The famed Irish engineer and businessman Harry Ferguson is best known for creating the modern farm tractor as we know it. Ford’s amazingly popular N series of tractors were based on lots of Ferguson’s ideas. Outside of that he was one of the first champions of all wheel drive in cars. He built the first and only AWD Formula One car to win a race and thought the technology would be great in normal cars. In 1965 he and his company decided to convert one of the most popular cars in the world at the time, the Ford Mustang.
Ferguson Research built three 1965 Mustangs with all wheel drive and this was no hack job junk. From the photos you can see a system that was very well engineered and executed. Even looking at the ride height of the car is an indication of how well the engineering was done. It is a touch higher than a normal Mustang but to the regular person the difference is almost impossible to notice.
These cars were built and driven, according to the seller and the documentation provided with the car, it has been driven more than 50,000 miles with the system intact and it works flawlessly to this day. An additional amazing fact that is that particular car, the only one of the three is equipped with Dunlop’s Maxaret brakes, which are a prehistoric version of ABS. That system is completely mechanical and while it didn’t get a lot of use in cars, it was well used in airplanes of the era. Automotive ABS didn’t take off until it could be supported be electronic systems in the late 1970s.
One of our favorite things about doing this every day is learning about cars we never knew existed. The Ferguson all wheel drive 1965 Mustang certainly fit that bill. Scroll down for some photos and a link to the site selling the car for 45,000 British Pounds.
Thanks to Arlid for the tip!