AN appeal has been launched after a much-loved sports car was stolen from a hospital car park.

Richard Scott’s maroon Shelby Cobra replica was stolen from the Braintree Community Hospital car park on Friday, October 25.

Richard, from Braintree, has had the car for 26 years after he first starting building it in 1993.

He finally completed the kit-car in March 2008.

Since then the car has been used regularly by the whole family on a weekly basis for long weekend drives.

Son James launched a Facebook appeal on local, national and car enthusiast pages, which has been shared more than 400 times.

After the appeal, a witness came forward stating that two men were seen towing the car away behind a van heading along Rayne Road towards the village of Rayne.

James said: “The car holds such sentimental value to my father.

“He spent such a long time building and modelling it.

“He doesn’t really get Facebook and social media, but he is really impressed with how many people have shared the appeal.

“I would like to share my appreciation and thanks to everyone who has shared the post on Facebook and other social media platforms.

“It really goes to show that members of the community come together when these types of crimes happen in Braintree.”

The appeal has reached people nationally, with people as far away as Devon and Manchester sharing the post.

The post has also been shared on pages dedicated to fans of Cobra cars.

Unfortunately, the CCTV obtained does not show the full registration of the van.

Two steering locks were also removed from the car during the theft but have since been recovered from the scene.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called with reports that a maroon Pilgrim Sumo had been stolen in Braintree on Friday.

“The car, which is worth an estimated five-figure sum, was taken from a private car park on Rayne Road at around 12.15am.

“We are appealing for any information about this incident.” Anyone with information should call the police on 101 quoting the crime reference number 42/171294/19.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.