The Angular Anglia

– A car I should never have sold

The original "muscle car" a 1964 Ford Anglia

I have very fond memories of my first car, a 1964 Ford Anglia. You may have seen it. It’s the one with the funny back window which is angled in not out (maybe that’s why the name Anglia).

I loved that car and with it performed feats of speed and endurance beyond its and my capabilities.  Luckily I’m still here to talk about it. Thankfully most young drivers today are far more responsible than I was.

The trip from Melbourne to Cann River on the Victorian east coast was about  460 kilometres, in those days a comfortable 7 hour drive.

With mate Mike Outtrim we completed the journey in five hours  ten minutes on some pretty dodgy roads.  There were no freeways or proper highways then.

Melbourne to Cann River 460 kilometres on dodgy roads

The Anglia speedometer only went up to 80 mph and the needle was hard up against the stop for most of the journey.  Bloody madness.

The Anglia never let me down, although it came close a number of times. Once the floor change gear stick broke off about 3 inches (about 8 cm) from the base making gear changes impossible. I couldn’t afford to have it fixed so I drove around for two weeks permanently in third gear.

If you’ve ever driven a small four cylinder car you know how handy the other gears are, not to mention reverse.

I had to rev the engine like hell to take off from the lights but after that, no worries.  She was a tough little motor and loved the work.

In those crazy days we all drank too much, and because I was the only one with a car, often drove after a late night less than sober.

After one such heavy night I was woken from my deathly slumber about 10 AM by my father. “My God, son what have you done? Who did you hit?”

My mind raced but with absolutely no recollection. I went outside fearing the worst.  But there was the little Anglia with not a scratch.

However, that was the driver’s side. On the passenger’s side a different story. No damage but all down the door dried, lumpy, fleshy stuff and did it stink!

It had been a hot morning and whatever it was had baked onto the enamel.

I began wondering if in fact I’d hit someone and this was all that remained. But why no damage to the door?

Then it all started to come back, several beers too many followed by a big hamburger with the lot (well before the Big Mac when a hamburger was a real hamburger) and all washed down with some more VB(Victoria Bitter).  It was way too much for one of my passengers who felt the need to have a “technicolour  heave” out the window.

I had the pleasant duty of cleaning it off in the baking Sun nursing a monstrous hangover and getting no sympathy from ‘the old man.”.

From that day forward hamburgers were banned in the Mighty Anglia.

P.S. Yes I know I was very silly boy.  It was a different era with different standards(no breathalyser, no .05) but I did learn the error of my ways without hurting myself or more importantly anyone else.

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