Hard to believe now, but the 1968 Escort required an explanation.
The 105E Anglia was not by any standards a bad car. In fact, it was rather a good one, especially by the reckoning of the time. It did however arrive at an inconvenient time. By this I mean a point when the tailfin was beginning its inexorable retreat into the history books, albeit one which would happen at considerably slower speed on this side of the Atlantic. Because not only did Europe arrive comparatively late to the tailfin party, it imbibed more sparingly and made its effects last longer; in same cases, well into the 1970s.
The Anglia’s appearance was also a somewhat inconvenient one for rivals, BMC, who were themselves releasing an inexpensive small car into the marketplace the same year, leading potential customers to draw comparisons which probably on balance benefited the blue oval.
However, by the close of the 1960s, Colin Neale’s styling, with its reflections of ’57 Thunderbird and Breezeaway Lincoln of the following year, appeared far more dated than the timescales might have suggested, illustrating just how quickly car design was evolving during this feverish period.
The 1968 Escort was the blue oval’s answer, an all-new (if technically similar) model; one developed as a pan-European offering, which the Anglia, with its nameplate rooted in olde Albion at least appeared not to be. Nevertheless, the name change was likely to have been rooted in Ford’s determination to broaden the model’s appeal beyond the narrow confines of the British Isles.
One of the striking aspects about the the print ad above, apart from the rather stark image of a basic-specification Escort is its laconic tone; Ford’s marketers crafting a deft piece of copywriting which outlines not only why the Anglia was being discontinued, but the rationale behind the name change. The lightness of touch is quite notable, as is the intimate, conversational style. Uncle Henry isn’t talking down to the customer, (à la Issigonis perhaps?), he is speaking directly to them.
The Ford Motor Company used to be quite adept at that.
The Escort received the DTW profile treatment in 2018.
The Anglia was documented alongside its Canley counterpart in 2019.