Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of navy warships
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle

Daimler Ferret

4x4 Armored Car

The Cold War-era Ferret continued the long-running line of Daimler Armored Cars in service with the British Army and elsewhere.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 7/2/2019
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1952
Manufacturer(s): Daimler - UK
Production: 4,409
Capabilities: Amphibious; Anti-Tank/Anti-Armor; Reconnaissance (RECCE); Security/Defense;
Crew: 2
Length: 12.14 ft (3.7 m)
Width: 6.27 ft (1.91 m)
Height: 6.17 ft (1.88 m)
Weight: 4 tons (3,356 kg); 7,399 lb
Power: 1 x Rolls-Royce B60 gasoline-fueled engine developing 130 horsepower driving conventional four-wheeled arrangement.
Speed: 58 mph (93 kph)
Range: 193 miles (310 km)
Operators: Australia; Burkina Faso; Canada; Democratic Republic of Congo; Croatia; France; Ghana; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Iran; Jamaica; Jordan; Lebanon; Madagascar; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; New Zealand; Pakistan; Philippines; Portugal; Rhodesia; Saint Kitts and Nevis; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; United Kingdom; United Arab Emirates; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Throughout the Cold War decades, the British utilized a variety of armored cars for reconnaissance, scouting and security. One such product became the Daimler "Ferret" Armored Car, a 3.7 ton vehicle crew by two and minimally armed through a single 7.62mm or 0.30 caliber machine gun. Power was served through a Rolls-Royce B60 I6 gasoline-fueled engine outputting 130 horsepower. The vehicle was fully suspended for cross-country travel with power driven to all four wheel systems. Operational ranges reached 190 miles with a peak road speed of 58 miles per hour. The Ferret found widespread popularity in the foreign market, taken on in number by some thirty nations.

Design work on the diminutive car began in 1949. Having found success with previous Daimler armored cars during World War 2, the British Army once again looked to the local concern for its next product. A machine gun turret was made optional and steel used throughout a majority of the vehicle's construction. The "run-flat" tires were held at the extreme corners of the chassis for maximum balance in turns and running on uneven terrain. Smoke grenade dischargers allowed the crew to generate their own smoke screen as needed - the crew numbering two and made up of a driver and commander. The fighting compartment was a good portion of the internal volume of the front and middle of the hull with the engine kept separate in a compartment at the rear. Vision ports were assigned to all panels of the upper hull superstructure to improve situational awareness for the crew. Its profile was purposely low and the vehicle quite robust for the role ahead. It was also of compact dimensions which made transportation easier - dimensions included a length of 12 feet, a width of 6 feet and a height of 6 feet.

The Ferret was produced in many variants beyond the original turret-less Ferret Mk I. The Mk I/I featured improved armor protection and an amphibious quality while the Mk I/II had a fixed turret emplacement with hinged roof door and added a third crewmember to the mix. The Mk II was given the Alvis Saracen turret and armed with a 0.30 cal Browning machine gun and the Mk II/I were Mk I models brought up to the Mk II standard. The Mk II/II had a three-door turret and the follow-up Mk II/III had improved armor protection. The Mk II/IV was given welded-on applique armor plates for even more added protection and the Mk II/V was the Mk I with the applique armor. The Mk II/VI was an Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) carrier while the Mk II/VII was the Mk II/VI sans the missile launcher. The Mk III was given better armor protection, a reinforced suspension system, larger road wheels and a flotation screen for amphibious operations. The Mk IV became a reconnaissance-minded vehicle with the Saracen turret and included Mk II/III marks brought up to this new standard. The Mk V mounted the Swingfire Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) as well as the L7 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG).

Ferrets were produced from 1952 to 1971 to which total production yielded 4,409 units. In the British Army, the vehicles were ultimately surpassed by more modern solutions. Smaller armies still maintain a fleet of Ferret Armor Cars in their stable - including Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sudan, and Zambia with over 30 vehicles each. Former operators include Australia, Canada, France, Iraq and South Africa.


1 x 0.30 Browning M1919/BREN Machine Gun OR 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun.

4 x Swingfire anti-tank missiles.

2,000 x 0.30/7.62mm ammunition (estimated)
4 x Anti-Tank Missiles

Variants / Models

• Mk I - Original mark; sans turret; 1 x 0.30 cal machine gun.
• Mk I/I - Increased armor; amphibious support
• Mk I/II - Based on Mk I/I though with fixed turret; three-member crew.
• Mk II - Reconnaissance vehicle; Alvis Saracen turret.
• Mk II/I - Mk I model with Saracen turret
• MK II/II - Mk I models with 3-door turret
• MK II/III - Mk II models with improved armor
• Mk II/IV - Mk II models with welded-on applique armor.
• Mk II/V - Mk 1 models with applique armor
• Mk II/VI - Anti-Tank Missile Carrier
• Mk II/VII - Disarmed Ant-Tank Missile Carrier
• Mk III - Improved armor; reinforced suspension; larger road wheels; amphibious support.
• Mk IV - Reconnaissance vehicle with Saracen turret.
• Mk V - Mk 3 models; Anti-Tank missile carrier ("Swingfire" missiles).
Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map Site content ©2003-, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT

Part of a network of sites that includes, GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo