Mus­cle Man

Australian Muscle Car - - Contents -

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.

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