Early Africans unearthed

December 13, 2018

Members – Visit the 

TEHA2 website

 

13 Dec 2018        Part one – unfinished

Pioneer Europlate member Jacques Lambin, an adventurous and very well-travelled Frenchman, has donated some of his collection of worldwide shots to our Europlate Historic Archive (TEHA2) so greatly increasing our picture coverage of the  Equatorial and West African territories which formed part of the French empire.    An unexpected, marvellous benefit to us all!

In the process of identifying each photo, slide or negative so that each could be given an accurate title, some of these rare plate formats were difficult to decide, and even after research, a few still remain to go under the scrutiny of our readers, who may be able to finish the job!      Of course, Jacques was able to help with many of them, but so many years having passed since they were photographed, not all were fresh in his mind!       Some of the pictures shown here are from our existing TEHA2 collection……

An interesting example of such difficulty was that of Cameroun, the former French Trust Territory adjacent to Nigeria, which France administered after Germany surrendered it to the League of Nations after WW1, and brought it through to independence in 1963.    Cameroun started with a simple white-on-black numeral and a ‘C’ suffix letter, in about 1919.   

(We don’t know if there had been a German system in use before that.)

The International Oval 1919-63 was TC for Trust Territory-Cameroun, and nearby Togoland was allocated TT on the same basis.        The 2619-C photo comes from our former president, Bernt Larsen E somewhere back in Europe, on a Plymouth coupé

Cameroun commercial/public service vehicles ran on black-on-white plates.  Black-on-white 3421-C and 3423-C below, in service in the 1930s, using Mercedes chassis with local bodywork  and not French marques, as as might be expected!

 

In 1932, it is thought that 1-9999-C was exhausted, and a serial suffix number was added, starting at 0001 C 1 – though not necessarily using lead zeroes – it was not a strict regime…..

Then, from 1932 until 1963 the serial number changed each time the registration number reached 9999 and ran up from C1 to C8, when a new system was introduced after 1963 independence.    No pictures of a C8 have yet been found.

 

A Fiat 1500 Sports seen in Juan-les-Pins, summer 1960 by VB.

 

 

 

 

 

The International oval changed in 1963/4 and used a variety of codes, including RFC and CAM,

settling now on CMR, built-in to the current plates.

 

 

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The new 1963/4 series used a regional code, 0-9999 numerals and one serial suffix letter, which was later changed to two as required by increasing registration needs:.

 

W=Western Region, Buea

N=Northern Region, Garoua

C=Central Region, South

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All well and good, we might say.   BUT –  Jacques hurried to explain to the Blog that French Congo (Brazzaville)(AEF) once used an identical system and that a few Congolese had been mixed up with our Camerouns.           The guilty parties in the above line-up are the C7 and C9 pics, which are guaranteed Congolese by Jacques – because that’s where he took the pictures!     

You will see that all have now been placed in their correct countries within TEHA2, at Link:

website

 

 

While we contemplate such duplication in world plate issues, we might remember that the Cameroun’s first plates,

 

were the same as Tahiti’s

and of Madagascars

AND of the Comores Islands (but no picture!)

 

– so if you saw such plates as these as you wandered round 1950s Paris, for example, you wouldn’t know where they had come from, especially as they would all have carried an ‘F‘ International Oval, IF they carried one at all…….

I have just realised that if you HAD been in 1950 Paris as a 15-year-old plate-spotter, you would be reading this at the age of 84.          Anyone left out there??

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Spanish Morocco (ME)

March 3, 2014

Editing some of John Pemberton’s 1960s sightings in London, I came across his ME 8243 reported on a motor-cycle in 1967.      Too young to remember an ME series – and an ME international oval – I wrote to JP to challenge his script!

He soon confirmed that, in his day, he had seen SEVERAL (ME)  plates and he referred me to an illustration in Mr. Parker’s worthy tome ‘RPW – The Mediaeval Years’.    Well – there it was – and soon after, Plate-King Fox sent over the photos of TWO such plates in his collection, safely hidden away in Kentucky or some such reservation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The reversed shades of this Spanish Morocco has Jim puzzled ; has anyone any ideas?                       Fox plate collection

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ME 2910 shows the colour layout expected of the Spanish territories.      Jim has had these plates for many years.

Our Spanish team leapt in to action and Bernt and Antonio fielded several very early photos which I hope they won’t mind the Blog sharing with the Blogmen.    They are absolutely amazing – to think that images have survived from that distant period – in that little-known territory!

(ME dd-56)-7689_AG (ME dd-56)-8586 (Fco del Barrio Arenaza-20minutos)_AG (ME dd-56)-8987_AG (ME dd-56)-1917_AG (ME dd-56)-4559_AG

Many thanks for these, Antonio and Bernt………….

Presumably, when Morocco gained independence from Spain and France, in 1956, the commonly-used ME prefix for the Spanish whole was dropped and the individual enclaves which Spain retained, were allocated specific codes ML, CE, IF, SH and RM?

Historian Bernt??

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The Rhodesias on camera

September 9, 2013

SR oval SOUTHERN RHODESIARSR oval 2 RHODESIAS-SOUTHERN RHODESIA

 

ZW oval ZIMBABWE

Southern Rhodesia to Zimbabwe

B is an early registration from Bulawayo on a Ford 'T', up-country!

B 89  —   is an early registration from Bulawayo on a Ford ‘T’, up-country!

(ZW 28-60)(SR)_B 13571 _VBweb2013

B 13571 — The Fordson 10cwt. was the bumpiest ride you could get in 1952 – on good tarmac! In Rhodesia, it must have been known as The Dentist’s Friend.

(ZW 28-60)(SR)_B 374_r_VBweb2012

(ZW 28-60)(SR)_G 603_VBweb2012

(ZW 28-60)(SR)_U 573_VBweb2012

 

(ZW 28-60)(SR)_V 3748 _f_VBweb2012

(ZW 28-60)(SR)_S 3447_VBweb2013

(ZW 28-60)(SR)_S 4172_VBweb(ZW 28-60)(SR)_B 31444_VBweb2012

(ZW 28-60)(SR)_S 28403_VBweb2012

(ZW 28-60)(SR)(mc)_S 977 C_VBweb2012

 

 

(ZW 28-60)(SR 58q4)_S 24661_disc_VB

A Morris Six in Salisbury about 1953.

