This home album photo depicts a 1936 Hillman Minx de luxe which has returned from Egypt, probably in the ownership of a serviceman in the Royal Air Force, posted to the Egyptian Suez Canal Zone before the war . There he was given sand-cast alloy plates CL Privé 1526 – Private use/Canal/vehicle 1526. This manufacturing method gives rise to the longest-lasting, strongest numberplates. The 1936 British registration WV 9778, was issued by the County Council of Wiltshire, in which many RAF establishments were located. It may be the Hillman’s original English plate from new, or it may be a new registration issued on it’s return to Britain. Happily, the squadron-leader has left both plates for us to enjoy, though the village policeman would have scolded him for showing both …… It crosses my mind that the elder boy MIGHT be member John Pemberton himself – which, in 1938, say, it could well have been! (Confirme
An English family we knew, lived in Cairo in the 1930s, where there was a thriving motor club and great interest in sports cars. They kindly passed VB a pictures of their cars there, the first being the sporty English Wolseley Hornet:
Note that this Egyptian series preceded the later PRIVÉ series above, using simply the city code (usually in roman and arabic) as a central separator (in red) for the numerals. These two only show the C in roman. Their second car was a French Mathis (perhaps a 1932 Emyquatre) registered C 6700 – a big jump from 940, on the Wolseley of similar production year. Why?
Below: Here’s one from the same 1913-56 series, using both scripts as separator. 3 BS 3 (Beni Suef) on a Vauxhall 12 (if you can see it).
Because of the constant shortage of material, Egyptians were obliged to wear hats without a brim, which worked OK save for the brief rainy season.
Colonel Blinman of Penn, Bucks., UK had this plate hanging in his garage when I visited him in 1974 to deliver his new lawnmower. Painted on the obverse of the other, long, front plate, was the new Buckinghamshire number allocated to his Hillman Minx when he returned from military duty at The Canal in the ’50s. My need was agreed to be greater than his, for this pair of redundant plates, and I left clutching them with glee and a promise of a free first mower service!
Below: Taxi (orange) from DT = Dumyāţ, seen in Cairo by Angela Brumby 1966, in sea transit to Australia. A Fiat 1400/1900? Not so, says David Wilson – it’s a Canadian Dodge (see comments)
Well, that’s where John Pemberton’s pictures of ‘Egypt in England’ have led us this time! Next – West Africa. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
But…. we have few other early Egyptians, too…….. Cairo Alexandria Cairo Canal Zone (front) Alexandria Unknown – probably Cairo.
All die-cast in sand, except Canal Zone 1484, which is painted on the obverse of a British plate previously used on Colonal Blinman’s Hillman. Plus……
ALX from Alexandria.
……and 3 different CD layouts, possibly from different periods….
Uncoded CD 3009 – remains undefined. Embossed.
2020 – valuable response sent to the Blog by ‘Tom Tom’:
1 / 7018 below is identified by ‘Tom Tom’ (25/01/20) as a 1958c-73 issue, with ‘1’ as the code for the Soviet Union. The embassy code was given only in arabic. The 7018 meant nothing and was simply a serial. See 31/1301 below (which looks to be embossed).
CD 52 / 5035 is probably a variant of the 1958c-73 series. Hand-painted on flat sheet, whereas 7018 above had been in pressed steel, probably still hand-painted. Embassy 52=United Kingdom.
And added later, 31/1301, another 1956c-83 series image, with diplomatic code 31 for Sweden.
In all cases the arabic script translates to ‘Political Corps’.
Below are two temporary transit plates, handpainted, seen in London, years apart. The first is from Port Said (1972) and the second from Suez (1976). They are thought to be ‘get-you-to-the-border’ exit* plates, valid for a few days for vehicles leaving Egypt and made to hand back in their normal plates. They and have surprisingly high serials.
*Japan and Hungary CD also employ this system of retaining their national plates when vehicles are known to be leaving the country permanently.
Below: An odd UN type from the 1960s. Personnel attached to the World Food and Agriculture Organisation, who had a semi-diplomatic status. White on black. Reading: Private, Cairo 1/D 53003. (Tom Tom). The arabic letter D indicates an embassy/Organisation-owned vehicle; the 1 code could signal USSR – but on a British Morris Oxford ??????
That all for now (16/06/2020)