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Traffic teams urged to help complete legendary Liver Run Rover

A nation-wide appeal has been made for equipment missing from Britain’s most famous patrol car.

Former traffic officers and mechanics have been asked to help find missing kit crucial to complete one of the famous Liver Run Rover SD1s.

The ex-Met patrol car’s new owner is hoping to complete the vehicle’s history – and is appealing former officers or staff may have them.

Former traffic officer Martin Ellis has recently bought the 1984 Rover V8 which was the support car in arguably the most famous traffic operation ever carried out.

On 8 May 1987, members of the Met’s Area 1 team based at NE Traffic in Chadwell Heath, East London were tasked with a mercy mission to transport a live human liver from the M11 to the Cromwell Hospital in London.

There was just a few hours when the task started and fog had delayed the flight to Stansted airport, reducing the vital window for the vehicle convoy.

Surgery had already began when the specialist box was handed over at Junction 7 of the M11 at 11:54am with 27 miles to go. They had to reach Kensington by 12:30pm or the patient would die.

The two Met SD1 Rovers the drove at speeds of up to 120mph to reach central London on a busy Friday afternoon. 

The cars arrived at 12:25pm and the patient survived surgery to make a complete recovery.

The lead car was driven by PC William (Bill) McIntyre with PC Graham Fordham as navigator using A-Z map books to coordinate the journey.

The back up car travelled directly behind in case the lead car broke down - driven by PC Les Crossland.

The cars were chosen because they were the only two Met Traffic cars to be fitted with a Provida video recording camera.

The journey was filmed and broadcast on the TV show Police, Camera, Action. Today, bootleg recordings are avidly shared by enthusiasts on the web and social media making the Rover the most famous patrol car in the UK.

There is even an online fan club devoted to the Liver Run.

The SD1 was later used by PC Crossland when training  traffic officers in the use of Both Provida and Pilot (average speed calculation).

It was decommissioned 30 years ago and remained as part of the Met’s historic car collection before being bought by legendary British patrol car collector – and former traffic  officer – Ernie Japp.

Its amazing history doesn’t end there. The Rover came back into service briefly in 2010 when fate intervened.

Sgt Neil Roberts was driving A738 UJD to a community event when his radio received a call out for a burglary nearby. The Rover was the nearest vehicle in the area and helped apprehend the suspect under blues and twos.

Mr Jepp sold the vehicle earlier this year after purchasing the 1960s ex-Met Daimler Dart which came up for auction last year.

The new owner, Martin Ellis, was also an officer from 1980 to 2010 including 15 years as a traffic officer.

Incredibly, the car is still in original condition except for a few items.

He told Police Oracle: “Sadly, there’s no kit in the boot, but there’s two things I’d really like to source. I need to buy a white knight seek and search and tray – which would sit in its charging cradle just behind the front seats - and a black Met Police Log book to complete this fabulous car . Any help or leads will be greatly appreciated.”

He hopes Police Oracle readers might be able to help.

Mr Ellis said: “I think this car deserves it. When my ownership ends I want to hand it over as it should be.”

Anyone with the items or information that can help should email:  editorial@policeoracle.com

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