Me & My Car: Tough as iron Ford Anglia
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Tell us about your Anglia ...
This is my white 1967 Ford Anglia. Instead of the original 998cc engine, it came with a 1500cc engine from a Mk II Cortina. It has the original four-speed manual transmission. Being only a bit over 700kg, the bigger engine ensures it keeps up with traffic. Every time I drive it, people wave or give a thumbs up. They come over when I park or fill up with gas and tell me their first car was an Anglia, or they learnt to drive in one.
When did you buy it?
I found this Anglia a couple of years ago in the Waikato. The guy was getting divorced so had to sell it. Unlucky for him but lucky for me. I believe I’m the sixth owner. The papers show it started life as a company car in Wellington.
Why an Anglia?
I was looking for another project after restoring a 1967 Honda motorcycle. You can still find an Anglia relatively cheap and, for a novice like me, they are simple to work on.
My first car was an Anglia. My brother and I bought one off our neighbour when we were 12 and 13. We drove around the farm until we got our licences and then to school and beyond. It was called “The Iron” because it was tough as iron. It was fun, you don’t need heaps of power for drifting when you have frosty paddocks to blast around on.
There was also unfinished business. At uni, I bought “the Iron” back from a local I sold it to and had started doing it up. But a drunk driver crashed into it while it was parked outside my house and wrote it off. I was gutted.
What I love most about the car is that it is not perfect. The shell is sound but the body and paint are rough, with plenty of patina. I don’t worry if it gets wet or a bump here and there. I also won’t lose my licence as even when driven hard, with the excessive body roll and “anti-lock” brakes, you’re well under the limit.
Is it your daily drive?
Right now it is my daily driver as my wife’s car was hit by a bus, so she’s using my other car until hers is repaired.
The engine has been rebuilt with a more aggressive cam, bigger valves, more compression, Weber carburettor and headers with 3inch exhaust. It has a high-volume oil pump and an electronic distributor. I’ve changed the interior colour from red to black, added a racing steering wheel and updated the instruments.
Will you sell it one day?
Never! My youngest daughter (7) loves it so I hope it will stay in the family. She also wants a Mustang however, so we’ll see. It would be cool to teach my daughters to drive in it but they’re not convinced that’s a good idea. This has been one of the most fun cars I’ve owned. Not the nicest to drive or the quickest but, on a smiles per mile basis it’s hard to beat.
Does it have a radio?
No radio, just the sound of that big carb, and loud exhaust — best soundtrack ever.
Did we notice a steering wheel lock?
I’ve already lost one Anglia — not taking any chances with this one.
How does this Anglia fit your personality?
I love tinkering and making old things new again. I’m an active relaxer, can’t sit around, so working on the car is therapeutic.
Who else drives it?
A couple of mates (also former Anglia owners) and my brother. I finally got my wife in it a month ago, but under false pretences.
Any other vehicles?
My daily is a Subaru Outback, my wife has a BMW 120i — and my Honda.
So many things I like but I think the next project will either be a 69 Mustang or, an FJ Land Cruiser or, Datsun 240z or, 68 Dodge Charger…
Your thoughts on EVs?
I can’t wait to get one.