Following the Second World War, successful racers Major Tony Rolt and Freddie Dixon formed a partnership; Dixon-Rolt Developments. Inspired by Rolt whilst he was a prisoner in Colditz they began to develop a four-wheel-drive vehicle project.
Irish-born entrepreneur, inventor and engineer Harry Ferguson heard about this project and in 1950 set up Harry Ferguson Research Ltd in Coventry. Ferguson wanted to instil this pioneering technology into the production line of one of the automotive giants of the time. Talks with Jaguar, Rootes Group, BMC and Rover got close but none shared Harry’s vision.
The transmission system was refined throughout the 1950s and in 1960 the P99 Ferguson Formula One car won outright at Oulton Park driven by a young Stirling Moss. To this day it remains the sole four wheel drive victory by a Formula One car and a landmark in automotive progression.
The system became known as FF (the Ferguson Formula) and was adopted by Jensen in their luxury sports model named the FF. Importantly predating Audi’s quattro of 1980 by more than a decade...!
Prior to Jensen, Harry Ferguson Research had been carrying out development of the system using Ford USA’s latest sales hit; the Mustang. It is known that they had 3 examples of the 1965 year model in notchback form and they were used across Europe to demonstrate the capability of the Ferguson Formula to potential clients such as Police and other Emergency forces.
This car was UK registered new ‘DAC 433C’ on the 21st January 1965 the registered keeper being Harry Ferguson Research Ltd – the original buff logbook is retained on file. Amazingly, also retained are two logbooks that document the maintenance, specification and mileage logged. Amazingly, it was also fitted with Dunlop’s pioneering Maxaret (ABS) system but aside from that it remained standard.
The mileage log began on the 28th July 1965 at 2312 miles where it notes ‘first road test’ we can only assume that prior running in had occurred and this was when the 4WD system had been installed. Incredible anecdotes include the ‘Trip to France’ from 2nd through 11th July 1966 that even included a fuel top up by Major Rolt. In December 1966 the speedo head was exchanged for a unit that read 13,770 less at 6,233 miles.
Confirming the presence of three early Ferguson Mustangs is the March 1971 entry noting that the engine from this car was fitted to the Maroon Mustang and that the engine from the Red Mustang was overhauled with new bearings, piston rings, valves and timing chain and then fitted to this car. The last entry in the mileage log is from November 1971 at 57,703 miles (71,473 actual).
Today the odometer reads 59,100 miles and below in dymo tape remains the required 13,770 additional adjustment. Following its service to the company, this Mustang was retained by the company before being moved to the Harry Ferguson Family Museum on the Isle of Wight where it was on display for may years. The current keeper purchased it direct from the family in 2007.
Presented in original condition; this 2 owner Mustang is an intriguing and interesting pioneer of automotive development. To think it took so long for precisely this concept to become a commercial success is staggering.
Re-commissioned since purchase; it is currently MOT’d. Accompanying the car is an assortment of documentation including the all important log books and related research.
Interesting trades considered.
This advert has now been removed through sale or otherwise, please see the list below for similar live adverts