Zanzibar JR 9

JR 9 – This Zanzibar Beetle was captured near Barnes,  by VWB in 1961.      Around that time we saw another on a Citroen DS19,(GE 2) and one on a Simca 1000, which kept its Zanzibar registration (YE 9) as its new English plate, by a fluke of administration in the London licencing office.          These were the days of two-letter, one number registrations in EAZ.   Everyone had a vanity plate!


When the Empire territories achieved their independence, it usually gave rise to the return of colonial administrators, as they were replaced by indigenous personnel.    They brought home their cars to UK – and treated us young spotters to sightings of rare species.

Now there have been no sightings of Zanzibar (or indeed of  Tanganyika) plates in Britain for over 40 years.

(Unless you know otherwise????)



Addendum 05/04/2013:

The man who came to mend our water-heater in 2012 told me of his Zanzibar holiday, during which, in Stone Town, he photographed  ‘a Humber Hawk’ with an odd plate in a museum..    Here is that car – a UK Ford Zephyr 3, circa 1963.


R is thought to be the special plate used by the British Residents in Zanzibar, who, from 1913-1961, guided the sultans in matters outside their own experience. Effectively the Governor of the State, the title of Resident then changed to Consul or Consul-General, but the special registration appears to have survived a little beyond 1963, as the first production of this Zephyr model was in 1962.     For his safety, the Sultan was flown out by private plane in Jan. 1964 by Brian McAlister, a passing light aircraft pilot, after which a post-independence celebration of ethnic cleansing beset the islands, handing power to the surviving majority African group, who had previously been governed by Omani Arabs for the centuries of Oman’s ownership of the Zanzibar islands.     Brumby archive





A 2012 visit by Mike Hall gathered this modern picture from Zanzibar (where yellow on red is for taxis for the use of tourists only.)   (So – a smart taxi – Probably meaning that the vehicle is under 25 years old and had been serviced just before it was stolen in Durban in 1989.)





2 Responses to Zanzibar JR 9

  1. Stephan Feuk / EU-8 says:

    The 40 years goes also for Sweden. I have a photo I made in Motala, Sweden, around 1972 of TZ 13143, complete with an EAT oval and a Finnish flag on the trunk.

  2. Stick that photo in to the Blog, Stephan!

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