Barry Ferguson is a rarity among 1960s and ’70s motorsport legends: a white-collar employee who lived a double life.
Barry Ferguson is a rarity among 1960s and ’70s motorsport legends as he never made a living in the automotive industry or motorsport game. Nor was he a corporate high flyer. Instead, he was a white collar employee who lived something of a double life contesting Australia’s most challenging motorsport events for works teams, as a part-timer.
You could say that Barry Ferguson was focused on the big bickies throughout his career. But that’s only because he worked for Arnott’s for over four decades. Forgive us for using the iconic biscuit and cracker company’s slogan of ‘There is no Substitute for Quality’ to describe Ferguson’s many achievements across so many branches of motorsport.
The most difficult thing about writing a profile story about Barry Ferguson is fitting more than 60 years of motorsport into a few pages. It’s a career that started back in 1953 and he is still active today, having driven everything from VWs to V8 Monaros.
Barry Ferguson proved himself behind the wheel of a rally car and on circuits too with eight NSW Rally Championships, eight Bathurst 500 starts including one class win, numerous longdistance rally successes and a myriad of other achievements. It’s a story that spans more than six decades and has been crying out to be told.
He won his eight NSW titles at a time when it was the premier rally crown in the nation, taking four before the Australian Rally Championship even existed.
He also pioneered a new style of rallying, where speed and driver skill were more important than pure navigation. He won the Southern Cross International twice, in 1967 and 1970, finished second to Harry Firth in the 1964 Ampol Round Australia, was pipped by Peter Brock in the ’79 Repco Trial and featured in one of the most titanic, down-to-thewire Bathurst battles of all time.
Despite starring in Vee-Dubs, Fergie’s muscle car rallying credentials are extensive. He was the first to compete in a Holden Dealer Team Torana GT-R (even before the XU-1) winning two of his NSW titles in six-cylinder Holdens along with the 1970 Southern Cross.
As well as that, Ferguson was drafted into the Daily Telegraph’s GTS Monaro Team for the 1968 London Sydney Marathon.
So make yourself a cuppa and park yourself in a comfy chair as AMC serves up, well, the assorted cream from Ferguson’s career. He reveals the back stories behind many memorable campaigns on gravel, bitumen, outback tracks and mud.