African Oddities

African checkout

A recent run round southern, central and northern Africa unearthed a few unexpected plate sightings, which Bloggers may like to share.     A car-park in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga (formerly Northern Transvaal) presented the remarkable photo opportunity to compare the latest Mozambique plate with the current MP local plate.     The background colours of the MOC Maputo Province help to identify them from the mainly black on white South African MP series – but remembering that the two places share a national border, it does seem odd that such similar formats were adopted.

Mpumulanga at left and Mozambique (Maputo Province to the right.

MP and MP  –  Mpumulanga at left and Mozambique (Maputo Province) to the right.

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The ZANZIBAR Post from this trip  is already up on the Blog and the ETHIOPIAN page will come shortly.

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BELOW:  Non. 2013.    Just leaving Zanzibar for Ethiopia, I glimpsed a new Range Rover parked off-road  in a secure compound, carrying a quite new plate type,     T 312 CCI  .    Unusually, the guards on the gate  didn’t display the usual paranoia and let me slip in to get a shot.    Later, The Venerable Neil found a Google reference to CCI  under  http://www.homeless-international.org, which seems to pin this hundred-thousand-dollar car to a homeless persons’ charity in Tanzania.     Nice design, anyway.

T 312 CCI  -  Identified by Neil Parker and Google, as an NGO in Tanganyika.

T 312 CCI – Identified by Neil Parker and Google, as an NGO in Tanganyika.

ETHIOPIA

One of the first oddities seen in Addis Ababa – and not surrounded by spooks – was this military vehicle with a good condition plate.

Ethiopian Defence Force 2013

Ethiopian Defence Force 2013

At the former palace of Emperor Haile Selassie, now the University Ethnological museum in Addis, was a photo of his 1940s Ford V-8 convertible, on Harar plates.    A rotten shot of an old photo, but a rare image of an Abyssinian plate of the period – and from a jurisdiction other than  the capital.

HA 14ll - The characteristic font of early Ethiopian plates.....

HA 1411 – The characteristic font of early Ethiopian plates…..

(ETH 36-41)_HA 1411_cu_VBmuseum2013

BELOW:    This was a costly shot.     A plate seen up a side-street,  from the corner of my eye, through the vibrating window of my 17th.-century LADA taxi,  I commanded my driver to stop for a photo-opportunity, believing it to be a Saudi plate in Addis Ababa.    Up-close, the delight at identifying my first current-system Sudani was unbounded!

However, a bod in a dish-dash thought there might be a security issue with a western pensioner flashing his camera at a parked car, and with many a warning in Amharic (which is not a strong card in my pack of languages) and much waving of his night-stick, he did all he could to obstruct my photo-capture.       Within a few minutes, the local police force was upon me, sporting their side arms and arresting both myself and my poor cab-driver, who had come over to try to spring me.

Frog-marched a kilometre or so across some open waste ground  we reached the police station, a few ramshackle tents with an open fire for the ubiquitous Ethiopian coffee pot.   Officers of ever-increasing rank were brought to judge me and my ridiculous story and none were convinced of the innocence of our noble pursuit, although they couldn’t quite see what we might be up to.   Eventually, in a fit of diplomatic legerdemain, I presented them with an opportunity to release us without loss of face – or  paying the usual dash which overcomes all in most places.    I can’t remember how.

Here, then, for your amusement, is the result of that hour’s investment in time and fear.    (Noting that the ‘4’ is the 100,000’s prefix to the serial no. 22477, making this Khartoum car 422477, isn’t it unbelievable that this poorest of all countries should have registered so many cars in the four years this series has been extant?  Over a hundred-thousand a year!!!!)

(SUD 2009~)_4 KH 22477_cu_VB2013

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Meanwhile, other snippets from recent times and varied sources:

(AFG 74-04)(ndes)_M 673_f_weeTG

Mowqati’ 673KBL  –  (temporary/foreigner) in Afghanistan between 1974 and 2004.   Among the users of this plate type, were non-diplomatic embassy staff.       Note this Merc 180, seen in UK, sports an overseas AA badge, once a frequent sighting on used imports to GB.        Terry Gray archive.

Here is a typical overseas British Automobile Association radiator badge of the type created for all or most of the Commonwealth countries.

Here is a typical overseas British Automobile Association radiator badge of the type created for all or most of the Commonwealth countries.   These make a good collector’s subject.     Brumby archive

(B)(cd)_CD AD715_weeVB2013

The new dip. through the windscreen in Belgium during September 2013.      Brumby archive

(IND5)_TN22CY 0648_c_VBmo2013

Mike Oldham saw this Tamil Nadu in Cyprus during October 2013!!!

Someone important in Malaya.

United Nations in Afghanistan, but identical to other theatres of operation, too.

UN 00438  –  United Nations in Afghanistan, but identical to other theatres of UN operation, too……..     Brumby archive

here's a pretty similar UN in Sudan...

UN 334  –  ……..here’s a pretty similar UN in Sudan…

Historic corner

This Austin A35 circa 1960, hails from Northern Rhodesia.   L and 3 numbers in the GB style could just as easily come from Aden or Cyprus, or Fiji or Labuan.....

L 219  –  This Austin A30 circa 1958, hails from Livingstone, then Northern Rhodesia and now Zambia.      In the 1950s,  L and 3 numbers in this GB style could just as easily have come from Aden or Cyprus, or Fiji or Labuan!

For example:

Another Austin, an A40 model, retired to an outdoor museum in Kota Kinabual, Sabah, but sporting 1960s plates from Labuan Island.

Another Austin, an A40 model, retired to an outdoor museum in Kota Kinabulu, Sabah, but sporting 1960s plates from Labuan Island.

Four numbers this time, but three were issued in Aden Colony in the 1960s.

(ADN60-63)_L 8820_TG_resize

A Keith Marvin Aden  image from his 1960 book, 'License (sic) Plates of the World' - possibly the first volume dedicated to xeno-autonumerology!

A Keith Marvin Aden image from his 1963 *book, ‘License (sic) Plates of the World’ – possibly the first volume dedicated to xeno-autonumerology!

Ah – AND Turkish Northern Cyprus (still current)

(CYN2)(83-97)_L 312_weeVB

Keith Marvin's rare book, which brought mant worldwide collectors to each others notice, and helped to form associations.

 *Keith Marvin’s rare book, which brought many worldwide collectors to each other’s notice, which in turn,  helped to form long-standing associations.   A famed and very prolific writer on automobilia in the US, he died only about 2011, aged over 90.

AUF WIEDERSEHEN……….

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3 Responses to African Oddities

  1. rogerkimbell says:

    Oho! Poor old Brumby. What a narrow escape. You could have been thrown into the local gaol with nought but a lexicon to digest!

  2. aista01 says:

    HA 1411: I know this picture, it is related to Emperor Haile Selassie coming back after the Italian defeat. The plate has been issued by the Italian colonial administration. A green/white/red tab is hardly visible above the front plate, but very clear on the rear plate in the attached picture (same scene taken from the rear).

    Marcello Taverna Europlate #237, Aista #01

    • Thanks for your response, Marcello. I would very much appreciate seeing your picture of HA 1411.

      It seems that very little photographic evidence exists of the 1900-1960s Ethiopian plates, eh?

      Victor

      Victor Brumby 8 Cleeve Court STREATLEY, Reading West Berkshire RG8 9PS (use P*R* for satnav) 01491 871119 vicbrumby@gmail.com angelabrumby@gmail.com

      VISIT the RPWO Blog at *https://blog.europlate.org.uk/ *

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