- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 27, 2005

All you Harry Potter fans will recognize this 1961 Ford Anglia as similar to the car featured in the movie “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”

How Bill Loewy came to possess the diminutive English Ford has enough twists to be worthy of the young student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

From 1959 to 1967 Ford built 954,426 of these Anglia saloons. Mr. Loewy’s left-hand-drive car obviously was built for the export market.

The mileage recorded on the odometer is a mystery figure, as much a secret as where the car had been the first 25 years it was in this country.

In the late 1980s the wife of a professional entertainer, a juggler, surprised her husband with the then-25-year-old Anglia. She reportedly had thought he could use the unusual little car in his act.

The juggler parked his surprise gift in a Southern Maryland chicken coop, where it sat for 14 years until it was discovered by a very tall friend of Mr. Loewy’s. “My friend asked me to take a look at a car that he was thinking of buying,” Mr. Loewy says.

Amazingly, the little 1.0-liter, four-cylinder engine started. Mr. Loewy’s friend was unable to shoehorn himself into the driver’s seat. “I drove it and it was a hoot — and cheap — so I bought it,” Mr. Loewy says. It was the summer of 2002.

A couple of weeks later he retrieved his treasure with a trailer. A happy surprise was the owner unexpectedly tossing in a pair of extra engines, an extra transmission, a couple of rear ends and eight or 10 wheels. There were also the equivalent of two parts cars in pieces.

Once the Anglia was safely at his Rockville home, Mr. Loewy gave his new old car a thorough once-over. He found that the brakes were “beyond weak.”

“The car sat on a lift in my garage for six weeks while I installed a whole new brake system,” Mr. Loewy says.

Locating a rebuilt generator was easy. Finding a replacement Bake-O-Lite pulley that had split in half was not.

“The 80 mph speedometer is very optimistic,” Mr. Loewy says. “I’ve had it up to a white-knuckle 62 mph,” he says. The 39-horsepower engine was screaming.

The floor-mounted gear shift pattern is a standard “H” pattern with first gear at the upper left. From the neutral position, reverse is to the left and then toward the back of the car.

Making use of every square inch of space, the Anglia designers thoughtfully placed a full-width package shelf beneath the dashboard.

Mr. Loewy understands that his car, when new, sold for about $1,200.

Twenty slots in the engine hood near the windshield help keep the engine compartment cool while the popout quarter windows help keep the back-seat passengers cool.

Mr. Loewy’s Anglia Model 105E came with full wheel covers as well as a single backup light. “It’s an ideal car in which to run errands,” he comments. “It’s so much fun to drive and it’s easy to park.” He adds, “It gets phenomenal gas mileage.” The last time he checked his city average was 32 miles per gallon.

In the 21/2 years that he has owned the Anglia, Mr. Loewy has become used to children tugging their parent’s sleeve and excitedly declaring his car the same as the Harry Potter movie car. Mr. Loewy says, “I think that the movie car is a couple of years newer than mine and it looks like a “Super” model instead of a “Deluxe.”

He has discovered that his Anglia left the factory painted either black or blue. It was red when he got it. “I am thinking of painting my car ‘Caribbean Blue,’” he says, because red is not a stock color.

If and when the color of Mr. Loewy’s Anglia is changed to match the color of the car in the movie, he will have to brace himself for an onslaught of Harry Potter fans.

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