All So Familiar – Anglia Super 1200

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North Wales 1969 - Linda and Terry enjoy a holiday with their first AngliaCertainly, I am biased as Ford’s Anglia was my first car at 17 and so spending a day with Terry Bray and his 1200 Super brought back great memories; although mine wasn’t as pristine as this, it was my ‘pride & joy’ back in 1980. Several cups of tea offered the chance to find out how this enthusiast has also gone ‘full circle’ returning to his first foray into four-wheel travel with half a century past. Early in 1968 Terry chose to part exchange his BSA 650 Lightning Clubman (a very rare machine back then with only 200 ever produced) for his first car; a 105E finished in Ambassador Blue. On the forecourt of Garratt Lane Autos at £299.00, Terry confessed ‘I wasn’t looking for an Anglia, I just wanted a car’. A £150.00 part-ex allowance for the BSA sounds like the car dealer did well from the transaction, even more so when further investigation confirmed the Anglia had exceeded the 40k miles displayed on the milometer; by the same again. A flickering oil light should have acted as a warning for the eventual engine failure but at a time when a reconditioned motor was just over £50 the 105E was soon returned to the road. The following year a trip to North Wales with his future wife Linda piled on the miles and the Anglia proved reliable; Terry cannot remember why or where he sold the Ford but from then onwards his ‘tale of Anglia 1200 enginetransport’ becomes fascinating, if occasionally a little unfortunate!

Circle of Cars
Post the Anglia came a split screen Morris Minor, purchased for £15.00 complete with recon engine and a new battery; ‘sounds like a bargain’ I concurred even in 1970. Slight corrosion behind the driver’s seat meant a garage plus welder would be sought before attempting to better the MOT testers clip board. Parked outside his parents’ house in the meantime the ‘Moggie’ collected a £5.00 fine for no tax. This prompted a decision to move the car on ‘toot-sweet’ and a local dealer paid £5.00; ‘I have never made a profit on my cars’ Terry confirmed. A 1956 Morris Oxford came next, this required £40 and offered a year’s motoring with a mere £20 loss at the end.

Anglia 1200 interiorWhilst reminiscing over a fine list of British cars two things became apparent, Terry never had the same car twice and he remembers the registration of virtually all of them. It must be a car enthusiast trait, we can be accused of forgetting many things (anniversaries etc) but forgetting our old registrations is not one of them! The list continued in 1971 including a column change, two tone blue Vauxhall Victor FB (379 RWC) then a Rover 2000 at £80, a rusty Hillman Avenger, Triumph 2500S and a Mk 1 Escort Estate. This Escort secured Terry a minimum £1000 deposit on a Cherry (ALP 428Y) from the Land of the Rising Sun via Dan Dan the Datsun Man (Perkins). The Cherry unfortunately met an untimely demise buried in the rear of a Royal Mail van, so a Renault 16TL was acquired and the list continued through the 1980s until in 1993 Terry decided he wanted to buy a classic car, his desire an MGB.

Return to the Fold
Anglia SuperJoining the classic show scene with a Morris Garages BGT, Terry and wife Linda found they enjoyed the gatherings but due to the large amounts of MG’s around there was no feeling of owning something different. ‘I enjoy talking to people about my car but found there wasn’t much interest in just another MGB’ Terry explained. Whilst it was great to drive, the couple stopped going to meetings and shows and the car remained dormant alongside the house; rust soon set in. After a failed viewing of a Victor FB Linda suggested ‘why not get another Anglia as it was our first car?’. This prompted a visit to the NEC in 2006 and a long chat with the Anglia Owners Club, which Terry joined there and then, even though he hadn’t found a suitable car. With renewed enthusiasm, a trip to Cornwall proved fruitless as the Estate version required too much restoration.

A chance internet find via a famous auction site was a three owner 1967 Anglia Super with a reported 38,500 miles from new. A trip to Birmingham followed and a long test drive taken just reinforced Terry’s decision; this was the car for him. In the final seconds of the auction a last (rather large) bid ensured the Anglia headed south, complete with every MOT certificate and an encyclopaedia size file of receipts and invoices. Further investigation threw up one surprising detail, the first owner a Mr E D Lott purchased the car from Despatch Motor Company in London on the 1st December 1967; he finally sold it in October 2003 after travelling 30k miles.

Looking Back for the Future
Ford Anglia 1200 Super‘How many are Left’ shows that of 79,223 Anglia Supers built, 79k are no longer on their database and only around two thousand 105E’s remain when nearly 1 million of the saloon version left Ford showrooms between 1959-67. The Anglia was a total success for Ford not only in the UK, with versions shipped across the globe, one of the first cars to be designed with wind-tunnel technology. The slanted rear window borrowed from the Lincoln Continental 3 ensured it stood out from the crowd; Terry’s 123E was one of the last to leave Halewood in October 67. A return to the classic show scene in 2007 wiped all the negatives from the previous decade, the Super proved a hit with both the public and often the judges. In 2011 a full strip and repaint of Lagoon Blue and Ermine White was begun and over a three-month period Terry meticulously refitted with new carpets, the chrome work had already been renewed and seats were re trimmed. In 2014 the car was cast in the Sky Atlantic series called ‘Mr Sloane’ which was set in 1969.

Terry is not deterred by distance and has travelled around the country with the Anglia Owners Club taking the annual award for ‘Best Super’ for the past 5 years. ‘Winning awards is obviously very nice but the interaction and conversations with interested enthusiasts is why we look to attend a couple of events every month’ this dedicated owner concluded. With 62,200 miles now registered on the milometer we took a drive and my own 40-year-old memories came flooding back. The 1197cc unit proved smooth and lively whilst the gear change was slicker than I remember which complimented an overall drive that must be pretty close when it exited the Southwark dealership fifty-one years ago. Anglia Super 1200My 123E got me on the road and your first car is always a great car; Terry Bray’s Anglia is not just Super its fabulous.

Re-produced courtesy of Classic Motor Monthly
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