Ford Anglia 105E (1959 – 1967) Review

Ford Anglia 105E (1959 – 1967) At A Glance


+Distinctive styling, easy to fix, with plentiful parts supply, good to drive.

-You'll get called Harry Potter...

The year of 1959 willl probably be remembered for being one of the most revolutionary in British family car motoring. It saw the arrival of three fresh and exciting cars - the Mini, Triumph Herald and Ford Anglia 105E. The former might have gone on to sell the most and have the most bearing on future car design and engineering, but it was the latter that did more for the image of its maker than any other car.

When Ford opened a research and development centre in the heart of the British motor industry in Birmingham in the mid-1950s, it meant that the company could produce cars specifically tailored for one of its most important market. However, despite the promise of a bright future, only one production model emerged from this creative 'hothouse', the 105E Anglia. However, the car was an interesting departure for Ford. Most obvious was the Americanized styling, which was not too surprising as a visiting designer from Ford USA, Elwood Engel, was credited with many features as well as being responsible for the extensive wind-tunnel testing.

The main point of interest were the rear wings, reverse rake windscreen and hooded headlights, which made the Anglia a bit of a landmark car for Ford. But the big advancement for the Anglia was its sweet and efficient 'Kent' engine, and its sweet-shifting four-speed gearbox, which in a stroke managed to banish the long-lived sidevalve power units from Ford's range.

But there was more to the Anglia's appeal than this - and in UK terms it was one of the most significant of all because the 105E brought new levels of sophistication to the multi-national company's British arm. Allying the eager overhead-valve engine and nifty handling, the Anglia proved a joy to drive. Estate versions arrived in 1961, closely followed by the 123E Super the following year. And they remained strong sellers until the day they were replaced by the Escort Mk1.

Ask Honest John

What's a good project car to dismantle with my son so he can learn about cars?

"I want to find a car that I can take apart with my eight-year-old son so he can learn about how a car is put together. It should be small so the components are light, not too many sealed electrical bits and the more dismantlable the better. I don't want a badly crashed one and it would be nice to have something that we can get some residual value by selling bits on eBay so he can also learn about commerce. Do you have any suggestions of what and where to buy? Should we be aware of any safety issues when dismantling? "
Ideally, you'll want something classic. Is there a particular aspect that you're looking to highlight? Something like a Triumph Herald or a Ford Anglia 105E would be perfect for the mechanical side of things - although neither are cheap now. Perhaps you could look at Series Land Rover? The older the car is, the easier it will be to see how it works - but the more expensive it will be. Have a look on eBay for a 'spares or repair' car near you - if you've got a trailer or a way of moving it, that's going to make it a bit easier. When it comes to dismantling the vehicle, then there are plenty of things to be aware of. End of life vehicles are normally handled by authorised treatment facilities that have the proper facilities to dispose of hazardous waste such as oil, brake fluid and batteries. You'll need to look at what facilities are available to you locally. Be mindful of the paperwork - keep the DVLA informed if the car is off the road or if it's been scrapped. If you don't, you could be fined up to £1000. Finally, be courteous to your neighbours. While there's no law on working on a car at home, angle grinding at midnight is unlikely to make you many friends. And if you have a pile of hazardous scrap metal dumped on your drive, then expect problems - store the car and the parts you remove safely.
Answered by Keith Moody

Could you suggest a low tech, low maintenance classic?

"With all the publicity about over complex, money pit, unfit for purpose cars - what do you recommend as a low tech alternative? I realise regulations don't permit this for a modern car, but what about something from the recent past which may be a potential classic or classic that would be worth keeping for many years. I want something cheap and easy to maintain, preferably without a rust problem. I saw a 1997 Jeep Wrangler with 30,000 miles on Auto Trader and it got me thinking. My current car is a relatively low tech 2005 Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI, which has suffered two turbo, DMF and throttle body failures as you predicted. My annual mileage is 6000 - 10,000, on mixed roads."
If you want simple, easy to maintain, something you can spanner yourself and with good parts supply - you'll probably be looking at a British car from the 1960s. You don't mention how many people you need it for, but if it's high-days and holidays then an MGB or a Triumph Spitfire is a good starter classic. If you need a family vehicle, look at something like a Ford Anglia 105E. These would definitely be in the 6000 miles a year bracket. Of course, you won't get the mod cons you require, or the performance, and rust comes as standard. If you want something more modern, then you'll have more choice and the ability to cover more miles - but with ECUs and all manner of clever things fitted, you're unlikely to be able to keep it going on your driveway if you're new to fettling. These cars also come with intermittent electrical faults as standard which, believe me, you can spend a lot of time and money chasing. Even 'simple' cars from the 1980s can give you a headache. For example, their fuel injection systems can be difficult to fix when they go wrong. Something vaguely 'agricultural' (in the nicest possible way) would be a good bet, something like a Land Rover Defender or Discovery. These have great parts support and fantastic clubs but also - like any ageing vehicle - have build quality and reliability issues that you'll need to overcome.
Answered by Keith Moody
More Questions

What does a Ford Anglia 105E (1959 – 1967) cost?