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This is the Vanguards MP1002 Mini Cooper set in the white livery of the Metropolitan Police Traffic Patrol as issued for the 75th Anniversary celebrations. In August 1968 the MPTP was supplied with two Mini Coopers (registration numbers [PYT 767F] and [PYT 768F] to replace Wolseley 110s which were being phased out. The Mini Coopers were brought in to see if they would suit the purpose of inner urban areas of Greater London, but instead of being double manned, they would be single manned with two vehicles patrolling the same area previously patrolled by one double manned car. The vehicles were purpose built for single manned operations.*
This limited edition model has some detailing and no opening parts. At the front there is a chromed bumper and grille. Its a pity Corgi didn't follow up on their research properly as the grille used is for a Mark I Cooper and the actual cars were Mark II Coopers (as shown on the box). Below this is the number plate [PYT 767F] and [PYT 768F] in black text on white background. The front lights are represented by yellow crystal lenses set into chrome surrounds, below which are orange painted dots representing the indicators. Two small chromed wing mirrors sit on the mudguards and two tiny photo-etched wipers grace the front windscreen. On the front of the bonnet is a white on black "POLICE" sign. The sides and doors are painted white without signage and the doors are finished off with the door handles highlighted in silver. The roof has the obligatory blue roof light of the period on a raised plinth (see below) and behind this sits a roof aerial. At the rear is another chromed bumper and the rear lights are represented by red painted panels on cast features. The vehicle carries a small silver handle on the boot together with the rear numberplate, in black on yellow, and another "POLICE" sign. Above the left hand rear light is a small silver painted petrol cap.
The entire interior is black plastic with a right hand drive black plastic steering wheel set into the dashboard. Interior features include the front and rear seats, even though the real car had no rear seat (see below). The glazing is clear all round.
All wheels have solid, one piece chromed plastic hubs with a hub cap and separate black rubber tyres.
The base plate is white painted metal and is marked with "Vanguards" in the centre top, "MINI" immediately below this, and LLEDO" at the centre bottom. The base plate casting also has minimalist front and rear suspension system, engine sump, gearbox, and exhaust system. It is held in place by a front machined rivet and a rear body lug.
This set was issued in 2005 and is #1619 of 2005 worldwide. The scale is stated to be 1/43.
Mark I Mark II
- The centre boss of the steering wheel was replaced with a speaker/microphone, with a small remote transmitter switch on the steering column, to enable the car to be driven at speed without the hands needing to be removed from the steering wheel to transmit messages.
- The car has two-tone air horns and a Winkless bell fitted under the bonnet.
- The rear seat was removed to allow the carrying of minimum kit in the boot and rear seat space.
- A single rotating blue light was fitted to the roof on a raised plinth of about 4 inches, as to mount it directly on the roof would have meant it was below the height required for it to be legal!