Ford Popular 100E
|1959 to 1962|
|Production||1959–1962 126,115 made|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||two door saloon|
|Engine||1172 cc straight-4 side-valve|
|Transmission||3 speed manual|
|Wheelbase||87 in (2,210 mm)|
|Length||149.75 in (3,804 mm)|
|Width||60.75 in (1,543 mm)|
|Height||58.75 in (1,492 mm)|
|Curb weight||1,708 lb (775 kg)|
|Predecessor||Ford Popular 103E|
In 1959 the old Popular was replaced by a new version that was in production until 1962. Like the previous version it used a superseded Anglia's body shell, this time that of the 100E, and it was powered by a strengthened 1172 cc sidevalve engine producing 36 bhp. The brakes were now hydraulic with 8 in (203 mm) drums all round The new Popular offered 1,000 mile (1,500 km in metric countries) service intervals, like its predecessor, but it only had 13 grease points as against its predecessor's 23 (or 28 for the pre-war cars).The basic model stripped out many fittings from the Anglia but there was a large list of extras available and also a De Luxe version which supplied many as standard.
In later years, these cars became popular as hot rods since the late 1950s when people started drag racing them due to their lightweight construction. Ironically this started in the United States but became the definitive British hot rod, which it still is today.
The Motor magazine tested a 100E in 1960 and found it to have a top speed of 69.9 mph (112.5 km/h), acceleration from 0–50 mph (80 km/h) in 19.6 seconds and a fuel consumption of 33.2 miles per imperial gallon (8.51 L/100 km; 27.6 mpg-US). The test car cost £494 including taxes with a comment that it was the lowest-priced orthodox saloon on the British Market.
In 1960, the manufacturer's recommended retail price of £494 was equivalent to 26 weeks' worth of the average UK wage. The £100 charged in 1935 and the £1,299 charged for the Ford Escort Popular in 1975 both also amounted to 26 weeks' worth of average wage for the years in question. In the 1950s, however, the country had been undergoing a period of above average austerity: in 1953 the car's £390 sticker price represented 40 weeks' worth of the average UK wage.
Popular trim level
In 1975 the Popular name was revived as a base trim level of the newly released Ford Escort Mk2. This model featured a standard 1.1 litre OHV Kent motor, 12-inch wheels with cross ply tyres and drum brakes all round. The 1975 Ford Escort Popular was the first Ford to carry the Popular name that also featured a heater as standard equipment. The "Popular" trim level proved long-standing across the Ford range, featuring on later Escorts and the Fiesta, from 1980 to 1991.
Ford Popular in television shows
In 1970, a 1954 Ford Popular-based kit car, the Siva Edwardian (MTR 5), was used by Jon Pertwee to become "Bessie", the Doctor's sprightly Edwardian roadster on the long-running science-fiction television show, Doctor Who. A black Ford Popular 103E (EBW 343) was also used in the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch Mr. and Mrs. Brian Norris' Ford Popular. In a spoof of epic journeys, the Norrises (Michael Palin as Brian Norris and Graham Chapman in drag as Betty Norris) set out to see if the journey from Surbiton to Hounslow was possible; they were thwarted by the Thames and had to finish the trek by rail. Between 1992 and 1997, two black Ford Populars (8253 PU and VXL 794) were used in Heartbeat as Oscar Blaketon's car.
8253 PU used in Heartbeat as Oscar Blaketon's car.