HIGHLY EFFICIENT, BUT COMFORTABLE 98 M.P.H. FROM SUPERCHARGED FOUR-SEATER SQUIRE AFTER 15,000 MILES OF SERVICE
There are few cars, which, in standard form as supplied to the public, will genuinely attain a speed of 100 m.p.h. The majority of those capable Of such a speed is composed of big, powerful cars, with engines of four or five litres capacity, or more. Yet one or two smaller cars have proved their ability to reach the
magic three figure mark. Necessarily they are of the super-sports type, are expensive, and in most cases supercharged, though not invariably so.
Many lovers of the high quality, individually finished car grieved when the Squire went out of production last year. It was a 11-litre supercharged machine, with four-cylinder twin overhead camshaft engine. Light alloys, for such parts as brake drums, etc., were extensively used throughout the chassis, and the Squire; built more or less regardless of cost, was sold with a guaranteed speed of 100 m.p.h. as it left the works. Yet though it must be classed as a super-sports machine, it was also finished with a view to comfort, and the stz ndard model was not designed specifically for racing.
The opportunity arose recently for MoToR SPORT to undertake a test of a Squire, through the courtesy of the present owner, Mr. D. I’. L. May, director of Alliance Garages, Ltd., 29, Burne Street, N.W.1. The test carried out was particularly interesting, first because the car had done some 15,000 miles before passing into the hands of Mr. May, and secondly because it carried .a full fourseater body, on the long chassis, a type of which the Squire Car Manufacturing Company did not turn out many examples. The list price was L:1 ,195.
The wheelbase of this car is 10 ft. 3 in. (the short wheelbase Squire measures only 8ft. B in.), and the weight about 25 cwt. Long sweeping wings, of exceptionally pleasing lines, but certainly not of sporting type, were fitted, and full equipment of lamps, twin horns, hood, etc. The hood folded away very neatly into its own locker round the tail. Thus
with only a 1 -litre engine, even a supercharged 11-litre engine, it was evident that any figure in the neighbourhood of 100 m.p.h. would be most creditable, taking into account the service that the car had done.
The Squire was taken to Brooklands Track, where a strong Nviad was blowing. just from that awkward quarter when it is agailSt on the Railway Straight, but not really behind a car till it gets on to the slope up to the Members Bankiag. Thus conditions were by no means favourable, and it was what is known as a” slow day ” at the track. N’t t the Squire in spite of everything, actually attained a speed of 102 m.p.h. on the speedometer, which by correction meant approx imately There is little doubt that on .1.1 more favourable day, and with attention to a few details, suet’ as the
exact setting of the mixture, Mr. May’s fully equipped car would attain the threefigure mark, by stop watch or any other computation. The speed mentioned was reached with the driver only in the car, and with the small, low screen folded flat. It was
therefore difficult to take a stop watch reading on this run, but previously the car had been timed over the flying quartermile, with two up and the screen erected, at 93.75 m.p.h. on several occasions. In spite of the high cross-wind, there was no difficulty in holding the Squire at this speed, although an improvement would have been effected if, for high speeds on the track, the rear shock absorbers had been tighter. The rear shock absorbers, of hydraulic pattern, were left alone, as also the hydraulic dampers in front. A slight adjustment of the friction shock absorbers at the front, with which the car was also equipped, was
all that was done. With the shock absorbers set as they were, the excellence of the springing on the ordinary road can be emphasised. Without any pitching UT rolling, shocks were ironed out and a third passenger who travelled down to the track from London, and back, in the rear seat, expressed himself as ‘quite comfortable.
The good road-holding was partly due, no doubt, to the weight distribution. The radiator is set well back, and in front of the engine is placed the Roots-type supercharger, of David Brown pattern. The supercharger was found to develop 10 lb. to the square inch at maximum revolutions. 100 m.p.h. would represent approximately 5,000 r.p.m. The Squire was fitted with a ” selfehanging ” gearbox, of E.N.V. manufacture, and this was found of great advantage in attempting some acceleration figures from a standstill. Some Care had to be exercised in getting off the mark really quickly, to avoid a slight judder
from the first gear band. Once the ” clutch ” was in, however, the drive was picked up smoothly and with certainty, with no tendency for slip. Pre-selected gear changes could be effected as quickly as one could desire. Three acceleration figures were taken, all from a standing start, and all showed up the car to advantage, especially con
sidering its weight. to 50 m.p.h. occupied 10.1 secs., to 60 m.p.h. 13 secs., and to 70 m.p.h. 18 Secs.
In spite of a lot of hard work at the track, the engine kept remark:thly cool, and, even after sustained speed. flu.? oil temperature never rose above 55 Cent., nor the water temperature above 700. For sheer efficiency these temperatures might indeed have been raised, but the cool running gave one a feeling of confidence in the ability of the car to keep on doing its job. On the road, the brakes proved powerful and steady, and the cornering excellent, if a trifle heavy at low speeds
due, no doubt, to the long wheelbase The high speeds (some 75 m.p.h. maximum) and fine acceleration on third gear were most useful. The driving position, though as low as one could wish, had also the merit that one “sat ” in the car, instead of lying in it, as with so many modern sports-cars. A full view of both wings was possible. Mr. May said that he usually obtained about 20 m.p.g. on normal fast runs. The
in of the Squire were al ways keen advocates of supercharging, and Mr. May is also of this opinion. He has every reason to be extremely pleased with his car.