‘SPY VAN’ SETS NEW TRAN­SIT RECORD

Se­cu­rity ser­vices Ford Tran­sit raises £10k for char­ity

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - man­heim.co.uk

Man­heim auc­tion house has sold a 1988 Ford Tran­sit MkIII for what it be­lieves to be a world record price. It achieved £10,300 at its ded­i­cated com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle auc­tion cen­tre in Shep­shed, Le­ices­ter­shire, on 22 May, with the pro­ceeds go­ing to the Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety.

The rea­son for the van achiev­ing such a high price is that it was used as a covert sur­veil­lance ve­hi­cle.

Gov­ern­ment records in­di­cate that the van was reg­is­tered at a num­ber of lo­ca­tions that are re­lated to Her Majesty’s Rev­enue and Cus­toms. Ob­ser­va­tions from sev­eral spe­cial­ists sug­gest that the ve­hi­cle may have been op­er­ated by the se­cu­rity ser­vices as a sur­veil­lance ve­hi­cle, as the ve­hi­cle spec­i­fi­ca­tion more closely matches their re­quire­ments, in­clud­ing an en­crypted Ra­cal Cougar ra­dio sys­tem.

James Davis, di­rec­tor of com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles at Man­heim, bought the 48,000-mile van in 2014, with the aim of restor­ing it as closely as pos­si­ble to its orig­i­nal spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

The work was car­ried out by C Wal­ton in Brunt­ingth­orpe, and included fit­ting out the van with 30-year-old sur­veil­lance equip­ment.

Davis says: ‘The Spy Van project has been an amaz­ing jour­ney. I de­cided to auc­tion the van in aid of the Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety with the en­tire sale price donated to the char­ity.’

Mark Scott of Pre­mier Van Sales bought the Tran­sit. He says: ‘I set my heart on buy­ing it to sup­port the fundrais­ing ef­fort, and I’m over the moon to be its new owner.’

The Tran­sit caused a stir on so­cial me­dia, with 500,000 views in less than 72 hours.

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