Recession BEATER goes under the hammer
Tired of being pushed around by the recession you didn’t want to have? Then fight back with a Ferret.
SHANNONS has just what you need for your own personal war against everything coming up at its Sydney Autumn Classic Auction on Monday. It’s a Ferret Scout Car Mark 2 complete with Rolls-Royce engine, armoured observation and gun turret and go just-aboutanywhere capability.
Based on the Daimler Dingo used by the German Army in World War II, the Ferret was developed by the British Army in the late 1940s and came into production in the 1950s.
The Ferret first saw service in the British Army in 1952, and a little later in Australia, where our army used them as scout cars until the 1960s.
They were disposed of by public auction in the early 1970s.
Intended for light reconnaissance work, the Ferret was very mobile and well suited to its role. Power came from a Rolls-Royce B60 engine that drove the four wheel drive Ferret to a top speed of 93km/h, quite respectable for a light armoured vehicle weighing around 4.3 tonnes in combat specification and good enough to keep up with day-to-day traffic around town.
At just 3.8m long, 1.9m wide and 1.9m tall, it is compact enough to sneak into most city car parks, while with a ground clearance of 33cm you don’t have to be too careful with curbs or traffic lane dividers.
Probably the only really disconcerting feature for Ferret drivers is its “inverted” steering wheel that runs at a 45-degree angle away from the driver, which will take some adjusting to by your average inner urban warrior.
The other trick the budding Ferret driver must master is the fluid drive preselector gearbox. First place the selector into the desired driving gear and then engage the clutch.
There are five gears to select from, although “first” is only intended for very low range work, like crawling over slow moving traffic at peak times. But there’s a trick feature that allows the gearbox to run in reverse, giving you five ratios to back out of trouble. But if it’s all too hard, the gearbox allows the Ferret to be driven off from a standing position in any gear.
The early and most desirable Ferret Scout Car being auctioned by Shannons is the more collectable Mark 2 model with the heavy armoured plating on its turret. It is believed to have served in South Australia.
It will be sold unregistered with Shannons suggesting a selling range of $12,000-$18,000.
To auction: The Ferret Mk 2 being auctioned by Shannons on Monday comes complete with an armoured gun turret and is believed to have served with the army in South Australia. Inset: