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Homepage. This page: A 1.5 Litre Squire in South Africa, and another seen in New York, 1951.

The Squire sports-car of 1935/1936.

I've yet to find an original un-published photograph of the rare Squire sports-car in the 1930s, to include in this section of the site. This black and white shot of a 1500cc Squire was photographed in South Africa nearly forty years ago, so some years after it was built.
Registered CY-1489, the car was photographed during the 15th International Veteran & Vintage Car Tour in 1975, the location of this photo being Port Elizabeth. The large finned brake drums can clearly be seen, hinting at the excellent performance on offer from the Anzani-powered Squire. In all, ten examples were built in 1935 and 1936 at the Henley-on-Thames workshops, and all but one are known to survive, so I'm sure this rare machine is nestled away in a collection somewhere. Note the quick-release radiator cap, and the collection of motoring badges fitted to this example.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
1496cc Squire sports-car
The car was the brainchild of Adrian Squire, a young and keen motoring enthusiast. He formed Squire Motors Ltd (later renamed as the Squire Car Manufacturing Company) at the age of just 21, having learnt the ropes of automobile engineering at Bentley Motors, and MG at Abingdon. His aim was to produce a 1.5 litre sports-car of the top drawer, to take on the likes of Alfa Romeo and Bugatti at their own game. The twin-cam Anzani R1 engine was chosen to propel this new sportscar, its 100bhp engine of 1,496cc proving to be perfect for the job (especially once a Roots supercharger had been fitted, upping power to 110bhp). A Wilson-type pre-selector gearbox was utilised, as were hydraulic brakes. Coachwork was either by Vanden Plas, Ranalagh or Markham of Reading.
Cashflow issues, coupled with poor sales (a result of the car's high asking price), soon led to problems for the company. Initially cars were priced at 1,195 GBP for the two-seater version (two chassis lengths were offered), although in 1936 this was reduced to 795 GBP. Over two seasons just seven cars were built, with three more built up by Val Zethrin, who purchased the defunct business, from surplus parts towards the end of the 1930s. Squire himself went to work for Lagonda, but was killed in 1940 during an air raid while working for the Bristol Aeroplane Company.

Is this Squire chassis no. X102?

But which of the ten Squires is shown here? Chassis X102 for instance was originally fitted with a Vanden Plas body, then a Markham creation. This car went to South Africa and was used in competition throughout the 1940s. Apparently in the 1980s it returned to Europe. As the photograph dates to the 1970s, and was taken in South Africa, there's every chance that the car on this page is chassis #X102, after all there can't have been many in that area. X102 now wears UK registration UD 6784.

Same car?

Emails regarding this page continue to trickle in. Dave Wallace got in touch, after reading about the car shown above and its possible links with South Africa. He lives there, and recalls a friend of his owning just such a car, one which eventually returned to the UK. Presumably this is chassis X102, and possibly the car shown in the first photograph above. Of the Squire he once knew, he adds the following:
"My name is Dave Wallace, I am 65 years young and I live in Cape Town, South Africa. When I was a lad growing up, Jack Huyshamer was a good friend of my folks, and he (I am 99% sure) owned the Squire pictured in your article about the cars. I recently came across the article whilst searching the web, so I am not sure when the article was published. I have attached a photo of Jack in the Squire, although unfortunately it is not a very good shot."
Side view of a Squire car in South Africa
"As a very young kid I spent hours behind the steering wheel of the car, parked in the garage, with me in a fantasy world. Jack became a mentor to me, and taught me the finer points of engineering, and the love of cars, and all things mechanical. Later, in the early 1960's, I, in my early teens, helped Jack strip down the Squire and rebuild it from the chassis up. Because of my youth I was more his labourer than anything else, and was tasked mainly in washing the various parts in an old tin of petrol. Nevertheless, the experience was magical and I have never forgotten those days. I remember vividly one day him bring home a huge sheet of copper, which he then proceeded to bend and shape into a new petrol tank for the car."
"It was a labour of love that took four years to complete, but when done, she was absolutely magnificent. Unfortunately Jack passed away from a heart-attack in his early fifties, in 1983, and the car was sold and shipped to the UK. I have frequently thought about the car and would love to see it again, simply for nostalgic reasons. You mention in the article that the reg. no. it now carries is UD 6784. Do you by any chance have contact details of the present owner, which would enable me to contact him? My wife and I often come to the UK and would love to arrange a visit to see the car again. I would be most grateful for any assistance."
If anyone can confirm that a) the car in the b/w photograph is indeed X102, and b) that the car Dave remembers is also X102, that would be much appreciated.

A little more information (received March 2017).

Wayne in South Africa got in touch with the following extra nuggets of information regarding Squire X102 ...
"I am writing in connection with the Squire page on "Old Classic Car" - The South African car was indeed the car registered UD 6784. If UD 6784 is indeed chassis X102 then this is X102 - My notes only show that it was the third chassis built, is a short chassis and was originally fitted with a Vanden Plas body which was removed quite soon after being built and replaced with the Markham body as per your photo. The car was originally owned I believe by Sherman Stonor and was raced by Luis Fontes. The car went to South Africa shortly before WWII and stayed there till around 1987, then back to the UK and then to Austria in 1995."

2. Another example, car X101, in Watkins Glen, New York 1951.

Bill found this page while searching the 'net for information on Squires, and was kind enough to send over the following colour shots of another car, seen parked in the USA:
"These were taken in Watkins Glen, New York, in 1951 by my father. The car was then owned by a Mr. Davison, and the car now resides in the Simeone collection, painted a pale blue [the original colour]."
The first of Bill's photographs is a head-on view of this English-registered car, DMP 219, presumably not long after it had been shipped there. The registration points to it first being put on the road in the early months of 1936, in London, before being exported in later years. It turns out that DMP 219 is the first car built, prototype X101, and was shipped to the States at the request of illustrator and new-owner of the car, Charley Davison, following an advertisement spotted in the British magazine The Motor. An article about his purchase of the Squire can be found in this PDF scan of a magazine article from 1967: PDF document (external link).
Front view of DMP 219
Next, a side view of the same vehicle also in 1951 - definitely a rakish machine, especially compared to the sizeable home-grown automobiles that are parked close by.
Side view of the same car
Finally, a front three-quarter shot of the car. Thanks to Bill for sending these photos over.
Offside front view
A video of the same car as it is now, being driven into its current museum home, enables us to hear it run:
Return to Page 16 in the photograph gallery.

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