A fascinating true tale of a much-loved 1960 Ford Anglia 105E – ‘Two hundred pounds well spent’…
Auboné Braddon describes how ‘Mary’ the Basic Anglia 105E came into his life and has stayed for 33 years so far!
(All words and photographs in the story by, and copyright, Auboné Braddon).
Kim says, “Before Auboné tells the story of his Anglia ‘Mary’, a little background information may be helpful for those not familiar with the Anglia 105E models.
They were introduced in the autumn of 1959, as a thoroughly modern successor to the previous sidevalve 100E models (which over the years since 1953 had been sold in two door Anglia, then Popular, versions, plus the four door Prefect).
The new 105E Anglias were fitted with an all-new short-stroke overhead valve 997cc engine, driving the rear wheels through a four speed gearbox, in place of the long-stroke 1172cc sidevalve engine and three speed gearboxes used hitherto.
The newcomers were lively and practical compact four seaters, and were much in demand.
From launch the Anglias were offered in ‘Basic’ two door saloon form (like ‘Mary’), or as a ‘Deluxe’, with many more fittings and much more brightwork, including a wider front grille, like the one shown below on Auboné’s 1962 Deluxe saloon, that he has owned since 1986 (and it’s close in age to ‘Mary’).
From late 1962 the Anglia Super (123E) was available, with a 1200cc (actually 1197cc) engine, as also used in the Mark I Cortina. However the 997cc cars were still available, and continued to sell well. Highly useful Van versions of the Anglia were also produced.
The Anglia range continued in production until late 1967, by which time the new Escort (Mark I) was ready to take over.
According to the Ford price list dated September 1959, kindly unearthed by Auboné for me, the Basic version of the ‘New Anglia’ was priced at £589.0.10 (that’s £589.04 in Decimal money!), whereas the Deluxe cost £610.5.10 (£610.29). Most buyers opted to spend the extra £21 or so for the Deluxe versions, with the Basic models appealing to fleet buyers or those on a tighter budget.
Aubonés 1962 Deluxe (above) makes an interesting comparison with his Basic saloon ‘Mary’, below…
For many years Auboné has been a fan of Anglias (in terms of describing his enthusiasm for the cars that’s a major understatement!) and is Registrar/Historian for the Anglia 105E Owners’ Club’. He is very knowledgeable about all things Anglia-related, and for the benefit of our readers I asked him about the differences between the Basic and Deluxe versions, also production and survivor numbers…
“I think I will start with what the Basic Anglia didn’t have, by comparison with the Deluxe.
Interior: The Basic Anglia didn’t have a glove box lid, interior light or passenger sun visor. (Mary does have one which looks like it was fitted at the dealership as it is still the early type.) No ash trays in the rear side panels. No parcel shelf (Mary has one that also looks as if it was factory fitted as it is the early type.) No heater (once again Mary has one that was definitely factory fitted). Fixed rear side windows. Different upholstery. (Early Basic models had white piping to the seats which Mary has. This was deleted within 12 months of production.)
Exterior: Basic version features: Painted headlamp peaks, painted small metal front grille, no chrome side trim, painted rear light surrounds, black wiper blades and arms.
Production figures: Total production was 1,288,956 which includes all the Anglia models. There were only 122,242 Basic saloons built. This is almost half the amount compared with vans. Several were bought for fleet use and of course Panda Cars. Because of this they tended to be driven and used harder so the survival rate is lower too. Most of the surviving Basic models were used privately or were eventually looked after well, once taken off a fleet and moved into private ownership. As for how many are left it is very difficult to say. Chassis numbers on the early cars are the same as Deluxe models so are difficult to separate. They are certainly in the small minority when we have AGMs and Anglia Club stands.”
Now back to the main plot, all about ‘Mary the Basic Anglia’; over to Auboné…
Back in 1988, a family friend told me of a Ford Anglia that was for sale, belonging to an elderly lady from their church. The lady, who was called Mary, had given up driving at the age of 86 and needed to sell the car. I already had one Anglia so thought it would be worth a look, even if it would do for spare parts as I was told it had no MOT.
We arranged to take a look at the Anglia which was in a quiet suburb of Exeter and in the garage of a lovely 1930s style house. On opening the first of the two wooden doors to the garage I could see the rear fin of the Anglia, with a painted rear light surround. I could see from this that it was a rare Basic model. We pulled the car out on to the driveway and could see it was exactly as it should be with the small painted front grille and with a very early red basic interior with white piping on the seats. In fact the car was registered in September 1960, just a year after the 105E was first introduced.
There was something about the car I just took to straight away and offered a price of £200 which was accepted. A little bit of welding was done to get the Anglia through the MOT and it has been on the road with the Braddon family ever since.
The mileage when I bought the Anglia was 71106, which I would think was the first time around the clock. Although Mary owned the car for 21 years I would think she covered quite a low annual mileage. The mileage reading at the last MOT (in 2021) was 13610.
