The Liverpool Police Cooper S Mk2 as discussed in the Sept CooperWorld (p 35) (2 replies)
My September edition of CooperWorld has just arrived here in Brazil and it's crammed with articles and information as usual. Congrats to all involved. On page
My September edition of CooperWorld has just arrived here in Brazil and it's crammed with articles and information as usual. Congrats to all involved.
On page 35 Nick Hunter, the MCR Cooper S Mk2 registrar, is enquiring about VKA 310H that a club member has just bought. According to the Heritage certificate shows it going to Hewitt Motors in Portadown, N. Ireland and that the first registered keeper was a Mr Mills. All well and good, except that the registration number of the car, presumably from new, is part of a series that went to Liverpool police. The car has a hole in the centre of the roof presumably where the Police roof box was fitted.
Given this background what's the truth? A few observations and comments on my part:
1. Was the box fitted to the roof through just one hole? I don't know how they did it but it would seem logical to me to secure the box with more than one hole. Perhaps forum regular Peter Laidler can throw some light on this?
2. Could that hole have been for a roof spotlight instead of a police box? Such lights were popular in the mid â€˜60s on some of the rally cars. Might a later owner have fitted a roof spotlight?
3. Are there any holes in the dash or the cross panel indicating that a police radio was once fitted?
4 The VKA registrations were issued between February and June 1970. I wonder what the build date was for the car and how long it was after being built was it registered? A clue might be found there.
5. Is there any of the original white paint to be found anywhere on the car? If so that should be a clue as I believe that the white that police cars were finished in was different from the snowberry white of the production model.
6. Liverpool and Portadown are not that far apart (I know that there is a bit of sea to cross!). Portadown is near Belfast and I know that Liverpool and Belfast have always had close links. Might this help in working out what happened?
All of this brings back memories of something that happened to me over 20 years ago. A young couple turned up at my house on a Sunday morning. They arrived in tartan red and black Cooper S which was a bit tatty. They told me that they had attended the Mini Cooper day at Beaulieu and someone told them that their car was an ex Liverpool police car. I then enquired what the registration number was? OKD 700F was the reply. Instantly the number rang a bell and I went to one of my Mini books and said to them â€˜There you are, that's your car!' The photo shows a policeman standing by the car. It was a magic moment for all of us!
Subsequently we went out to have a thorough look at the car and sure enough there was the hole (or holes, I can't remember) in the roof for the box. Holes in the dash too for the radio. In due course they sold the car and I believe it has since been restored back to its Liverpool police livery.
My roof box is an original for the cop cars and there is one hole in the fibreglass base. It was bolted on with a large diameter bolt/nut and the nut was about the size/thickness of a steeing wheel nut that was locked by a star washer that, now I think of it, could well have been from the steering wheel! There was a largish diameter hole through the bolt that allowed the 4x wires (earth. live for the blue light, front and rear POLICE and rear STOP to be fed into the car and connected into the main wiring loom.
The owner of this car spoke to me at Beaulieu and I sent the details of our conversation to Dave the registrar who was on his hols at the time but received it OK.
I think this enigmatic car needs to be examined to ascertain anything beyond pure speculation. But that said, I am suspicious that it is a shell 'ringer' somewhere along the line.........