THE EARLY INVACAR’S 1947-1952
When the first machines of Bert Greeves and Derry Preston-Cobb’s Invacar Ltd took to the roads in March 1947, they were hailed as the industry’s greatest leap forward technologically since the first powered vehicles of the 1920s, due to each vehicle being tailored to suit the individual, something the industry had not really done to any great extent before.
Powered initially by 122cc Villiers Mk 9D engines, with the 197cc Mk 6E offered from 1948, mounted on the right-hand side of the chassis directly ahead of the rear wheel, the Invacar immediatly wrested the industry’s “Number One” spot from Argson, staying there for the next 30 years.
Over the years, many detail improvments and refinements were made to the basic vehicle, including rudimentary weather protection, its high regard within the industry being further bolstered by Invacar Ltd gaining substantial Ministry of Health supply contracts in 1949.
THE INVACAR Mk 8 & 8A 1952-1956
In February 1952 Invacar Ltd replaced their original 1940s range of vehicles with a single weather-protected model in the form of the Invacar Mk 8. Built upon the same chassis, all examples were powered by the 197cc Villiers Mk 8E engine, and had a fixed hood and windscreen with leathercloth ‘panels’ streched over a welded tubular frame bolted to the chassis to form the complete body shape and roof.
In February 1955 the Invacar Mk 8 gave way to the Mk 8A, which was fitted with rubber-in-torsion rear suspension and had a larger and wider one-piece hood which now covered the rear petrol tank completely, and also incorporated a much larger rear window. Production of the Invacar Mk 8A continued until late 1956.
THE INVACAR Mk 10 1957-1958
Replacing the old canvas-bodied Invacar Mk 8A, the April 1957 Invacar Mk 10 was a direct result of the Ministry of Health’s 1957 mechanical Standard Specification notice, Invacar Ltd abandoning the side-mounted engine at this time in favour of a rear-mounted Villiers Mk 9E power unit.
On its introduction, the Invacar Mk 10 amazed the industry by having a pressed steel bodyshell. Even more remarkable, despite the heavyweight body, the Mk 10 weighed onlu 550lbs unladen, meaning that it still conformed to the official 560lbs/5cwt overall weight limit for an invalid carriage, the Invacar being the only 1957-announced, and indeed, the last new invalid three-wheeler to do so.
In April 1958, the Ministry instructed the Invacar concern to increase the size of the Mk 10’s front wheel from ten to twelve inces. This, and other alterations to its apperance, resulted in the Invacar Mk 10A. Production ended in April 1959 with none of the 1,003 examples produced known to exist at the time of writing
THE INVACAR Mk 12 1960-1971