Magazine Cover - Classic Cars For Sale - 1000s of Classic Car Reviews, How To Service & Maintenance Guides

Back Page Bargain

BEGGARS BANQUET Published: 30th Sep 2013 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Back Page Bargain
Magazine Subscription
The latest issue of Classic Cars For Sale is on sale now - Pick up your copy from all good newsagents including WHSmith or click here to subscribe now

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 20%

Subscribe NOW

Available at all good newsagents including WHSmith


No, it’s nothing to do with begging for money during the current recession! In classic motoring speak, the term sit-up-and-beg refers to the line-up of family Fords launched just after WW2, so named because of the upright driving position. The E494A Anglia and the later 103E Popular were the last of the ‘gentlemen’s carriages’, where the car’s height allowed one to drive wearing a top hat, rather than a modern baseball cap! These cars provided austere and economical motoring, along the lines of the Austin 7, but they later found great popularity with customisers and hot rodders in the 1960s and 70s.


Some 108,000 E494A Anglias were made, from 1948-53 (replaced by the 100E), and over 155,000 Pops were produced between 1953-59, so there’s a fair few left. Compared to what A7s sell for, these Fords are as cheap as chips, with the best Beggars selling for under £5000, with good ones going for half this.


The Anglia is the more ‘upmarket’ model, the Popular the economy option featuring just a single wiper and less chromework, plus very basic lighting which didn’t include indicators! However, this model did have the later 1172cc sidevalve engine, giving 30bhp against 25bhp in the case of the earlier 993cc unit.


Hardly. Top speed was about 60mph on a good day and a traffic-light grand prix to 50 took over half a minute. But despite this (and a wide ratio threespeed gearbox) these Fords feel fairly frisky and fun, although the cable operated brakes may give you some heart-stopping moments.

Having said that, these cars were often seen in competition and tuners such as Aquaplane and Ralph Bellamy could coax 100mph out of them, tuning the sidevalve to around 40-50bhp. This is straightforward but makes the handling on 4.50 x 17 inch tyres ‘interesting’ and many ‘rodders fitted their cars with a front setup from the Vauxhall Viva HA, gaining better brakes at the same time.


The mechanicals are trusty and easy to work on. The engine is known for popping head gaskets and running its bearings, while the thermo-syphon cooling (no water pump) means they can get hot in a traffic jam. Like the A7, the latter needs specialist ‘white metalling’ meaning an engine rebuild is an easy couple of grand! The gearboxes become noisy and jump out of second.

But by far the biggest concern is naturally rusting of the tough chassis with the rear ‘hump’ over the rear axle and at the suspension attachment points most prone. Expect some patchwork repairs over the decades! The body crumbles in all the usual places but may need most attention to the A and B door posts, floors, wings etc. Trim is simple but Bakelite dashboards have usually deteriorated by now, unless cared for.


Not too bad really. Golden Days of Norwich and Pop Parts based in Derbyshire are the best known and there’s a good owners club for these sidevalvers (



Yes if you like the idea of a classic in the mould of an A7, or perhaps want to rekindle memories of trips you may have had in one as a child. Not if you want to take on Ferraris!

Share This Article

Share with Facebook Share with Facebook

Share with Twitter Tweet this article

Share bookmark with Delicious Share bookmark with Delicious

Share with Digg Digg this article

Share with Email Share by email

User Comments

This review has 0 comments - Be the first!

Leave a comment

Keep it polite and on topic. Your email address will not be published. Please do not advertise products, all posts of this nature will be removed. We do not stock or supply any of these products, we independently review these products.

Subscribe Today
Latest Issue Cover - Click here to subscribe

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 25%