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Forgotten Squire prototype surfaces after 20 years

Supercharged Squire Eight prototype from the early 1990s sees light of day.

Supercharged Squire Eight prototype from the early 1990s sees light of day.

 

A FORGOTTEN prototype of the supercharged Squire Eight is to see the light of day once more.

The car,  an aluminium-bodied roadster complete with its iconic Squire sloping vee chromed radiator surround, dates from the early 90s.

Advancing years and a change in priorities  has led the car’s current owner to decide to offer the vehicle for sale, together with such manufacturing tooling and design data that remains, plus the legal and commercial title to the original Squire Motors Ltd. company name.

This gives this car a very strong provenance that links it back to the original 10 Adrian Squire manufactured machines made at Henley-on-Thames, and the three Remenham-built examples assembled from components in the late 1940s after Adrian Squire’s death and the closure of the business.

Constructed using traditional English ash-framed coachbuilding techniques, but underpinned by an innovative semi-monococque peripheral frame chassis with all-round independent suspension, this ‘new’ Squire prototype was intended to use the ex-Buick Rover V8 engine.

Though shown at a number of exhibitions and classic car events, the prototype was never actually developed further into a roadgoing car.  The company instead making the braver decision to invest its resources into component sourcing, tooling and manufacturing planning, so as to support a 10 to 15 unit a year production target.

In hindsight, the supercharged Squire Eight might be said to have been born out of time.  The car’s price tag put it somewhat above the comparable Morgan model – the Plus 8 – while starting to encroach upon the then still-reasonable restoration costs of an existing older classic, which came with  a correspondingly more assured resale value.

At the other extreme, the 90s saw a tremendous surge in the production of neo-classics and replicas, most of whose sales appeal centred around naked power with an almost deliberate disregard for long-distance creature comfort. The Squire Eight’s restrained elegance of line and all-round attention to detail was perhaps just too understated for its era’s zeitgeist.

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