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Ford Anglia

Published: 22nd Jun 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Buyer Beware

  • Is originality vital? Anglias were a hot-rodder’s dream and many were tuned and customised, while others just used what parts they could to keep them mobile. Totally original 105Es are becoming ever rarer, although on the other hand there are some excellent personalised cars out there, usefully improved.
  • Rust is the biggest worry of course, as is bodging. Front suspension tops rot and punch through the bulkhead and be sure to check all structural areas such as the rear spring hangers, floors, inner wings, bulkheads, the jacking points and so on.
  • Cosmetically, look for rust on the front wings, door bottoms, valance panels and inner and outer sills. Panels are still around but not particularly plentiful although owners club can find what you need.
  • The ever faithful Kent engine is easy to fix and fettle. Smoking and fuming is more prone on 1200s as is crankshaft rumble. Generally, top end clatter is more of a more a minor niggle than a concern.
  • The enlarged 1340cc engine as fitted to Classic and Capri is pokier but not desirable due to a weaker crankshaft, although that’s only if it’s used hard or tuned.
  • Transmissions are sturdy but look for jumping out of gear, undue noise and gear lever buzz. Check while underneath for leaky seals and the like. Perhaps the slicker Cortina gearbox may have been substituted.
  • Shot suspension and steering systems are common – some adjustment on the latter is possible, but wheel wobble is a common fault. Rear suspension uses lever arm dampers, which are dearer to repair and replace than more modern telescopic units.
  • Electrics are simple but look for bodged wiring. Caring owners fit in line fuses.

Fast Facts

  • Driving: 3/5

    Good fun and easily upgraded. Fair cruiser in 1200 form, frugal

  • Usability: 4/5

    As an urban run around the old Anglias makes a lot of sense

  • Maintaining: 4/5

    Typical Ford. DIY a diddle although body parts becoming scarce

  • Owning: 3/5

    Okay although club support seems now more ‘max-power’ biased

  • Value: 3/5

    Good value compared to some rivals; modded cars can be dear

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From a cheap run-around to hairy hot rod, everybody can have an angle on the Anglia

Two iconic cars, launched at almost the same time 50 years ago, are now at each other’s throats in the sales stakes. In one corner is the super advanced BMC Mini, while at the other is the utterly conventional Ford Anglia – both at much the same price. A fierce rivalry ensued between the two managing firms. Engineers at Ford stripped a Mini down and costed it down to the last pop rivet and concluded that Mini’s parent company BMC was losing money on each model. Shortly afterwards, top brass from the blue oval went to meet BMC bosses with their findings and suggested that everybody upped their prices by around £30 to survive. BMC refused and, as a result went down the drain. Ford went right ahead and succeeded, setting the benchmark for affordable motoring in the process, which, half a century later, is still the blueprint for cheap mass car production. The Anglia may have been little more than a jazzed up and restyled 100E Popular, but it appealed to the average buyer who fancied function over fripperies, dour dependability over dramatic design. Thousands of us grew up with the old 105E and they make a convincing choice as a cheap classic for young and old alike.

Which model to buy?

Unlike the Escort, which spawned a huge range, Anglias are much more simple to understand and choose from. Essentially there’s a choice of saloon, estate or van with 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre power in standard, De Luxe and Super trims. However, like all oldies, it’s better to concentrate on condition first and originality second. Totally original Anglias are rare birds as it was so easy to swap and upgrade parts with other Fords, so most will now sport a bespoke spec; say the 1500cc Cortina engine, disc brakes and the like. This doesn’t mean they’re bad buys, it just means that you have to double check that the work has been carried out properly – especially with higher tuned examples. The 1200 engine is the best pick – the additional cubic centimetres add a useful injection of torque. It will keep up with modern traffic far better than many rivals and is more comfortable on motorways – although the legal limit is about the sane maximum cruising speed as top whack is just over 80mph. The 1200 engine was an option (simply achieved by a longer throw crankshaft) on the regular car and it’s a natural upgrade although bear in mind that a proper 1200 boasted a larger choke carburettor and wider drum brakes; unsurprisingly many DIY 997cc conversions don’t get this. The 105E estates are useful, capacious things and vans are becoming quite coveted, but the saloons are still the most popular. These are tolerably roomy and civilised in De Luxe and Super guises, although don’t expect much in the way of creature comforts. Economy is similar irrespective of engine, expect 35-40mpg if it’s in good tune and used sensibly.

Behind the wheel?

