Harry Potter car reaches magic milestone

Ford’s Harry Potter car the Anglia has reached a magic milestone.

The little car that could achieved world-wide fame as the Weasley family car in the Harry Potter books and movies.

While fans of the Mini loudly celebrate its 60th anniversary, a similar milestone has been reached by Ford’s 1959 Anglia.

The little car is hard to miss.

It is one of the most strikingly styled British small cars ever built.

Check out the reverse slope rear window.

It was designed to ensure maximum head room for rear seat passengers, who usually came off second best in small cars.

The idea for the design came from a variety of sources including the 1956 Hillman Minx  and 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser.

Although the Anglia was meant to be cheap and cheerful transport, and the styling and its interior dimensions managed to attract significantly more buyers than the Mini.

Plus, Ford had invested a considerable amount of time and resources in designing manufacturing efficiencies into the car right from the start, so they could sell it at a low price and still make loads of money.

Ford also spent time refining the car’s aerodynamics.

The engineers found that, because of the upright rear pillar, they could lower the roof line slightly to reduce wind resistance, and still have better headroom than any of their rivals.

The Anglia’s sloping bonnet style was also the outcome of extensive wind tunnel testing.

All of this attention to the aerodynamics combined with a new 1.0-litre four cylinder engine to deliver excellent fuel consumption, which was a major selling point in the UK.

Ford also went in for bright colours, and two and three tone paint schemes, which helped make the car stand out and look much more expensive than it really was.

Make no mistake, the Anglia was an immediate sales success, with almost 200,000 sold in the UK in first 12 months.

By comparison, the Mini could only manage 116,000 units and half of those were outside of the UK.

The Anglia remained on Ford’s UK sales list until 1967 when it was superseded by the Escort.

David Burrell is the editor of retroautos.com.au

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