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Different angle Anglias

French location for two tough Anglias


Hertfordshire-based Rick Hooper seems to have built up something of a reputation for putting together Ford Popular/Anglia-based street rods, as the two you see before you are the products of this talented individual.

Lee Garwood, the owner of the pepper-red pearl and candy-flamed Anglia E04A and Mick Donohoe, who purchased his EO4A in deep, gloss black, both reside in Hertfordshire and have remained good friends since their early school days.  Coincidentally, they live just down the road from Rick Hooper, whose hot rod creations played a huge part in shaping their own interest in the hobby.  It’s perhaps no surprise then to find that Mick and Lee both now drive Hooper-built Anglias! 

One hot-rodded flat-front Anglia is rare, but two!  

Mind you, the EO4A Anglia is not common hot rod fodder – it’s quite rare by all accounts.  It’s even more unusual to find two rodded flat nosed 1948 examples and it’s probably also fair to say that this is the first time a pair of modified EO4A Anglias have been put together for a photo shoot – we’ll count that as another first for DRCReview!

Lee purchased his all steel Ford from Bristol rodder Steve Smith about 18 months ago pretty much as a complete car.  It featured tubbed inner rear wheel arches, a filled roof equipped with a tilt/slide Capri sunroof and a complete body makeover by Colper Motors in 2000.  All of the chrome trim had been re-plated, new door handles fitted along with original Enfo rear lights and Dietz 7 inch stainless steel halogen headlights with integral turn indicators.

Subtle pearlescent body colour works great with brighter candy flames 

Steve added the traditional style candy flames over the pearlescent red base and the 10 spoke ET front and matching rear wheels to give the car more of a “wow” factor.   Lee has taken this a step further with the inclusion of a matching red vinyl tuck ‘n’ roll interior using Ford XR2 bucket seats up front and a custom bench to fit in between those rear wheel tubs. There’s black wool mix carpeting and contrasting white headlining, plus the original Bakelite dashboard and inner window trims, which all neatly tie the overall appearance together.

Interior has been stitched in red vinyl with contrasting black carpets and trim

Both drivers favour the B&M Pro ratchet shifter

Mick’s similar all-steel Anglia was purchased three years ago and is just as beautifully turned out with gleaming black paint and chrome, plus the more recent addition of polished 10x15/ 4x15inch Radir wheels to visually lift the look. Mick’s a racer at heart mind you and that’s reflected in the six point roll cage and minimalist interior which boasts a pair of Jazz racing buckets, an in-your-face B&M Pro ratchet shifter, but little in the way of creature comforts.  

Mick's Anglia is ready for action with six-point cage and twin Jazz bucket seats

Lovely old Baklite dash retained in both cars

When you look closely and read the specification of each car, it becomes obvious that a great deal of engineering skill, ingenuity, not to mention care and attention has gone into create both of these pro-built cars.  If you’ve ever seen them go, you’ll also know they’ve been built to haul.  There’s a smirk of disbelief when Mick floors the gas pedal and you watch his 1948 Ford rapidly squirt off into the distance – it’s the essence of what hot rodding is all about.  A recent spell on North Weald’s drag strip netted Mick a brace of 10.4 sec runs with a130mph terminal speed. There’s a nitrous-snorting 355 cubic inch Chevy nestling between the chassis rails and we reckon that there must be about 400hp on tap to achieve those figures.

355 cu in Chevy propels the car to 10.4sec quarter mile times

There’s a fully lightened and balanced Motown short block under the hood, (from Real Steel) which is topped with an Edelbrock Performer cam, matching heads, manifold and a 650cfm Edelbrock carburettor.  The addition of roller rockers means that the engine will rev comfortably to 7000rpm, though Mick tells us he shifts at 6500rpm. Home made headers dump the gases through a free flow exhaust system, while the power is fed through a Turbo 350 transmission equipped with an 1800rpm stall speed torque converter.  Backing this up is a Ford 9inch rear equipped with Strange gears and Moser shafts.  It’s a stout set up which so far has proved to be 100 per cent reliable.   

Bringing the whole lot to a comfortable halt is the unique combination of Mustang 2 ventilated discs and callipers with Cosworth Granada rears.  Keeping it in the family, Cortina rack and pinion steering is utilised along with the stock Anglia column.

It looks so nice on those new Radirs.  M/T Sportsman radials are also fitted at the rear

Lee’s Anglia is no less potent, but is based around the slightly smaller capacity 302 cu in Ford small block, into which has been fitted a balanced crank, rods and forged pistons, topped with a similar blend of Edelbrock speed equipment to Mick’s Anglia.  These include Performer heads, camshaft and manifold.  The carburetion side of things is different however, Lee opting for a Barry Grant Rod Demon four-barrel.  There’s Competition Cams roller rockers in the valve train to increase the safe rev limit and Hedman headers for speeding away the gases. 

Just like Mick's Chevy, Lee's tough 302 Ford is a tight underbonnet fit

Lee is another rodder who gets a kick out of hustling his Anglia down the quarter mile and there’s a Sniper Nitrous system lit by MSD ignition when he’s ready to get serious.  It all seems to work too, as very respectable 11.9sec elapsed times for the standing quarter mile have been recorded on numerous occasions.  “It feels lively but I’d like to go faster,” says Lee.  Though as the car is without a roll cage, Lee is conscious of the increased risks that might bring. 

The C4 automatic transmission received a heavy duty rebuild and with it the addition of a high stall speed torque converter.  The 8in Ford rear axle features a 3.7:1 Detroit Locker differential narrowed by Robinson Race Cars and located by a four- link set up with Panhard rod.  There are Spax shocks at the rear along with 250lb coil springs.

It’s more obvious to realise just how much work has gone into the creation of these cars when you realise that very little in the way of parts are available off-the-shelf in the same way as you’d find if you wanted to build a ’32 Ford roadster.

Those candy flames work a treat in the sunlight 

Virtually everything has been custom build, and this is also emphasised in the front suspension set-up which comprises modified Vauxhall ‘A’ arms with a custom fabricated cross-member. Spax coil over shock absorbers with 550lb springs are fitted, while new custom hubs have been fashioned - converting four stud to five.  A narrowed Vauxhall Viva rack mounts to a custom fabricated rack, which is topped with a Budnik wheel.


Again, emphasising the novel engineering approach, braking is handled by a combination of Vauxhall Magnum discs and callipers up front, with Mercedes 190 rear discs grabbed by Ford Sierra callipers.  Pop Browns provided the brake servo, along with the fuel gauge voltage stabiliser, laminated glass fitted throughout and many other sundry items.

When you look at the great lines of the Anglia shape, it's easy to see why they are such a favourite with hot rodders


So, what sort of use do these cars get?  Well.  Lee reckons he covers around 2000 miles a year and Mick says he covers as many as 5-6000 miles annually.  “If you keep the revs under 3000rpm I can get close to 20mpg on a run.” adds Mick.   

Both Anglias have a great stance and sit low over the wheel arches

It was great to see these two Anglias in France a few weeks ago at the ESRA Nationals and meet their enthusiastic owners.  We used Chateau Beauregard, the venue for the event, as the backdrop for our photo shoot.  We also had the pleasure of the company of Lee, Mick and his son George on a mini cruise as we explored the Normandy coastline, and a great trip was had by all.

Story & photos: Andy Kirk 

On the way to the Normandy coastline with Mick tucked in between Jon Golding and Kev Foster

Pop Browns