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Where to Get Parts if You’re Restoring King Kong

Where to Get Parts if You’re Restoring King Kong
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This is a story about where to get parts if you’re restoring King Kong. We’re not talking about the mammoth movie monkey—we’re talking about the Kohler Brothers’ Anglia drag racer hat Art Carr drove in the “Gasser Wars” after the NHRA banned aircraft-engined dragsters.
 
Ford of Dagenham built a variety of models in Dagenham, England. Production of these vehicles started in 1931. Of 4,574 units made that year, only five were passenger cars. By the early ‘50s, Dagenham was turning out 1100 cars per day. English Fords included the Popular, the Consul, the Zephyr Zodiac, the Cortina and the Anglia. To many people the postwar Anglia is known as the flying car in the “Harry Potter” books and movies.
Terry Olson of Greenfield, Wis.—a Milwaukee suburb—operates Anglia Brokers (www.anglia-brokkers.com) and is an avowed lover of gassers. He sells Anglia parts, restores and modifies the cars and spends about half his working hours dealing with Anglia enthusiasts (the other half is devoted to his construction business, since he believes in diversification in today’s economy.
 
According to Olson, he started his Anglia business in 1986 and he has owned an Anglia gasser since 1974. He says that trade in Anglias is a small, but very busy market niche. “The restoration end of things is very small,” he noted. “But the demand for street rod and drag-racing versions grew with the interest in nostalgia drag racing and is absolutely huge today.”
 
Olson says most Anglia restorations are actually being done by owners of Anglia street rods or gassers. “They either want a stock Anglia to compare their hot rod to, or they are actually using a stock version to pull the racing car back to the pits instead of a golf cart. That’s considered very cool.”
 
According to Olson, the first Anglias were built in 1932 and production ended in the early 1960s, when the brand name was changed to Cortina. He pointed out that the early Anglias are Model Y's and that they are not miniature versions of a 1934 Ford. “Everybody thinks they were copied from the American Ford, but it was the opposite,” Olson explained. “The design came out in England and it was so popular that Henry (Ford) scaled it up for the United States.
 
Most Anglias used small, four-cylinder flathead engines. They started getting popular with drag racers in the early-1960s. In 1962, the Wilson-Henderson Thames panel truck version was a record holder and class winner at Pomona. This D/altered truck did the quarter in 12.15 sec. at 110.42 mph.
 
Olson owns a Thames panel truck and, at one time, he had seven Anglias including a Model Y that was used in the motion picture “Public Enemies.” He has a 1961 Anglia Escort station wagon and a 1937 Fordson. He also owns the only Anglia woodie wagon ever produced. He purchased that vehicle from Ford Motor Co. in 2005 and is now doing a complete restoration on it. Why not? He knows where to get parts!
 
Anglia-Brokers is well known by word of mouth and through the Internet. Olson also attends Gasser Reunions and networks wit gasser collectors. “We attended our first gasser gathering in 1999 in St. Louis, Olson pointed out. “We figured the interest would last about four years. Now, we see people paying big prices to buy nice bodies to build gassers. They’re learning that you save money in the long run if you pay more to buy a nice body to start with.”  Anglia fans can call Olson at 1-414-346-3427 or email him at [email protected].