Harry Ferguson Research Limited was a British company founded by Sir Harry Ferguson and mostly known as a racing car constructor and a 4WD transmission systems supplier.


History[edit | edit source]

Harry Ferguson was part owner of the famous Massey-Ferguson tractor company, but in late 1950s he decided to exit that business and set up Ferguson Research Ltd. Over the next few years he sold off his interest in Massey-Ferguson and turned to the construction of a Coventry-Climax powered 4WD Formula One car in 1960.

Despite the death of Harry Ferguson later that year, the Ferguson P99 was raced during 1961 season in UK F1 races by Rob Walker's team. The car raced only once in the World Championship at the British Grand Prix. However the car won a non-championship race, the 1961 International Gold Cup at Oulton Park with Stirling Moss as the driver. As of today, this is the one and only victory of 4WD car in F1 (and incidentally the last race won by Moss in Europe), and it might stay so for a long time as 4WD is now banned in F1. Despite its promising beginnings this front-engined car was soon made obsolete by mid-engined cars.

Ferguson Research went on in racing, supplying the Novi-powered P104 to the STP team for Indianapolis.

Ferguson research later supplied 4WD transmissions to various Indy and F1 teams. BRM used the Ferguson 4WD system on the P67 in 1964.

They used this experience to develop the 4WD system for the road-going Jensen FF GT car that was introduced in 1966, the FF standing for Ferguson Formula.

By 1969 the company was also contracted to make prototype conversions of several road cars for major manufacturers. These included a Dodge Challenger for Chrysler and Ford Granada police vehicles.

In 1969, there was a 4WD boom in F1 with the top teams of the era, Matra MS84, Lotus 63 and Team McLaren, building 4WD cars using the Ferguson system (Cosworth built also built a 4WD car but using their own system). The 1968 seasons had seen many wet races and the constructors were searching for means to increase the grip of the cars. The [1969 British Grand Prix, saw a record number of four 4WD cars using the Ferguson system entered.[citation (source) needed]

1969 also saw the introduction of wings in F1 and there was no wet race that year. All the competitors ceased developing 4WD F1 cars as wings appeared as an easier way to increase grip, with the exception of Lotus that made a last attempt with the Ferguson system on the gas turbine powered Lotus 56B in 1971.

A new company called FF Developments was founded in 1971 by Tony Rolt and continued to develop Ferguson's ideas.[citation (source) needed]

The companies factory and offices were in Siskin Drive, Coventry, England.

Complete World Championship results[edit | edit source]

(key)

Year Entrant Driver Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts. WCC
1961 Rob Walker Racing Jack Fairman Coventry Climax I4 Monaco Grand Prix Dutch Grand Prix Belgian Grand Prix French Grand Prix GBR
DSQ
German Grand Prix Italian Grand Prix United States Grand Prix 0 -

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]


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