The Daimler Scout Car, known in service as the "Dingo" (after the Australian wild dogs), was a British light fast 4WD reconnaissance vehicle also used in the liaison role during the Second World War.
In 1938 the British War Office issued a specification for a scouting vehicle. Out of three designs submitted by Alvis, BSA and Morris, the one by BSA was selected. The actual production was passed to Daimler, which was a vehicle manufacturer in the BSA group of companies. The vehicle was officially designated Daimler Scout Car, but became widely known as Dingo, which was the name of the competing Alvis prototype.
Arguably one of the finest armoured fighting vehicles built in Britain during the war, the Dingo was a small two-man armoured car. It was well protected for its size with 30 mm of armour at the front. The engine was located at the rear of the vehicle. One of the ingenious features of Dingo was the transmission; a pre-selector gearbox and fluid flywheel that gave five-speeds in both directions. Original version had four-wheel steering; however this feature was dropped in Mk II because inexperienced drivers found the vehicle hard to control.
Although the Dingo featured a flat plate beneath the chassis to slide across uneven ground, it was extremely vulnerable to mines. No spare wheel was carried, but it was not really necessary because of the use of run-flat (hollow) rubber tyres instead of pneumatic. Despite the hard tyres, the independent suspension gave it a very comfortable ride. A swivelling seat next to the driver allowed the other crew member to attend to the No. 19 radio or Bren gun when required.
The Dingo was first used by the British Expeditionary Force (1st Armoured Division and 4th Northumberland Fusilers) during the Battle of France. It turned out to be so successful that no replacement was sought until 1952 with the production of the Daimler Ferret. In mid-70s the Dingo was still used by Cyprus and Portugal.
Production went through 5 variants which were mostly minor improvements. 6,626 vehicles were produced from 1939 to 1945.
Mk I - original model with four-wheel steering and sliding roof.
Mk IA - folding roof.
Mk IB - reversed engine cooling fan.
Mk II - front-wheel steering.
Mk III - waterproofed engine, no roof.
A closely related vehicle, the Lynx Scout Car, was produced by Ford Canada in Windsor, Ontario. 3255 units were built.
Mk II - strengthened chassis, no roof.
Another Dingo clone, the Autoblinda Lince was developed by Lancia, Italy. In 1943-1944, 129 cars were built. They were employed by both German and RSI forces.