Brian and his Ford Anglia of many colours...
After much welding and many new body parts, Brian Hampson’s ‘souped-up’ Ford Anglia was a head-turner for the right reason.
After a happy year with the Exmouth Mods and Rockers in the Wimpy Bar opposite the originaI railway station, I left the seaside in September 1969 on my Lambretta GT200, to start an apprenticeship in industrial Luton.
The plan had been to return to Exmouth on my scooter regularly and enjoy some good home cooking, but one journey of more than 200 miles on my Lambretta was enough – I had to get a car!
My pride and joy GT200 was duly sold for £115 and I became the excited owner of my first car – a 1961 Ford Anglia 105E – for £105. It was the model with the back window that sloped inwards and no rear parcel shelf.
My parents gave me the car insurance as an early Christmas present as first-year apprentice pay was only £4 10s 6d a week then – £4.52 in today’s currency.
This trusty car took us everywhere in the UK – one of my flatmates came from Rochdale and, at weekends, four of us would head north up the M1 to enjoy his parents’ hospitality and a night out in Manchester, or down to Exmouth, via a very cross-country route – as there was no motorway to the South West then – and a night out in Torquay.
Everyone chipped in for the petrol, which was only about 4s 6d a gallon then – 22p a gallon in today’s money.
I can remember four of us sleeping in the Anglia over a bank holiday weekend at Great Yarmouth – and that was before reclining front car seats were the norm!
The Anglia was mainly white, with a fair amount of rust appearing around the front wings and the bottom of the doors but little did I know what lay under the surface!
I kept the welders of Luton in business, patching up the front suspension mounts, rear spring hangers, floor, inner wings, sills – in fact just about every structural part required to pass an MOT.
As time passed, the front wings, bonnet and front panel were replaced by a one-piece glass fibre section that was yellow and two second-hand – less rusty – green doors were sourced from a scrapyard and a vinyl roof was added for style – the photo with me sitting on the roof rack shows the Anglia of many colours!
A respray in Sienna Starmist (metallic brown) was carried out in a friend’s garage, using a spray gun powered by a vacuum cleaner as I recall, and suddenly my Anglia was a head-turner for the right reason. The second photo shows me carefully holding the family cat to ensure it left no scratch marks on the immaculate paintwork.
The 997cc engine was eventually replaced by a 1,200cc unit for a bit more performance and this also prompted upgrading the front brakes, from drums to discs, for an increase in stopping power.
When the time came, it sold easily, as it was much admired and I progressed to a Mark I Ford Cortina – but that’s another story.
Tell us about your first car – email your motoring memories with a picture of the car to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to Andy Russell, Archant motoring editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.
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