S 19944 (SR) – A Morris Six outside City Hall in the capital, Salisbury, about 1952.    These cars were more often badged as Wolseleys and those were the standard British police car of the era.

Vauxhall 14 circa 1946, also in S. Rhodesia about 1950.

S 10307  (SR) –  a Vauxhall 14, built 1939-46, also in Southern Rhodesia, about 1950.  (anon)

(ZW2)(28-60)(SR)(comv)_B 11888_VBweb2012

Commercial vehicles in Southern Rhodesia used reversed shades on their plates – This Leyland Octopus carries B 11888 in a black on white plate, about 1951.    This reverse was common in several British Commonwealth countries, though never used in Britain.      Anon

(ZW2)(SR)_G 7877 VBweb

These two plates were a bafflement at first, but are now agreed to be         G 7877 at the front of the river ferry, on an English Jowett Javelin of about 1950 vintage, from Southern Rhodesia. where G=Gwelo.       The (circa) 1952, Mark 1 Ford Zephyr behind, NK 64, is from Kitwe, Northern Rhodesia (in the 1929-63 registration series.)       It is difficult to establish where this ferry was, even having checked with Old Rhodesia Hands!!
Picture courtesy of Old Classic Car.

576789_498977626833832_66301402_n (1)

S 36914    A Mark 7 (or 8?) Jaguar registered in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, now Harare, Zimbabwe, shot in the mid-1950s.      In Jan. 1969, the S prefix was supplanted by RS (Rhodesia-Salisbury) and when reaching RS 9999, a serial letter commenced with RSA.   Gwelo, Bulawayo and Umtali offices also registered enough vehicles to warrant the adoption of that third, serial letter – RGA, RBA, RUA.  (anon)

The colonial government instituted a quite detailed system for registering state-owned vehicles, using a GT stacked prefix followed by a department code, in this case, PS for Police Service. After Ian Smith announced the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965, no British vehciles could be sold to the regime and any supplier who would break the sanctions was a welcome help. Thus the previously inconceivable prospect of a foreign brand in use by the administration of a British overseas territory. Formasl independence was reluctantly granted in 1975 after which any brand of vehicle was to be sold in the new Zimbabwe. Brumby archive

The S. Rhodesian colonial government instituted a detailed system for registering state-owned vehicles, using a GT stacked prefix followed by a department code, in this case, PS for Police Service.      After new Prime Minister Ian Smith announced the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965,  sanctions were applied and no more British vehicles would be supplied to the  ‘breakaway’ regime.      Any alternative supplier-nation which would break the sanctions was a welcome help – and plenty did.      Thus the previously inconceivable prospect of a foreign brand in use by the administration of a British overseas territory was at an end and such as this Alfa Romeo Giulia G/T PS 174 could be seen in government service.
Formal independence to the breakaway régime was reluctantly granted by London in 1975, after which any nationality of vehicle was to be available in the new Zimbabwe.       Brumby archive

This is thought to be a Rhodesian District Commissioner plate seen on a dumped Peugeot 504 at Kariba airfield in the 1990s. Brumby archive.

DC 371.     This is thought to be a Rhodesian District Commissioner plate, seen on a dumped Peugeot 504 at Kariba airfield in the 1990s.     However, the French brand was unlikely to have been used during the colonial period, so this would have been bought by the UDI régime after 1965…….The 504, launched in 1968, was also built in Kenya and Nigeria , which could have been other sources for this car.       Brumby archive

S 42605 (RSR). A few Rhodesian cars visited Britain until the 1970s and this Riley RM 1.5 litre was photgraphed in Earls Court, London, in 1960, wearing the RSR oval which had replaced the original SR. Brumby archive

S 42605 (RSR).       Quite a few Rhodesian cars visited Britain until the 1970’s.    This Riley RM ‘One-and-a-Half) model was photographed in Earls Court, London, during the 1960s, wearing the new RSR oval which from 1960 to 1979, had replaced the original SR, applied since the 1920s..        Brumby archive

G 4210 is another Riley RM from Gwelo, seen in London in the 1960s. From th3 1928-1080 series. Brumby archive

G 4210 (SR) –  is another Riley RM, this one from Gwelo, seen in London in the 1950s. From the 1928-1970 registration series.         (Pemberton archive)

 

 

Northern Rhodesia (now ZAMBIA)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(aa1 Z oval - ZAMBIA

 

 

Thus 2947 shot in Northern Rhodesia depicts an American car which readers might be able to identify. (Flickr)

N 5816 (NR) – This  July 1947 shot in Northern Rhodesia depicts an American car which reader Karl identifies as a 1941 Buick..  Until 1947, N  was the code for N’dola District, when NN became the new code       (Flickr)

This Land Rover had driven from Rhodesia to London in 1962, with its low number M 5, from Fort Roseberry and Kawamba districts.

M 5 (RNR) —  This lwb Land Rover had been driven from Rhodesia to London in 1962, with its low number,   M 5, from the Fort Roseberry and Kawamba districts.         1938-60 was the duration of the (NR) international oval, then from 1960-65, (RNR), then (Z) was adopted, and is still in use today.     Independence came to Zambia in 1964.     Brumby archive

NRG was the code for the Northern Rhodesian Government and this is a rare, surviving picture of a Triumph police motorcycle. (Anon)

NRG was the code for the Northern Rhodesian Government and this is a rare, surviving picture of a the official plate on a police-operated Triumph motorcycle.  (model?)      (Anon)

 

A pair of Triumph enthusiasts received almost consecutive numbers in 1960s Northern Thodesia, to become indpeddnt Zambia in 1964, under

EA 7936 and 8  —  A pair of Triumph enthusiasts received almost consecutive numbers in 1960s Northern Rhodesia, shortly to become independent Zambia in 1964, under Kaunda who became its long-time dictator.   Rather as Hitler and Amin were foreigners in the countries they led, Kenneth Kaunda was a Malawian.       And a waste of space.

 

Also seen in London, but after 1965, because the RNR oval has been changed to the new Z code, signifying the new country name of Zambia. The 'EA, EK and ET' prefixes marked the town of Kitwe, centre of the copper belt. Brumby archive.

