Turbo Rotary + Small Ford = The Ang-ria

Is it possible to be desensitised to engine conversions? I mean, effects theory is one of those ideas chucked around in communications and media studies and prompts many a heated debate. But have I simply seen enough conversions to be left numb?

Amongst the pulses, braps, whizzes and rifle-cracks of New Zealand’s Rotary REunion event, the occurrence of a pair (or more) of spinning triangles in a foreign engine bay wasn’t exactly rare. Owing to their compact nature and high power potential, Mazda rotaries have seemingly been put to work in almost any chassis you can name.

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While there were the usual rotor-toting Mazda 323s, Mitsubishi Lancer EXs and even a Mercedes-Benz or two, nothing caught my attention quite like this mental little 1962 Ford Anglia, owned by father and son duo Murray and Jeremy Rowland.

Near on a decade older than anything else present in pit lane, the Anglia immediately piqued my interest; I had to find out what made this somewhat unconventional rotary swap tick.

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With the lion’s share of the build undertaken by Kiwi rotary specialist Dynopower, the Anglia represents the culmination of an eight-year on and off build time for the Rowlands. But why an Anglia in the first place? Like so many performance car enthusiasts who’ve transgressed their boy racer stage, Murray had one as a teenager, albeit not quite this wild. Although not attached at this point, the Anglia now wears the licence plates ‘ANGRYR,’ alluding to just how wild the experience is.

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The vintage Ford’s body has been given a second lease of life with the intent to be a road legal, track focused build. The agenda called for a couple of giggles when stamping the right foot to the floorboards, and the key ingredient is undoubtedly the FD3S Mazda RX7-sourced 13B turbo crammed into the small engine bay.

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The 13B remains internally factory and unopened, but it makes use of a single twin-scroll BorgWarner S200SX turbo for some extra output. It’s not the behemoth-spec huffer we’re used to seeing bolted to rotaries, but remember the Anglia has a dry weight in standard form of just 737kg (1624lb), so absolute peak power wasn’t the goal here.

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The result is a punchy 310hp at the treads, which I have on good authority propels the 55-year-old shopping trolley along the tarmac in a manner described as “exciting.” There’s other superlatives that could possibly explain the sensation more accurately, but Murray reckons the combination gives a pretty manageable power delivery all the same.

The Anglia sits on a fairly basic suspension arrangement. XYZ custom front coilover struts keep the front Toyo semi-slicks firmly on the deck, while flipped leaves with a revised rate are controlled by GAZ adjustable damper shocks out the back. There’s also a shortened Toyota Hilux LSD diff that’s been upgraded to disc brakes using Nissan Pulsar components.

Inside, the Anglia is more race than road car. A 4-point half-cage conducts double duties as both a safety item and a chassis rigidity aid, while Kiwi-produced Racetech low-back seats keep a period aesthetic. One of the coolest features is the Dakota Digital instruments that are snugly nestled into the OEM speedo aperture.

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Originally intended for a ’53 Ford pickup, the cluster has been seamlessly integrated here, offering a fuss-free means of keeping an eye on the 13B’s vitals. Hiding on a custom center console is the Link G4+ RX engine management system, with the tune again courtesy of Dynopower.

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While Murray and Jeremy’s aim was to drive the wheels off the Anglia over the Rotary REunion weekend – participating in the drags, the circuit and the cruise laps – a relatively minor mechanical cut short the Ford’s maiden voyage. The usually dependable Hilux-based diff sheared an axle early on day one, meaning that 300-odd horsepower never got further than the drive shaft. Not swayed, Murray’s already planning the next outing, and this time the car’s going to be on full slicks to make use of the snappy handling and power delivery that only a featherweight like the Anglia can deliver.

As for effects theory, the debate’s still open, but as long unique engine-swapped creations keep on popping up at local events, you can be assured we’ll keep hunting them out.

Richard Opie
Instagram: snoozinrichy



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Small car, MASSIVE EXCITEMENT! Again thumbs up for NZ!
We need more interesting car features like these, Thanks!
Great post!


You're more than welcome, I'll put the word out to our nation to keep staying rad!


Really enjoying the "old car, new heart" thing at the moment with the E-Types and now this! I got smoked by a Cosworth-powered Anglia a few years ago in my S14, can only imagine the sound of this flying passed to add to the confusion!


When I saw "rotary" and the photo, I thought it was a Mazda Carol which looks like a shrunken Anglia.


It's all in that tilted back rear screen angle, huh? I think there's been rotary swapped Carol's too...


Awesome p/w ratio! But the wildest swap ever featured here was most definitely the FIAT 500 with the Murcielago V12!


Can't argue against the Fiat being wilder... I reckon the Anglia would spank it in a real world track battle!


Hmm... would like to see them battle!


But this is categorically better.

Matthew Everingham

I'm really starting to gain a finer appreciation of the 'New Zealand' way of doing things.
What a crazy little nugget! :)


We might be a bit weird, but we do OK at cars. Especially the kind that brap.


300 horses in well under 1000kg? thats what i like to see


There'd be no question when it came on boost, that's for sure.


Fantastic car and build quality.

The only thing I don't understand is the low back seats, surely the harnesses will just slip off the shoulders of the seat in a crash, and provide no protection from whiplash with no headrest? Am I missing something?


I wonder the same - I guess it's a period style setup... but then I imagine Racetech wouldn't sell the seats if they were a hazard. Looks great all the same.


JB likes.

Wonder if an LSX could be fit in an Anglia though, then put 'em up against each other


Yes, it could with a bit of effort. Angelia's were very popular in "run what ya brung" race classes in the 60s and 70s due to being the smallest lightest RWD platform you could stuff a V8 into. Same as Starlets wee a decade later.


With an angle grinder, a welder and a big enough hammer I think it'd work!


Love it. Everything about this, from the rotary swap to the custom suspension, to the brilliant idea of packing it all into an Anglia, to naming it "Angria".

Awesome job!

Christian Schmidt

Hail to the KING! What a great car!!

Tomo N BEAMS ae86 turbo

Thats villanous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


What an exciting car!


Good work Speedhunters. More of this please (Things that are actually quick and not just tarted up pretend cars for show only)


My tastes tend toward cars that are built to be used - be it in a street or a circuit/race manner, so I intend at least to keep on popping out little features on stuff that is attainable, well screwed together and built for a purpose.

Miles Hayler-MacMillan

Mazda 'box?


FD RX7 gearbox in here, yes.


Love to see those spinnin' Doritos do their thing and motate such lovely old Iron! It must be pure fun to drive it. The rear windshield is great, I'm reminded of the old Lincoln and Mercury cars with those slanted rears.

One little bit I want to bring up to the New Zealand crowd about rotary history; let's see if they know this one. GM was going to make a Wankel but at the last moment, at 5 minutes before 12!, they cancelled the engine. In the wake of that momentous decision stood the lowly AMC Pacer. It was supposed to get the GM Wankel for it's engine bay but no go, no GM Wankel. AMC had to put in an inline motor, half of it was under the firewall!

Someone has to do the AMC Pacer right, it was born to have a Wankel. Someone should do The Pacer justice and put in a Wankel. And it seems this is the crowd to do it! I'd love to see it.


I think we'd need a rowdy NA 20B in the Pacer, just so it's more wild than your average.


Old dashboards are stylin.


Awesome build. Does anyone else see what I see in the engine bay pics?


Exactly Anthony