Tag Archives: Ferguson

Theosophical Pickup – Standard Vanguard Phase II Pickup

In 1903 by Reginald Walter Maudslay founded the Standard Motor Company in Coventry England. 42 years later after WW2, during which Standard had been involved in the production of utility vehicles and various aircraft including the Mosquito night fighter bomber, Standard recommenced production of civilian vehicles, bought the remains of the Triumph Motor Company which went into receivership in 1939 and was kept busy post war initially with the production of Ferguson Tractors.

Standard Pickup, Classic Car Show, NEC, Birmingham

In 1948 the all new Plymouth inspired 2 litre 122 cui Standard Vanguard Phase 1 replaced all existing models and remained in production until replaced by the Phase II in March 1953, the main external difference being the Beetle back of the Phase I being replaced by a regular 3 box 4 door saloon shape for the Phase II.

Standard Pickup, Classic Car Show, NEC, Birmingham

By this time Standard were also involved in the production of Rolls Royce Avon jet engines for use in Britains fleet of nuclear armed V-Bombers like the https://www.psychoontyres.co.uk/wings-wheels-dunsfold-aerodrome/12-dscn6360sc/, these motors fitted with afterburners would also form the basis of the Rolls Royce Olympus jets that were fitted to Concorde the worlds only operational supersonic passenger airliner.

Standard Pickup, Classic Car Show, NEC, Birmingham

Apologies I digress alongside the Phase I and Phase II passenger Vanguards Standard also manufactured Pickups which like all other Vanguards seemed to be particularly popular with the Royal Air Force. Phase II Vanguards were manufactured until 1956, a completely new body Vanguard having been introduced in 1955.

Standard Pickup, Classic Car Show, NEC, Birmingham

Today’s featured Pickup, seen at last years Classic Motor Show, was restored some ten years ago and was recently offered on e-bay where it was noted that a floor operated manual Triumph TR3 four speed gearbox with overdrive. The top bid for the Standard Pickup was £7,200 pounds but this was below the reserve so the car appears not to have sold.

While researching today’s blog I stumbled across this linked page for the Theosophy Wales Society who appear to be big fans of all Standard Vangards which remained in production until 1963 in the UK while production of Phase I Vanguard UTE (Pickup) continued until 1964 in Australia.

Thanks for joining me on this “Theosophical Pickup” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me tomorrow for a look at a bright green mid engined icon from Italy. Don’t forget to come back now !


High Class Motor Business – Aston Martin DB2

David Brown Engineering Limited was founded in 1860 to manufacture gears and gearboxes in Huddersfield, by 1898 the company was specialising in machine cut gears. Percy and Frank Brown took over the business when their father died in 1903 and expanded production to include bearings, and worm gears. During the 1914-’18 war they also built propulsion units for warships.

Aston Martin DB2, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

In 1931 (later Sir) David Brown became managing director after his father died and in 1936 the company entered into a partnership with Harry Ferguson to build agricultural tractors. By the end of the thirties Brown and Ferguson parted ways and Brown launched a new tractor design in 1939 of which over 7,000 would be built.

Aston Martin DB2, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

In 1947 after seeing an advertisement in The Times offering a “High Class Motor Business” David Brown bought Aston Martin, then Lagonda the following year and the Tickford coachbuilder, in to whose premises Aston Martin production would be moved, in 1955.

Aston Martin DB2, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

David Browns ownership of Aston Martin led to the DB prefix for models, a 2 litre sports car manufactured from 1948 to 1950 was retrospectively known as the DB1. The Aston Martin DB2 replaced the 2 litre using a upgraded DB 1 chassis to take a 2.6 litre / 158 cui development of the twin overhead cam straight six engine which W O Bentley and William (Willie) Watson had originally designed for Lagonda.

Aston Martin DB2, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Three Aston Martin DB2’s were sent to Le Mans in 1950, George Abecassis and Lance Macklin finished fifth overall ahead of Charles Brackenbury and Reg Parnell to score a one – two class victory.

Aston Martin DB2, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

A car tested with the Frank Feeley designed coupé body was tested in 1950 and shown to be capable of reaching 60 mph from rest in 11.2 seconds with a top speed of 116 mph. In all 411 DB2’s were built between 1950 and 1953.

