Four-wheel drive and ABS are commonplace today, but this wasn’t always so. The change began in 1950, when Harry Ferguson bankrolled racing drivers Fred Dixon and Tony Rolt to design a super-safe family car that would reduce the unacceptably high number of road deaths. Their efforts, frustrating and arduous at times would produce the Ferguson Formula, in its day the most effective and safest system of full-time four-wheel drive and anti-skid braking for the auto industry.
Today, the Ferguson Formula name is known worldwide, but it is a story that few people have known about in any detail. Using material sourced from previous directors, engineers and designers, significant surviving archive material and rare and often unpublished archive photographs, Traction for Sale - the Story of Ferguson Formula Four-wheel Drive tells the whole story, putting right all the misunderstandings, from its inception in 1939, through the formation of Harry Ferguson Research and its successor company, FF Developments, up to 1994 and the takeover of FFD by Ricardo Plc.
Featured are the stories and details of:
- Harry Ferguson, Tony Rolt and Fred Dixon, the three key men responsible for the creation of the technology.
- All the prototypes, the 'research cars' built by Dixon-Rolt Developments Ltd and Harry Ferguson Research Ltd.
- The Jensen FF and the 1960s prototype Ford Mustangs and Zephyrs.
- The Indy cars, Formula 1 cars, single seat racing cars and sports racing cars.
- Limited production conversions carried out by FF Developments Lt, including the Bedford CF 4x4 and Opel Senator.
- The AMC Eagle, the world's first mass-produced car with full time four-wheel drive.
- The Schuler Super Ranger.
- The Ford Sierra XR4x4, Sierra Cosworth 4x4 and Escort Cosworth Turbo.
- All Group B cars fitted with Ferguson Formula technology.