The Ferguson Mustang FF: AWD and a 427!!!

<i>From another review of the car - in Dutch.</i>
From another review of the car - in Dutch.

Ferguson has a special place in my heart as one of those pioneering but eccentric firms that flipped the establishment a bird and did something awesome. That something was to develop an AWD system that found its way into F1 cars and road cars, notably the Jensen FF based on the amazing Jensen Interceptor. But did you know that Ferguson worked their multi-wheel magic on the original ponycar – the Ford Mustang?

I knew that Ferguson had already converted some Ford cars over to AWD, and at some point I’d like to get into those, but for the moment, we’ll deal with the ‘Stang. Details are fairly sparse, and it looks like this was a one-off job. But it was impressive enough that in 1970, Auto Motor und Sport gave it a pretty extensive writeup. A German Mustang fan club posted the article on their webpage, and so if I’m reading the internet-translated version right, it looks like Ferguson got their mitts on a ’69 or ’70 Mustang rocking a 427, and proceeded to graft in the major drivetrain components from the contemporary Jensen FF.

That meant the installation of an automatic transmission (standard to the Ford) and differentials front and rear. This required widening the transmission tunnel to accommodate the transfer case, and raising the engine and fitting a shallower oil pan to clear the front differential. Some upgrades included Dunlop Maxaret anti-lock braking, and suspension swiped from the contemporary Shelby Mustangs.

<i>More Dutch review photos ...</i>
More Dutch review photos ...

Auto und Sport thought it worked great! 0-62 mph in 7.7 seconds, and it had pretty good roadholding with a 60/40 weight bias, with the rear getting a fixed 63% of drive torque. They claimed it handled wet and snowy conditions confidently, which is about what I’d expect from what was essentially a Jensen FF in Mustang clothing. And considering that the automatic was not geared for sporty driving, the performance was pretty impressive for the time, especially considering how much weight this primitive AWD system added.

Anyone know what happened to the Ferguson Mustang?

First Mustang Club of Germany, Image

 

0 Comments

  1. How awesome it would be to blow past that long line of slow-moving SUVs on the way to the pass. This has me contemplating other AWD retrofits. 4-4-4-2, anyone?

  2. OK, that's not a little awesome. That's a lot awesome.
    I wonder how difficult it would be to do the same thing today? Take my 2008 V6 Mustang. It has a T5 manual and the same 4.0L V6 used in the Ranger. The Ranger also came with a 5-speed manual and I'm assuming it was a T5. So, computer hardware should translate over pretty easy, right? Of course there would have to be some beating and banging to get the front wheels driven, and some adjustments to the suspension, but I can't see it being outrageously difficult. Definitely beyond my skill set, but plausible.
    Also, for other RWD for AWD conversions, the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish used in Die Another Day was converted to AWD as well has having its engine replaced with a 351, IIRC. Actually, there were several of them. I remember reading about it in Car & Driver or some such mag back when that movie was all the rage.

    1. IIRC, they were mostly Explorer underneath.
      Also: Pierce Brosnan can't drive a manual transmission. How ungentlemanly.

      1. Really? Well, he just dropped a notch or 10 in my book.
        That would make sense to use Explorer hardware underneath. I know the engines were 351s or something similar because they needed room in the engine compartment for the rockets and stuff behind the headlights, plus they ran carbs on them so they didn't have to fiddle with computers. I always wished I could have gotten my hands on one of the Aston V12 engines they took out. I'd find a way to cram it in my car.

      2. I thought that was Daniel Craig? Brosnan might not be able to either, but I'm pretty sure a big fuss was made of Craig's inability when Casino Royale (the first movie where he was Bond) started filming.

    1. I read a wonderful article about these Ferguson Capris, and I think it was in Classic & Sports Car. They took some Finnish rally driver to an ice-covered lake, with nail-studded tires, and he reviewed the car. I think he had also driven a similar Ferguson Capri back in the day. My memory's all a bit fuzzy on this. I do remember there were some awesome pictures of the Capri plowing through some snow. If anyone has that article and would be willing to scan it, I'd be ever-appreciative.
      But yes, it was all sorts of awesome, although I imagine the weight penalty of the FF system meant it wasn't quite as sprightly as the 7-liter Mustang.

  3. There was an article in Classic Cars or one of those UK magazines on this about ten years ago. I have forgotten pretty much all of it but I do know it had color pictures and showed the drivetrain.

      1. I have moved five or so times since I read it but there is a very small chance I still have it up in the attic. The problem is, even when I know something is up there I have a hard time finding it.

  4. Fascinating! But you ought to check your comment plugin more often. You seem to be getting hit some dodgy comments. I had a similar problem myself. So nowadays I check everything with extra care.

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