AN AUTHOR is appealing for information on 1930s racer and one-time world record holder Eric Fernihough 80 years after he died.
Terry Wright is penning a book about Eric Fernihough, his German rival Ernst Henne and their pursuit of the absolute world motorcycle speed record.
Cambridge graduate Eric Crudgington Fernihough was hot on the racing scene from the late 1920s, chasing podiums on Excelsiors with JAP engines, at Brooklands, Ireland and on the Continent.
In 1931 he took over the Tower Garage at Brooklands where he started a tuning and motor engineering business. In the early to mid ‘30s he secured numerous wins and podiums in international races in Belgium, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Ireland, Holland and Spain.
And in July 1935, aboard a JAP V-twin Brough-Superior he’d developed himself, he set a new Brooklands motorcycle lap record of 123.54mph, which was only once bettered before the track closed in 1939.
In 1936 he headed to a new stretch of autobahn in Germany where he tried for the ultimate world speed record. While he lost out on the flying start record to Ernst Henne (159.1mph), he set a standing start kilometre record of 103.56mph.
The following year in Gyon (south of Budapest) aboard a supercharged machine he hit 169.79mph and took the absolute record from Henne, also achieving the outright sidecar record.
By the end of 1937, Henne once again held the record of 173.68mph. It was in Gyon on April 23 1938, while challenging this speed that 33-year-old Fernihough lost control and crashed, flying thirty yards into a ditch and fracturing the base of his skull.
After his body was transported back to the UK packed in ice in the back of his companion, John Rowland’s, car, Fernihough was buried on 4 May 1938 at Boscombe cemetery, Bournemouth.
A memorial to him is situated on the Gyon road in what is now the city of Dabas in Hungary.
To find out more about the racer, click here.