Greece in the 1950s

Young Pemberton collared two odd Greeks on celluloid, during his forays into the capital during the days of rationing.    A 1950s American Buick Eight convertible  parked in Upper Regent Street in London bears a baffling, plain,  T 38  plate, unlike anything we know.   John  was certain it was Greek.

Was it a Thessaloniki Port tourist entry plate?

Any ideas about this 'Greek'?

Any ideas about this ‘Greek’?                   JP archive




A Morris Oxford was the choice of transport for this 1940’s-era British diplomat in Athens, seen on leave in UK.

CD 277 on leave from Athens. in Britain, circa 1949-50.

CD 277 on leave from Athens. in Britain, circa 1949-50. Pemberton archive


Below; Not many years later, in about 1958, the rare Greek diplomatic was photographed in Earls Court by VB.

A Farina-designed Morris Oxford from Athens embassy, in about 1958. VB archive.

A Farina-designed Morris Oxford from Athens embassy, in about 1958.           VB archive.


The 56 on these plates gave the year of their first issue.   56 continued to be issued until they were replaced in 1969 with similar plates, but showing ‘69‘.   This ran until about 2011, still marked ‘69‘!

The DS transliteration of the Greek dip. plates abbreviates ‘Diplomatikos Somos‘ or ‘Diplomatic Body‘.   Greeks are not keen to use Latin-based words (corps), when they have the older language!

At last, an attractive new turquoise plate design has replaced the 1969 series:

The latest Greek CD.

The latest Greek CD.


6 Responses to Greece in the 1950s

  1. smodriver says:

    Hello – the Morris Oxford MO ‘….277 CD’ on leave from Athens. in Britain, circa 1949-50 – is a rare car, being the only one exported to Anastase Papageorgopoulos in 1948 or 49 – LHD ( the sharp pointed corners to the bonnet line tell us it is June’48 – Aug’49

    • VERY interesting detail, SMOdriver! I am surprised by how many 1940s50s Morris Oxford MO models show up in overseas plate pictures. Also Phase One Vanguards. They must have been well-thought-of cars – and their manufacturers must have had plenty of steel allocated to them, to enable them to make so many. There were no aluminium panels in an MO, as there were in many other post-war British cars, built by factories which could not obtain enough steel.
      Bizarre to reflect that those erstwhile famous brands now don’t exist……

  2. Bill says:

    The first photo (T38) is not a greek car.

    • Can we be sure it isn’t a customs plate from Thessaloniki, a popular port of entry? In those times (40’s – 80’s), the temporary importation plates illustrating a serial given by Greek Customs, seem to have been made up on a ad hoc basis by someone near the port – there were no two the same!

  3. Interesting article, the Chevrolet Vitara is an import from Venezuela and has a dealer sticker on the back from Caracas

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