Egyptian visitors of the 1950s and later

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

CL 1526 is from Canal Zone, with a plate sandblasted clean of black paint.   Pemberton archive.

CL 1526 is from Canal Zone, with the plate sandblasted clean of black paint by sand and the desert wind.       Pemberton archive.

san

Sand-cast aluminium Egyptian plate CL 1526

A more prosperous visitor from Cairo or Gaza (is the code C or G?) brought his massive American car to Oxford, as prey to JP's camera.    C/G 4463 waits alongside a 1930s Wolseley in 1940s Oxford.   Pemberton archive.

A  prosperous visitor from Cairo or Gaza (is the code C or G?) brought his massive American car to England, as prey to JP’s camera. C/G 4463 waits alongside a 1930s Wolseley in 1940s Oxford.      Pemberton archive.

A 1930s Ford Eight, returned from the Souks of Cairo.    Pemberton archive.

A 1938-49 Ford Prefect Ten, Cairo 13326, returned from the soukhs of Cairo.  Estimated at 1947, in Oxford.   JP to advise.         Pemberton archive.

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:

Cairo 940 shown in 1934 outside the Asp & Turban p.h.   Brumby archive

Cairo 940 shown in 1934 outside the Asp & Turban pub, Nile Lane.               Brumby archive

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?

The French Mathis car in Cairo 1934.   Brumby archive

C 6700 – The French Mathis car in Cairo 1934.    Brumby archive

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).

BS 3 on a Vauxhall 12, made 1937-46, though wartime production was only for the military.  JG archive

BS 3 on a Vauxhall 12, made 1937-46 (though wartime production was only for the military).      JG archive

..and a rare picture of the pre-war Egyptian Diplomatic plate, of unknown source, CD 15. White on green.

..and a rare picture of the pre-war Egyptian Diplomatic plate, of unknown source, CD 15. White on green.

Cairo Motor Cab 14 pauses for a photo opportunity a hundred years ago. (anon)

Cairo Motor Cab 14 pauses for a photo opportunity a hundred years ago. (anon)

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.

Early cross-desert explorers used C 2000 for most of the way.   This is taken before they left.   (anon)

Early cross-desert explorers used a vanity plate, C 2000 for most of the way. This is taken before they left, a long time ago.   Red ‘C‘ with white outline: probably enamelled plate. (anon)

Another red 'C' early Cairo car, circa 1913.    (anon)

C 614 – Another red ‘C’ early Cairo car, circa 1913. (anon)

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!

Canal Zone 1484 circa 1951.  Brumby plate

Canal Zone 1484 circa 1951.                    Brumby plate (rear)

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)

1966 shot in Cairo of an elderly taxi DT 533.   Brumby archive

1966 shot in Cairo of an elderly Dodge taxi DT 533.    Brumby archive

Austin 1800 from the British embassy in Cairo in the 1970s, seen in Amersham, UK.  Brumby archive

1970s – Austin 1800 from the British embassy (52) in Cairo, seen in Amersham, UK.   52 / 3025       Brumby archive

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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 (ET3)(50-56)_C18541_cu_ALPCA Alexandria (ET3)(50-56)_A2528_cu_RKi Cairo(ET3)(50-56)_C22809_cu_CS Canal Zone (front) (ET3)(50-56)_CL1484_cuf_VBpl1951c Alexandria (ET3)(50-56)_A15093_FPQ1954 Unknown – probably Cairo.

Reg Wilson saw this in Liverpool in 1955.

Reg Wilson saw this in Liverpool in 1955.

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……

tax-free temporary import s were white on blue or blue on white

60 is the Greek embassy code in Cairo and the black/green plates were for non-diplomatic embassy staff there. Seen Athens Sept. 1993 by Trog Houghton.

plate

tax-free temporary import s were white on blue or blue on white

tax-free temporary import s were white on blue or blue on white

(ET4)(56-83)(it)_CH ALX9083_cu_VBmb

Unknown type seen 1980s at Luxor.

Unknown type seen 1980s at Luxor by VB

and 3 different CD layouts, possibly from different periods….   Cedric? 3 different types of CD (ET4)(cd2-SU)(56-83)_1 7018_cu_VB96 (ET4)(cd3-GB)(56-83)_52 5035_cu_MasPlvb Here are two temporary transit plates, handpainted, seen in London, years apart the first from Port    Said(1972) and the second from Suez (1976).   They are thought to be ‘get-you-to-the-border’ plates valid for a few days, and have surprisingly high serials. (ET4)(56--)(exp)_PTS3372_comp_VBpl70s (ET4)(56--)(exp)_SZ3913_comp_VBmb76

An odd UN type from the 1960s.

An odd UN type from the 1960s.

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4 Responses to Egyptian visitors of the 1950s and later

  1. John Harrison says:

    WV 9778 would have been issued in early 1936.

    Regards

    John

  2. Well done, John – I thought you might come up with that detail! So that was the Hillman’s first English plate, before it went out to the Middle East…….

  3. David Wilson says:

    Taxi DT 533 is no Fiat, but rather a 1949 Dodge, possibly a Canadian or export version, which had a Dodge front end and a Plymouth rear end–the common practice in Canada for Dodges (and also Pontiacs, which had Chevrolet rear ends) in the late 40’s/early 50’s.

  4. Good i/d, David – you know your North American metal! Most of the Pemberton photos seem to be on big yanks, most of which I can’t define by make or model. Get your close-up specs out, would you?

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