Ferguson Research F1™
Siskin Drive, Coventry CV3 4FJ
Harry Ferguson Research Limited founded by Harry Ferguson who was mostly known as "the father of the modern farm tractor", and also went on to develop four wheel drive systems for cars including pioneering their use in F1 racing cars. The company was based in Siskin Drive, in Coventry
Harry Ferguson was part owner of the famous Massey Ferguson Tractor company, but grew intrigued with the research of Tony Rolt and Freddie Dixon. In 1950, they founded Ferguson Research Ltd. Their offers of Ferguson 4WD to carmakers were ignored. Over the next few years, Ferguson 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 Ferguson later that year, the Ferguson P99 was raced during the 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 only victory of a four-wheel drive car in F1 (and incidentally the last race won by Moss in Europe), with the technology banned in 1983. 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. In 1964 the Ferguson P99, by then fitted with a 2.5 litre Climax engine, was lent to Peter Westbury who used it to win the British Hillclimb Championship that year. Ferguson later supplied 4WD transmissions to various Indy and F1 teams, with the BRM team using the Ferguson 4WD system on the BRM P67 car in 1964.
Formula1™ Models and Teamwear available from FormulaModelShop.co.uk here
* Stirling Moss
WHATS THERE NOW..
The area around Coventry airport have been heavily renovated of recent years, and as such there is very little evidence of the Ferguson research site, but their history in Coventry lives on, in the Coventry transport Museum.