- Written by webmin
The Squire Motor Car Co. began operations in 1935 and went out of business 18 months later, having built just 10 cars. Yet the cars generated enthusiasm far beyond their production numbers, becoming legendary for their delicate beauty, first-rate build quality and purposeful character.
The unrestored Squire that Fiskens, the British historic vehicles dealer, plans to unveil at Retromobile in Paris today is chassis 1501, one of the two long-wheelbase cars built by the Henley-on-Thames firm. Like all Squires, it is powered by a supercharged British Anzani DOHC 1.5-liter four, rated at 105 hp.
According to Fiskens, 1501 has been hidden away from view for the past 30 years. It was originally bought by Val Zethrin, who would later buy the entire company from its young founder, Adrian Morgan Squire. The car was later bought by one Doreen Gibson, whom Fiskens says sold it to its third, and current, owner at some point after World War II.
After studying electrical engineering in London, Adrian Squire apprenticed with Bentley and, later, MG, before opening his own garage. He began realizing his longtime dream of building his own cars in early 1934, when he founded the Squire Car Manufacturing Co. with two associates. The Squire had an extremely sturdy channel section frame, stiffened with two separate X-braces. Suspension was by semi-elliptic springs, with Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers fitted as standard equipment.
Though the engine was marked with the Squire name, it was produced by Anzani to Squire’s specifications. Its design included hemispherical combustion chambers and twin camshafts, which were driven by helical gears. The cast-iron block held the crankshaft in three main bearings. A Roots supercharger provided a maximum boost of 10 PSI. There was no radiator fan, but there were two water pumps, each driven off the end of a camshaft. The gearbox was a preselector unit by ENV or Wilson.
Bodies were constructed by Vanden Plas, Markham of Reading and Ranalah, which built the four-seat body on the 123-inch chassis of the Fiskens car. Priced at 1,200 pounds, the Squire was hugely expensive for a 1-1/2-liter car; Adrian Squire eventually slashed the price to 795 pounds, but still could not generate enough sales to keep the company going. After building seven chassis, he sold the company to Zethrin, under whom Squire produced three more chassis.
Fiskens’ managing director, Gregor Fisken, said: “It’s an honor for Fiskens to offer such a rare and highly sought-after automobile. It’s been a bit of an ambition of mine as we’ve never sold one before. It’s so rare for a Squire to come on the market. and it’s probably the last opportunity for anyone to secure such an amazing unrestored example.” Retromobile runs through February 6.
(All images courtesy Tim Scott/Fluid Images)