West Midlands sale house Brightwells has snared a technically innovative rarity for its upcoming 13 July sale at its Leominster HQ: a 1948 Invicta Black Prince Drophead Coupe.
The Black Prince was Invicta's first post-war offering and was billed as 'the world's most advanced car' thanks to a raft of daring engineering technologies including a dual-overhead cam straight six, twin ignition system and fully automatic transmission (a first for a car maker in the UK) - all heady stuff for post-war Britain.
The auto box was particularly impressive - even in title: called the Brockhouse Hydro-Kinetic Turbo-Transmitter, it offered an infinite variety of ratios controlled by one simple dashboard switch to select between forward and reverse.
The model also boasted cleverly suspended floor and seating for a refined ride, an hydraulic jacking system and the use of aluminium in place of traditional coach builder's wood to reduce weight.
Sadly just 16 (of which a mere 6 were to Drophead style) Black Princes were made before the marque went bankrupt in 1950 - a move brought on no doubt by the lack of demand following the Black Prince's colossal £3579 price tag.
The example on offer at Brightwells is described as partially restored and in need of finishing. It's expected to sell for £12 - 16,000.
See: www.brightwells.com for more on the Invicta and other cars consigned for the sale.
Photos of the Invicta follow:
Just 6 Drophead Coupe variants of the Black Prince are believed to have been built.
Engine bristled with innovation: dual overhead cams and twin-plugs!
Interior is partially stripped.