1 THE REAR WINDOW WAS INSPIRED BY THE 1958 LINCOLN CONTINENTAL
While the leviathan and luxurious Lincoln in the USA had a reverse rake rear window a year before 1959’s Anglia, and its designer Elwood Engel also helped with out with the British car, the 105E’s distinctive appearance was more down to a Fiat 600. Ford’s UK boss Sir Patrick Hennessey saw a Pininfarina-bodied 600 at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show with this individualistic feature. Designer Colin MacGregor then penned a Ford facsimile at the company’s new Birmingham research centre. It was ready the same year, but its experimental two-stroke engine proved pretty useless. However, other features – such as the inwards-sloping back screen – were picked up when Dagenham started designing the 105E.
2 THE BACK WINDOW WAS JUST A MONEYSAVING FEATURE
It’s true enough that, at a time when curved glass was costly to produce, the Anglia’s flat back window saved Ford a bit of dosh. But it also had other benefits too, which Sir Patrick had pressed for. The reverse rake gave a high roofline, meaning more headroom for backseat passengers. It also allowed a very generous boot for such a compact car. And, in the days before rear wipers and heated glass elements were standard, it was also remarkably good at staying free of both rain and ice. Plus, if you got a strong following wind, it proved quite handy as a sort of sail, improving acceleration, top speed and economy. Yes, really!
3 THERE WAS NO SPORTING VERSION
The Anglia’s Escort successor introduced properly sporty small Fords. The Anglia just got a slightly warmed-over 123E Super variant, with 49bhp instead of 39bhp. However, a ‘ Targa’-roof sports version reached the scale model stage – Lotus guru Colin Chapman reputedly wanted to use it as the basis for his performance collaboration with Ford. But the Cortina was the new kid on the block, so had to be used instead. Thus we got the Lotus Cortina, not the Lotus Anglia…