We don’t think the Poms had anything like this in mind when they first sketched the lightweight econo-box that would become the Ford Anglia. Designed as cheap, no-frills transport, the early Anglia was one of the most affordable cars available in the UK during the post-war years. During the 60s and 70s hot rodders and drag racers loved the little Anglia, but we can’t remember seeing anything quite as wild as Tony Younis’s blown and injected version.
First published in Street Machine’s Hot Rod 11 magazine, June 2013
It wasn’t always this crazy, though. Tony found the Chevy-powered beast in the Trading Post about ten years ago. “It was cheap, I think it was 20 grand at the time,” he says.
The engine was a basic 350-cube small-block and ran mid-13s over the quarter; nothing too exciting for a man who used to punt a 10sec T-bucket at Eastern Creek during the 90s. “The T-bucket was a pink thing and it had nitrous on it. I sold that when the track shut down.”
But with the opening of Sydney Dragway, Tony figured it was time to jump back into the fray. “I saw the car in the paper one day and thought, ‘F**k it, I may as well treat myself’,” he recalls. “So I went down and had a look at it. I didn’t have the right feeling so I let it go, but about a month later I rang the guy back and told him to drop it off and I’d give him the cash.”
Much of the hard work had already been done, with the guards widened 120mm and the body channelled 150mm down over the chassis. The transverse leaf springs had been replaced with a Torana set-up in the front and a four-linked nine-inch up the back.
“It was actually satin black,” Tony says. “The guy had put a flattening agent in it because he wanted to give it more of a nostalgic look. I ran around in it for about a year like that. Then one day a friend of mine was detailing it and he said, ‘Give me one of the guards to buff.’ So he gave it a go and it shined up. We buffed the whole car and it’s been the same ever since.”
But being a drag racer, Tony wanted some more horsepower up front. He stuck with the stock 350 for a couple years before rebuilding the engine for added grunt. “It was still a 350, and that ran 11.2 for a couple of years with two 465 CFM Holleys,” he explains. “Then I rebuilt the engine again myself, got some head work done, changed the carburettors and then it ran 9.90.”
High nines in a compact package is a hell of a ride, but the engine gave up the ghost 12 months later with a busted rod.
This time Tony decided to get serious. He had Trick and Mansweto screw together a tough combo with a brand new block. “They dyno tuned it and it had 620hp at the flywheel. It was 383 cubes and that ran 9.70 with twin 650 Demons. It was in the car four years.”
But after four years of cruising, racing and fairly solid use at events like Powercruise, the motor popped a head gasket. “I pulled the engine because at the time I wanted to rebuild the whole thing. I didn’t want to just do the head gaskets. After four years it was due for a freshen-up.”
One thing led to another, and the engine ended up in his son Daniel’s Capri. So the hunt was on for a new donk. “We found this Nova for sale in Queensland and did a deal to buy the engine and ’box,” Tony says. “We drove up there, had a look at his YouTube footage… He didn’t even transbrake it; he just took off really slow and the thing ran 8.60@150mph. I had the cash with me so I gave him the money. We pulled the motor out, stuck it in the back of the Hilux and drove straight home. All in one trip; we didn’t even sleep!”
While there is know way of knowing exactly what’s in the new motor, Tony does know it’s got 406 cubes in a Dart block topped with AFR heads and a Weiand 6/71 blower with Enderle Birdcatcher injection.
Fitting it all in was a bit of a squeeze, but it’s all in now, and Tony’s got high hopes for low timeslips. “Off what it ran in the other car, it’s probably got about a 1000hp,” he reckons. “The Anglia is 500lb lighter and usually it’s a tenth for every hundred pounds, so it should run an 8.0, and I would ultimately love to see that seven.”
He’s given it a couple of half-pass shakedown runs at Sydney Dragway, which has yielded a couple of flat 10s at 100mph, but he’s waiting for a couple of bits before he really gets on it. “I can’t drive it out the back door with the 4.11s it’s got, but I’ve ordered some 40-spline axles and 3.5s.”
In the meantime, Tony’s happy to help his boys Daniel and Louis with their cars, as well as terrorising the local traffic with the Anglia. “I drove it from Baulkham Hills to Crown on McCredie for the hot rod show on ANZAC Day (roughly 12km). It used 75 litres there and back. The hat was icing up and the windscreen was covered in water, but it was an awesome drive. I probably wouldn’t drive it that far again; I don’t want to waste it just idling and cruising round.”
Tony is looking forward to laying down some real numbers on the track soon, but we can’t help but wonder what it’s going to be like with 1000hp and a sub-100in wheelbase.
“Yeah, I know, that’s what I’m wondering too!” he laughs. “But that’s what I want. If you’re going racing, go racing. I don’t want to just sit in it in all comfy; otherwise I’d just buy a dragster and go for an easy drive.”
While the little Anglia is snorting pure methanol, Tony’s been thinking of switching to E85 because he’s the first to admit that it’s none too streetable on metho. “I put some E85 in it the other day to see what would happen. It just ran a bit rich but it still ran OK, so I’m doing a bit of research.
It’s very similar, even to touch and smell, and it sort of evaporates quick like methanol. So I’m sort of on the right track, but I’m just waiting for someone that knows what they’re talking about. When I get sick of all this, I’ll pull it all out, put it on a dyno and tune it on E85. I’m confident it’ll be fine.”
1948 FORD ANGLIA
|Transmission:||Powerglide, full manual|
|Diff:||9in, 4.11 gears, full spool, 31-spline|
|Brakes:||P76 discs, Wilwood calipers (f), Ford drums (r)|
|Springs:||Torana (f), Strange (r)|
|Shocks:||Pedders (f), Strange coilover (r)|
|Suspension:||Torana (f), 4-link (r)|
|Rims:||Weld Pro Stars, 15×3½in (f), 15x10in (r)|
|Rubber:||Mickey Thompson (f), Mickey Thompson ET, 325 (r)|
Thanks to my sons Louis and Daniel for their motivation and inspiration – I couldn’t let my kids be faster than me, plus my wife Wendy for her patience and food delivery to the garage, and my daughter Stephanie because she is the best. Also Chubby at Lowe Fabrications, Stuart at Racer’s Choice, Zoran and Scotty at Rocket, Red at Craft Diffs, John at JBK Smash Repairs, Andrew Natoli for the interior wrap, Dean the auto electrician, Smitty Younis and my pit crew, Ray, Joanna and Talicia.