Super-rare British classic brought back to life with more than 4,100 hours of work is nominated for award
This restoration of an ultra-rare British classic is so perfect that it’s been nominated for an award. Restorers Classic Motors Cars (CMC) of Bridgnorth were tasked with bringing this 1936 Squire – one of just seven built – back to its factory glory. And they did such a stunning job that the project has now been shortlisted for Restoration of the Year at the International Motoring Awards 2015.
When the Squire was displayed at the 2011 Retromobile event in Paris it was in a sorry state, with a family of rodents living in its upholstery and no paint remaining.
When CMC chairman Peter Neumark saw it – and its potential – he struck a deal to bring the car back to Shropshire to begin a complete rejuvenation. CMC’s managing director, Nick Goldthorp, said: “No detail has been too small to ensure originality.” He said that more than 4,100 man hours went into the job.
Nick added: “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.” CMC is no stranger to receiving accolades for its restorations.
In 2011, the company won the Restoration of the Year award at the International Historic Motoring Awards for the epic restoration of the Lindner-Nocker Lightweight E-Type. The car had crashed in at the Montlhery circuit in 1964 and was so badly damaged that a complete restoration was thought to be impossible. But, after more than 7,000 hours of work and using more than 90 per cent of the original parts, CMC managed to bring it back to its former glory.
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 now all been carefully reversed to bring the car back to the state in which it left Squire’s Remenham Hill Works nearly 80 years ago. 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 version, faced in aluminium and finished in the body colour as per the original specification.
When it came to restoring the body, all of 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. More than 2,100 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.
Nick said: “The future of this Squire is now assured and is a credit to the team of skilled specialists at CMC that undertook this superb restoration.” Following the work, the car appeared at the Phyllis Court Club in Henley, which hosted four original Squire cars that were built at 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.
More details at squirebook.co.uk