Mark R 1948 Anglia Sedan

Ken's Rod - a Tribute

This is a very short form of an incredible father and son story. "Angie" is a 1948 Anglia (English Ford Popular) that was originally built by my son, Ken Reece in 1989-1991. These cars were made from 1937 to 1959, excluding WWII years. Millions were made, but few got to the USA. Most of those were destroyed at the drag races in the old "gasser" days of the 1960's. Angie is a survivor - assembled from a mix of available parts from over the production years. After building her, Ken wanted to become an airline pilot, so he put Angie in storage while he went to flight school. He became a commuter plane pilot for COMAIR (a Delta commuter affiliate) in 1994. In November, 1996 Ken got Angie out of storage. He and I spent a week together towing Angie and all Ken's belongings to his new home near Cincinnati, OH. It was a week I'll always cherish. It was the last time I saw him. On January 9, 1997, Ken was the pilot of COMAIR 3272 which crashed due to icing on final approach to Detroit Metro - all 29 aboard were killed. That accident is a tragic story unto itself - the crash was NOT due to pilot error. May they all rest in peace.

When I went to his house 4 days after the crash, I found a sign describing why he built Angie - and at the bottom, he thanked the body shop, the interior shop "and most of all, Dad, for his inspiration and approval". That sentence told me that I could never let Angie go - and that I had to finish her to complete Ken's dream.

Angie was driveable, but far from complete. I have all of Ken's assembly photos, drawings and dream notes. I knew what he wanted to do to complete her. Over the years, I've spent a bloody fortune doing just that out of love and affection. She's been professionally rebuilt from the ground up - mostly by Tri-C Engineering of Valencia, California. Angie has a race frame with 4-link and coil-over suspension with front and rear sway bars. She's powder coated and nickle plated underneath. 4 wheel disc brakes. The engine is a "stroker" Chevy - 386 CI - over 400 HP. Transmission is a built GM 700-R4. Rear end is Ford 9" with 3.89 "posi" gears. Ken bought a nitrous oxide setup which I have installed in his memory - with the nitrous "on", Angie makes over 600HP. That is insanity for a car that weighs only ~1900 lbs. I've used it sparingly on occasion - it is frightening.

How fast is Angie? I drove a B Gas 37 Chevy at Lions Drag Strip in the 1960's. It was not competitive - but lots of fun. I will not take Angie on a full 1/4 mile strip. Bad things happen to high powered short cars at high speeds - I've seen enough to know that. I have taken Angie to Irwindale Raceway - 1/8 mile strip. She did ~102 in ~6.90 - and that was through the pipes and without the nitrous!

Angie now resides with me in Reno, Nevada where she has been in Hot August Nights and other car shows. She is always a hit wherever she goes. All I can ever hope for is for Ken to see Angie from somewhere up above - I hope he approves. Her Nevada license plate is "Tribute". Angie is truly a tribute to Ken's life well lived. See ya!

Love, dad.

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