It’s still a convincing car for old and young car fans alike

Anglias are proof positive that you don’t need big pace to have fun, however, comfort isn’t a strong point. The seats are better than an early Mini – but that’s just about it! Comfort isn’t helped by Ford’s curious tilt and slide seat runner mechanism, which ruled the interiors during the 1960s. Ergonomics are also from 50 years ago, although all controls are within easy reach. Instruments are confined to just a simple but effective cluster and there’s a large thin steering wheel that’s about the same size as an early Mini effort. On the move the 105E’s progress is helped by a slick if long-levered gear change that paved the way for some of the sweetest gearboxes ever to come. Performance is pedestrian on paper but surprisingly agreeable in real word driving as low gearing means that third and top can easily deal with town and dual carriage work.The Anglia was a formidable racer in its day – though road versions aren’t so precise and there’s considerable wallow and roll. Precision depends upon the amount of wear in the steering box, too. Shod on skinny 145x13 radials there’s always entertainment to be had when pressing on, especially in the wet, but the Ford always remains hugely predictable. Anglias never came with disc brakes as standard but for the standard performance on tap they are more than satisfactory, as long as they’re well serviced and fitted with quality linings – even if heavy and laden under foot. Just like during the ’60s and ’70s, the Anglia attracts a healthy following with young drivers. Those coming from a Fiesta or late Escort will find the predecessor heavier and more of an effort – but well worth the effort.

Daily Driver?

If trips are short and urban an Anglia is a viable option

If all your trips are short and urban then the Anglia is a viable option.We wouldn’t fancy long motorway hauls but the same can be said about any other rival during the 1960s. Because the Anglia is such an easy car to tweak it’s tempting to tailor one for your own taste – perhaps a 1500 Cortina engine (slots straight in although the block is 5/8in taller), beefier rear axle ratio and disc brakes from a Cortina or better still a Classic or proper aftermarket kit? Of course many owners have done similar anyway for 50 years, and a sorted car is still very enjoyable. Some of today’s wilder conversions involve the Mondeo Zetec engine (amazingly the bellhousing bolt locations have remained identical after 50 years!) So you really can make an Anglia into something very tasty indeed if you have the time, inclination and funds. Talking of money, the days of cheap old Anglias are a thing of the past. Expect to pay £1500-2000 for a good example that will need a fair bit of further TLC and £4000 upwards for top models - we’ve seen some advertised for £7000. Tuned and custom jobs are dependant upon spec and personal taste and hard to value.

Ease of Ownership?

It’s a Ford for goodness sake – an old school rear wheel drive one at that, which means DIY couldn’t be easier. If you can’t cope with an Anglia then working on a classic isn’t for you! No special tools are required either, save for spring compressors if you want to replace the front struts. Parts supply is still good, trim less so. Most of the consumables can be purchased off the shelf at good emporiums while autojumbles, eBay and owners clubs will cope with the rest. Remember too, that there’s a huge mix and match interchange-ability with other Fords. The biggest fear is naturally is rust; body panels are becoming scarce and these old timers could rot with the best of them so it’s something you always need to keep on top of. Chromework was typically Ford poor in the 1960s and 70s and the bumpers pit all too easily.



Anglia 105E launched to replace old 100E range. New radical styling with reserve rake rear screen but underneath Anglia follows Ford conventional design philosophy albeit with a new four-speed transmission. The rest of the mechanicals are mainly 100E items apart from new over-square 997cc engine.


Anglia estate becomes the logical addition to line up with more conventional styling – almost 130,000 were made – along with commercial 5 cwt square shaped van. For 1963 production shifts from Dagenham to an all newfactory in Merseyside at the Halewood plant. 107E isold 100E with Anglia ohv engine.



Detail changes include revised controls with coloured front indicator lights, famous ‘Sheppard’s crook’ heater control and the option of metallic paint on Super models. For 1966 original Solex carb was replaced by Ford’s own design, which went on to become Autolite. Tuning companies such as Superspeed market special 1500GT hybrids.


Anglia ditched in November to make way for the all new Escort range although select line up remains and even lingers in main dealer showrooms as late as G registration. Car remains hugely successful in club saloon car racing in the 1000- 1300cc class.

We Reckon...

The Anglia was designed for economical motoring and 50 years on it still remains a cheap classic both to buy and run. Although basic and hardly quick, they are very enjoyable in their own right and easy to maintain at home. Younger drivers, new to classics, will find the Anglia quite a cool car, too so it’s a car that appeals to the masses just as it did back in 1959.

Classic Motoring

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