Car, Scout, Daimler Mark II (E1985.96)
The Dingo started out as a reconnaissance vehicle for infantry and armoured divisions and soon proved so popular that everyone wanted one. Medical officers used them to check for casualties on the battlefield while one regiment even issued a Dingo to its padre! Later in the war, when rival designs entered production, Daimlers tended to remain with infantry divisions while armoured divisions had Humbers.
Our exhibit, a Mark III, was restored to its superb condition by Mr Nigel Care who finished it in the markings of his old regiment 12th Lancers in 7th Armoured Division. Features to note are the radio set, the way the driver sits at a slight angle so that he can see to drive backwards, and the fact that the tyres are not pneumatic but solid rubber, to avoid the risk of punctures. This is why the Dingo does not carry a spare wheel.
The registration number chosen for this scout car is, in fact, incorrect as it was adopted for a Staghound. The Mark II did not have rear-wheel steering.
This scout car has been finished in the colours of the 12th Lancers.
Precise Name: Car Scout Daimler Mark II
Other Name: Car, Scout, Mark I
The wheeled armoured scout car was the British Army’s principal reconnaissance vehicle from the beginning of World War II until the 1980s. Scout cars were small and much quieter than a tracked vehicle; units equipped with scout cars relied on stealth to obtain information, rather than fighting for it. The Daimler Dingo entered service with the British Army in 1939 and served until the middle 1960s as a reconnaissance and liaison vehicle used by armoured and infantry divisions. It was so versatile that a multitude of uses were found for it: medical officers used them to search for casualties in the battle field while one unit even issued a Dingo to its’ chaplain!
Designed by the BSA Company in 1938, (BSA was subsequently taken over by Daimler), the Dingo was a small vehicle. Rear engined, it was equipped with a very advanced four-wheel drive transmission. This had a five speed pre-selector gear box coupled to a fluid flywheel. The semi-automatic gearbox made the Dingo easy to drive forwards or backwards. The driver sat at a slight angle so that he could see more easily when driving in reverse. It had independent suspension on all four wheels and was completely smooth underneath, allowing it to skid over uneven ground. The tyres are solid rubber, not pneumatic, to avoid the risk of punctures. This is why the Dingo did not carry a spare wheel.
There were five main versions of the Dingo:
- the Mark I, the initial production version; fitted with a sliding roof to the crew compartment and four wheel steering
- the Mark IA, produced with a folding rather than sliding roof, also fitted with four wheel steering
- the Mark IB, similar to the Mark IA but the fan draught was reversed
- the Mark II; the four wheel steering was deleted as it proved dangerous in the hands of inexperienced drivers and the rear radiator grill revised, also fitted with a folding roof; many Dingo Marks I, IA and IB were modified to have front wheel only steering
- the Mark III that dispensed with the armoured roof to the crew compartment; the engine electrical equipment was water proofed.
Six thousand six hundred Dingoes were built between 1939 and 1945. The Tank Museum’s Dingo is displayed in desert camouflage in the markings of the 12th Lancers, 7th Armoured Division. Note, however, that its’ registration (census) number is incorrect as it was actually issued to a Staghound armoured car!
British Tanks and Fighting Vehicles 1914-1945; B.T. White; SBN 7110 0123 5; Ian Allan, London, 1970.
Summary text by Mike Garth V1.0