Ryan's Ferret buying experience.
   (Ver 2)


For quite some time I have been after a story from someone about their experience buying a vehicle, particularly if it was from a dealer. Ryan in the USA did just this and here is his experience. It was a reasonably smooth purchase, as these things go. Of note is the run around he got before being able to insure the vehicle.

Doug expressed an interest in the following data that I began collecting about the purchase of 00DA61. I suspect some others would like a read. So here's the thoughts.

The following are my thoughts on the purchase of a Daimler Ferret Mk 2/3 that I bought in the late fall of 2001. The style is in the form of journal entries made subsequent to individual events.

Wed Oct 31st: I called Western Resources to ask about a mk2/3. Two are of particular interest. One is 00DA61 that a collector had in shows in GB. This unit is currently in port about to go to customs. The others are some that WR is restoring right now. Both could fit the bill. I'm waiting on Joe to e-mail or call back.

Thurs Nov 1st: Western Resources has a unit of SN 00DA61. Has intercom and a Clansman radio (it later turned out to be a Larkspur kit with 2 radios). 1/3 for Deposit ($5567)
Call Tuesday about 00DA61, to arrange meeting and deposit.

Friday, Nov 2nd. Spoke to XXXXXX Insurors, A garage is important it seems. I asked about Liability only with option for comprehensive later on.

Tues, Nov 6th. Spoke with Joe about the upcoming visit to Western Resources. Vehicle is shipping out of customs soon.

Thursday, 00DA61 isn't going to be there on Friday. It has been delayed due to a minor derailment of the train. I'm still wanting to go up there to see the Ferrets at this point.

Friday, Nov 9th. Ahh, I'd rather get stuff done here in the house. I called Joe to let him know I'll wait 'til next week as I'm taking friday's off to dispose of old vacation time not used. I ordered a few interesting things from IMA that night.

Saturday, Nov 10th. Went to the Militaria Show at Cobb Civic Center. Wow. I bought 2 WWII uniforms. One a RE Col's uniform BDU Blouse, shirt and Trousers, also a Canadian BD Blouse with pouches and kit, including a late pattern E-Tool/Carrier. Total was $350. I met a few of the GAMVPA folks. They were really nice fellows.

Sunday, Nov 11th. I went by the show to meet some more of the GAMVPA guys. Two M38s and 1 M35 were there. Nice jeeps, the truck was a nice big dirty Deuce.5. The folks were very nice. 3 M1919s and an M2HB were there as accessories. I arrived close to when the 3 fellows there were getting ready to pack up and go take a neighboring town. I helped load a few sundries into their vehicles just to be nice. It was all pretty sweet. I really want that Ferret now.

Monday, Nov12, called to check it out to see status. The side bin was damaged in shipping, but Joe says he'll be fixing that and re-painting it. I've got to get up there this Friday to look at it and perhaps drop off a check as a deposit to get things really rolling.

Wednesday, Nov 14, I spoke with Joe about coming up this Friday. I have a meeting to attend at work at 9 am, but then can leave to go up to Rogersville. Apparently this unit has a FN GPMG mount and not the M-1919 so I'll have to find one of those if I want a dummy that looks and mounts correct. I doubt I'll find a GPMG of any sort that will go in her. This unit apparently has lots of things with it, plus an additional radio of some sort.

Friday, Nov 16. I drove the 300 or so miles up to Rogersville to meet with Joe. I was like a kid in a candy store. Joe had two Saracens in for repairs, a Fox for sale, and gobs of Ferrets. I walked past things while staring at others and didn't even see them. After oogle-ing the British hardware, we walked outside to look at 00DA61. Joe answered a number of questions I had, mostly of the "is this a XXX??!" sort. I climbed in the commanders seat and Joe climbed in front. Then we went for a spin.

I was immediately struck by the likely hood of banging my head on some protrusion in the fighting compartment while Joe was tearing around the yard of the Pressman's Home. After watching Joe for a while, we switched places and I slowly began to figure out the Ferret. I had poured over the EMER on, but still had a bit of trouble remembering not to use the gear change pedal as a clutch. Mostly on the downshifting. I pretty quickly figured out the shift method for smooth transitions and no jerking during upshift. I'll have to work on down shifting though.

After the field games, we walked around 00DA61 and examined a few things. I noted the dented right side main storage bin and the missing license plate frame/light. Joe said he'd fix those. We went inside to look over the radios and other bits Joe had taken off while he went over it mechanically. It turns out there are 3 Radios, not 2 as I originally thought. A bonus I think. There was also a goodly amount of head sets and extra bits. Even a Commander's plexi-glass windscreen for mounting to the top turret door.