EK 4550 (Z)  —  Seen in London, but after 1965, because the RNR oval has been changed to the new Z code, signifying the new country name of Zambia. During 1964-75 the ‘EA, EK and ET’ prefixes marked the Western area including N’dola. Brumby archive 1973

 

Zambian commercial vehicles used red on white plates, as this Mercedes truck photo'd in Nairobi in the 1970s. Brumby archive

EL 8218 (Z)   From 1964 and independence, Zambian commercial vehicles have used red on white plates, as this Mercedes truck photo’d in Nairobi in 1976.     Brumby archive

For a fee, or if you know Someone, It is possible to request an old registration to be re-issued; this Toyota pick-up is seen in South Africa in the 1980s. K had been the first letter used in Lusaka, in the late 1920s and early '30s. Nirther the font nor the colours are correct for the earlier period, however. Brumby archive.

K 323 (NR)  –  For a fee, or if you know ‘Someone’, It is possible to request an old series registration to be re-issued; this Toyota pick-up is seen in South Africa in 1992.     K had been the first letter used in Lusaka, in the late 1920s and early ’30s. Neither the font nor the colours are correct for the earlier period, however.        (Brumby archive.)

A yet newer adoption of an earlier=series registration is EU 1850, borne on a Bentley S3 from the '60s. EU would originally have been issued on the British design of plate, in white on black, but has been re-issued using the current Zambian format.

A yet newer adoption of an earlier-series Central (Lusaka) registration is EU 1850, borne on a Bentley S3 from the ’60s.      Code EU would first have been issued in the 1960s-75, using the British design of plate, in white on black, but has been re-issued using the 2000-and-on  Zambian backplate and colouring.

 

Here is the NR code 'K' of the period, seen borne on a vehicle in London by John Pemberton just before or just after the war. What a massive oval NR! (Pemberton archive)

K 2440 (NR)      Here is the Northern Rhodesian code ‘K’ of the 1930’s period, seen borne on an American 1941-6 model Hudson (Karl) in London and photographed  by John Pemberton just before or just after the war.     Note the massive NR plate; such ovals’ dimensions were firmly set by international law!          (Pemberton archive)

An early registrant in Broken Hill district was this 1930 Austin Seven BH 648.

An early registrant in Broken Hill district was this 1930 Austin Seven BH 648.

NK 6749 is carried by a Daimler Conquest Century, an unusual car for Africa, one surmises. These used preselector gearboxes - and lots of interior walnut trim! NK=one of the codes for Kitwe.

NK 6749 is carried by a Daimler Conquest Century, an unusual car for Africa, one surmises. These used preselector gearboxes – and lots of interior walnut trim!    Note the AA badge, surmounted by the name of the country in which it was a member.   Such badges are now extremely rare.       NK=one of the codes for Kitwe.   (anon)

At independence in 1964, diplomatic recognition became the responsibility of the new government. By 1992 when this was taken in South Africa, Botswana (embassy code 22) seemed to have six cars registered at the Zambian capital. Brumby archive.

22 CD 6Z  —  At independence in 1964, diplomatic recognition became the responsibility of the new Zambia government.    By 1992 when this shot was taken in South Africa, Botswana (embassy code 22) seemed to have six cars registered at the Zambian capital.        Brumby archive.

 

From 2000, Zambian plates are long or square and use LLL NNNN format with a national symbol. Like many countries, their plate system is designed and implemented by a German specialist company, Utsch.

From 2000, Zambian (Z) plates are long or square and use LLL NNNN  format with a national symbol.   Reflective white, front and rear.     Like many countries, their plate system is designed and implemented by a German specialist company, Utsch.  The white front plates are similar to those of  neighbouring Zimbabwe – see next……   Brumby archive

 

The 2006 Zim series. It uses a different font to the Zambian and a similar, but different symbol.

ACJ 2956  —  (ZW) – The 2006> Zim series.     It uses a different font to the Zambian and a similar, though different, symbol and is yellow, front and rear.

 

Detail of the current Zambia symbol

Detail of the current Zambia symbol

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Terry Gray’s slides come to life

August 18, 2013

There will be a fuller account of the great period shots gathered by early founder-member  Gray, when time permits.     For now, just relish a few picked at random from his newly-digitalised photo transparency slides.

A mini-Moke in London in the 1960s with the ultra-rare pre-Belize series for British Honduras.   C=Corozal.    AND a BH oval, properly manufactured by the RAC.   Bet they didn't sellmany of them!    Gray archive.

A Mini-Moke in London in the 1960s with the ultra-rare pre-Belize series for British Honduras. C=Corozal.      AND with a BH oval, properly manufactured by the RAC.     Bet they didn’t sell many of them!                        Gray archive.

(BZ 65-73)(BH5)_C-4682_cu_TG2

Soon after the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was launched about 1968, this Bahrein emir brought his new car to London.    Gray archive

Soon after the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was launched about 1968, this Bahreini emir brought his new car to London. Gray archive

A Venezuelan export plate seen in London in circa 1969.   Gray archive.

YV – 105    A blue Venezuelan export plate seen in London in circa 1969. Gray archive.

A batch of new buses passed Kettering in the late1960s in transit to the docks and their passage to Nigeria.    Already plated for use in Lagos, and using a green background not usually associated with WAN plates.    Gray Archive

WAN Nigeria – LU 7416.    A batch of new  Willowbrook-bodied Leyland Comet buses passed through Kettering in the late 1960s in transit to London docks and their sea-passage to Nigeria.     Already plated for use with the Lagos City Transport Service, and using a green background not usually associated with WAN plates, they were running on Leicestershire AY trade plates.       (NOT Alderney!)            Gray Archive 1968c

Y-20006, a Vauxhall Viva estate car from  the British embassy in Saigon during the 1970s.     See in England, carrying an unofficial 'oval' of (VTN).   I seems that the car had previously been posted in Budapest with its diplomat owner.     Gray archive

Y+20006, a Vauxhall Viva estate car from the British (definite) embassy in Saigon  during the 1970s.     Photo’d in England in 1976, carrying an unofficial ‘oval’ of (VTN). it seems that the car could have previously been posted in Budapest with its diplomat owner.   (See postscript 29 Sep.2013)       Gray archive

P.S.   I now learn from Ivan Thornley that the Vietnamese Vauxhall Y 20006 had not previously been registered in Hungary (H), but in Ethiopia (ETH)!     The owner had not finished removing his home-made IRC stickers.     (Those would have been fine plates to see on-car………)

Here another GB embassy plate, this time on a Land Rover in Saigon, 1970s.  Brumby archive

Y+00137   Here’s another VN GB embassy plate, this time on a Land Rover in Saigon, 1970s.     Brumby archive

Mowqati 673, and Afghan Foreigner (M and green) on a Mercedes 190 in Britain did not escape TG's eye or camera.      A very rare sight indeed.  Gray archive

Mowqati 673, an Afghan Foreigner (M and green) from Kabul ,on a Mercedes 190 in Britain did not escape TG’s eye or camera.    A very rare sight indeed.        The overseas-issued Automobile Association badge is of interest, but the country of origin crest is illegible.     Gray archive c.1972

Aden was a moderately-frequent 'spot' in the 1960s, due to the commercial and military establishments in that then-British colony.     After the India-issued ADN series were changed in the 1950s, L, M, and N became the serials used in the Aden Colony.    Independence and the amalgamation with South Yemen closed down sightings and info from that hot zone, for many years after.    The car is a French Renault Floride, seen in GB.     Gray archive.

