Fifty-three years ago Alan Inglis spotted a Palmer & Doak-prepared 105E Anglia in a Christchurch car yard. At that time, this Rangiora Ford dealership modified 105E Anglias (among other cars), repowering them, fitting widened rims, upgrading gearboxes and installing disc brakes as well as tweaking carburettors and exhaust systems. As he gazed longingly at that Anglia, Alan really wanted it, but its $1500 sales tag (decimal currency had just been introduced) amounted to a full year’s wages. He continued to cruise by the yard and gaze at this wonderful machine and when it was eventually sold he was gutted.

Alan never managed to get hold of a Palmer & Doak Anglia, but 30 years later he finally seized on a car that would help get him over his love-at-first-sight glimpse of that Anglia, when he set about building a replica Broadspeed Escort Mk I. However, before we look at Alan’s Escort let’s get historical.

At the Christchurch Classic Car Show in 2002

Broadspeed Engineering Ltd

Originally based in the English city of Birmingham, the company was founded by Ralph Broad who had achieved success racing BMC Minis in the early 1960s. His company also specialised in the supply of tuning packages for BMC and then Ford.

Broad’s career began when, at the age of 14, he found himself running the family garage following the death of his father. Fourteen years after this, in 1955, he started racing, and in 1959 with a very early Mini won his class first time out, smashing the Silverstone 850cc lap record.

The ‘Mk I’ – notice the sailing influence (Photo Euan Cameron)

In 1962, the Broadspeed racing team was formed with Broad as one of the drivers, the other driver being John Fitzpatrick. Between them they raced Mini Coopers in the British Saloon Car Championship. Broadspeed would become the official BMC works team but then ditched BMC in favour of the new Ford Anglia.

In 1966 Fitzpatrick won the championship in an Anglia, a win that did not impress the BMC hierarchy. After some time away Fitzpatrick returned to the team, and driving a 1970 Mk I Escort 1300 he claimed third place overall in the championship. A year later with a RS2000 (1600cc) unit he was fourth.

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