John Pemberton found a few sandhoppers in London in the 1940s, one of the most interesting of which was this 1948 Morris Oxford registered in Israel, a country which had only just started registering its own vehicles after the British Mandated presence there came to an end in 1948.
Oil exploration was well under way in the 1940s and it was probably that business which brought these cars to the Middle East and then home again, when the tour of duty was ended. First, a 1948 Hillman Minx Mark 3 with clearly painted plates:
IRAQ – Kirkuk
IRAQ – Baghdad
Iraqi vehicles travelling outside the country should have carried translation plates or be made to carry ‘Q’ temporary import plates when they visited Europe and Britain. The above cars slipped in ‘under the radar’, it seems, but the car which carried KK 2460 was correctly prepared for its trip, via its translation/out-of-state plate. The vehicle ended in a scrapyard in Amersham in 1973, where this plate was salvaged by EU38! (Below)
Below: Re-imported to London in December 1950 from Bahrain, this 1947 Vanguard was allocated a registration from the London XK batch between 10 and 99, which were retained for re-registration of used imports. Unusually, this owner chose not to dismount his original Bahrein 495 numberplate – strictly not legal, but its suits us!
(The London batches from 1-9 were then generally held for diplomats and privileged citizens.)
Below; About 13 years later, a Bahrain Mini was parked for a photo-opportunity.
Some Bahrein royal household plates were occasionally seen in London in those times, sometimes with modest cars……
….and sometimes with the grandes voitures which would become the hallmark of Gulf visitors in later years……