British Army 1963 Ferret MK1/2 Scout car restoration

1963 Ferret MK1/2 Scout – Coming from a long line of military volunteers and servicemen, Craig Robinson’s deep-seated passion for military history started at an early age when he and his father began collecting British military memorabilia.

british army 1963 ferret mk12 scout car restoration 2024

In the early 1980s, Craig served in the Army Reserve Artillery before pursuing a career as a mechanical engineer, where he found himself channelling his mechanical skills and love for history into the world of military vehicle restoration.

It was through his hands-on experience restoring retired army vehicles that Craig came across what is now his pride and joy, a British Army 1963 Ferret MK1/2 Scout car he affectionately calls ‘The Ferrett’. After researching its history and meticulously restoring this vehicle to its former glory, The Ferrett soon became a stand-out vehicle at local commemoration events such as ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day.

It was this experience restoring military vehicles that inspired Craig’s vision of creating a space where military enthusiasts and veterans could connect. Along with Brett Wild, founder of Taskforce Veteran, Craig played a pivotal role in establishing the organisation’s Military Armoured Restoration Society (MARS).

“I’ve always thought Sydney needed a facility that would provide a meeting place for everybody who has been associated with the military and a chance to give new life to vehicles that have been retired.”

Ferret MK1/2 Scout and MARS

For Craig, MARS is about more than just restoring vehicles; it’s about fostering a sense of belonging and purpose for veterans. Through MARS, Craig and his team provide veterans with opportunities to utilise their skills and experiences in meaningful ways, contributing to a shared mission of preservation and education.

“It’s a great way to bring veterans together to aid in their recovery and create a point of connection, while also educating the public and promoting the value of military vehicles.”

Yet, for Craig, the most rewarding aspect is seeing the impact of his work firsthand. Knowing that they are preserving Australia’s military heritage while providing a sense of camaraderie and healing for veterans provides a sense of purpose.

ferret mk12 scout and mars 2024

Scheyville project

Looking towards the future, Craig is working closely with Brett Wild and the team at Taskforce Veteran to transform the historical Scheyville Officer Training Unit in Scheyville, NSW into a thriving community hub for veterans, passionate military enthusiasts, and the wider community to enjoy.

A key component of the Scheyville project is what Craig calls a “moving museum” – a place for people to see these impressive vehicles up close and learn about their history.

“MARS will be occupying a building at the Scheyville, allowing us to create a moving museum. So where before you might go down to the Australian War Memorial and simply look at the cars, at Scheyville we’ll be providing a unique experience where people can touch the vehicles and see them in action.”

Craig’s hope is that by getting up close and personal with restored military vehicles, the community will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of veterans and the people who work so hard to maintain strong links to Australia’s rich military past.

Readers can go here  for additional information about the Military Armoured Restoration Society (MARS) program

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