta S-Types, it has a nickname, “Simplon,” which is derived from the Alpine Simplon Pass in Switzerland. Lapped the Brooklands circuit at over 100 mph and was then sold to Hollywood star Tyrone Power. At least three engine changes and many upgraded parts fitted from its original factory specification. It has a wonderfully low-slung aspect to the chassis, which passes under the rear axle—not a first, but new and daring for Europe. Possessing excellent black paint finish with only slight ripples around the hood rivets. The chrome plating is recent and impressive, to the best possible standard. Only the radiator surround is slightly aged. The wheels are dusty, but the tires are good. The interior is superb, with only the slightest of creases in the leather. The chassis-plate rivets are concerning, as they do not look original. Shows very well, especially considering it has participated in some 70 events in the past two decades.

Bottom Line: This is the third Invicta S-Type Low Chassis tourer offered since the beginning of the year, an unprecedented opportunity for collectors to experience a model that typically changes hands only after decades of long-term ownership (this one hasn’t sold since 2001). Bonhams sold the deliciously patinated and unrestored S75 at the Grand Palais in February for $1,767,619 (£1,366,500) and S102 from the Dean Edmonds Jr. Collection at Amelia Island in March for $852,000 (£658,500). Considering the many reworks and the replaced engines in this S-Type, the seller could have taken the top bid of £880,000 without regret.

by Rick Carey
18 November 2020
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