Invicta 4.5 Litre High Chassis Open Tourer by Corsica

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  • With the last owner for over 50 years since 1969
  • Extensively restored, excellent preservation condition
  • Legendary 4.5 litre engine (matching numbers)
  • Comprehensive documentation with technical manuals, invoices, correspondence, "in-period" photos and articles

The Invicta, 4.5 Litre High Chassis Open Tourer

The "Invicta" brand was founded in 1925 by the automobile engineer Noel Macklin and the sugar manufacturer Oliver Lyle. In the small company in Cobham, Surrey (GB), sporty vehicles were produced with the aim of Rolls-Royce quality combined with the sportiness ob Bentley. On the drive side Engines and gearboxes from Henry Meadows were used. First a newly designed 2.5 litre in-line six cylinder with overhead camshaft. In 1926 the displacement was increased to 3.0 litres and the power rose to 95 hp. From 1928, a powerful 4.5 litre Meadows engine with 110 hp was available. This engine could compete with the big Bentleys successful in motor sports and was then used in the famous Invicta sports car "S-Type" with a newly designed short "low chassis". The extremely elastic and sovereign engine reached a speed of 100 miles/hour (160 km/h) in this car. Its durability at high speed over long distances ensured the brand's strong reputation, in addition to the apprechiated quality of the cars. 

This enabled Invicta to set a number of distance/speed records and in 1931 the driver Donald Healey won the prestigious Rally Monte Carlo with this engine in an "S-Type Low Chassis". There was also a "High Chassis" version, which was less sporty and more comfort-oriented. As early as 1929, the frame of the "High Chassis" models, which rested on elliptical springs, had been redesigned, first named as the "NLC-Type" and shortly afterwards as the "A-Type". These were touring cars – elegant, spacious and suitable for long distances, but with the motorsport genes of the 4.5 litre engine. The bodies for Invicta cars were predominantly manufactured by independent coach builders and mounted on the completed chassis, for example companies like Carbodies, Vanden Plas, Corsica Coachworks.


This Invicta 4.5 Litre High Chassis 'A Type' Open Tourer was manufactured and exported to Cyprus in late 1933, according to available documentation. Production probably took place at the Invicta Flood Street Service Station under Lord Fitzwilliam. The delivery colour was silver/black. On the drive side, a Meadows engine with a capacity of 4,467 cc and 110 hp and a corresponding Meadows gearbox were fitted. The car has an extremely rare coachwork by Corsica Coachworks, which was only made three times and of which only one other exists today alongside this vehicle. Corsica Coachworks was a small coachwork manufacturer in North London that built individual bodies to customer specifications for mostly sporty vehicles – including Daimler, Bentley, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo and Rolls Royce. For example, 14 Bugatti Type 57s were fitted with Corsica coachwork. A special detail of the bodywork of this Invicta is the chrome-plated trim strip that emerges from the straight side line of the bonnet and runs in an arc over the door to in front of the rear wing, separating the two colours of the (old) paintwork. 

The Invicta was at first owned by the private secretary of the then Governor of Cyprus from 1934 to 1939. After that, the car remained in Cyprus and had eight other owners over the years (all known by name). In 1969 the last owner, a British man living in Cyprus, bought the car and brought it back to the UK in 1971. He kept the car until 2021 – more than 50 years (!) – when he passed it on to the current owner. From 1998 to 2006, the owner carried out an extensive multi-year restoration. The body was dismantled from the frame, restored "frame off" and repainted in Oxford blue. The side windows and tonneau cover were refaced. The interior received new dark blue leather. A complete rebuild of the original engine was carried out with a reground crankshaft, new white metal bearings as well as new pistons. The installation of an overdrive ensures better driving in today's traffic. All the rest of the car's technology was also overhauled or renewed. The restoration is extensively documented with numerous correspondence, technical instructions and explanations, documents and invoices. 

Even today, the works impress with their excellent state of preservation of the predominantly original components with a light authentic patina. Moreover, there is an extensive invoicing for maintenance and service work carried out over the last 30 years. Further proof of the passion and loving devotion to this vehicle. The long-time owner made this car his "life's work". In addition to the restoration and ongoing maintenance, he compiled extensive research on the car and its history and thus became perhaps the most significant part of this special vehicle history himself. There is an "in-period" documentation including numerous original letters, historical photos, articles about the Invicta brand, technical specifications and other documents. This Invicta 4.5 Litre High Chassis is an exceptional vehicle. It has one of only two surviving bodies of the open touring car from Corsica Coachworks. The styling appears simple but of high quality and inspires with sporty-elegant features and special details. The car is very original and in great condition thanks to extensive restoration. It also stands out with its fully known history with only eleven owners in 90 years and an extensive documentation. By the way, this Invicta 4.5 Litre High Chassis is priced only about a fifth of its most famous model companion of the brand – the Invicta 4.5 Litre Low Chassis.

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Data & Facts

First Registration1933

EngineMeadows 6-cylinder in-line engine, water cooled, OHV

Transmissionmanual, 4-speed plus overdrive, side-shift

Weightapprox. 1,500 kg

Quantityonly three Open Tourer by Corsica, number of 4.5 Litre cars unknown, in total ca. 1,000 Invicta vehicles

Power4,467 ccm, ca. 110 hp at 3,200 rpm (factory data)

Brakesdrum brakes front and rear

Top Speedapprox. 130 kph

Price365.000,00€ (§25a, VAT not to be shown)

DocumentsUK registration papers, comprehensive documentation, technical manuals and specifications, invoices, correspondence, „in-period“ photos and articles/research

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