L 8829 ADEN     Aden was a moderately-frequent ‘spot’ in the 1960s, due to the active commercial and military establishments in that then-British colony.    Aden was administered from British India from the 1910s and employed the BI system, with code ADN.    Under later colonial administration, it changed in the 1950s, first to the prefix 2ADN, when, reaching 9999 again, L, then and N became the leading letters used in the Aden Colony.   (No-one knows why those letters were chosen).    Independence and the later amalgamation with South Yemen closed down sightings and info from that hot zone, for many years after. The car is a French Renault Floride, seen in GB.       Gray archive.

(A)(exp73)_G90.803_TG1973

AUSTRIA FOREIGN RESIDENT/EXPORT SERIES.      Graz is the registration area for this German-built Ford Taunus 17M, photo’d in Austria in 1973 before leaving for its ultimate export destination.     Most European countries offered a facility to purchasers from abroad, to collect their new European car, tax-free, from factory or dealer, to tour Europe for up to 6 months and then return it to the supplier for shipment to their country of origin – or even drive it home themselves.     With their acquired mileage they could be imported to their home countries as second-hand cars, so that their local import duties would be lower.      Tens, if not hundreds  of thousands of vehicles were supplied under these tax-free schemes.        Gray archive.

May 2014 q.           Can anyone say whether this Austrian series was used both for export and for identifying foreigners who came to live in Austria for extended periods, perhaps even with tax-free status?    There have always been too many of them around to be only for vehicles awaiting export, it seems……..

2015  — marcellotaverna@alice.it writes:    The blue plates with a red dated band are called “temporary registration marks” and they are issued, on request, to “anyone not having his main residence, or legal seat or main facilities in Austria, upon exhibition of the required documents….”. Further “if the vehicle comes from abroad, a valid foreign approval document will be accepted”   It seems that these plates are issued to foreign persons or companies, both for export or for temporary import.

 

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Some additions at Sept. 29th. – notes to add later

(AND 60-80)(exp75)_MT-6282_TG1975

MT-6282  —  Andorra’s duty-free foreigner export series valid to 1975.     MT =  ‘Temporary Matriculation’.                                   Gray archive 1974

(B 58-07)(BfinD)_B.665.P_TG
This Belgian Forces in Germany car has replaced the official white on red plate with a home-made one. B.665.P.                                                            Gray archive, pictured in Germany circa 1974

(B 75-00)(Eur)_EUR 2514_TG

White plates were issued to privileged Party members in pre-democratic Bulgaria.    This fortunate citizen had a modern car and was allowed a passport to travel to Monte Carlo, where this picture was taken

Sf 38-16  —  White plates were issued to privileged Party members in pre-democratic Bulgaria.     This fortunate citizen had a  Sofia-registered Renault Dauphine and was allowed a passport to travel to Monte Carlo, where this picture was taken by member Terry Gray in the 1960s.   The series used the Cyrillic alphabet and  ran from 1958-85.

(CH)_ZH_300 723_TG

ZH 300 723     This is a puzzler.    A rear Swiss plate with no canton shields?    And in a poor (un-Swiss) condition.        And mounted in an odd place.      Was it perhaps a trade plate of the period (1960s) Any help, readers?    Gray archive  (silence May 2014!  Help!)

(BG)(tempimp)_XX 110_TG (BG)(transit)_095-912_TG (CAM 60-91)(cc)_IT 9175 CC_f_TG1970s (CB 30s-58)_C 23938_TG (CDN)(CdnfinEur)_5245_TG (CO 67-74)_C-07-87_r_TG1968

Remarkably, this MGB came to live in London for about a year in 1969, and remains the first and only sighting ever of a Colombian plate in England by Europlate.   Members Brumby, Thornley, Gray and Pemberton all reported it separately!   This is the 1967-74 series.(CS 66-85)_ABA-32-73_TG (D)(GBfinD)(mc)_JM 844 B_TG (DK)(dlr)_41 112_f_TG (DY 72-76)(cd)_IT 837 DY-CD_r2_TG (E 22-72)(ME)_ML-4037_TG (E 27-69)(EqG)(FP1)_FP-3721_c_TG (E 27-69)(SH)(Ifni)_IF-556_TG1960s (E 27-80s)(EqG)_RM 6018_TG (E 60s-70s)(prov)_B-702.548_c_TG (E 60s-70s)(prov.dlr)_GE-1.000.447_cu_TG (E 60s-70s)(prov.dlr)_GE-1.000.447_TG.

More Gray photos to follow………….and

if YOU have prints or slides of early or rare plates which you would like scanned for your own use and for the pleasure of other members’ viewing, write or email to Victor Brumby (vicbrumby@gmail.com) – or make a comment in the  Comments Box at the foot of this page.

And a quiz answer from a previous Post:

Which of needs THIS identifying?

Well – which of us needs THIS identifying?

YOU do?   Try French West Africa......     VB archive

YOU do? Try French West Africa…… VB archive                                                                      Francoplaque’s  Jean-Emmanuel  is quite correct with his answer of  SENEGAL, until 1960 French West Africa/Afrique Occidentale Francaise) (AOF) .   The Citroen 2cv is from area 1 (Cap Vert (Dakar, capital city)) and the letter C is a serial letter, issued before independence in 1960, after which the letter ‘S’ was inserted  before the area number  (e.g. 0132 S 1 .C)                  Fascinating to think that, had the car travelled outside Senegal in those times, it would have carries the unseen(?) AOF international oval.   The photo is by non-member Murray Bailey in about 1973, in Dakar.          In the background, in a sad state, is a French-registered Citroen Light Fifteen Traction Avant, still carrying its French plates 505 MS 38 (from Isere).

