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Invicta history
Invicta 4.5 litre


Invicta 4.5 litre S type low chassis


The very low-slung, fast, 4 Litre S-Type made the Invicta name legendary, even as financial difficulties were forcing the company out of business. Not only did the rare (only 75 were made) S-Type look fantastic, but it was quickly proven to be a racing thoroughbred, with a 1931 win at Monte Carlo by driver Donald Healy (later of Austin-Healy fame).

The car also won numerous hill-climbing events, thanks to tremendous torque supplied by the large, straight-six Meadows engine that could accelerate from about 10 miles per hour up to over 100 mph in fourth gear and could run all day at 60 miles per hour at a mere 2000 rpm. The exceedingly low centre of gravity aided cornering (it was the lowest-riding passenger car ever), and Invicta S-Types continued to set speed and endurance records for years after their production ceased. It was probably the first production car that could cruise at 100 mph up and down hills.

I purchased the ex Ainsworth racing S type. This had the most terrible box masquerading as a body. After a two year rebuild I had restored the car to its original condition. The car was wonderful to drive, and sitting behind the long riveted bonnet always made one feel good. Frankly, I feel the S type is the only model of the marque worth including.

Wheelbase 2997 mm 118 in  
Track front 1321 mm 52 in  
rear 1321 mm 52 in  
Length 4496 mm 177 in  
Width 1727 mm 68 in  
Kerb weight 1473 kg 3247 lb  
Fuel capacity 90.9
UK Gal
US Gal
Manufacturer Meadows
Type S-6
12 valves total
2 valves per cylinder
Main bearings 4
Bore stroke 88.50mm 120.00mm
3.48 in 4.72 in
Bore/Stroke ratio 0.74
Displacement 4467 cc
(272.593 cu in)
Unitary capacity 744.5 cc/cylinder
Compression ratio 7.00:1
Fuel system 2 SU HV5 carbs
Aspiration Normal
Max. output 111.5 PS (110.0 bhp) (82 kW)
@3200 rpm
Coolant Water
Specific output 24.6 bhp/litre
0.4 bhp/cu in
Power-to-weight 74.68 bhp/ton
Engine location Front
Engine alignment Longitudinal
Suspension Front LA.SE.
Rear LA.SE.
Tyres F India 19 x 6.00
Tyres R India 19 x 6.00
Brakes F/R Dr/Dr
Transmission 4M
Drive RWD
Top gear ratio 1.00
Final drive ratio 3.60
Number made 77