You had to feel sorry for Ford in 1959. After pouring its heart and soul into the development of the new Anglia 105E, the arrival of its latest small car coincided with that of the groundbreaking Mini.
The fact that Ford’s offering was a good car made the Mini’s headline-stealing status even more of a bitter pill to swallow, the Anglia 105E debuting several firsts for the manufacturer and being a massive improvement on the outgoing 100E.
However, while the Mini might have wowed with its compact packaging and ‘wheel at each corner’ styling, the Anglia fought-back with its own attention-grabbing appearance. There was a sloping nose, neat rear fins and, most notably, a reverse rake rear window.
Beyond its fresh new sheet metal, the Anglia 105E’s advancements included a new 997cc engine, MacPherson strut front suspension that did wonders for the handling and ride, and even electric windscreen wipers. The two-door saloon was also the first Ford to have a four-speed gearbox, the development allowing customers to stretch the Anglia’s legs on the UK’s first motorways and still have the luxury of hearing their passengers.
Talking of luxury, the Anglia 105E wasn’t exactly dripping with creature comforts, but the range-topping ‘Deluxe’ level of trim did add a little more refinement. Together with the likes of a sun visor and glove box lid cover, the Deluxe specification also included a full width front grille, plenty of chrome trim, opening rear quarter windows and optional two-tone paintwork.
From the word go, and despite there being some controversy over the rear window design, the Anglia 105E sold like the proverbial hot cakes. It more than held its own against rivals, including the new-fangled Mini, and was made even better with the introduction of an estate version and the ‘Super’ specification. Living up to its name, the Super endowed the Anglia 105E with a more powerful 1,198cc engine, bigger brakes, duo-tone paintwork, improved upholstery and even a cigarette lighter!
All good things come to an end, though, and the Anglia 105E was no exception. With the Escort in the pipeline, Ford axed the Anglia 105E in November 1967 closing the door on a production run of nearly 1.3 million.
Sixty years after its introduction and there’s still a huge lot of love for the Anglia 105E, not least of all due to its association with a certain young wizard that saw it take to the skies on the silver screen.
Those of a certain age might also remember The Young Ones’ Vyvyan running a customized version, plus the ill-fated example shod with ‘Carlos Fandango’ wheels in the Panama cigar TV advert, but what are your own memories of the Anglia 105E?
Do you own one now, or did you grow up with one? Let us know your stories and comments below.