Hillclimb History at Shelsley Walsh

It was a real treat to see a very rare hillclimb visitor in the Shelsley paddock on Sunday morning.

In 1964 reining hillclimb champion Peter Westbury surprised the hillclimb world by defending his championship with a washed-up ex. F1 car. However, this F1 car was no ordinary late 50s Climax engined Lotus or Cooper.

Westbury had acquired the ex. Stirling Moss/Jack Fairman Ferguson P99 which brought 4×4 technology to the F1 paddock. This was the very chassis with which Sir Stirling claimed the only F1 victory for a 4×4 car, which came at a very wet Oulton Park Gold Cup event in 1959. The car was then retired until Westbury decided that the traction available from the transmission would make the car a great challenger on the hills. The 1964 BHC title followed.

The Ferguson P99 spotted at Silverstone early in 2011

The car then spent several decades in various museums, including a long period in the fantastic Donington Grand Prix Car Collection, before being restored and eventually being put up for sale.

Stuart Rolt, son of the P99s creator & 1953 Jaguar Le Mans winner Tony Rolt, purchased the car late last year and brought it back to Shelsley for demo runs on Sunday.

Unfortunately the car expired after just one run, but it was great to see the little beasty on a hill again, and great to hear an unsilenced Climax engine echoing across the Teme Valley.

Thanks for bringing it Stuart, we look forward to seeing the Fergy again soon!

 

The Ferguson P99 spotted at Silverstone early in 2011

 

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