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A Private Collection

April 9, 2013

I have promised myself that, this summer of 2013, I will uncover my small plate collection from the depths of my garage and make sure that it is photographed for posterity.     I started collecting by accident in 1957  and continued in a casual way until the 1970s, when, with a few hundred, I had enough for a double-garage display to amuse and confound visitors.

Downsizing garages upon retirement, the collection was wrapped up and stored in suitcases.    Perhaps I though that when The Revolution came, I could make a quick dash for the airport and be gone with my half-ton of metal without coming to the attention of the rampaging proletariat.      As it happened, peace has reigned and the world at large has shown an indolent disinterest in my secret hoard, a few African items from which are below:

A Fiat 600 appeared in Kensington circa 1963, carrying Katanga plates and a properly-manufactured KAT oval.     It  re-registered before long, and the kindly owner gave me one plate, 650 C, which of course, I still have.

A Fiat 600 appeared in Kensington circa 1963, carrying Katanga plates and a properly-manufactured KAT oval.    It re-registered in GB  before long, and the kindly owner gave me one plate, 650 C, which of course, I still have.     Sadly I lost the photo of the whole car, which showed that unique KAT oval.     Brumby archive.

(RWA1)_A7247_cu_VBpl

Circa 1964, a green 380 Mercedes overtook me one evening on my way home from work, carrying this, the first and only Rwanda plate I ever saw in Europe.    A was the code for the capital, Kigali.   It also carried a RWA plastic adhesive international oval.   I followed it home and the charming Indian owner invited me in for tea and told me of its provenance.   He had been the importer in Kigali for The Distillers Company and for Imperial Tobacco. (Booze and Baccy!)   This made him an important, popular, and, I suppose, wealthy, man; his Mercedes was apparently the best car in the village.   The then-president of newly-independent Rwanda had only a black Peugeot 504 saloon, which he felt was not the best set of wheels for impressing the village girls, and so he would send his men round to our Indian friend late at night, to ‘borrow’ the Merc.      Import permits and favourable duty estimates for his expensive products were authorised in those times, and there was no reason to discourage the Top Lad enjoying a night out from time to time – though the Benz was never returned. The following morning, our owner would have to send his own staff round the village to find where rr A.7247  had been dumped at close of play – either at a bar or somewhere near Gubmint House….and  frequently damaged.    However, an empathetic accommodation had been established between all and sufficient funds for repair and replacement  seemed ever there..
He didn’t say what happened to disturb the equilibrium, but suddenly, there was our entrepreneur , living smartly in London and the former president was probably ‘helping police with their enquiries’.     Things can change quite quickly in Central Africa, and seldom for the better – but nothing which a thousand years cannot correct…..      Brumby archive

(RMM1)(ti)_ITRM0795_cu_VBpl

A visit to Mali in 1973 (don’t ask) involving another flight from Paris Le Bourget – a pretty basic aerodrome then – allowed a visit to Timbuctoo and to Bamako, where I found a dumped Citroen DS with this IT-RM-0795 rear plate still attached – but not for long. To my astonishment my Malian guide had it off in a split second, moments after I had shown a keen xeno-autonumerological interest in it, yet the subject was one of which he could have had only limited knowledge.
Originally I took it to be a Malian diplomatic, but the absence of CD on the plate shows that that it was a temporary duty-free importation as used by non-dip. embassy staff, technical aid personnel and N.G.O.’s. (which had not been so invented and named in 1973!     They were Aid Organisations.).  Even then the country was full of foreign aid people, with shiny new 4wd cars and special plates, while the indigenous Touareg went quietly about their never-changing lives, resistant to the cultural changes being proposed by countries which mistakenly felt sorry for them.   I was surprised to see an ageing Humber Super Snipe in Bamako, the capital, one day, and wondered how on earth such an inappropriate, luxury car could have made its way to a deep desert zone……  Perhaps an ex-CD car – or a stolen one from Cote d’Ivoire?  Brumby archive

CNV00019

A 1970s picture of some of the collection at the time. Gazing upon them now, I recognise that some have been lost in the intervening years.     I have never been careful with my things……Brumby archive

A Mk1 Ford Zephyr visited a pleasure park in our home town in 1960 carrying these colonial-era Belgian Congo plates.    The owner offered to snd the plates to Nip Thornley and the writer when he changed to new English plates imminently. - and so he did, bless him!    They were  simply stencilled on to mild steel sheet and for the first few years of ownership, we didn't take note that they were rusting away!    Eventually, to my horror, Nip took a paintbrush to his plate and refurbished it, with none of the skills of the Italian or Dutch Masters.

A Mk1 Ford Zephyr visited a pleasure park in our home town in 1960 carrying these colonial-era Belgian Congo plates. The owner offered to send the plates to Nip Thornley and the writer when he changed to new English plates imminently. – and so he did, bless him!    They were simply paint-stencilled on to mild steel sheet and for the first few years of ownership, we didn’t take note that they were rusting away! Eventually, to my horror, Nip took a paintbrush to his plate and refurbished it, with none of the skills of the Italian or Dutch Masters.

My plate was left in it's original state, but deteriorating steadily.   One day after about 40 years, I realised that there remained not one single speck of paint on my rusty tin sheet.    Now only I know that I once had a Belgian Congo plate!    This photo was taken after only 15 years, and one can almost see the registration C23938 (C was for Léopoldville, named for the eccentric King Léopold to whom the vast country had personally belonged.

My plate was left in it’s original state, but deteriorating steadily. One day after about 40 years, I realised that there remained not one single speck of paint on my rusty tin sheet.    So much for retaining originality!     Now only I know that I once had a Belgian Congo plate!   This photo was taken about 1970, and one can almost see the registration C 23938 (C was for Léopoldville, named for the eccentric King Léopold to whom the vast country had once personally belonged).   It is now Kinshasa and no-one knows to whom DRC belongs.     Brumby archive.

A Nigerian pre-1976 plate from Sapele, which look s as if it might have some history...     Brumby archive

A Nigerian pre-1976 plate from Sapele, which look s as if it might have some history… Brumby archive

More to be  added later…………. 


Djibouti

April 8, 2013

Non-member collector André Mas has been hoarding odd items most of his life and amongst other things, has accumulated a prodigious collection of rare numberplates which the writer photographed in France 06 a few years ago.    André  had found a rare Citroen DS21 Déesse Décapotable rotting in a yard in Djibouti whilst he worked there and he determined to repatriate it for restoration in UK.

