Everything you need to know before buying the car made famous by Harry Potter.
Reuben Evans had never considered himself a trendsetter before arriving in Boggabri behind the wheel of a brand new Ford Anglia 105E. Within months the streets of his northern New South Wales home town were crawling with Anglias -- about eight if Rueben's memory serves correctly -- their owners all inspired by the cheerful look and unique style of Evans' Merino White over Waratah Red sedan.
"I bought the car brand new through Kloster Ford in Newcastle and it was delivered through their agents in Gunnedah," Evans recalled. "It was the first one in town and attracted attention everywhere people saw it. Pretty soon it seemed that everywhere you looked there was an Anglia."
Forty-plus years later, Reuben Evans still has his little fin-tailed Ford with the cheesy grin and reverse-slope rear window. And with a similar model featuring in the mega-selling Harry Potter books and starring in the film version, the Anglia is still attracting attention.
The 105E Anglia was born out of Ford UK's need to replace its Prefect and Anglia models with something more modern and efficient. Ford's budget-priced duo had last been restyled in 1953 and was still using side-valve engines that first appeared in 1932 and a three-speed gearbox.
When the 105E appeared in late 1959 it came with a four-speed and 31kW of power from its short-stroke 997cm3 overhead-valve 'Kent' power unit. Forty-something years later, 1.6 litre versions are still used in Formula Ford open-wheel racers and develop more than two times the original engine's output.
Inspired by Ford's US designs, and in particular its 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser, the 105E's 'swept-back' shape was considered daring. But the rear window, which earned the 105E its 'Angular' nickname was not a mere styling ploy. At the risk of alienating Britain's fickle and conservative car buyers, Ford provided abundant headroom for rear passengers and ensured unhindered rear vision in all weather conditions.
UK-market Anglias came in standard and Deluxe form but when the car was released in Australia, only the Deluxe with its full-width grille and chrome side-strip, door armrests and courtesy lights was offered. Local cars came with the option of two-tone paintwork, a heater/demister and dress up items like wheel trims and a rear window blind. Ford's Zephyr had pioneered the use of Macpherson Strut front suspension in family cars and the 105E made good use of the technology. With ball joint suspension and a front anti-roll bar, steering response was exceptional.
Drum brakes were standard and a low, 4.1:1 rear axle ratio was used to maximise acceleration. With independent coachbuilders in Britain already offering station wagon versions of the Anglia, Ford was obliged to expand its range and in late 1961 introduced an Estate with single-piece rear door. Despite over 130,000 of the useful little wagons being built, they were never sold in Australia and any that came here will be personal imports. Ford affiliate, Crayford produced about 20 convertible Anglias and there were reportedly some utilities made using Thames-badged Anglia vans as donor vehicles.
With its outstanding dynamics and durable design, all the Anglia needed to make its mark in the world of motor sport was some additional power. This arrived in August 1962 when Ford fitted a 1.2-litre engine produced for the new Cortina to create the 123E Anglia 1200 Super. Power output increased from 31 to 39kW and the 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time cut from 29 to 21 seconds. In 1966, and with plenty of help from a pointscore system that assisted smaller-capacity cars, John Fitzpatrick used an Anglia Super to win the British Touring Car Championship.
The Super never officially sold in Australia but that didn't deter Anglia enthusiasts from fitting 1.2 and even 1.5-litre engines to 105Es. Using the larger-capacity Cortina GT engine with Weber carburettors and cylinder head modifications, 75kW was easily generated and modified Anglias -- usually lowered and running on widened rims with outrageous camber angles -- would reach 170km/h and provide hours of fun for club-level race and rally competitors.
In 1965, with the Cortina setting new sales records, Australian Anglia assembly ceased. The car survived in Britain until being replaced in 1967 by the Escort. Estate and van production continued until 1968. During a lifespan of almost nine years, 1.1 million Anglias were built.
During more than 40 years of Anglia ownership, Reuben Evans has travelled 350,000 miles (565,000 kms), including frequent long-distance trips. No one seems better qualified to comment on the car's driveability.
