Pemberton on Libya

A Morris Minor Tourer from Benghazi circa 1951. BN 1089. (JP)

A Morris Minor Tourer from Benghazi circa 1951. BN 1089. (JP)

Neither Ivan Thornley nor I ever saw a Libyan like this, using “BN” as a code.   Furthermore all previous examples place the arabic before the western script.     Wonderful!

LIBIA T.5829 circa 1950.

LIBIA T.5829, circa 1950.

Then JP saw a Sunbeam Talbot 90 with another VERY unusual plate design – and no arabic at all…..  Such plates  had been used in the 1930s, though this Sunbean model was produced from 1948.    And it looks as if the background might have been a light shade, rather than standard black.     Probably from the 1937-50 series.

Below:    The mid-1950s to late 60s used the next style and many used to be seen near British Air Force bases in England in that period, when US and UK had very active bases in Libya.   LB-Benghazi, LT-Tripoli.   Initially made with the arabic to the left and after about 1962, the arabic to the right.

(LAR2)(55-62)_LT21331_comp_VB1962

Libya-Tripoli 21331

Unofficially the international oval was LT, (Libya-Tripolitania) but I don’t think any were ever seen – unless you know otherwise?    Now it is LAR Libyan Arab Republic – and still none have ever been seen!    The way things are shaping up in post-Gadaafi Libya, it will be some time before they get round to worrying  about international ovals!(LAR2)(55-62)_LB 11673_Flickr1960s

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4 Responses to Pemberton on Libya

  1. Bart WIJNBERG says:

    I read:
    A Morris Minor Tourer from Benghazi circa 1951. BN 1089. (JP)

    Neither Ivan Thornley nor I ever saw a Libyan like this, using “BN” as a code. Furthermore all previous examples place the arabic before the western script. Wonderful!

    That latter remark very much depends on the angle of viewing things. If you are Arab reader, you read from right to left, if I am not mistaken, in which case the Arab text comes first!

    Kind regards,

    Bart Wijnberg
    Netherlands

  2. David Wilson says:

    Regarding BN 1089 above, I am not exactly sure what you mean by “before the Western script” because, from the Arabic point of view, as Arabic is read from right to left (although numbers in Arabic script are always read rom left to right), the Arabic on this plate IS before the Western script. Perhaps “left” and “right” would be better descriptors in such situations.

    The the third, double picture shows two different formats, although the Arabic and Western formats are the same in either case: number-before-code (the two VW’s) and code-before-number (the Vauxhall).

    • Well, blow me down with a feather!! I hadn’t noticed the the Vauxhall and the VWs had ‘script-about’, David! I’m losing it, no doubt about it…..

      Someone else has picked up on raghead-reading right to left – we clearly have a learned readership!

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