BBC Television, Unit LMVT1, TUW171S



TUW171S BBC MVT-9 (Mobile Video Tape 9) Bedford TK chassis. It was based at Kendal Avenue London as LMVT-1.

Originally fitted with two Ampex AVR1 2″ Quadruplex reel to reel video tape recorders.


This vehicle was registered to the BBC in September 1977. It was given the fleet reference, MVT-9 (Mobile VTR No. 9). MVT-9 was stationed in London and known there as LMVT-1.

It is a Bedford TK cab and chassis, with a 330 Diesel engine and 5 forward speed gearbox.

First fitted with two Ampex AVR1 two inch Quadruplex tape machines.

It was refitted 1982 when the Quads were replaced with two Ampex VPR2 one inch helical scan machines housed in console trolleys fitted with monitor bridges. At a later date a VHS and one or two Sony BVW75 Betacam SP recorders were added as required for particular productions.

At that time BBC London had a second identical unit, LMVT-2 and three other, similar MVT’s.

In general, a BBC main scanner (known as Colour Mobile Control Room – CMCR) did not carry VTR’s. The units were frequently used in multiples to enable on-site editing and slow motion effects work to be carried out whilst a continuing event was being recorded.

In Preservation

LMVT-1 was acquired by the present owner in 1992, the BBC having removed all the VTR machines and some other equipment. Since then the unit has been used as a sound control room and as an editing suite, with minimum modification, whilst renovation and restoration work proceeded, at a slow pace.

A VPR2 was fitted in the “B” machine position, the “A” machine position being occupied by a custom-built shelf unit to accommodate cassette based VTR’s (VHS, MII, Beta SP, High Band U-Matic). A Studer A807 replaces the original A800 audio recorder.

By 1999 it was clear that the original cellulose paint had oxidised and a re-paint was needed. Rust was appearing and various bodywork repairs were going to be necessary.

Restoration work started August 2008. The cab was in a very poor state and was replaced. Significant other body work repairs were carried out, the radiator re-built, water pump and all hoses replaced, brakes serviced, and the electrical system repaired and enhanced. The vehicle was re-painted using synthetic 2 pack paint, retaining the original livery.

Further work planned includes refurbishment and upgrade to technical equipment.


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