Today’s featured 1952 DB2 is seen at an Avenue Drivers Club meeting earlier this year.

Thanks for joining me on this “High Class Motor Business” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now.


Stirling’s Favourite – Ferguson Climax P99

“Harry” Ferguson was born on Novmeber 4th 1884 in Growell, County Down, Nothern Ireland. He started work with his brother in a bicycle and car repair business in 1902, while there Harry started racing motorcycles in 1904 and on the 31st December 1909, having designed and built a monoplane, he became the first person to fly in Ireland.

Ferguson Climax P99, Goodwood Festival of Speed

In 1911 Harry went into business selling motor and agricultural vehicles. On seeing the short comings of some of the agricultural products he was selling he began devising his own, including a new hydraulic system and three point linkage for attaching ploughs.

Harry entered into a hand shake agreement with Henry Ford Snr for Ford to manufacture the Ferguson patents under license in 1939. In 1947 Henry Ford II, Seniors grandson, reneged on the deal and five years later settled with Harry out of court to the tune of $9 million, around half of which went to Harry’s legal representatives.

Ferguson Climax P99, Goodwood Festival of Speed

In 1950 Harry employed Aston Martin designer Claude Hill and along with two pre 1939/45 war friends Fred Dixon, who prewar had proposed building an all wheel drive Land Speed Record (LSR) car and former ERA racer Tony Rolt began working on an innovative all wheel drive road car featuring electric windows, disc brakes and access to the rear through a hatchback, all idea’s which were unknown in European passenger car production at the time.

Project 99 a research vehicle, that became the worlds first all wheel drive Formula One car, to promote the all wheel drive concept was given the green light in May 1960, just 6 months before Harry’s death at the age of 75.

Ferguson Climax P99, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The P99 made it’s public debut in an Intercontinental Formula race with a 2.5 litre / 152 cui Coventry Climax motor at Silverstone in 1961 where Tony Rolt’s former entrant Rob Walker entered the car for Jack Fairman alongside Stirling Moss in a similarly powered Cooper.

Fairman retired from the race with a broken gearbox that may have resulted from excessive engine braking in the absence of reliable brakes, while Moss went on to a comfortable victory in the Cooper. At the British Grand Prix, where the Fergusson appeared with a 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui Climax, Fairman qualified 20th but ran into electrical problems, after Stirling Moss had retired his Rob Walker entered Lotus 18 he took over from Fairman in the P99. The car was later disqualified for receiving a push start.

Ferguson Climax P99, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Stirling Moss was entered to drive the Ferguson in the Oulton Park Gold Cup, a non championship race for Formula One cars entered by most of the top teams except Ferrari and Porsche. Stirling won easily to record the first, and only, win of a (non championship) Formula One race with an all wheel drive car and coincidentally the last (non championship) win for a front engined Formula One car.

The Fergusons 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui Formula One motor was uprated to 2.5 litres / 152 cui and subsequently entered in a series of non championship Antipodean Formula Libre, unrestricted, races in early 1963 where Graham Hill drove the car to a second place finish in the Australian rain at Lakeside and a forth place in the sub tropical summer heat of New Zealand at Pukekoe where with a mile to go his gearbox packed up while again running in second place.

Innes Ireland drove the P99 in the next three events finishing third at Leven, but retired from both of the other races. Graham Hill raced the car one more time at Warwick Farm where he came home sixth.

Ferguson Climax P99, Goodwood Festival of Speed

After a conversation with Stirling Moss, who had praised the benefits of the P99’s all wheel drive,Indy 500 entrant Andy Granatelli instigated a test in which Jack Fairman and Bobby Marshman drove the P99 at Indianapolis with the 2.5 litre / 152 cui motor and recorded average speeds of over 140 mph, Marshman claimed he did not need to lift at all for any of the corners, the car was so underpowered. Andy was sufficiently impressed that he employed Ferguson Research to develop all wheel drive for his 1964 Indy 500 challenger the Studebaker STP Special.

Granatelli never won the Indy 500 with an all wheel drive car but kept backing the concept through various incarnations the last of which was the all wheel drive Lotus 64 built in 1969, after which all wheel drive was banned from the brick yard.