"Even though the motor is fairly small, the Anglia has no trouble cruising at 100km/h on the highway," Evans said. "Top gear is like an overdrive so when you come to some hilly country you just drop back into third and keep going. It will hold its speed no problem and then you just drop it back into top when you're on the flat again."
Road tests of new 105Es by local motoring magazines confirm Evans' assessment of his car's capabilities. While the almost-new 105E tested by 'Wheels' in July 1960 managed a top speed of only 74mph (119km/h) with 99km/h available in third, a better-prepared example evaluated a year later by 'Motor Manual' managed 125km/h and 110.
Don't be deceived by the long, spindly gearlever -- this is a sporty gearbox that was used by plenty of low-volume manufacturers including Lotus and encourages vigorous use. The clutch action is heavy for a car of this size and there is no first-gear syncromesh.
Handling was rated as "exceptional" by every magazine that tested an Australian-market Anglia. Despite steering which feels a little 'woolly', Anglias can be confidently hustled through bends. On dry bitumen, slight understeer is the dominant trait but on wet or unsealed surfaces the tail will step out with little provocation. That said, the short wheelbase and quick (2.6 turns lock to lock) steering allows rapid and accurate correction.
Accommodation is basic but spacious and the little Ford will carry four adults in reasonable comfort. The doors open wide and the seats tilt for easy rear-seat access. Thanks to that reverse-angle rear window, passengers won't even get their necks sunburned. The boot is similarly spacious but you need to almost climb inside to reach the spare wheel.
An estimated 25,000 Anglias were sold in Australia between mid 1960 and early 1965, yet survivors in good condition are hard to find. Our 2003 Value Guide survey found 14 cars advertised for sale, averaging less than $3500. Cars in excellent, unmodified condition are worth close to $6000 but the majority will need some work and are likely to cost $2000-3000. Unrestored cars or those which have been neglected and in need of major body or trim repairs need to be sub-$1000 purchases as remedial work will be difficult and relatively expensive.
Rust and scarcity of replacement panels are the big killers of 105Es. Corrosion attacks the sills and door-skins, floors, door posts and hinge boxes, front mudguards and rear suspension mounting points
Even cars that look good on the surface might be rotten underneath so inspection on a hoist or axle stands is essential. Also check the underbonnet strut towers for rust and cracking. UK-based Anglia clubs are having minor items like jacking points and sills remanufactured but most sheet metal components need to be sourced second-hand. Make sure the door retaining clips are still fitted, otherwise the door will swing through 180 degrees and collide with the mudguard. Chrome items in good condition are very scarce, so cars with missing bumpers or wheel covers need to be cheap.
'Kent' engines in all their forms are tough and simple to maintain or repair. The 997cm3, with its willingness to rev is most prone to failure due to abuse but rebuilds are cheap. According to Ron Carey of Yesterford in Melbourne, a rebuilt engine adapted to use unleaded fuel should cost around $2000. Overheating in traffic due to the small engine-driven fan and narrow air intake is a problem so cars, which are going to be used regularly, will benefit from an additional electric fan. The 'pea-shooter' exhaust doesn't do much for performance or engine cooling; a set of extractors and larger pipe make a noticeable difference. The differential and four-speed transmission are very durable -- after half a million kilometres, Reuben Evans' car still has its original diff -- and replacement clutch units are available for $200 plus a morning's labour.
The Anglia suspension with its front struts and ball-joints is advanced for a British small car of this age, and durable. While the car is off the ground being checked for rust, push each front wheel upward to check for excessive movement or strange noises. Standard all-drum brakes are fine for standard cars but disc-brake conversions using Cortina parts are recommended for bigger-engined Anglias.
Not much in here so not much to go wrong. Original trim materials aren't available but door and window rubbers can be obtained in the UK. Collapsed seat springs are a common problem in well-used cars and the fibreboard door trim backing can absorb moisture. Make certain the dashboard warning lights are working, as there are no oil or temperature gauges. The standard headlights are appallingly dim so halogen replacements are a wise investment.
|Article written by UniqueCars|