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1500 Markham Roadster
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  Squire 1500 Markham Roadster
 

  Article Image gallery (34) X102 Specifications User Comments (3)  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1935
Numbers built:7 + 3
Designed by:Markham
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 03, 2011
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThe Anzani R1 was a compact and lightweight four cylinder engine with twin overhead camshafts. These were driven by a chain fitted at the rear of the engine. Although originally designed with natural aspiration, the R1 was fitted with a David Brown design Roots-type supercharger. This enabled to produce a reliable 110 bhp, despite its modest displacement of 1496cc. It was mated to a Wilson pre-selector gearbox with four forward speeds. Squire believed that its additional weight was more than compensated by the lightning-quick gear changes and ease of use.

Almost four years in the making, the first Squire was completed early in 1935. It was clothed in an elegant four-seater roadster body by Vanden Plas. Adrian Squire had certainly achieved his goal as the small sports car proved to be hugely capable. Particularly the handling and braking set new standards. The car, however, did not come cheap; complete with the Vanden Plas body it cost a staggering 1195 Pounds, which was Alfa Romeo and Bugatti money. A less luxurious Markham body was also offered soon after, which shaved 200 Pounds off the price.

Squire nevertheless struggled to find purchasers for his car and was forced to sell his company after just seven were produced. At least one of these was a competition car, built with hopes of boosting the car's appeal. Squire's assets were acquired by one of its customers, Val Zethrin. Under his supervision, three additional examples were built. These cars were fitted with an updated version of the R1 engine that tackled the cooling and oil-feed issues, which troubled the original design. Production of the fabulous Squire ended late in 1937.

Soon after the demise of his company, Squire joined Bristol, where he was sadly killed in an air-raid in 1940. It is a big shame he was not able to display more of his undeniable talent. One could only wonder what Bristol's post-War cars would have looked like, had he lived to design them. His legacy is a lovely little sports car that with the engine tweaks certainly was one of the finest built before the War. Today, the nine surviving cars are owned by true connoisseurs and only come to market once every decade.

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  Article Image gallery (34) X102 Specifications User Comments (3)