No. 1: Squire Roadster (1935)
You have to hand it to Adrian Squire, the creator of the Squire Car Manufacturing Company. He had enthusiasm in abundance.
By the age of just 21 he had already worked for Bentley and MG and had an ambition to create his own car. His ideal would be a car which could go from competing in the Grand Prix to taking the family out for the day. His chosen design was the Roadster.
The engine was to be the 100 BHP 1500 cc straight four cylinder motor developed by British Anzani. Vanden Plas, no less, were to supply the bodywork and finance was to be provided by some money hehad inherited, and contributions from several friends. There was to be a two seater and a four seater, with a choice of chassis that he had designed and built himself.
The result came in 1935 in the form of a beautiful motorcar that could go from nought to 60 in 12 seconds and reach 100 mph. Handling and braking were superb.
Unfortunately, although Squire was a brilliant designer he was not so good as a businessman. He had forgotten about the economies of scale. When his car first came out it cost a whopping £1220; and this was at a time when people could buy a Bugatti, which had far more street cred, for similar money. Cheaper bodywork brought the price down to just under £1000 but this was still too much for the overwhelming majority of people to pay. Money ran out in 1936 and Squire had to throw in the towel. Tragically, he was killed just four years later in an air raid. He had still only just reached the grand old age of 30.
It is not known exactly how many Squire Roadsters were built but estimates range from between seven and ten. Had he had the backing of a large volume manufacturer things may have turned out differently, but with a small amount of money at his disposal the project was doomed from the beginning, no matter how magnificent was the car that he created.