It continued to sport it’s Djibouti État registration E 43.    He found that it had been brought to the French territory as a conveyance for President de Gaulle’s official visit and had been fitted with a sturdy balance rail across the rear passenger well, to stabilise the tall general, should a rebel chase ensue around the backstreets of Djibouti Town.      It was André who obtained/had made the international oval DJI – perhaps the only one in existence?    Ever?

The restored Citroen, registered in Belgium; with the unique DJI oval.   Brumby archive

The restored Citroen E 43, by then registered in Belgium; with the unique DJI oval. Brumby archive

This Djibouti Page begs some questions:

Has any member, or known source, a picture of the French Somaliland colonial plates which preceded independence in 1967?

And pictures from the 1967-77 period when it was titled the Territoire Francaise des Affars et Issas?

And why were so many Djibouti plates manufactured in a style faithful to the British design as witness the following

plates André brought back from his tour there?:

(DJI) DSC_0167

From 1960 to about 1970, the final numeral (the ‘9‘ in 849 D ‘9‘ below) was a year-of-issue marker – thus this plate is thought to be a 1969 issue.     From 1970 the latter 2 numerals (possibly starting with 11 rather than 10) were simply thousand counters as normally given in prefix (11 123).    (Why not just print 11123??)     Morocco also used this dating scheme with its TT plates during the 50-70s, but it gave rise to duplication (1955/65/75).

Thus the multiples above were post-1970,  whereas 849 D 9, below, is pre-1970 (1969).

(DJI2)('69)_849D9_cu_VBpl

VB’s own 1969 plate 849 D 9

(DJI2)(exp)_729TT_cu_MasplVB

The Mas collection includes the rare Djibouti temporary/duty-free import 729 TT (undated, but from the 1960s/70s).                           (Mas)

The only Djibouti ever seen by the writer was this little NSU Prinz coupe, in London in the early 1960s, the '4' in its registration probably indicating 1964 validity.

The only Djibouti ever seen by the writer was this little NSU Prinz coupe, in London in the early 1960s, the ‘4’ in its 271 D 4 registration indicating 1964 validity.     Brumby archive

But member Ivan 'Nip' Thornley saw an Austin 1800 in Northamptonshire in the 1970s, carrying  handsome, British-made, Djibouti, CD plates, 15 CMD 1 !      Nowadays embassy 15 is China, and I doubt whether GB has any diplomatic link with Djibouti.     I would seem from this photo that once, 15 had been for GB.     Thornley archive

But member Ivan ‘Nip’ Thornley saw an Austin 1800 in Northamptonshire (GB) in the late 1970s, carrying handsome, British-made, Djibouti, CD plates,             15 CMD 1 !      Nowadays embassy 15 is China, and I doubt whether GB has any diplomatic link with Djibouti.    It would seem from the car model and location of sighting, that once, 15 had been for the GB embassy.      The country became independent of France in 1977, so the Djibouti CD series would not have appeared until after that.        Thornley archive

 

LABOUR OF LOVE

Djibouti was the subject of my most costly contribution to my hobby.     Deciding to go somewhere really unusual for a week or so in the 1980s, and knowing an exec. in a hotel group, I picked the former French Somaliland, where he ran a grand pension in which he granted me a room.     It may have been the only building in Djibouti with more than one floor.      Travelling via the French third-world aerodrome of Le Bourget, from London, my flight touched down at midnight in the North Sahara, and I was one of four westerners on a flight carrying about 20 people.      The locals melted away into the hot night, with no visible checks through customs or immigration but we Euros were challenged for our visas.     I had established that no visa was required, before leaving London.     The other three Brits were old hands.    They worked for British Telecom, which maintained the Djibouti phone system, and were frequent visitors to fix equipment which was eternally being fiddled with by unknown hands.    Something untoward happened every time they tried to enter or leave and they were inured to procrastination.

In the francophone exchange which ensued, it transpired that foreigner visa requirements had changed in the previous weeks/months, but the team of  former cameleers eventually admitted that since the change of rules, they had not yet been able to afford to advise The World At Large of the changes.    Naturally, The Rule still applied, however – the prophet be praised.    Our techmen demanded to speak to their special mate, the Minister of Telecomms, who would spring them from that dusty, hot  tent – along with me, whom they had now kindly decided to adopted as their bag-carrier/general factotem.   I would be borne through under their general laissez-passer.

The Minister was run to ground under some ladies in the Tin Palm Nite Club at 2 a.m. and BT hailed him familiarly as ‘Jacko’ as he sportingly took the telephone call with his free hand.     Having heard their problem described, he told them to pass their phone to his mate, the chief of customs and immigration, the official with the least grubby blanket swathing him from head to dusty foot.    A noisy one-way tirade took place at the ear-piece, after which an embarrassed ‘Welcome to Djibouti’ was profferred to the technicians by the assembled group of customs and immigration bods, who, on reflection, did rather look to be out of it on Qat, their sharia-cleared drug of choice..

They were not convinced that I had the credentials to climb telegraph poles, however, and despite the protests of the might of  BT,  I was held back for private interview.      Failing to recognise the encouraging signals emitted by third-world power-brokers, I was eventually formally refused entry at 0300 and told to go back out on the returning morning flight, and come again with a visa some time.

Predictably, I never went back, and I never got even one photograph of a Djibouti plate, though I did see a red TT plate with arabic on the tarmac tanker, when we were taxi-ing.      The French aircrew had all stayed a refreshing night at the same grand hotel to which I had been bound, and were amused at my plight.     I think I was the only departing passenger on UTA from the Horn that dawn.

It was in the pub that night, back in Buckinghamshire, recalling my wasted couple of days, that everybody asked “Why didn’t you just give them baksheesh??” and I had to lamely reply that it simply hadn’t crossed my mind!     I haven’t lived in the corrupt zones of the world, and am not really fit to travel in them, I now realise.    OF COURSE, a ‘dash’ would have let me in – and now I divine the hidden meanings of their strange and oblique questions as they fruitlessly tried to  lead me to the fulchrum point of the moral see-saw in that hadean aerodrome tent.

A waste of a thousand pounds, as I recall!       Though I did get some new mosquito types for my collection and I wasn’t bundled in to the Foreign Legion, so there was much to be thankful for.

