The replica of the Harry Ferguson aeroplane was the backdrop to a unique gathering of Ferguson designed and inspired vehicles. (L to R) Jensen FF Grand Tourer, 4WD `Wee Grey Fergy' Tractor and the P99 Formula 1 racing car.
Stuart Rok on his way to establishing the Fi Car Record for Cultra Hilldimb in his Ferguson P99.
STUART Rolt, Chairman of the British Racing Drivers Club, his family and their unique Ferguson P99 4WD F1 racing car were guests at a reception hosted by the Mayor of Lisburn City Council on Friday June 1.
Stuart then took the car to the nearby Harry Ferguson Homestead, birthplace of the man with whom Stuart's father, LeMans winner Tony, worked on the design and build of the car, which was driven to victory by Stirling Moss in the 1961 Oulton Park Gold Cup.
The principal object of their trip to Northern Ireland was to take part in the, now annual, Thoroughbred Sports Car Club Cultra Hillclimb Event in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, near Belfast, on the Saturday of the Diamond Jubilee Weekend.
The display of vehicles in front of the Museum's Cultra Manor for the 4WD Themed Event provided a, probably, once in a lifetime opportunity to have the full age span of Harry Ferguson inventions and inspired vehicles together in one place, for a day. A rare 4WD version of his "Wee Grey Fergy" was flanked by the P99 racer, the last hands-on project Ferguson worked on, and a fully restored Jensen FF (Ferguson Formula) Grand Tourer. The three were lined up against the backdrop of the Museum's replica of the Ferguson Aeroplane sitting on the Manor lawn.
Initially, Rolt's plan was to display the racing car alongside the other examples of the Ulster-born engineer's pioneering work and the last surviving cars of Rex McCandless, now Museum exhibits. He had also planned to take part in the Hillclimb Demonstration Runs that have become a regular feature of the event. However, some clever logistical thinking by the organisers enabled Rolt to display the car in the main spectator area most of the day, complete the demonstration runs and then have a full-blown competitive timed run. Hampered by gear selection gremlins, Stuart was frustrated to only be able to record a time of 40.71secs for the 700yd twisting and technical course. However, his run did establish a Record Time for an F1 car at this, the Oldest Active Speed Hillclimb in the World.
TSCC President William Heaney (Cultra Event Co-Ordinator) said during the Event: "For two years the club and museum have been working together to bring the P99 F1 car over to Cultra. But it's been well worth the wait to have this unique opportunity to bring these Ferguson inspired vehicles together in such an appropriate setting. We're extremely grateful to the Rolt family for travelling away from home on this historic weekend and undertaking such a hectic schedule to bring enjoyment and pleasure to everyone here and create another little piece of history at the Museum."