History : Rover CPS vehicles (Longbridge)

Our man Stuart Collins has been busy scanning the pictures he’s taken over the years while working at Longbridge. These photographs of Rover’s Company Protection Services (CPS) vehicles are absolutely fascinating.

These CPS vehicles had been known to turn out to incidents and accident on the public roads around the factory as their response time was only two or three minutes and that could be a lifesaver.

First up is the Land Rover – as Land Rover was a sister company at the time, Rover asked its SVO division to build a fire truck, but their quote was nearly double that quoted by Boughton so that’s who the order went to. The pictures were taken around 1994 not long after delivery.

Before it was registered it went to the Millbrook Proving Ground near Bedford to support one of Rover’s 24 hour record attempts. The vehicle was an ideal size to drive along the gangways inside the factory. It even had cutting gear (jaws of life) on board and the crew would practice cutting up scrap cars at the back of the New West works.

H711 JRW (SALLJGMF7KA479197) was registered 2 January 1991. Originally a 116in-wheelbase five-door ambulance demonstrator it later went into service with Rover CPS and, like the Land Rover fire truck (top), it was narrow enough to work inside the factory 

The LDV ambulance was one of two, both coronary care-equipped, so they could transport casualties straight to A&E instead of waiting for a county ambulance to turn up. Due to their quick response time in the factory, the survival rate of casualties was much higher than the county ambulance could do. The Discovery was a security patrol vehicle for the site.


Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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  1. Blimey, I’d forgotten about the LWB Disco ambulances. I don’t suppose he’s got a photo of the vintage albeit pristine orange Nuffield tractor that the grounds maintenance staff had at Longbridge?

    • Sorry I don’t have a picture of the tractor as my interests were Land Rovers and emergency services vehicles.

  2. Reminds me of the 6-wheeled Range Rover fire trucks at Cranfield Airport in 1984-85. There were also some stonking great V8 diesel fire trucks, which made an amazing noise until the rev’ limiter cut in at about 1500 revs.

  3. I worked for a dealer group when MGR bit the dust who bought all the cars they could from the receivers and we did very well with all the cheaply bought odd spec cars (left hookers, export spec, high spec ex management cars etc) we even went so far as buying that Defender fire truck (and possibly the ambulance) and it fell to me to dispose of it via EBay. I can’t remember who bought it now but I think it went to a good home.

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