1962 Daimler Ferret Mk2 Armored Scout Car
Chassis no. tba
Faced with the requirement to update its light armored vehicles post-WW2, the British Ministry of Defence turned to the Daimler company, whose experience in this specialised field included the successful Dingo scout car. Development began in 1949 and the resulting Ferret armored or scout car first entered service in 1952. The Ferret shared many design features with its Dingo predecessor but incorporated a larger crew compartment and a small machine gun turret. Life within the Ferret could be extremely noisy, as the two-man crew shared the all-welded steel monocoque body with the running gear. The six-cylinder engine was a Rolls-Royce B60 overhead-valve gasoline unit developing 129bhp, good enough to endow the 3.75-ton (dry) Ferret with a top speed close to 60mph. Power was transmitted via a fluid flywheel to a five-speed pre-selective gearbox (a combination Daimler had long been familiar with) and then via a transfer case to all four wheels, that were shod with run flat tires. The turret, when fitted, carried a single 0.30 caliber (7.62mm) Browning machine gun. Six grenade launchers were fitted to the hull (three on each side) and carried smoke grenades in British Army service.
Several different versions of the Ferret were produced, including those with varying equipment, turret or no turret, and some armed with Vigilant or Swingfire anti-tank missiles. Heavier armor, a sealed hull for fording and a three-man crew were features of later types, while the Saracen APCs turret was fitted from the Mk2 onwards. Including all marks and experimental variants there have probably been over 60 different types of Ferret.
The Ferret was produced between 1952 and 1971 during which time approximately 4,400 were built. Fast and small enough to be used in an urban environment yet strong enough to negotiate rugged terrain off road, it remains in service with armed forces around the world, including those of Commonwealth countries. Although no longer in service with the British Army, it was used by the latter as late as the Gulf War in the 1990s. The Ferret is very popular with private collectors of military vehicles due to its compact size and relatively affordable price.