We would like to offer most sincerely our best wishes to our Queen, Queen Elizabeth II, on this, her Golden Jubilee Weekend.
30 years of use has proven the FF's Formula 1 derived 4x4 system to be reliable and effective. The Jensen FF was in production for 5 years. With millions of miles under their wheels, many of the 330 hand built cars survive to this day.
On the road, the Jensen FF proved the 4x4 concept with style, grace and power in the 1960's and 70s. On the Formula 1 circuit, the Ferguson P99 proved the Ferguson Formula 4x4 concept with an Oulton Park win. Ferguson's 1961 P99 was the First Formula 1 car with All Wheel drive and Anti-Lock brakes. Off road 4x4 fans waited until 1980 when the Audi Quattro did a sterling job winning many events on the Rally circuits.
In essence, Jensen Motors stood for Innovation and Quality. Because of this, and despite the small number of cars built, enthusiastic owners formed a World Wide Web Ring:
Jensen Motors WebRing site is provided by the JIOC. Questions? Chuck Gerarden.
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FF No. 73 is now sold
FF No. 132 is
now sold (no picture)
FF No. 151 is now sold (no picture)
FF No. 255 is SOLD
FF No. 264 is now sold.
FF No. 289 is For Sale
The story behind Ferguson Formula Systems is an amazing one. It starts 30 years before the first production Jensen FF was born. Brooklands Riley racer Freddie Dixon (who worked with fellow Irishman Harry Ferguson) worked on a 4x4 for racing. Being out and out racers, their only motive was to win races. They eventually met up with another driver, Tony Rolt. Rolt was a born innovator, PoW escapee and 24 Hour Le Mans winner. It was shortly after his Le Mans win that he and Ferguson started development on what was to become the FF's predecessor, the P99. Building a simple 4 wheel drive system is one thing, but to build a 4 wheel drive system with unequal front/rear torque splitting, self locking centre differential and to incorporate a Maxaret anti-lock brake system is an amazing achievement.
"Incidentally, I saw Stirling Moss in P99, blow off the Ferrari works team (and all the others) at the 1960 British Grand Prix at Aintree. A few weeks later I saw him and P99 blow-off the works teams of Brabham, Lotus, Cooper, etc, etc at the Oulton Park Gold Cup. This car was no sluggard! But maybe you'd like to look it up in your library... (In those days, the Ferrari was the 156 'Shark-nose' and the drivers were Wolfgang Von Trips, Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti. Stirling was disqualified as he'd started the Grand Prix in a Lotus 18, then on about Lap 22, took over the Ferguson P99 of Jack Fairman. At Oulton Park, Stirling started in P99 and it rained. He lapped the whole field except for Jack Brabham who was second.) Also, after retiring from F1, P99 won the British Hill Climb Championship TWICE in the hands of Peter Westbury. I saw him do it."
It was this P99 derived centre differential that allowed permanent 4 wheel drive to be used on the Jensen FF.
When production moved over to West Bromwich, many pressed panels came too, and some of Vignale's engineers helped to build the first West Bromwich built FF's. Jensen's records about FF production do not clearly identify exactly what parts of which cars were built where, and any clarification on these points will be greatly received.
11th FF built, chassis 119/011, was probably built in
Italy. The FF was not cheap, twice the price of a Jaguar XKE roadster, 30%
more expensive than an Aston Martin. Even at this price the car was something
of a loss leader. When volume did finally start to bring down the price of the
4x4 transmission, it was too late, because Jensen never developed a left hand
drive version, and by this time most of their sales were exported to countries
that drove on the right.
Although the FF and Interceptor Models look very much alike, significant differences include the floor pan, carpets and even the passenger seat. The passenger seat base has been re-designed to accommodate the front prop shaft and anti lock brake module, which are hidden under a bulge in the transmission tunnel on the passenger side. The photo on the left shows the wider tunnel quite clearly. Once the seats are in place, this is hardly visible.
The photo below is a passenger side view of the 4x4 transfer box, after removing the transmission tunnel cover. The front propshaft and Maxaret Anti-Lock sensor are clearly visible.
Other differences include deeper footwells than the Interceptor, and a slightly longer bonnet, which allows for the front differential to be mounted at the front left side of the engine. (The silver aluminium differential mounting plate is in the bottom left of the engine bay photo below).
The following photo shows the drivers side view of the 4x4 transfer box. It can be compared with the earlier interior one to get a feel for how the transmission is hidden...
Photographs of FF's can be copied and returned, or donated to the archive. Ulric can be contacted as follows:
Ulric Woodhams, 6 The Glade, Stoneleigh, Epsom, Surrey, KT17 2HB, UK. Tel: (0181) 393-1434. Fax: (0181) 393-9555. E-mail may be sent here for forwarding.
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