Anglia design ahead of its time

By Nigel Matthews

Two cars were launched in 1959 that had a profound impact and will be remembered by many in Britain as one of their favourites.

The Mini was one and the other was the Ford Anglia 105E. The Anglia was a design way ahead of its time. The very distinctive rear window, which had a reverse slope, and the overall shape and functional rear fins gave it the appearance of a small, modern American car, not that there was such a thing as a small Ford in the U.S. of 1959.

Ford went out on a limb with colours that had not been seen before in conservative England. These included primrose yellow, light green and some of the Deluxe models were painted in an attractive two-tone combination.

Ford put a lot of thought into the design of the rear window. All too often the rear passengers in small cars had to endure less than perfect comfort due to headroom heights. The reverse-rake rear window solved that problem; the longer roof offered improved headroom and comfort, and it also helped with improved rear visibility in wet weather.

The engine was completely new and quite a departure from the side valve, flat-head of the 100E. The new engine was a high revving, over-head-valve, that produced 39 horsepower at 5,000 r.p.m. The four-speed synchromesh manual transmission was the first of its kind fitted to a production saloon built by Ford’s Dagenham factory.

The Anglia was built in a number of body variations, including a two-door, four-door, wagon, van and pickup. There was a Europe-only model called the Sportsman; this model carried its spare tire on the back, similar to the North American Continental kit.

English built Fords will be one of the celebrated marques at the 2010 All British Field Meet which takes place on May 22nd at Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver, BC. Come and see if you can find a Ford Anglia on display.

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6 Responses to “Anglia design ahead of its time”

  1. Mike B January 5, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Not to be overlooked is the Anglia’s contribution to British sports car design. The Anglia’s front bumper also serves as the front bumper of the Lotus Europa. Lotus lore has it that having procured a supply of the bumpers from Ford, Colin Chapman instructed John Frayling, who designed the Europa, to make the front end fit to the existing bumper size. So the Anglia bumper set the hard points for the design of the Europa’s nose.

  2. Nigel Matthews January 6, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    Thank you for sharing that with me Mike. I did not know that.

    Cheers Nigel

  3. john hinde January 14, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Ice Raced a 105 E Anglia in Ontario. The engine was absolutely hammered for the entire season.[held up beautifully.]The car..not so lucky..

  4. autoblogs July 14, 2010 at 1:44 am #

    More about reverse rake windows (the complete collection):

  5. Frode October 1, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Would you happen to know which American cars up until 1963 had rear windows like that? Supposedly a car like that appeared in an American movie in the early 1960’s, crossing one wooden covered bridge. Actually, it’s the movie I’m eventually hoping to find…

  6. Nigel Matthews May 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    Hi Frode,

    I susoect the car you are thinking of is the 1963 Mercury Monterey.

    Here is a list of movies they appeared in

    The Thrill of it All 1963
    Thirteen Days 2000
    The outer limits 63-65
    My Girl 1991
    Wanderers 1979
    Field of Dreams 1989
    I Spy 65-68
    Carlito’s Way 1993
    Quantum Leap 89-93
    The Outer Limits 63-65
    Mean Streets 1975
    Burke’s Law 63-66

    Regards Nigel