HomePick of the Day1958 Daimler Ferret

1958 Daimler Ferret


1958 Daimler Ferret can park anywhere you choose
1958 Daimler Ferret can park anywhere you choose

Like the idea of parking anywhere you want, let alone having the crowd-drawing, tifosi-topping star attraction of any cruise-in or car show you might ever attend?

Well, our pick of the day is the vehicle for you. It’s a 1958 Daimler Ferret, technically an armored British military scout car, although what it looks like is a mini tank. The Ferret rides on tires, not treads, but it is topped by a gun turret.680449_20467057_1958_Daimler_Ferret

This one is offered, at $47,500, by a classic car dealer in St. Louis on ClassicCars.com.

The back story is that the British military needed a replacement for its World War II-era Dingo reconnaissance vehicle and turned to homeland vehicle producer Daimler to create the successor. Ferret’s welded-steel monocoque chassis enclosed the drivetrain for better protection while also providing more space inside for the crew, albeit at the cost of having to put up with the noise of sharing the interior with the 4.2-liter Rolls-Royce inline six-cylinder engine.680449_20467097_1958_Daimler_Ferret

That engine provided 130 horsepower to empower the four-wheel-drive system. The gearbox provides five forward gears and five more for travel in reverse.

The optional gun turret bore a machine gun, and six grenade launchers could be attached to the hull.

“Like the Dingo before it, the Ferret features traditional rubber tires rather than tank-tracks, making the vehicle more maneuverable and faster on a variety of surfaces,” says the seller, who adds, “The tires are also specially designed to be able to run flat in case of a puncture.”

“The Ferret was quick, maneuverable and tough and proved very popular with militaries around the world,” the seller adds. “Nearly 5,000 were built in a multitude of variants and remarkably stayed in service all the way up through the 1990s.”

The seller says this ’58 Ferret is in excellent condition and has a history that includes an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, “where it was said to have received more attention than any nearby Ferrari.680449_20467026_1958_Daimler_Ferret

“It is well-equipped and still retains many original details such as helmets, radios, tools and the original Rolls Royce powerplant.

“Unlike traditional tanks,” the seller notes,” the Ferret is totally usable and can be registered for road use.” (But check with your state’s DMV just to be sure before you decided to take it for a joy ride.)

“This Ferret was most recently part of the collection of a Daimler enthusiast who used it regularly and even built a complete replica turret that was fitted with paintball guns,” the seller reports, adding that the previous owner “engineered a windscreen washer system to clean the glass in case you took a paintball hit. We can only imagine the stir this would cause at your local paintball field.”680449_20467094_1958_Daimler_Ferret

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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