Next we went upstairs to look through spare parts. I settled on a British cooker and pan set, 2 spare drivers periscopes, a gunner's scope, and a set of manuals. Joe didn't have any extra antenna however. After oogle-ing other parts and components, we walked to the Office to haggle over price. We quickly settled on a number that seemed fair to me. Joe promised to fix the bin, the plate frame and do a full cleaning and lube job. He figured he'd have it done in 3 weeks and ready for delivery. I proffered the deposit check and he filled out a bill of sale. After a bit of chatting I took the manuals and headed back to Atlanta.

Tues Nov, 27th. Still waiting on shipping information. I called to check into that. Its post Thanksgiving so Joe's been busy with catchup I guess. He did say he'd been welding up the repairs on the damaged side bin.

Wed, Nov, 28th. Flat bed $291. Rollback is $1.75/mile. I spoke with a VP here at work to see if I could receive the Ferret here on the loading dock and get it off afterwards. He laughed for a bit then said "Yes, It'd be fun too!". I mentioned the weight of the Ferret and he said he had a ramp build specifically for holding up to a 5 ton vehicle. This is to move NASCAR vehicles and other things around the building over stairways and such.

Thursday, Nov 29th. XXXXXX Insurors needs a photo of the Ferret and of the carport before they'll cover it. Its not the agent, but the underwriter itself.

Monday, Dec 3rd. I've spoken a bit more with our Facilities VP, and in speaking with him, one of his engineers has a brother in law that I may use for transport. He does vehicle transport as a primary job. Its the best of both worlds. A low flat bed meaning no dock. And it'll cost less than the roll back and a bit more than the flat bed, ie $450. Not a bad compromise. He's also going up to get it then coming back down here with it on Friday. Having it in hand soon is good.

Thursday, Dec 6. XXXXXXX Insurors' underwriter won't cover the Ferret with the carport the way it is. I have to try the other underwriter at ZZZZZZZZ Insurance. They want 3 sides to the carport without openings.
Called YYYYYYY Insurance to ask about the garage requirements. They suggested WWWWWWW Insurance classic vehicle program. Could also try VVVVVVV or UUUUUUU (usually for bad drivers).
TTTTTTTTT Insurance, Ok, these guys are willing to give their underwriters a call to see if they can cover the Ferret for at least liability.
Called, my own agent to advise I was having trouble. I've got an auto policy through him so I'm hoping he can find someone to insure the Ferret sans a garage.

Friday, Dec 7. I call my agent to ask if I can get coverage through SSSSSSS. I mention that someone else on the list has one covered by Allstate. He looks at things, asks for details and ends up being able to add it to my policy. Whee!
Later that afternoon I get confirmation that the driver is on his way up to Western Resources to get the Ferret. He's supposed to get there at 7pm or so, but ends up getting delayed by a closed road. He arrives at 10pm. Doris has called to check to see if I'd heard from him. They load it up and he heads down. I spend a good part of the evening re-wiring the basement while waiting for him to get to my house.

At 3pm I call to check on his ETA (should be a 5 hour drive) and he's apparently stopped to get some sleep. He'll be at my house at 10 am the next morning.

Saturday, Dec 8. I get at 9:30 so I can be showered and fed for the arrival of the Ferret. It arrives and I snag my pre-start checklist I wrote out the day before. Starting it up isn't hard and its pretty easy to back off the trailer.

The reactions of my neighbors is quite interesting most are pretty excited at seeing the thing. Some aren't sure what to think. I give a ride to three neighbors (including a mother and her daughter who seem to enjoy themselves). Later on, I take it over to Pep Boys and to Home depot to gather fluids, locks for all the bins, and a few tools and cleaning supplies. One thing that is rapidly obvious is that people tend to gather around you and prevent you from accomplishing errands quickly.


Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...



Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...



Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...



Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...


One easily learned lesson is that Ferrets don't like to stop. I found this out when I found a nice long stretch of road that is very open (4 lanes) and has very light traffic (one car going my way). So I step up the pace and get into 5th gear. Just as I'm topping 40 MPH the light ahead turns red in what seems like a heartbeat. I down shift to 4th and start trying to brake. She's not going to stop and the car ahead of me has just stopped in my lane in front of me about 100 feet ahead. I jog over to the left in the next lane and end up blitzing through the intersection that is still quite clear.

