It’s taken 10 years for him to achieve, but Richard Horner now has the Lo­tus­pow­ered Anglia he reck­ons Ford should have built.

Classic Ford - - CONTENTS -

Ten years in the mak­ing, is this one of the finest ex­am­ples of a clas­sic twin-cam 105E yet?

At risk of sound­ing like the com­edy ge­nius that is ‘Steve Wright In The Af­ter­noon’… hands up ev­ery­one who has a solid and worth­while pen­sion sorted… Yeah, me nei­ther.

We didn’t ask Nor­folk garage-owner, Richard Horner about his re­tire­ment fi­nances as far as cash-money is con­cerned, but he sure does seem to have built up an im­pres­sive pot of clas­sic cars and projects to form a very nice pen­sion plan any­way. These in­clude an Anglia 105E Es­tate, two Mex­i­cos, a Mk2 Es­cort, an Elva racer, two Fiat 500s (the orig­i­nal ones, not the modern trendy things), a JPS Lo­tus Elan, an Es­cort­based Au­to­tune Gem­ini, plus the sub­ject of this fea­ture — this im­mac­u­late 105E Anglia with a Lo­tus en­gine con­ver­sion.

And while pen­sion ‘plan’ is not quite ac­cu­rate, as Richard never specif­i­cally de­cided get a col­lec­tion to­gether of what are now very valu­able cars, pick­ing mo­tors up along the years and keep­ing them tucked away has worked out very nicely for him. Re­tire­ment… now that is some­thing that ap­plies, as Richard, is def­i­nitely look­ing to end his work­ing ca­reer as soon as pos­si­ble.



Keep­ing sane

“I be­gan work­ing on cars at a Ford dealer in 1969 and have been self-em­ployed since 1981,” he be­gins. “And while I have en­joyed nearly all my years of work­ing on ve­hi­cles, I’ve come to re­alise I re­ally, re­ally hate modern cars, which are just boxes you re­place bits on, with none of the old skills needed. So as soon as I can I shall be sell­ing up… and can then con­cen­trate on get­ting my col­lec­tion of proper cars up to­gether.”

And the clas­sic project that has been keep­ing Richard sane in the past few years is his Lo­tus Anglia.

“It came from a de­ceased es­tate, via a house-clearer who’d put it into the Classifieds in Clas­sic Ford many years ago,” he says, “and for £500 was a bar­gain even then. My only re­gret about the deal was that there was a 1966 Clas­sic up for grabs for another £500 too, and I still can’t fig­ure out why I didn’t buy that as well!”

The 105E Deluxe had just 33,000 miles on the clock and was as close to mint as Richard had ever seen. The only downer was that the guy that had res­cued it had ripped the (solid) metal wings off in prepa­ra­tion to fit fi­bre­glass re­place­ments. Luck­ily, he de­cided to part with the Anglia be­fore he got any more silly ideas.

Back in the days be­fore such things be­came worth their weight in gold, Richard man­aged to get a fresh pair of gen­uine Ford wings at an au­to­jum­ble and a long-thought-about idea for a Lo­tus Anglia was be­gun.

Pro­to­type power

“If the story I’ve been told is cor­rect, then Lo­tus did build one twin-cam Anglia out of a 105E bought from the Bel­gian Em­bassy — be­cause the left-hand-drive con­fig­u­ra­tion meant they didn’t have to move the mas­ter cylin­ders to fit the twin carbs. Jim Clark was known to drive the car when he was with Lo­tus, even on long trips back home to Scot­land. “That story, plus the fact that I’d had an ex-Lo­tus Elan twin-cam in the garage for nearly 15 years, gave me the in­spi­ra­tion to build an in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Lo­tus Anglia that should have gone into pro­duc­tion,” he says.

Les­sons learnt

“Another les­son learnt — or at least re-taught — dur­ing this work was that, ‘if you want a job do­ing well do it your­self’,” Richard adds. “The first ex­am­ple was when I asked some­one else to fit the wings for me, as I was full-on at work at the time. When the shell re­turned one of them was over an inch crooked in places. I could have cocked it up bet­ter than that my­self!” he laughs.

“And so I de­cided to fit the work in as and when I could, with help from my son, An­drew when he could spare time too, which is why the project has taken over 10 years to com­plete. But it has been worth it, and I must add thanks to my wife, He­len who was a cheer­leader and gave en­cour­age­ment through­out those years at times when I was flag­ging. Another great side to the build, which is now a big sor­row, is that the other per­son who was mas­sively help­ful, pro­fes­sional and a plea­sure to deal with was the late Kevin Wood at Milton Race Prepa­ra­tion.

“I’ve used nearly all his ex­pertly-de­signed kits on my Anglia, in­clud­ing the Mk2 Cortina-based coil-overs, front and rear anti-roll bars, ad­justable TCAs, cross­mem­ber and steer­ing rack con­ver­sion, rear anti-tramp bars, top mounts, strut brace… the list goes on. It all fits as it should first time and works per­fectly and it’s such a shame that such a busi­ness gen­tle­man is no longer with us.”

The rust-free shell was coated in­side, out­side and un­der­neath with new lay­ers of Er­mine White un­der a gazebo in Richard’s gar­den, with the cor­rect Lo­tus green stripes painted on over the top. It was now ready to re­ceive all its Milton gear, along with Wil­wood cal­lipers grip­ping Capri discs at the front, Mk3 Fi­esta cal­lipers and discs at the back and a 105E axle fit­ted with a 3.54 ra­tio RS2000 diff. The gear­box is a four-speed 2000E unit with a very noisy set of straight-cut gears, which Richard would like to swap for a five speed Type-9. “But I just can’t bring my­self to take an an­gle grinder to the orig­i­nal gear­box tun­nel,” he says.

Twin-cam time

The QED-built en­gine is the cen­tre­piece of this car, of course, and be­gan life as a small-valve twin-cam on Strombergs out of an Elan, and while the bot­tom end is still stan­dard 1558cc, there’s a big-valve head, Lo­tus Sprint cams, the twin We­ber 40s, and vernier pul­leys boost­ing its state of tune. With a Tony Thomp­son Rac­ing dis­trib­u­tor, 105Speed man­i­fold and sys­tem plus a three-core rad keep­ing tem­per­a­tures down the bhp has been in­creased to an un­known fig­ure, but one that is “quick enough” for Richard.

The QED-built Lo­tus looks right at home thanks to Richard’s keen eye for de­tail.

Cor­beau bucket seats are new but look pe­riod-per­fect.

Like the en­gine, the clocks came from a Lo­tus Elan.

Ex­tra gauges are neatly mounted un­der the dash.

Orig­i­nal head was swapped for a We­ber-equipped one.

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