Straker-Squire Car History
London UK From 1893 to 1926
Straker-Squire (also known as Brazil Straker) was a British automobile manufacturer based in Bristol, and later Edmonton in North London.
The company was formed in 1893 at St Philips, Bristol, as Brazil, Straker & Co by the Irish Engineer J.P. Brazil and the London motor agent Sidney Straker.In 1899 Sidney Straker joined forces with Edward Bayley and went into production of steam wagons, joining in partnership with L.R.L. Squire in 1904 and production reached 200 steam wagons by 1906.
In 1907 the company moved into a new factory on Lodge Causeway, Fishponds, at first to manufacture commercial vehicles, including large numbers of early London Buses, and a French car design under licence. The company also produced and successfully raced a number of its own car designs.
When World War I started Sir Roy Fedden, their chief designer, convinced the company to take on aircraft engine repair and manufacture, and that arm of the company was taken over by Cosmos Engineering in 1918. The company built staff cars and lorries during the war, and afterwards all production moved to Edmonton in North London in 1919. Car production continued until 1926 and Sidney Straker was killed in a hunting accident not long afterwards
The first pre-war models consisted of the Straker-Squire 16/20 and 12/14 Shamrock. Next, Fedden designed the 15 hp (11 kW) model in three versions, which were more conventional than later designs influenced by the company's experience in aeroengines. These 4-seater 15-20 hp models were developed over 6 years and in advertising were described as the best medium powered cars on the world market. A specially prepared 15 hp (11 kW) driven by Witchell took several records at Brooklands including the Flying Mile in 1910 at 95.54 mph (153.76 km/h) (21 hp class), and the same year saw class wins at the Aston Clinton, Caerphilly, Pateley Bridge and Saltburn Hill Climbs. 1914 saw similar success including 4th in the TT.
Production of the 15 hp (11 kW) was revived after World War I, which was joined by the large 6cyl 20/25, 24/80 and 24/90 models. The 24/90 was light, quick and noisy, it was guaranteed to meet 70 mph (110 km/h) and was priced at the 1919 Olympia Motor Show initially at £1,600. Straker's nephew H "Bertie" Kensington Moir of Aston Martin fame tested the prototype at Brooklands and set a class record lap at 103.76 mph. The final cars built by Straker-Squire were the lighter 4cyl 10/20 and 12/20 models.
The full list of Straker-Squire models are:
- CSB. 1906. 25 hp 4900 cc T-head engine. Imported French Cornilleau-Ste Beuve model. Competed in 1907 the Heavy-Car Tourist Trophy.
- 16/20. 1907, 4cyl 2919 cc engine.
- 12/14 Shamrock. 1907, 20 hp 4cyl 2069 cc water-cooled engine, 10 ft (3.04800 m) in length.
- 14/16. 1909, 4cyl 2022 cc 15 hp (11 kW) engine, 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m) in length. Completed in the RAC 2,000 Miles Trial and was placed 3rd in class.
- 15 hp Mark 1. 1910 model, 4cyl 2851 cc side-valve engine, 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m) in length.
- 15 hp Mark 2. 1911-13 model. As above but heavier and 13 ft 1.5 in (4.000 m) in length.
- 15 hp Mark 3. 1914-22 model. Improved 4cyl 3054 cc side-valve engine and 13 ft 7 in (4.14 m) in length.
- 20/25. 1920-25, 6cyl 3920 cc engine with overhead cam, 70 bhp (52 kW; 71 PS) at 2400 rpm, 14 ft 2 in (4.32 m) in length. 75 mph (121 km/h) in normal spec.
- 24/80. 1920-25. As 20/25 but with longer wheelbase.
- 24/90. 1921. 6cyl 4962 cc overhead valve engine. 67 built.
- 10/20. 1923-25. 4cyl 1460 cc overhead valve engine, a lighter car of various bodywork length between 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m) and 13 ft 4 in (4.06 m) 92+ built.
- 11/28. 1926. 4cyl 1460 cc overhead valve engine, 30 bhp (22 kW), 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m) in length.
- 12/20. 1926. As above but with wider track.