When acquiring a classic car it is often the way that we don’t really appreciate what we have bought until doing more investigation once it is in our possession. I started delving into the specification and history of the car and found that it’s Vulcan Grey colour was only available in the first year of production. So was the white piping on the seats. To be honest I have never seen another Vulcan Grey Basic Anglia. The registration number 116 AYT was a Central London issue number and issued in large blocks. The car probably covered quite a few miles in the London area, when new.
I would love to know who the first owner was (if anyone has any information, please let me know via Wheels-Alive or the Anglia 105E Club). The lady who I bought the car from, Mary, had owned it since 1967 and through the DVLA, I managed to obtain copies of previous log books for the car. Unfortunately there was no information from the time before Mary bought the car. It is a shame that the DVLA no longer offer this service as it was a great way for classic car owners to build up a car’s history.
I was still quite determined to find out more about the Anglia, if that was at all possible. We put an article in our local Express & Echo newspaper asking if anyone remembered the car. This was a long shot but just thought it would be a bit of fun for people to read. Amazingly I had a response form a gentleman called Dennis Cobley who claimed to be the previous owner to Mary. We visited him with the car and he filled us in on the details.
The story goes that Dennis bought the car from a secondhand car sales firm called Pikes Of Exeter, in 1963. The Anglia had been fitted with a ‘brand new’ reconditioned engine at this time when it was only three years old. He traded in his Raleigh Moped for the car and while in his ownership he taught both of his sons to drive in it. Dennis could remember the Ford in great detail, showing me where he had added sound proofing to it, and which was still there. By 1967 Dennis decided to part exchange the Anglia for a Mk1 Cortina at another garage in Exeter called Lock Brothers who were agents for Standard Cars. It was at this point that Mary Suffill decided to upgrade her ageing Standard Flying 12 and as her brother owned Lock Brothers she probably got a reasonable deal with her trade in.
To be accurate it was actually Mary’s husband The Reverend Suffill who bought the car and had owned the Standard 12 since coming back from Missionary work in the Sudan. Whilst there, Mary had to be rescued from a river, narrowly missing being eaten by a crocodile! After taking delivery of their seven year old Ford Anglia, the Rev. Suffill unfortunately passed away. It was at this point that Mary was given an option by another elderly Minister friend that he could either teach her to drive in the Anglia or she needed to sell the car. Although Mary was now 65 she said she would give it a go.
Mary must have had a good teacher as she passed first time and carried on driving for 21 years. This is where I come in and have owned the car ever since Mary sold the Anglia to me in 1988. I have called the car Mary after this amazing lady. I also think that if I hadn’t bought the car from Mary that the car would have been scrapped as it had very little value at this time.
116 AYT, or should I say Mary, has just been an amazing car over all these years that I have owned her. She is not in ‘concours’ condition, and never will be, but that is part of her charm. We have really used this car as our main daily driver all this time and yes there has been times when she needed quite a bit of body repair work to keep her on the road. She’s had work done to the wings, floor pans, jacking points and sills to name just a few repairs. Mechanically though the car has had just one clutch and nothing else apart from routine maintenance. I have an insurance policy with many named drivers who all love driving Mary.
Mary is a car that likes to be driven with enthusiasm too (purists, or those of a weak disposition, should perhaps avert their eyes from the photographs in the slide show below… but in fact no Anglias were damaged during the filming…).
Since in my possession Mary the Anglia has certainly had an interesting existence. She has been exhibited at the NEC several times on the Ford Anglia 105E Owners Club Stand and has ‘starred’ in several Television appearances. The first TV one was in a Comedy called ‘Stella Street’ staring Phil Cornwall and the late John Sessions.
The car was also used quite extensively in a reconstruction documentary and more recently has been driven by the ‘Strictly’ judge, Len Goodman, in a programme called ‘Holiday Of My Lifetime’. Len’s passenger was Nigel Planer who is well known for playing the hippy in the TV comedy ‘The Young Ones’.
In addition, Mary has been used as a starring prop in many displays at classic rallies/shows, etc, including the spoof ‘Auboné Braddon School of Motoring’ depicted below…
MUCH MORE THAN JUST A CAR…
When we buy a classic vehicle we never really know where it is going to take us in life and the friendships we gain through owning them. When opening that wooden garage door back in 1988 and catching a glimpse of that Vulcan Grey paintwork, I could never imagine the people I would meet through owning her and of course the amazing decades of reliability she would give as a family car. The only thing that eludes me with this Anglia is who was the first owner? How did the car, with a new reconditioned engine, get from Central London to Exeter? Something I will probably never know.
Ford Anglia 105E Owners’ Club:
If you are interested in these likeable classic small Fords, the Club offers a wide variety of benefits. For full information, including how to join, please go to: https://105eoc.com/
Grateful thanks to Auboné Braddon for his enthusiastic and comprehensive help with this feature.
There’s more: There are other Anglia-related articles on this website; please enter ‘Anglia’ in the search box to find a list of various features, including a brief guide to the cars, plus a separate article specifically about the Club.