This is a Daimler Ferret Mark 2, it’s an armored scout car developed by the British automaker Daimler and used extensively by the British Army, the RAF, and by many Commonwealth nations.

The Daimler Ferret was used primarily for reconnaissance purposes, often going in ahead of a tank squadron to scout enemy positions and report back. The Ferret was both quicker and more maneuverable than the tanks of the time, making it ideally suited to the task.

Fast Facts – The Daimler Ferret Armored Scout Car

  • The Daimler Ferret Mark 2 was a compact armored reconnaissance vehicle designed and manufactured by British automaker Daimler, serving in the British Army, RAF, and other Commonwealth nations from 1952 onwards – it was manufactured from 1952 until 1971.
  • Key features included a welded steel monocoque hull (3.9m x 1.8m x 2.1m), a total weight of approximately 4 tons, a 4.2 liter Rolls-Royce B60 inline-six engine, a 5-speed epicyclic gearbox, 4-wheel independent coil sprung suspension, .303 or .30 cal machine gun armament, and a top speed 58 mph.
  • It was air-portable by parachute drop, with an operational range of 300 miles depending on version. A total of 4,409 Ferrets were produced across Mark 1 and 2 variants, with around 1,000 still operational today, many still in service with militaries worldwide.
  • The specific 1960 Mark 2 example highlighted in this article is fitted with a rotating turret, lighting, storage, periscope hatches, 16″ tires, and a classic Army Green exterior. It retains the original 4.3 liter Rolls-Royce engine and 5-speed gearbox, and it’s being offered for sale out of Thousand Oaks, California.

A History Speed Run: The Daimler Ferret

The Daimler Ferret was a compact armored scout and reconnaissance vehicle produced in the United Kingdom and introduced in 1952. It was designed and manufactured by Daimler, and played an important role as a reconnaissance vehicle for several decades with the British Army and in the armed forces of many other nations. It remains an active operational military vehicle today in over two dozen nations including Ukraine, Jordan, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, India, and more.

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Image DescriptionThe Daimler Ferret featured an advanced design by the standards of the era, with independent front and rear suspension on coil springs, run flat tires, and a reliable Rolls-Royce designed engine.

Work on designing a new reconnaissance vehicle for the British Army began in the late 1940s shortly after WWII. The goal was to create a small, air-portable armored car that could perform scouting duties effectively, while improving on earlier designs.

Daimler was awarded the contract, largely due to the success of their previous design – the Daimler Dingo, and the Ferret’s design was influenced by the company’s experience with automotive manufacturing and aviation engineering.

The Ferret had a welded steel monocoque hull design measuring in at 3.9 meters long and 1.8 meters wide, with a height of 2.1 meters. Weighing in at around 4 tons, it could be transported by air and deployed by (large) parachute when required.

Power was provided by a 4.2 liter Rolls-Royce B60 inline 6-cylinder petrol engine mated to a pre-selector five-speed epicyclic gearbox, and all five gears were available in both forward and reverse.

The Ferret had an operational range of approximately 300 miles or 483 kms and it rode on independent front and rear suspension with coil springs, an advanced feature by the standards of the time.

The armament could vary depending on which specific variant you were looking at, some came with the  .303″ (7.7 mm) Bren light machine gun, whereas other were fitted with a pintle-mounted .30″ (7.62 mm) Browning light machine gun. The crews were also typically armed, though the Ferret wasn’t designed for combat duties, it did need to be able to defend itself effectively.

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Image DescriptionThe driving position is designed to be as far forward as possible, offering the best possible vantage point out of the three forward portholes.

Though the name ferret might seem odd for a military vehicle it was chosen very deliberately. Ferrets have historically been used for hunting rabbits, their small, lean bodies made them able to run down rabbit holes and scare them out into the open where they could be shot.

Production of the Daimler Ferret ran from 1952 to 1971, it was produced over two major variants, the Mark 1 and Mark 2, though there were many sub-variants made, and later models were fitted with diesel engines to bring them inline with the majority of other military vehicles in service, simplifying fuel logistics.

Depending on the specific model, the top speed was up to 58 mph (93 km/h), this was considered quite quick for a military vehicle in the 1950s. A total of 4,409 Ferrets were made across all variants, and it’s believed that at least a 1,000 have survived to the modern day, with many of these remaining in active military service.

The 1960 Daimler Ferret Mark 2 Shown Here

The vehicle you see here is a Mark 2 Daimler Ferret from 1960. It’s powered by the correct 4.3 liter Rolls-Royce B60 inline-six which sends power back through the five-speed epicyclic gearbox to all four wheels.

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Image DescriptionThis is the engine, it’s a 4.2 liter Rolls-Royce B60 inline 6-cylinder petrol unit mated to a pre-selector five-speed epicyclic gearbox. It uses a fluid coupling rather than a standard clutch, making it easier for young recruits to drive, and saving the trouble of a burned out clutch in the battlefield.

This example of the Ferret is fitted with a rotating turret up top, street lighting, storage compartments, periscope hatches, and 16″ steel wheels shod with 9.00×16″ Dunlop Trak Grip run-flat tires. It’s finished in army green, as they almost all where, and it has a matching spare tire mounted to the left side.

It’s now being offered for sale out of Thousand Oaks, California on Bring a Trailer with a bill of sale. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.

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Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer.


Published by Ben Branch -