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Homepage. This page: Background to the OHV Ford Anglia

Popular Classics - The Ford Anglia 105E.

The new-for-'59 105E Ford.

Throughout the 1950s, Ford of Britain's small car range revolved around a range of wheezy upright sidevalve Fords, which offered bargain-price motoring thanks to using long-in-the-tooth mechanicals first spied prior to WW2. Even the 100E, launched in the early 50s as an attempt to drag Ford's small car range into something approaching modernity, was still saddled with an outmoded 3 speed gearbox linked to a sidevalve motor heavily based on the units found in upright Pops and Prefects. The 107E Prefect was a half-way house offering, using an OHV engine to power the familiar 100E bodyshell. What Ford needed, to tackle the more recent designs from rival BMC and Rootes Group products, was a brand new small car, freshly designed and bang up-to-date.

With the revised Mk2 Consul and Zephyr in full production, Ford began work on a replacement for the 100E series. The year was 1956. From the beginning it was decided that the new saloon would be available as a 2 door only (estates and the Thames van would follow later).

Already experienced with unitary construction in the 100E, the new model would also be of chassis-less configuration. Wind tunnel testing would have direct input into the design of the new Ford, as would consideration for the rear seat passengers (not something that could always be levelled at small/medium saloons!). Those in the rear would benefit from the reverse-raked rear window, offering a useful amount of headroom. Access to the rear would be via the front doors, both front seats being designed to tip forward.

105E Anglia in estate car style
Anglia 105E Rear view of Anglia
Anglia van Ice cream van
Two models were planned for at the launch of the 'new Anglia', or 105E as it would be known. The standard model was pitched at the budget motorist, and featured few frills. The PVC trim was monotone, and the rear side windows were fixed. The entry-level car also had no glovebox lid, less brightwork, and a more plain grille that didn't extend as far as the front indicator units. The De Luxe, which didn't cost much more than the bog standard version (and thus made up the vast majority of sales), came with a few embellishments not found on the poverty-spec version. Two tone trim was standard, with the option of leather or rayon-weave surfaces. The rear side windows were openable, hinging on their forward verticle edge.

The 105E would be Ford's first use of a multi-function stalk behind the steering wheel. Of great relief to drivers brought up with the erratic vacuum wipers on the older Fords, were the electric wipers featured as standard on all Angle-boxes. Externally the owner of the Deluxe model could bask in the glory of a shiny full width grille, chrome side strips and rear lamp surrounds. Two tone exterior paintwork was also an option on the plusher variant, the main roof panel being available in a contrasting colour to the main body if so desired.

As already mentioned, gone was the asthmatic sidevalve lump and 3 speed 'box. In its place was a shiny 997cc OHV (overhead valve) engine, first of the 'Kent' family that would go on to feature in Fords for many years. Fuel was supplied via a single Solex carburettor, the new engine developing 39bhp. The gearbox was all-new, with four speeds, although no synchro was on first gear, a bugbear of many cars of the era. One aspect of design that the 100E owner might recognise, was the Macpherson strut front suspension.

At the 1959 launch, the new Anglia came in at 589 for the standard model, and 610 for the plusher De Luxe. A heater would cost an additional 14. The pricing was set very keenly, designed to undercut the recently launched A40 Farina by some 40, itself some 50 cheaper than the 948cc Triumph Herald. Not only was the price attractive to buyers looking for a new car. A top speed of 75+ mph, and economy when cruising over over 45mpg, was more than a match for the Standard-Triumph and BMC offerings.

In 1961 the estate version was launched, featuring a completely re-designed rear end, accessible via a top hinging counterbalanced tailgate. Again there were 2 versions. The stabdard version made do with a painted wooden floor, whereas the De Luxe buyer would benefit from a rubber floor, fitted with additional metal rubbing strips. Larger tyres were fitted to this model, and the rear springs beefed up over the saloon's equipment.

Just as BMC Mini owners could pep up their car's engines with go-faster goodies, a range of tuning mods soon came to the market, aimed at extracting more power from the Ford Kent engine. Various upgrades were available, including re-worked heads, trick cams, and multi carb setups. Disc brake conversions, for the serious press-on motorist (or regular motorway user), could also be acquired from specialist suppliers. Anyone remember the Allardette?? a seriously tweaked 105E conversion, just one of many available in the 1960s. The opportunity for tweaking this engine was not lost on Ford either, as in '61 they offered the 'Performance Plus' kit. This consisted of a larger (single) Solex carb, re-profiled cam, beefed up valve springs, and heftier main bearings. All this came for just 13 if ordered at the same time as a new car, but obviously cost more if fitted retrospectively to a standard-spec 105E.

In 1962 a few tweaks to the Anglia were introduced. A different carb (again a Solex) was fitted, designed to eliminate a flat-spot that plagued many earlier cars. In the same year the Anglia Super came along. Benefits of the new car were numerous, perhaps the biggest plus being the enlarged engine as also found in the Cortina, now 1198cc in capacity. An all-synchro box was the other big bonus of the Super model, and to cope with the improved 'go' were enlarged drum brakes. Floor mats were gone, replaced with plush carpets. Other niceties to tempt the car's occupants were a padded dashboard top, metallic finish to the interior trim, a cigar lighter, rear grab handles, screen washers, and twin horns. The heater was now a standard fit. Externally the Super could be identified by two tone paint, extra side trims, and a contrasting side flash.

The standard and De Luxe models continued in production alongside the Super, although few of the Standard cars were ordered (many went to travelling salesman and company car buyers). People wanting the extra grunt of the 1198cc engine, but without the chrome fripperies, could opt for the 1200 option, which had the Super's uprated engine and all-synchro 'box fitted to the cheaper Anglia models, for just 24 extra. Prices were also cut in '62 to keep the car competitive with Austin's revised A40 (Mk2).

Prices were cut again in 1964, with the cheapest Anglia now costing 478, the plush Super coming in at 575. Minor trim revisions appeared in '65, but little of any significance would change on the 105E during its final years of production, the model finally coming to the end of its run in November 1967, making way for the first of the Escort models due shortly.

Similar in style to the estate, but in fact totally re-tooled from the bulkhead back, and with low-rent trim, no rear seating or windows, was the Thames van version of the Anglia. The 997cc (low or high compression) 307E was introduced in 1961, and was aimed at the small business owner, perhaps looking to upgrade from the 100E-based 300E 5/7cwt vans from the previous decade. The new van was also available as a 5cwt commercial vehicle (painted grille, exterior mirrors, headlamp peaks) or the 7cwt (chromium grille, mirrors and peaks). The van had a taller screen when compared to the saloons, and doors had an upward curve on their lower edge, the idea being that they'd be less likely to bang into kerbs when opening the door on a well-laden van. Two, side hinged, rear doors were available as standard. In '62 the 309E was launched, fitted with the uprated 1098cc powerplant. Production drew to a close in 1967.

Although no pickup was produced by Fords, Kenex Coachwork Ltd brought out their own version, based on a cut-down and modified van shell. The pickup was put into production in 1964, by which time this company had been taken over by Martin Walter Ltd, a company perhaps best known for their estate car conversions. Other unusual variants of the 105E/307E range include coachbuilt ice cream vans, some of which have survived into preservation.

Other 105E Anglia material on oldclassiccar:
Anglia 105E parts for sale and wanted ads
Period Anglia 105E drinks' coasters
Anglia Estate spare parts ads

Some external links that relate to Anglias:
105E Owners Club
anglia-models.co.uk
Anglia rally car (and other photos)
Anglia ice cream van story

Go back to the Popular Classic cars page here.

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