autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Range Rover Used as Surveillance Vehicle by London's Metropolitan Police Is Up for Grabs

This rare Range Rover Commercial built in 1983 has led an interesting life serving as undercover surveillance vehicle for the C11 Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of London’s Metropolitan Police.
Range Rover Commercial served as surveillance vehicle 13 photos
Range Rover Commercial served as surveillance vehicleRange Rover Commercial served as surveillance vehicleRange Rover Commercial served as surveillance vehicleRange Rover Commercial served as surveillance vehicleRange Rover Commercial served as surveillance vehicleRange Rover Commercial served as surveillance vehicleRange Rover Commercial served as surveillance vehicleRange Rover Commercial served as surveillance vehicleRange Rover Commercial served as surveillance vehicleRange Rover Commercial served as surveillance vehicleRange Rover Commercial served as surveillance vehicleRange Rover Commercial served as surveillance vehicle
The versatility of the Range Rover, with its Birmabright body and split-level tailgate, allowed for very diverse customizations in the period. As such, the British vehicle has been turned into a fire tender, a demountable camper-ambulance, and even a convertible.

The particular Commercial example we see here is rather a bare-bones version of a police car, with the Range Rover still retaining its 3.5-liter V8 engine and four-wheel drive transmission. However, the rear seats were removed and the rear side windows covered to hide a small radio surveillance operator in the back, a Storno radio base station, two mobile phones, and a direction-finding system.

The ex-police Range Rover also featured an aerial mast and a roof rack lined with plywood that would give operators easy access to the mast if needed. But despite these modifications, just by looking at it, you wouldn’t be able to tell it was used for clandestine police activity, and that’s exactly the point of an undercover vehicle.

The van carried a regular Chelmsford registration mark – B387 YAR – which also helped to make it inconspicuous to regular folks and especially to ill-intended villains.

The Range Rover’s off-road capabilities would have allowed undercover police officers to carry out operations essentially anywhere. Anywhere in the UK, that is. And as it turns out, the surveillance radio command vehicle was also equipped with a full set of Ordnance Survey maps, which were the equivalent of GPS or Google Maps of today.

Though the MET bought the vehicle from new in 1983, it didn’t register it until 1985. It went on to use it for undercover operations until 1998 when the Commercial was auctioned off with only 36,000 miles (57,900 km) on the clock.

This history-laden Range Rover Commercial is now up for grabs again in the UK, with an asking price of £21,995, or approximately $26,400 at current exchange rates.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories