Paul Gershon had a feeling he might be on to something special when he read the advert for this 1964 Anglia 105E, but when he saw the car he was certain…
Recently, it seems like all anyone cares about is barn finds. Classic cars found in various states of repair and patina — not always authentic patina — that we’re encouraged to believe are as original as it’s possible for a car to get. The problem being that vehicle was often abandoned for a reason, such as something broke and the owner couldn’t get parts. It’s also rare anything was done to ensure it was protected while stored. This 1964 Anglia 105E Deluxe is a happy exception.
Going by the vehicle number on the logbook the Anglia was first registered on September 11 in 1964 to Albert Henry Onslow of Swindon, and he bought the car brand-new from the Walker Jackson Ford dealership in town. At that time an Anglia Deluxe would have cost around £439 plus £92 purchase tax. Specifying undersealing added another £11. Albert paid £15 in duty for one year’s worth of the road fund tax on his 997cc motor and continued to tax it every six months at a cost of £6 and 8 shillings.
On July 17, 1974 ownership of the Anglia passed to Elsie May Onslow, who was presumably Albert’s wife. It’s thought she barely used the car, if at all, and their daughter, Doris Edith Onslow then took over ownership, registering the car in her own name on October 6, 1977. Apparently, Doris paid just £25 for the Anglia.
We know these details because a family friend, Mr John Robson, helped her get the car back on the road with four new tyres, a new exhaust and full service, then wrote a letter that accompanies the car. ‘Doris went on refresher driving lessons and had builders build a new garage to house the Anglia,’ John’s letter explains. ‘Doris drove the Anglia up to the road approx 100 yards, down the alleyway approx 50 yards then another 100 yards down the back alley into the new garage. A total of approx 250 yards. On manoeuvring into the garage she clipped the doorpost on the driver’s side. Doris parked the car, pulled down the garage door and never drove it again’.
When Doris died she left the Anglia to John in her will. He then put the car in his garage — the first time it had been stored anywhere other than at the Onslow family home — where it sat virtually unused until sometime in 2015 when he put it up for sale. At that time the Anglia had covered a little over 15,000 miles. The low mileage is, no doubt, genuine because it’s backed up by old MoTs showing a mileage of 14,110 in December 1974, then 14,149 miles in January 1982 and a year later 15,138. An online check of the MoT history shows 15,624 recorded for its test in 2006 and when we photographed the car recently it displayed 15,675 on the mileometer. MoT failures logged in 2008 are typical of any car that hasn’t been used for a while — mainly binding brakes and leaking fluid lines.
Current owner, Paul Gershon of London-based Different Class Cars says the car went through a few hands before he bought it.
“I was looking for a classic car,” says Paul, “when I saw this Anglia advertised in a magazine and thought it looked interesting. I met the seller on a snowy day in London in 2018. He was an older guy and the car had gone through two or three other dealers already, it looked straight and original so we did the deal. I’ll never forget that because the wind caught my van door into my face and I thought I’d broken my nose! I knew it was a one-family owned car but the attraction was its low mileage. I had no idea of the story, or how original it was, until I read the paperwork.
“I took it straight to a local bodyshop for a little paint touching in,” remembers Paul, “it still had the scrape down one side running from the door into the rear quarter that was mentioned in the letter. It was a case of leave it as is or do a gentle clean up, but the bodyshop took forever. In the end I had to take the Anglia elsewhere for a complete respray in the original Spruce Green. Then my mechanic went right through the car, the two-tone vinyl interior is totally untouched, so of course we left that as it was. It’s even got a period first aid kit.”
Peppering from salt?
“There was a little peppering of rust at the base of the front wings and the rear spring hangers needed a bit of welding, but there was nothing major wrong with the Anglia,” continues Paul. “I had a guy make new floormats including one for the boot and found an original cover for the jack. I also added a new, original style battery and we changed some of the rubbers — basically we did improvements provided they didn’t detract from the originality.”
That included service items such as new points, plugs and condenser, new radial whitewall tyres and having the wheels refurbished. “I stonechipped the underside by hand and we spent three weeks detailing the car — thanks to Andy Edson for all his help — in order to take it to the Classic Ford Show. Out of some 350 cars entered the Anglia made it into the top 20. Although in spite of all that work when I opened the ashtray at the show it was still full of 1960s ash we’d forgotten to remove! It drives really nicely and would no doubt be fine on a long run, but I don’t want to add any more miles. I take it out on a Sunday sometimes just to keep it ticking over.
“Although we have partially restored it we’ve left a lot of the Anglia original, for instance there’s some pitting on the bumpers and tailight surrounds, but these parts still look fine so why change them? Someone else had already gone through the brakes before I bought it.
“I really like this car. It’s amazing and it drives like a new old car, although first gear seems a little slow for me. We could have made it perfect but that would destroy the originality. To me it’s perfect just as it is.”
Words Mike Renaut
Photos Adrian Brannan
Read the full story behind this 1964 Anglia 105E in our October/60 Years Of The Anglia Special issue
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