Ford Prefect

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Ford Prefect

1938 - 1959
United Kingdom
4 cyl.
30 hp
Three-speed manual.
Top Speed:
Number Built:
1 star
The Ford Prefect was first introduced in 1938 and at the time was the first Ford to be designated by a model name. Its model number was E93A.

This was soon followed by the 8 hp Anglia, a less well equipped 2 door model based on the same chassis and designated model E04A.

The Anglia, in its basic configuration, was generally the lowest priced car in England at the time. Both these cars were regarded as quite reliable and very good performers for their class.

These cars have come to be known as the "Upright Fords" due to their obvious looks, rather tall and narrow, or upright.

They had a beam front axle, transverse, semi-elliptic springs front and rear with Armstrong lever shocks, Girling mechanical brakes and no anti-roll bars.

They were equipped with vacuum windscreen wipers, the Prefect having a substantial reservoir for "up hill going".

Both iterations were powered by a 4 cylinder inline sidevalve, or flathead, engine. The Prefect's displacing 1172 cc, producing 30 hp, and the Anglia's was 933cc for 23 hp.

Drive was through a 3 speed gearbox, synchromesh in 2nd and 3rd, a closed torque tube drive shaft and rather small differential. The final drive ratio of about 5.5:1 yielded a top speed of near 60 mph.

The engine had no water pump or oil filter and had poured babbitt main and rod bearings.

In 1953, Dagenham introduced the next series of small Fords. This was to be the end of the "Upright Fords". The series 100E, as it was designated, was based on an all new, modern, monocoque body with an all new engine and drive train. The new engine did, however, share exact dimensions with the old so it could be tooled with much of the old equipment.

These cars received Girling hydraulic brakes but retained the 3 speed gearbox and vacuum windscreen wipers. Gone also were the transverse springs with their closed drive line and beam front axle, being replaced by a more modern open drive and independent strut front suspension. In order to amortize the engineering behind the new series, the Anglia could no longer be the lowest priced car available.

Ford countered by stripping most of the already few features from the old upright Anglia and redesignating it the Popular, at a price well below anything else on the market. Both the Prefect and Anglia were still exceptional performers in their class and managed to win many races and rallies. All three cars were produced until 1959.

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Also see:

Ford Anglia Review
Ford Anglia Prefect Technical Specifications
Ford Anglia Prefect Brochure (1955)
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