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Morris Minor Vs Ford Anglia

Pick of the Pops Published: 13th Jul 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

What The Experts Say...

One of best known exponents of keeping the 105E thriving for today’s boy racers is Milton Race Preparation (01233 730959). It says that interest in Anglias is as strong as it ever was, but the car now appeals to not only to those who had one when they were contemporary but also young drivers – perhaps their off spring! It’s due to their style and simplicity says the Kent-based specialist, who offers a wide range of tuning equipment, including rack and pinion steering. If anything, the standard of build and care by today’s young 105E owners is better now than it ever was back in the old Hot Car days of the 60s and 70s, it adds (http://www.miltonrace.co.uk).

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Often, there’s no rhyme or reason as to why we steer ourselves towards a particular classic. The fact that not everybody yearns for an E-type or Ferrari is one of the beauties of our hobby. Take these two family cars of the 1960s – the Morris Minor and Ford Anglia. Hardly the sort of classics that dreams are made of, and yet, for many, these are perfect for very personal reasons and as a result they still attract a great following. These inexpensive, easy owning classics not only provide a welcome weekend break but can also be used as dependable, short haul daily drivers, offering a lot more fun than a Vauxhall Astra!

Which one to buy?

A purely personal choice

It depends what you want, to be honest. Low-cost motoring, which was the intention of Ford and BMC when the cars were new, still appeals to classic enthusiasts. They both boast a wide range of variants and this includes light commercials, although the Morris also offers a cheery convertible and a four-door saloon. In terms of styling, they couldn’t be more different, with the Ford being typically mid 1950s, with its US styled rear fi ns and that novel reverse rake rear window. It’s debatable to say what has aged the best; the Anglia was very popular during the 60s and 70s, especially with younger drivers, a time when where the Minor looked frumpy by comparison. And the Ford is now back in the frame for the same reason. In contrast, Minors have always been middle-of-the-road – classical in other words.

Mechanically, this simple duo always spelt simple design. By the time the Anglia came on stream, BMC was considering switching the Minor over to the 1098cc A-Series engine, which makes for a closer comparison with the Ford as the earlier 948cc unit is sweeter far but more sedate. Anglias initially came in short-stroke, free revving 997cc form, with the torquier 1198cc ‘1200’ following in ‘62, the same time the
Minor 1000 hit the showrooms where the latter remained virtually untouched for almost another decade. While Ford provided a plusher ‘Super’ trim, against the Minor’s singleton offering, you really can’t use the words plush, or luxury, with these cars. There was a Millionth Minor that’s 50 this year; a special edition to mark a million Minors made, identifi ed by its ‘fetching’ lurid lilac paintwork. These cars are now fetching a premium over normal cars, although whether their added worth is valid is a personal preference. Finally, there was in fact a special Anglia Spyder, made by Ford Italia. This was a good looking roadster designed by Frua and what a shame it never saw these shores.

What’s the best to drive?

Standard or modifi ed?

Basic engineering abounds here and it’s hardly surprising that these two family ferriers are evenly matched, despite their differing designs. With its pin-sharp rack-and-pinion steering and a torsion bar front suspension that’s not unlike an E-type’s, you get the impression that the Morris was the better designed against the tried and tested Anglia, which was produced down to a price. The Anglia may look the racier but the Minor feels nicer to drive for the above reasons. In terms of pep the pair are similar, both being sub 80mph performers and 55/60mph cruisers, but the Minor feels the brisker, perhaps aided by the lustier A-Series engine and a surprisingly precise change. Yes we know, Ford’ boxes are renowned for their quality; what lets pre-GT Fords of that era down is the wand-like lever. The rack-and-pinion steering of the Minor is far preferable to the old steering box of the Ford, which was also prone to freeplay and shake at speed. In terms of braking, both cars wear drums as standard and are adequate enough for sedate driving.In standard trim, the Minor is more fun – but who keeps these cars absolutely standard in 2011? Certainly a change to front disc brakes is a practical necessity on both cars (Marina or Ford Sierra discs for the Minor initially Classic 315 types for the Anglia, although specially tailored kits are marketed now) and many owners want to go further than this. In ultimate terms there’s a lot more scope with the Anglia, as today’s young owners are proving. Mondeo and Sierra Cosworth engines are two of the current favourites! Less adventurous types will fi nd the pre cross-fl ow 1500 GT unit, a much easier, straight drop in fi t that gives lively enough pace. We wonder how many Minors are now running around with the far more acceptable 1275 engine taken from the Midget? Finally, both cars benefi t massively from tagging on the universally accepted Ford type 9 fi ve-speed transmission, where dedicated fi tting kits are available. In short, if you want to radically change the car’s performance and character the Anglia is the better pick.

Owning and running

Minor by a mile

As healthy as the Anglia market is in 2011, especially with old school Ford fans of all ages, it can’t touch the Morris for sheer club and aftermarket support. Quite simply, along with MG and Triumph, the Minor is the one of the very best supported classics around with virtually everything you need available via specialists or the magnifi cent owners clubs, regionally and nationally. The Ford isn’t half so well supported but it’s better than many other family car classics, especially when it comes to modifi ed and competition purposes, where this old Ford still excels (105Speed.com is the best club for this). As you’d expect, both cars are beautifully simple to maintain at home by the kerb.

And The Winner Is...

In purely logical and practical terms then it has to be the Morris Minor. It’s 40 years since this old faithful was dropped to make way for the Marina and its following is as strong as ever. A charming classic, it’s utterly classless and inoffensive to own, pleasing to drive and easy to maintain. But, if you’re into the modern retro tuning scene, then nothing beats an old school Ford and particularly an Anglia 105E. Boy racers apply here….



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