Derek's Ferret Mk1/2


Ferret Mad.

Well it all started at the Denmead show, I had always had a love of armoured vehicles since I was at school, and my best friend's brother had a 'Dingo'. At the time of the show I had just restored an Ariel W/NG, and it was the first outing: while pottering around the show I was told of some 'cheap' Ferrets. After a short discussion with my wife and a quick 'Wow daddy, a tank!' from my five year old, I was given the OK by the boss, as she was pretty sure that I would not be able to get a Ferret for the money we had.

How wrong she was.

After making contact with a fellow enthusiast I was told of this 'scrap yard' Hirst's at St Maryborne, about 10 mile from where I live. The next week I visited and found that there was only two left a Mk 2 that was very tatty, turret on the floor and all the bins missing and a cracking little Mk1/2 which was a little rough on the out side but inside almost complete. A deal was struck and home she came, unlike most ferrets sold in England this had come from a scrap yard as opposed to a vehicle dealer so the price was good 1500.

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  The vehicle was pushed into the garage before the neighbours got home and the work started. Having contacted the Tank Museum at Bovington, I found out that the vehicle was built in 1963 and entered service with the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, and was re-built by the army in 1981 and put into storage. (Bovington will send a dating letter for registration purposes and a copy of the vehicle history card for a small donation to the museum).

Most of the damage and neglect had accrued to the vehicle in the scrap yard, with the mileage reading of 254 miles from re-build. The vehicle was stripped down to the hull and repainted with repairs to the bins and wings taking a lot of time some new bins were acquired and fitted, but as always the most damaged bins were unobtainable, so repairs had to be made. Both of the engine covers had been ripped off in the scrap yard and new hinges were made. All of the hatches had been left open in the scrap yard and seized so badly that the pins had to be drilled out of the hinges and replaced.

The engine was cleaned, points checked, filters changed and new batteries connected and she started first time, a real tribute to the quality of the B60 engine.

In the first year the only trouble that I had was the joint gasket on the flywheel perished and had to be replaced which was not as larger a job as I had expected. With the aid of a friend's digger I removed the engine and gearbox one-weekend split the unit and replaced the gasket and seal for good measure. And took another weekend to replace the unit. It also gave me a chance to clean and paint all those difficult to get at places.
Engine coming out: The engine/gearbox/transferbox was removed as a complete unit (fan and dry sump included).
10189 pic

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  The choice of the colour scheme was made with the vehicle finished in deep bronze green, which would have been the factory finish and the standard finish until the early seventies, when the standard black and green camouflage came in. After many months of cleaning and painting, the vehicle was read for its first outing to the Denmead show where it had all started a year earlier.

10190 pic

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One thing I would say that I have learned from owning a Ferret, at shows people go on about how complicated the vehicle is to work on. But at the end of the day it's only standard British automotive designs and components that can be found in some form or another right across the British motor industry. So have a go it's no harder than working on a Land Rover, the only difference is that it's all, very heavy!

Keep Ferreting

Derek Gardner, England

My thanks to Derek for the text.


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