Rolt, Fergusson P99, Richmond Trophy, Goodwood Revival

Ferguson Research was also involved with five all wheel drive Formula One projects including the 1969 Lotus 63, Cosworth and McLaren M9A, the last two of which I’ll be looking at in the weeks to come.

Although not the easiest car to drive Stirling Moss once described the Ferguson P99, which fascinated him, as his favourite racing car. Stuart Rolt, of the same Tony Rolt family is seen driving the P99 in practice for the 2011 Richmond Trophy at Goodwood above.

My thanks to Alan Cox, E.B., Ray Bell, Roger Clark and Michael Ferner at The Nostalgia Forum for their patience answering my questions about the the Ferguson P99.

Thanks for joining me on this “Stirling’s Favourite” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at the first BRM to win a Grand Prix. Don’t forget to come back now !

08 07 13 Errata, I originally stated that Moss was entered in a Lotus 18 for a non championship race at Silverstone when the Ferguson made it’s debut, when in fact Stirling drove a Cooper Climax to victory in the race run to the Intercontinental Formula as now stated in the amended text. Thanks to Roger Clark for pointing out the error.


Vauxhall Bearcat Special

In 1922 Vauxhall introduced the 2.3 litre / cui 14/40 M-type to complement the 4 litre / 244 cui D-type and the 4.5 litre / 275 cui 30/98 E-type in it’s model range. The 14/40 featured a detachable cylinder head, 3 speed gearbox and rear wheel brakes, solid wheels were standard with wire spoke wheels an option.

Ian Ferguson, Vauxhall Bearcat Special, Prescott

The 1926 Vauxhall 14/40 chassis driven by regular hill climb competitor Ian Ferguson at Prescott above has been fitted with a 4 cylinder 366 cui / 6 litre motor normally found in a Stutz Bearcat.

Thanks for joining me on today’s edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Feeding the Need – Goodwood Festival of Speed

On Thursday I managed to pop in to the Goodwood Festival in the early morning and afternoon.

Renault Magnum, Goodwood FoS

It was one of those mornings when even a the Renault Magnum transporter held a good deal of visual allure.

Gerry Judah, Goodwood FoS

The truck certainly held more allure to my eyes than this 28 m 175 tonne steel macaroni E-Type Jaguar by Gerry Judah but I am no judge of ‘art’. (08 12 11 Update turns out this sculture was illuminated at night, whih I have say in the photo’s I have seen did give it a far more interesting appeal.)

Jaguar XK 140, Goodwood FoS

Jaguar was very much the manufacturer under the spotlight of this years Festival, with not only the 50th Anniversary of the E- Type but also the 60th anniversary of Jaguars first victory at Le Mans being celebrated. Above the private XK 140 entered at Le Mans in 1956 for Roger Walshaw and Peter Bolton did not finish despite recording 1 lap less than 14th and last classified finisher.

Goodwood FoS

Jaguars senior ambassador and former test driver Norman Dewis, extreme right facing camera above, was in evidence amongst the Jaguar exhibits, Norman competed in numerous races for Jaguar and most amazingly IMHO in 1953 he was bolted into an XK 120 and then proceeded to set a production car speed record of 176 mph in it !

SEAT IBE, Goodwood FoS

There appeared to be a lot of emphasis on manufacturers efforts to go electric, among the more feasibly stylish concepts was the SEAT IBE, while I am all in favour of zero emissions travel I seriously believe we would be doing our great great grand children a great favour if we talked about these vehicles being ‘DISPLACED EMISSION VEHICLES’ since the power to recharge batteries has to come from somewhere.

Lohner - Porsche Semprus Vivus, Goodwood FoS

I wonder if it was a coincidence that in the week when Porsche announced that they were planning to return to Le Mans with a hybrid car in 2014 what must rank as one of the original hybrid vehicles a, Porsche AG built, replica of a 1900 Lohner – Porsche Semprus Vivus powered by two de Dion petrol motors which charge the batteries that drive the front electric hub motors, one of which can be seen above, should appear at the Goodwood Festival of Speed ?

BRM P261, Goodwood FoS

Former Jaguar apprentice Richard Attwood, left with green bottle above, who won the Le Mans 24 hours in 1970 with Hans Hermman driving a Porsche 917 was down to drive the 1965 #9 BRM P261 this weekend, seen also on the left, similar apart from it’s engine size to the BRM he drove to a win at Levin in the 1966 Tasman Series.

