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Donald Healey Monte Carlo Winner

Invicta S48 Donald Healey 1931 Monte Carlo winner.

In January 1931 Donald Healey drove an Invicta S Type 4.5 litre car, S48, in the Monte Carlo Rally with the rally number 128.  He started the rally in Stavanger in Norway, arriving there very late on 15 January after a crossing from Newcastle to Bergen in a blizzard, leading to considerable delays.  Stavanger was one of the most difficult starting points due to a combination of hazardous road conditions and extreme weather.

In the Monte Carlo Rally in 1931 there were a number of starting points for the rally with all competitors converging on Monte Carlo.  Many competitors started from remote locations since additional marks were gained for starting as far away as possible from Monte Carlo.

Driving conditions in Norway were appalling and shortly after starting the race the car slid off the road and demolished a telegraph pole, bending the chassis and putting both axles out of alignment.

Photographs of the car taken at the time show that the car had a very unusual exhaust system.  It seems probable that this was a repair done as a result of the crash.

Despite these problems, when the final results were declared on 22 January, Donald Healey had won the Rally and claimed the cup and the prize of £400.

A number of photographs of the car exist and those below are a representative sample:

This is the Winners trophy from the 1931 Monte Carlo Rally:

After the race the car featured in ‘Motor Sport’, in the March 1931 edition. The car was tested under normal road conditions and demonstrated both good performance and behaviour. The writer was very enthusiastic about the smoothness of the car and particularly at how steady it was at high speeds.

Donald Healey died in 1988. Many of the contents of his study were obtained by the Healey Museum in Florida. Bill Emerson, the curator of the museum and writer of ‘The Healey Book’, kindly sent details of one of these items, a model of the winning car made by Donald Healey. The wire wheels on this model were apparently made out of sewing pins obtained from his wife, and the scale of the model was adjusted to be appropriate to the size of wheels that this created. The colours used on this model were black, with blue wings, so on that basis we will be using these colours on our model.

A more recent photograph of the car, now in British racing green:


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