The Future’s Bright

Words & photography: Steve ‘Autoholic’ Edwards

After a lifetime of building some cool cars – including an Austin A55 van that featured a 2.0 Pinto lump, and a pair of Scimitars that Jim Angliss built with his brother, Mick, that had both been restored to show quality – you’d think that reaching retirement age might put a damper on your car building aspirations. That’s certainly not the case for these two dynamic fellas.

However, this car is Jim’s first foray into the worldof four-wheel drive. Yes, this Anglia has a full-time, four-wheel drive system in addition to a turbocharged engine. Jim’s daily had been a 1989 Mazda 323 1.6 turbo that Mazda built to compete in the Group A Rally Championships, which means it has a water-cooled IHI turbo that helps to extract 148 brake horsepower from the little four cylinder lump. Sadly the car had seen better days and was not going to even squeak through another MOT, so it was retired to Jim’s yard.

After being shunted around, it ended up parked next to an accident damaged Anglia shell. Jim had spotted the shell on the Anglia Owners Club site – it had been stripped for parts along with the accident damage – but the price was right, so it was duly transported to Jim’s where it was placed in the “pile”. It was only as he walked across the yard one day and saw the two together did he get the idea that they just might fit…

He consulted the Internet to get some measurements. According to the ‘net, there was just an inch difference in width; however, as it turns out, you shouldn’t believe everything you read, unless it’s printed in Street Machine of course. There were, in fact, six big fat inches difference between track widths, but it was too late, the wheels were in motion and there was no stopping the brothers now. Jim decided that if he was taking mechanical parts off the Mazda, then why not take others that would make the finished vehicle a nicer place to be? With that in mind, the heater, wiper motor and instrument binnacle were saved from the rusty Jap body.

The Mazda chassis, along with all the drivetrain components have been used, but it’s been modified to accept the Anglia body. The front corners have been cut to fit the body, but the engine and gearbox are slightly rearward, as were the front wheels. The solution to that problem was to acquire a pair of fibreglass front wings and adjust them so that the wheel is centred in the opening. And, to make sure the bodywork was covering the OZ Racing alloys and Kuhmo tyres, some “Carlos Fandango” wide arches have been constructed. All the pertinent 4×4 system, five-speed manual gearbox and suspension has all been retained, and Jim has made sure that the chassis number has remained in place so that if he has a problem he can whip it round to his local Mazda dealer for them to have a look.

The steering column turned out to be a little on the long side so Mick and Jim applied a little Angliss magic to it and shortened it, but they didn’t just do a cut and shut job; they made sure that the column retained its collapsible safety properties. When the boys came to install it, they found there was very little clearance to allow access behind the wheel, and the column couldn’t be adjusted further, so they did the only logical thing: they raised the dash by two inches. Raising the entire dash would have been too easy, so it’s just the driver’s side that was adjusted by means of a jack and some brute force.

At first glance you can’t tell, and, to be honest, even after looking at it further, the custom work is that good it’s hardly noticeable. The column needed a steering wheel, and of course the Ford one was way too big, so a much smaller replacement was sourced. There wasn’t one in the UK, and so an order was placed to the Land of the Rising Sun, and, as expected, it fits perfectly.

To inhabit the Anglia dash, the instruments from the Mazda were installed, but they had to be tweaked to ensure that they looked like they had always been there. The Japanese heater is located behind the dash and is controlled with the original Ford controls. The indicator and wiper stalks have been included, which means this Anglia, by means of some clever work and an aftermarket wiper motor, is possibly the only one anywhere with three speeds and an intermittent function. Neat, huh?

The Mazda front seats, along with their runners, now sit where the very uncomfortable, un-adjustable Dagenham ones used to, whilst the rear has been widened and fitted to make sure the folding split seats could still be utilised, which is a very handy addition. Jim and Mick also installed modern inertia seatbelts up front, but, when Jim’s wife, Karen, asked where the rear ones were so that their granddaughter, Alycia, could travel in the car, they had to head back to the garage and not only install some, but create mounting points too, as the Anglebox wasn’t fitted with such safety features. After four attempts, they finally managed to get the set-up correct and fitted a pair of rear belts that had previously seen service in a Toyota Avensis.

The 1600cc engine was completely stripped down and rebuilt, and, after much searching, a new-old-stock turbocharger was located at a turbo specialist in London. The unit is unusual as it has twin blades, which means it spins up quickly to increase airflow, because Mazda designers felt it would cut down turbo lag. To get the engine and components into the bay was no mean feat. The radiator has larger vanes and has been shortened by five inches; it’s also been widened a touch too, to make sure it does its job effectively. Under the hood Jim has also managed to stuff an intercooler, a Toyota header tank, an Anglia 105E screenwash reservoir and an Audi A3 turbo pressure release valve, and no, it doesn’t make a stupid noise; it recirculates the air just like its German creators designed it to.

The custom paintjob was created by laying down a silver basecoat and covering it with eight litres of Mandarin Candy. The orange has a contrasting stripe, along with a custom Anglia script, painted in a metallic Volvo grey. The neat rear stock-looking bumpers have been created by cutting down and reforming one from a Ford 100E, which looks a lot cooler than the one that graced it when it left the factory. The front of the car has received a little attention to ensure everything fits – obviously the bumper has been removed and that custom grille has been fabricated to be sympathetic to the original. At the rear, the classic aficionados will spot that the fuel filler has switched sides.

With a career’s worth of builds behind them, you’d expect Jim and Mick to settle back in their slippers, but in true hot rodder style, nothing could be further from the truth. There’s a Peugeot 406 in “the pile” that’s due to be transformed into a pick-up, and then there’s a Ford Pop 100E that’s got a 302 from a Mustang stuffed into it that has been mid-build for a while now… A hot rodder’s work is never done, it seems.

1967 Ford Anglia 105E

  • 1.6 Mazda turbo engine
  • 148bhp
  • Mazda suspension
  • OZ Racing wheels
  • Kumho 175/55R15 tyres
  • Mandarin Orange paint