1931 Invicta 4½-Litre S-Type Low Chassis Tourer

Simplon chassis number S90
Engine No. 7348
Bonhams Goodwood SpeedWeek
Thursday, 1 January 1970
Not sold at a high bid of
Lot Number
Older restoration
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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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.