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Fergus

Newark, N.J. USA
Filed under:  Companies
 
Comment(s): 0
 
 

This company built the Fergus car from 1915 to 1922, but switched to importing British cars after World War II. The 1949 Fergus was a sports car based on the Austin A40 sedan. Only one is believed to have been built.


fergus logo

Fergus logo.

The company introduced a very advanced car powered by a 2.6-litre single-ohc 4-cylinder engine, designed, like the rest of the car, by J.A. McKee, helped by Roland Chilton and F. Eves. This was rubber mounted in a rigid box-section frame with cantilever springs all round. The chassis was pressure lubricated, and only needed oil at 11 lubrication points, and that only every six months. The tires could be inflated by an engine-driven pump.

Such advanced designs often struggle in the market place, but the Fergus had less of a chance than most, appearing in the middle of World War I. A chassis was shown at the New York Automobile Show in January 1916, and was so well received that plans were laid to make it in the US, with a factory at Newark.

Later in the year it was said that production could start in six months, that is early 1917, but by then the war caught up with the Fergus again, with the entry of the United States in April 1917. The Fergus did not reappear until 1920, by which time it had acquired front-wheel brakes and a 6-cylinder Northway engine. It also had an unrealistic price tag of $7500, raised to $8500 in 1922.

Nobody bought it, although one of the two remaining chassis in Ireland was imported by an East Coast doctor and fitted with a Holbrook sedan body.

Back in Ireland there was a further attempt to market the design, which was renamed the O.D. (owner driver). Only one tourer was built, so total production was only three cars, the original chassis, the doctor's sedan and the O.D., whose makers became a garage and general engineering firm. After World War II its successors became the leading suppliers of electric hares for greyhound racing. The Ferguson name later became widely known for the tractors built by J.B. Ferguson's brother, Harry.


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