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Ford Anglia 105E

Published: 8th Jun 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Ford Anglia 105E
All the low-down on tuning and engine swaps is in author’s classic book. You can usually find one on eBay! All the low-down on tuning and engine swaps is in author’s classic book. You can usually find one on eBay!
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Fancy owning a motorsport legend? Paul Davies looks at true classics that made their names on rally stages and race tracks, and still provide fine drives today

When the 105E Anglia hit the scene it was a big leap for the Ford Motor Company. The compact and modern styling with that reverse slope rear window was, to say the least, revolutionary, miles away from the ‘sit-up-and-beg’ lines of the car of the same name it replaced. But for people with performance motoring in mind, the most important feature was the engine. Ford’s first small overhead valve unit packed more punch than its mere 997cc capacity promised. Over-square (with piston diameter almost double that of the stroke) it thrived on high rpm and was almost unburstable. No surprise then that the fledging British tuning industry took it to heart: within a short time the modest 39bhp of the production car was heading for three figures. Leader of the go-faster pack was the legendary Keith Duckworth’s Cosworth concern. Duckworth saw the potential for Formula Junior - later to become Formula 3 - and even with restricted carburation a healthy 100bhp was on the cards. The runaway victories of Cosworth 105E powered racers set in motion a dynasty that culminated in the most successful Grand Prix engine of all time, the iconic Ford DFV. Ford also saw the considerable potential of its Anglia in motorsport. The company entered four cars on the 1959 RAC Rally of Great Britain; three didn’t finish but Anne Hall was 20th overall and top lady. Anne really was remarkable - she tackled the punishing East African Safari in Ford’s smallest in 1961, moved over to bigger Fords and then in 1988, at the age of 72, won the Ladies Prize on the Pirelli Classic Marathon - in an Anglia! Anglias won their class on the Safari in 1960 and ’61, and then in ’63 Peter Hughes and Bill Young achieved 2nd overall with the 123E model 1200. Another famous name, Henry Taylor, one-time Ford Competitions manager, took a high eighth place on the 1962 RAC Rally. Despite tough competitionfrom the Mini (what else?), Anglia was a track winner as well. John Young’s Superspeed car was a regular class grabber in the British Saloon Car Championship, Nick Brittan’s famous ‘Green Bean’ was a Spring Grove series star, and – in 1966 near the end of the life of the model - John Fitzpatrick became BTCC champion in his Broadspeed car. Production ended in 1967, but the 105E didn’t die. The Anglia was the start of a golden age of Ford performance cars that would culminate in the all-conquering Escort in Twin Cam, Mexico and RS1600 forms. Most importantly almost everything in the latter day parts box would, with a bit of ingenuity, fit into the Anglia bodyshell. Like disc brake front struts from the Classic saloon, five bearing 1500cc engine from the Cortina GT, Twin Cam from the Lotus Cortina, and the close-ratio, Bullet, gearbox that started life in the Corsair V4. Alan Allard’s supercharged Allardette was early on the scene, and George Whitehead’s WRA Engineering 1760cc car was the ultimate small Super Saloon. As the Anglia faded away on the ‘conventional’ motorsport scene, the Hot Rod racers demonstrated its effectiveness on short circuits: can we forget those epic duels between George Polley and Barry Lee? Into modern times, racing Anglias are a feature of Goodwood, and the various classic saloon racing series. It’s also proved useful on historic rally special stages (Peter Rowan won the 2006 Circuit of Ireland Historic) perhaps not yet even realising its full potential. Bits are still readily available, new and secondhand, and the variations on the theme are almost as endless as ever. You can custom-make an old Anglebox to your own needs and have real fun doing it.

Ford Anglia 105E Summary


1959-67: 1,288,956 (all models)


Engine: Four cylinder in-line, all iron, three bearing crankshaft. Single downdraught carburettor, overhead valves operated by pushrods from single block mounted camshaft Power: 997cc – 39bhp; 1198cc - 48bhp
Gearbox: Four-speed manual
Drive: Rear wheels
Suspension: Independent front with McPherson struts and coil springs; rigid rear axle with leaf springs and lever arm shock absorbers
Brakes: Drums at front and rear

Claim to fame

The first modern British Ford post-WW2, with highly tuneable engine and starting point for a whole dynasty of race and rally winners at all levels. Class winner in international rallying, race winner and hot rod superstar

Famous names

Anne Hall, Henry Taylor, Peter Hughes, John and Mike Young, John Fitzpatrick, George Whitehead, Nick Brittan, Win Percy, Allan Allard, Barry Lee, George Polley, Tony Dron, Peter Rowan, Martin Vickers

Where to buy

Almost anywhere. Check the specialist Ford publications for ready prepared cars or disbanded projects, and your local newspaper for bogstandard cars ripe for raiding the Ford parts bin!

What to look for

A good straight and (almost) rust-free bodyshell is best starting point. Front strut top mounts and rear spring hangers need to be solid or quality welding will be needed. If the engine or gearbox rattles, don’t worry you can always find another somewhere

What to pay

From almost nothing to a few thousand for a prime, standard, car.Well prepared competition cars will command more serious money


Ford Anglia 105E Owners Club:

Classic sport

Autocross, autotests, trials, historic racing or rallying, the Anglia can be a low-cost entry to almost anything and - fully prepared - a serious machine

Maintenance, tuning and sport

Most folks go the big engine route with 1500GT or crossflow 1600GT engines fitting with appropriate gearboxes and engine mounts. 1600cc engines can go out to a lovely torquey 1760cc with the use of 85mm pistons and make 150bhp on twin Webers. Consult the experts, such as Essex based Burton Power (020 8518 9125;, Vulcan (020 8579 3202/2988; or Specialised Engines (01375 378606

Competitive Rating: 9

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