“No detail has been too small to ensure originality. The work was completed on 26th May 2015, after more than 4100 man-hours. A finishing touch was the reissue of the Squire’s original registration number of CLO 5, forfeited on its export to the States in the 50s.”
Leading classic car restorers Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth (CMC) have restored a 1936 Squire, one of only seven built, which has now been shortlisted for Restoration of the Year at the prestigious International Historic Motoring Awards 2015.
This charismatic, costly and extremely rare British sports car was displayed at the 2011 Retromobile event in Paris in a very sorry state, its upholstery had been providing home to a family of rodents and it had been completely stripped of paint. Peter Neumark, chairman of Classic Motor Cars (CMC), saw its potential and a deal was made for the Squire to undergo a complete rejuvenation at the company’s workshops in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, in the UK.
When the Squire arrived at CMC’s premises early in 2013 for a full nut and bolt restoration, it was practically complete but there were no spare parts. It had also undergone a few modifications over the years, which have all been carefully reversed to the state in which it left Squire’s Remenham Hill Works in 1936.
The original radiator shell was badly twisted so CMC fabricated a new one from brass. Even the missing quick-release caps on the radiator and petrol tank have been scrupulously reproduced using originals from another Squire for reference.
Although all of the instruments were present, a wooden dashboard had replaced the metal original. These were reconditioned and accommodated in a new plywood one, faced in aluminium and finished in the body colour as per the original specification.
When it came to restoring the body, all the original aluminium panels were carefully detached from the ash frame and re-beaten at CMC, saving as much of the original metal as possible. Over 2100 hours were spent by CMC’s head panel beater Luke Martin, who attended to all of the body work.
The car retained its original maroon colour thanks to examples of paint found inside the boot lid and on the engine bay plates, which allowed CMC’s John Langston to reproduce the original colour. The internal woodwork has also been painted in maroon.
The re-trimming was entrusted to CMC’s Tom Hampton, who coincidentally was responsible for reviving the interior of X103 (the second Squire to be completed).
The car appeared on Tuesday 17th November at the Phyllis Court Club in Henley, which hosted four original Squire cars that were built nearby (Remenham Hill) from 1934 to 1936. Piers Flashman, President of the Phyllis Court Classic Motoring Group, said: “This was a marvellous opportunity, Phyllis Court Members Club has a long history in Henley and so have these famous cars. We know that only seven were built and we planned this event when we realised we could invite the owners of four of these cars to come together, to coincide with the publication of a history of the marque.”
All Squires that were present at Phyllis Court are privately owned and came together for the first time since they were manufactured in a small garage nearby. Members of the family of Adrian Squire, the founder, attended the event together with several relatives of the original management team responsible for making and selling the cars from a small showroom in Henley. The Squires are heavily featured in Jonathan Wood’s book Squire, the Man, the Cars, the Heritage, which candidly recounts the story of the formidable Adrian Squire and the seven cars built (www.squirebook.co.uk).