EDEN Camp Museum in Malton has become the proud owner of a rare prototype of a Fox armoured car.

The military vehicle was destined to go to a private collection in the USA before the museum managed to clinch it at the 11th hour.

In 1966, the Daimler company of Coventry, which was building the Ferret scout car at the time, was awarded a contract to build 15 prototype Foxes, the first being completed in 1967. The Eden Camp Fox is one of these.

Nick Hill, museum manager, said: “The Daimler Fox prototype is a valuable addition to our growing collection of running vehicles. We are proud that we have been able to ensure that a fine example of British design and engineering is staying in the UK. Our Fox will be maintained in running order and demonstrated on site during the summer months.”

After trialling the prototypes for 18 months, the MoD accepted the design for service with the British Army and a production order was placed with Royal Ordnance Leeds.

Of the 15 prototypes made by Daimler, only four now still exist.

Of those four, Eden Camp’s new acquisition is the only one that is licenced to run on the road, making it extremely rare.

However, at 7.4 tonnes, the Jaguar J60 4.2 Litre in-line 6 cylinder petrol engine consumes a gallon of petrol for every 6 miles travelled, so the museum’s staff won’t be using it to nip into their home town of Malton too often.

Production of the Alvis FV721 Fox began in Leeds in 1972 and the first vehicle was completed in May 1973.

Approximately 325 Fox armoured cars were built in Leeds, and the vehicles saw service with the British Army between 1973 and 1994.