Manheim's ‘Spy Van’

Manheim ‘Spy Van’ to make overt appearance at the CV Show

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Manheim will be showing off a very special commercial vehicle on its stand at the CV Show at Birmingham’s NEC from 25th to 27th April – an exquisitely-restored 1988 covert surveillance van complete with concealed cameras.

The CV Show 2017 at the NEC BirminghamOriginally registered to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, James Davis, Manheim’s Director of Commercial Vehicles, became its second owner in 2014. He bought and restored the van to celebrate the Ford Transit’s 50th birthday.

The restoration was carried out by C Walton Ltd in Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire. Period camera kit, recording equipment and other gadgetry were then sourced and fitted to give the van a truly authentic interior.

The van's odometer, showing 48,000 miles, is believed to be genuine, as the Transit only covered 6,000 miles between 2003 and 2013. Paperwork in the history file shows that it operated in the South East, North West, North East and Scotland.

The restoration of the 1988 Ford Transit can be revisited on the ‘TheRestorationVanMan’ Facebook page. On 22nd May 2017, the ‘Spy Van’ will be auctioned off without reserve at Manheim’s Shepshed commercial vehicle action centre, with all proceeds going directly to the Alzheimer's Society.

The auction sale will wrap up a week-long fundraiser held across Manheim’s UK network of eight CV auction centres. To help James Davis hit his £5,000 fundraising target, visit

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