The British arm of Ford Motor Company debuted the sub-compact Anglia model in 1939 and it was produced until 1948.
‘The Ford Anglia was a small car built for a budget-minded customer who wanted an affordable car with good gas mileage.’
The Anglia was eventually introduced to the North American market in the late Forties where they were not a huge success in terms of sales.
The North American market was still based upon larger, more powerful cars and the Anglia did not make the grade with the average consumer on this side of the pond.
However, the Anglia did become popular with the go-fast drag strip boys because they saw real potential in the little Brit sedan. Power to weight ratios are a fundamental part of success in drag racing and a lightweight car like the Anglia was a track monster when an American V-8 got shoe-horned under the hood.
The Anglia’s short wheelbase and giant power boost with all those new horses gave it plenty of launch potential on the track. Eventually the humble Anglia became a drag strip legend when it got an attitude makeover.
A hot rod 1948 Anglia stood out at a show for a bunch of reasons, not the least of which was the wheelie bars on the back end. The blower sticking out of the hood was also a good indication this was no longer a polite little 69-year-old British import.
Owners Debbie and Dennis Martinuk purchased their Anglia about 16 years ago- after it had already undergone its initial transformation from mild to wild. The previous owner made the leap from stock Anglia to beast Anglia and the Martinuks ran with the idea.
They made over 100 changes to the car and Dennis told MSCC it has been repainted 3 times over the years. Dennis also noted their Anglia still has most of its original metal-except for the fiberglass rear fenders.
The changes took five years and included suicide doors, frenched headlights that moved from on top of the fenders to the front of the fenders, along with a unique side-mounted trunk door with hidden hinges.
It is also has a new custom dash and the front seats were donated by a 1983 Pontiac Fiero because they fit in the smaller passenger compartment.
The seats were changed because the previous upholstery had the names of the previous husband and wife owners embroidered in them. Now they have 4T8 in them-short for “48”-the Anglia’s manufacturing year.
The net result is a clean custom Anglia with new style and plenty of potential that is now a custom rod designed by Dennis and Debbie instead of the previous owner.
The engine is a supercharged 350 SBC (small block Chevy) that is now hooked up to a 700 R-4 automatic transmission. The overdrive tranny provides extra gears to counterbalance the 4:10 gears in the Ford rear end on the Anglia.
“Now it doesn’t scream at 60 mph (100 km/h) on the highway”, according to Dennis. However, the Anglia’s short wheelbase gives it a choppy ride, so Dennis resists the idea of long trips because the Anglia is hard on his back.
‘Regardless of the length of the trip, Dennis and Debbie always arrive in style with their ultra-cool 1948 Anglia custom rod.’
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