Collector Classics: 1959 Ford Anglia

Small car defied tradition with a range of splashy colours, a reverse-rake rear window

Two cars launched in 1959 had a profound impact and will be remembered by many in Britain as one of their favorites: the Mini and 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 not seen before in conservative England. These included primrose yellow, light green and some of the deluxe models painted in an attractive two-tone combination.

Ford put a lot of thought into the design of that 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, flathead of the 100E. The new power plant was a high revving, overhead valve, that produced 39 horsepower at 5,000 rpm. In addition, 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, which carried its spare tire on the back, similar to the North American Continental kit.

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