Later that night a friend is having a party at Dave and Busters (for non Americans, its a big food/drink place that has a huge video arcade with games and some simulators for things like Battle Tech) so it seems like a good time for a trip to take given the folks that will be at the party. Lara, my girl friend takes the commander's position and we take the surface roads. Its usually about a 30 minute drive in a car on the highway. But due to a missed turn in a part of town I don't normally go to it takes about an hour and a half. Waves from passing motorist abound, as do people trying to hold conversations with you while the B60 is idling 6 feet behind you.

Once there, I'm very happy to get out of the noisy chassis and stretch. Again, there is a bit of crowd factor. Strangely, I'm fairly ambivalent about playing any games as I've just finished driving a real armoured vehicle. Something with computer graphics and dodgey controls just doesn't appeal, at that point. We all wander out side to look at the Ferret and they guys are very impressed. After a drive around the parking lot for the birthday boy we head back inside.

The drive back was not quite as tiring but in thinking about the route back, a more direct path was found that didn't result in any missed turns.

Sunday, Dec 9th. I spent several hours topping up fluids and checking out things. I managed to fix the non working carburator starting device by removing the cable (loosen two bolts on the carb, pull the control through its motions and all the way out. Spraying lubricant down the cable guide now freed up every thing. I'll probably pull it out again and give it another spritz of lube to clear out some of the worn spooge. Topping up the wheel station fluids is a royal pain. I'm going to have to figure out how to do this quicker. Though, once I get a proper tool kit together. I checked the level on some of the fluids and topped 2 up. All others were ok. The Transfer box needed a squirt to bring it up to the full mark. The engine doesn't seem to mind a bit of driving and after about 75 miles shows no consumption of oil.

I took her out again for an evening drive to visit a Kiwi friend who didn't know I had this yet. On the way over I apparently passed a cop that was in an unmarked car. He reported over the radio net "as just having seen and armored car, not an armored car, but a military Armoured Car!!". Another officer passed me and was shocked and surprised. So she 'blue lighted' me. I caused quite a stir pulling into the parking lot of the Lavista/Briarcliff Starbucks. The officer was polite but certainly a bit confused. I managed the situation by being polite and offering up documentation after answering her question of " that!??". After she looked over the documentation, she seemed much less confused and concerned. We chatted a bit over it and then 3 people came over while she was talking to me. One of them walked up very close into her personal space (hemmed her into the door of her cruiser from behind) to ask a directions question.

The rest of the drive was un-eventful and interesting. My New-Zealander friend was bloody surprised at my car, as were some of his friends. The most common question seems to be "is that legal to drive on the street?"

Observations about 00DA61.

She came with some internal stowage bins. I need to find the documentation case and a few more for stowing tools and things inside. The Larkspur intercom works and the C-42/45 radio appears functional (there is also a B-42/47 as well), but without antennas and someone on another radio, I'm not going to try it out. It has 4 sets of headphones, 1 of which is an older style with simple rubber cones (not pads). One of the more modern headsets has a loose wire inside so it only works on one ear. The commander's pressel/mic don't appear to work, it makes clicking noises in it's own headsets, but the others don't register anything (perhaps I've got it installed in the wrong 12 pin connection?) I'll have to go through the diagnostics to see if its the J2 box or not.

00DA61 came with a screw type jack, a drivers windscreen, a drop in glass screen, an FN Mag type MG mount, a full set of episcopes and a gunner's periscope. She also had bits and tools for opening the engine access panels, the "wrench" for the hubs and tracta joints, the "key" for the Transfer box and transmission filler plugs, a screw type jack, a old pattern .30 cal ammo can, several interior stowage bins, The two radios and a B harness with associated boxes, 1 spare gunner's periscope and 2 spare drivers episcopes, a cooker, a set of cooking tins, a few odd bits, and a full set of pioneer tools finishes her out.

At some point it dawned on me that driving with the drivers windscreen is not as bad as people make it out to be. Not if the two side windows are open as well. They are a cinch to open when lubricated properly. Close them when you don't need to see (long straight stretch) and open when you do.

She has the following oddities: A rotating amber beacon on the back deck on a pole (active when the head lights and other lights are on). A Commanders spot light. A master power disconnect that is on the left side battery case on the floor, pull and twist it (like the turret lock) to change it). A pull control on to the right of the driver's switch board that turns on hazard flashers (all four turn signal lights flash).


My thanks to Ryan. Due to the difficulty in inserting Ryan's ascii signature of his Ferret into HTML I have had to leave it out. You can however see his efforts via the following article on this site:
Click here for Ascii signature info.


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