B*** number-plates……

(Tanganyika was another costly brush with the ‘law’ – a word without meaning in the Dark Continent.)


Resumé of postwar period spotting

February 21, 2013

Before the era of worldwide car hire and  aeroplane travel – one might say, before 1965 – people travelled between continents by passenger liners and cargo boats.      Car ownership was  limited to wealthy and  to important people, and factory production was slow as the world’s economies, with limited supplies of steel, glass, lubricants and rubber, began to recover from the vast cost of WW2.    It was due to the steel shortage that many post-war British cars had body panels made in aluminium, a material still  in good supply, but no longer wanted by the war machine for aircraft production.      That serendipitous circumstance was to become an important reason for the 60 years of  success of the Land Rover, the body of which would not rust on the beaches of the Cook Islands…..

Insufficient spae to mount this plate horizontally led the owner to use his imagination!    Brumby archive

Insufficient space to mount this plate horizontally led the owner to use his imagination!    Raratonga MN 9713.             Brumby archive

…..or the sweltering jungles of Malaysia….

W is the code for the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, seen in Kedah.

W is the code for the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, seen in Kedah.

For a long period after peace was declared, a second-hand vehicle would sell for more than a new one, as any new  products were built purely for the export markets, so as to earn foreign currency.     Only  a  few, privileged,  UK-based, professional people were allowed to buy new cars, for work of national importance, such as doctors, farmers and mobile engineers.       A trick used by the rich, was to travel to another country, including to the US and Canada, and to buy a new car there, under their local export scheme!

In this era, of the 1940-1960s,  many technical, administrative and educational personnel were sent  to distant parts of the globe  to perform work on behalf of  the allied governments, which needed to rebuild and modernise  their territories overseas as well as their domestic infrastructures.       When those people travelled, they were entitled to buy a car to take with them, as this would count as an export sale; of course, no spare vehicles would have been available for them to buy in the countries for which they were bound.

France marked these duty-free export cars with the special, red, Temporary Transit plates…….

On its way to the Central African Republic, 9 TT 10 first enjoys a drive along the Promenade des Anglais in 1964 Nice.          Brumby archive

1964. On its way to the Central African Republic, an American sedan export-registered  9 TT 10 first enjoys a drive along the Promenade des Anglais in  Nice.      Brumby archive

(F3)(exp55-84)_137TT73_cu_VB2003

……….Germany by their unique oval Zoll (Customs) plates…………

A new Beetle destined for eventual export to Argentina   Brumby archive

A new Beetle destined for eventual export to Argentina.     Brumby archive

……Italy by their EE  ‘Escursione Estranieri’ (Foreign Traveller) series………..

Italian 1964 Export 'EE'   Brumby archive

Italian 1964 Export ‘EE’ Brumby archive

……….Eire, using the prefix ZZ……….

ZZ allocated to new cars of any make, bought in Ireland for export, was an unusual and uncommon issue.   London 1969.   Brumby archive

ZZ allocated to new cars of any make, bought in the Republic of Ireland for export, was an unusual and uncommon issue.      VW Kombi in South Kensington, London 1969.         Brumby archive

…………Denmark by their red lining within the regional code letter.   K -Copenhagen……….

A  Danish export Volvo 245 destined for Canada, seen in London 1964.   Brumby archive

K 148.258   A Danish export Volvo 220 destined for personal export to Canada, seen in London 1964.                            Brumby archive

………Sweden, recognised by the year of temporary validity, in white on red,  added to the right of the standard registration………

Swedish export Volvo from Gothenburg (O) valid during 1964, seen in London.   Brumby archive

Swedish export Volvo from Gothenburg (O) valid during 1964, seen in London.                                   Brumby archive

……..and several other nations had an export plate system, too.      Britain allocated batches of normal registrations to the

Home Delivery Export Scheme,

whereby a new buyer could collect his new (British-made) car in UK and use it for up to three months before his supplier arranged for its shipping to the eventual destination for which it was bound.    In  later years, these HDES  plates were marked with with a yellow rim and from 1 Jan 1973, for the obligatory new white/yellow reflective plates, a red rim.

Some HDES examples seen in a motor museum in Queenstown, New Zealand.    Brumby archive.

Some HDES examples seen in a now-defunct motor museum in Queenstown, New Zealand.                       Brumby archive.

HDES with red border to reflective plates.    JW archive

HDES with red border for reflective plates from 1973    . JW archive

Sometimes, but not always, when such a car returned to Britain, these original HDES plates could be re-mounted and some of these  can be seen still today, looking innocently as if they have never been away.    If you see one, interview the owner – you might win a Bhutan diplomatic or a Tristan for your collection!

This Mk, 2 Ford Cortina has been somewhere and come back to adopt its HDES identity.

This 1968 (G) Mk.2 Ford Cortina has been somewhere and come back to adopt its HDES identity.    Where had it been???

If someone wished to buy a non-British-built car car in Britain, for export, that car would be given a British Temporary Import plate from the ‘ Q’ series.

QL 1052 - Peugeot 404L bought in London 1969, for export to Canada.  (Brumby archive/car)

QL 1052 – Peugeot 404L bought in London 1969, for export to Canada. Outside Notre Dame, Paris.     (Q L was issued by the Automobile Association on behalf of the national suthority.)     (Brumby archive/car)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This was still  the age of the ship and cars were easily and cheaply carried as part of the passengers’  luggage cargo.    When their tours of service were at an end, and knowing that new cars would be difficult to buy when they arrived back in Europe, this army of  colonial civil servants, miners and infrastructuralists – and also thousands of military personnel – would return to Europe with their foreign-registered cars aboard their ships.    Many vehicles circulated for up to a year on the foreign plates, usually carrying the international ovals, to identify their country of registration.

Sometimes, however,  they changed plates immediately at the port of re-entry and in England, the spotters of the period  would particularly look out for shiny new aluminium plates issued with the codes of the three great dock cities, London, Liverpool and Southampton, where the motor organisations, the AA and the RAC, would undertake the complicated paperwork of the re-importation on the owners’ behalf.      Usually, the garage-man who changed the plates, would throw the dismounted foreign ones into the boot, in case the owner needed them.      Usually the driver didn’t particularly want them, and if, later,  a youthful car-spotter, recognising the new dock-issued numberplates,  interrogated him with sufficient intent, he would willingly open the boot and hand them over!     Thus many a collection was born and to this day, the writer wishes that plates had not gone on to assume a money value – for they had once simply been a trophy of a well-run, low-cost hobby, as might be a stuffed hunting trophy, or a prized fish!