Red Arrows, Goodwood FoS

The action on the hillclimb track at Goodwood on Thursday was restricted to a huge range of road cars being tested by prospective clients in an event known as the moving Moving Motor Show. Returning after a lunchtime meeting the tempo of the day was picked up by the Red Arrows who’s display of airpersonship is nothing short of staggering.

Bloodhound SSC, Goodwood FoS

While the Red Arrow’s Hawk trainer aircraft usually fly around 350 mph during displays and have a top speed of 630 mph they will be left standing by the Bloodhound SSC if all goes to plan when it is completed. Project founder Richard Noble hopes to have the 14,000 lb 42 foot long car powered by a Eurofighter Jet engine to 350 mph and a rocket, fed oxidiser by a pump connected to Cosworth Formula One motor ready to attempt to take the LAND SPEED RECORD up to 1,000 mph in 2013.

Grant King Piston Ring Special Ferrari 375, Goodwood FoS

The Centenary of the first running of the Indianapolis 500 was celebrated by a large selection of vehicles from the past 100 years including the Grant King Piston Ring Special Ferrari 375 from the Louwman Museum seen being given the once over by two latter day Ferrari technicians with over 23 years experience working at Marranello between them.

Dayton Steel Foundry Special, Kurtis Kraft, Goodwood FoS

I was advised to look out for the Dayton Steel Foundry Special a Kurtis Kraft – Offenhausser by GALPOT regular and soon to be contributor Dave Wolin, this car was unsuccessful in the hands of Juan Fangio at Indy who withdrew from qualification after trying this car in 1958. Indy Winner Scott Dixon was down to drive the car during the Festival of Speed.

Kimberely Special, Cooper Climax T54, Goodwood FoS

Some of you may remember my blog on The Kimberely Cooper Special a Cooper T54 driven by Jack Brabham at Indy in 1961. Today the car is owned by Philippe de Lespinay, it was a treat to see this car in the flesh and to meet Philippe and his wife Kathryn.

Spyker Silvestris V8 Prototype, Goodwood FoS

There were a handful of vehicles representing manufacturers that have or at least attempted to have been revived including this 1996 Audi V8 Turbo powered Spyker Silvestris V8 Prototype, which looks like it has been kept in a barn for 15 years while still retaining many of the hall marks although with a tad less testosterone of the current Spyler models.

Jankowits, Goodwood FoS

Seeing the Jankowitz Special was a wonderful surprise, though it was very disappointing to see the owner Georg Gebhard embarrass himself by still repeating the myth that discredits the ingenious Jankowits brothers by incorrectly claiming this special was an Alfa Romeo project.

Rolls Royce Phantom Convertible, Goodwood FoS

I soon lightened up when I saw this Rolls Royce Phantom Convertible in the car park on the way out. My need for speed satiated by a near perfect day at Goodwood I enjoyed a slow amble home taking the back roads into the sunset through West Sussex, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

Thanks for joining me on this Festival Speed edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a European bodied one off special owned and driven by a life long competitor. Don’t forget to come back now !


Killed by British Leyland – Italia 2000 GT

The Italia 2000 GT was an attempt by Commendator Salvador Ruffino to fuse the proven ‘reliability’ of British engineering and the the artistry of Italian coach builders.

The Italia 2000 GT was built around knock down Triumph TR3A kits, featuring a 100 hp 1991cc 121 cui 4 cylinder engine, that has similarities to the engine Standard supplied to Ferguson for use in tractors in 1945.

The TR3 from which all the mechanical components are supplied was one of the earliest production vehicles to feature Disc brakes behind the Crosley Hotshot and Citroen DS.

As this, non original (?), plate show’s only 349 Italia 2000’s were built, the original agreement was for Carrozzeria Vignale to build 1500 of these sports cars however when British Leyland bought Triumph in 1960 the management decided to stop supplying the knock down kits and opted to build the TR4 instead.

The design of the Italia was by Giovanni Michelotti who designed the Triumph TR4 that superseded the Italia.

The production of the Italia 2000 GT in Turin ran from 1959 to 1962.

Thanks for popping by, don’t forget to come back now ! 🙂