…………………..

Ubiquitous air travel and cheap and efficient international car rental combined to bring the  collapse of the passenger shipping lines, and has brought these big quantities of re-imported cars to an end; it is mostly diplomatic corps plates which we see today,  by way of  rare-country sightings.      To counter that loss to the spotter, an increase in general prosperity also permits the modern enthusiast to travel the world and to see the plates of a country in their native setting.

Here are a few of the odd sightings of vehicles returning from the Outside World to Britain and Europe during the 1940’s 1950’s and 1960’s.

Tanganyika - John Pemberton's shot of a Peugeot 203 from Dar-es-Salaam circa 1954 in London,

Tanganyika – John Pemberton’s shot of a Peugeot 203 from Dar-es-Salaam circa 1954 in London.   DS D 770.      Note the bracketed ‘ T ‘; worldwide, parentheses on ovals were only used on the four codes for British East Africa – EA(T), EA(K), EA(Z)and EA(U) – though they were not  frequently used.

A rare sight indeed, then and now - India plates in Britain, circa 1948, on an American 'tank'.    Pemberton archive

BMY 7797   A rare sight indeed, then and now – Bombay, India, plates in Britain, circa 1948, on an American Pontiac.             Pemberton archive

is VW Kombi came ro live in Earls Court during the 1960s,   It was registered JB 513 in Johore state, Malaya and showed a PTM oval to rear.    Brumby archive

This VW Kombi came to live in Earls Court during the 1960’s, It was registered JB 513 in Johore state, Malaya and showed a PTM oval to rear.  Brumby archive

The only Sarawak plate ever seen in England by VWB, this Simca 1100 was from Kuching district in 1965 London.     Brumby archive

KA 3848  The only Sarawak plate ever seen in England by EU38, this Simca 1000 was from Kuching district in 1965 London.          Brumby archive

JP captured this 1950 Humber Hawk, home to England from Trinidad

PB 1118   JP captured this 1950 Humber Hawk, home to England from Trinidad.                     Pemberton archive

X 1065 spotted in Oxford in 1947 on a pre-war Canadian Ford, registered in Spanish Town, Jamaica.  Note he giant oval!    Pemberyon archive

X 1065 spotted in Oxford in 1947 on a pre-war Canadian Ford, registered in Spanish Town, Jamaica.     Note the giant JA oval and the Jamaican AA badge atop the rad. grille!              Pemberton archive

A diplomat back from Montevideo, seen in Hyde Paek circa 1952, on a Simca Aronde.

C/D 49-697   A diplomat returns from a tour in Montevideo, seen in Hyde Park circa 1952, on a Simca Aronde.    Rare U oval picture.         Pemberton archive.

The Enosis (Union with Greece) uprising in Cyprus in the early 1950s saw thousands of troops sent there over the decade, most of whom seemed to come back with with a smart car,    It was a common sight o see Cyprioys all over Britain.    Here is a Morris Mini-Minor, somewhere in London, circa 1963,    Brumby archive

The Enosis (Union with Greece) movement in Cyprus in 1950 saw thousands of troops sent there over the next decade, most of whom seemed to come back with with a smart car.   Even after 1960 Independence, Britain maintained a large presence there alongside the UN and it was a common sight to see Cypriot plates all over Britain through the 60’s.     Here is a Morris Mini-Minor BF 355, somewhere in London, circa 1962.                                    Brumby archive

Aden must have been one of the hottest, dustiest, dreariest postings for a soldier in the British services,   However, there probably aren't any Jaguars driving round out there in 2013, so times must have been easier then, s we see a Mk.2  2.4 returned to London after a rece   Most unusually, L 5993 has an arabic translation as part of the plate design, never seen before or sinve.   nt posting there.

Aden must have been one of the hottest, dustiest, dreariest postings for a soldier in the British services.    However, there probably aren’t any Jaguars driving round out there in 2013, so times must have been easier then, as we see an officer’s smart Mk.2 2.4 returned to London’s Kensington in 1963,  after a recent posting there.  The first few years of Aden vehicles were registered under the registration system of India, as were Christmas Island and possibly one or two of the Straits Settlements.    It is not understood why Aden chose the letters L, M and finally N for its plate prefixes during that series.. 

 Here, most unusually, L 5993 has the arabic translation as part of the plate design, never seen before or since on an Aden Colony plate.         Brumby archive

Low security in the 1960s Port of London, enabled this keen spotter to slip in to the docks on my Vespa, with camera at the ready.    A ship from the Far East has just discharged its cargo, and waiting on the dockside for customs clearance is Jaguar Mk.7  XX 1190 from Hong Kong.  And can you i/d the DKW Autounion in the background?       Brumby archive

Low security in the 1960s Port of London, enabled this keen spotter to slip in to the docks on his Vespa, with camera at the ready.     A ship from the Far East has just discharged its cargo, and waiting on the dockside for customs clearance is c.1954 Jaguar Mk.7  XX 1190 from Hong Kong.   The long-lived HK prefix was exhausted, and XX was issued from 1957 to 1958 (RPWO).       (And can you i/d the DKW Autounion in the background? )               Brumby archive

 

It took a two-kilometre chase on foor in heavy traffic to get this photo of the olnyNepali EU38 ever saw in England in 1962.     Brumby archive

In 1962, it took a two-kilometre chase on foot in heavy traffic to get this photo of the only Nepali vehicle EU38 ever saw outside Nepal.  The owner had had to specially make the ’26’ translation plate  in order to travel legally outside Nepal.       Brumby archive

ER.22944 was seen in 1963 on an Austin A30 c.1954.   Never another seen, anywhere.     Brumby archive.

ER.22944 was seen in 1963 on an Austin A30 c.1954.     Never another seen, anywhere.    Made with the classic Italian dies.                                Brumby archive.          (Note: I was in error, describing Eritrea on the photo, as ‘former Italian Somaliland’!)

 

So – we can see that these were good days for seeing plates from all over the free world – and, strangely, the communist bloc countries remained among the rarest of sights.  Of course, China, North Korea and Albania followed the communist path, forbidding citizens to own cars and with the remarkable exception of John Pemberton’s China Diplomatic (shown elsewhere in this Blog) nothing was seen from those benighted lands.

Not many photographs were taken and fewer still survive, lost in house-m0ves, cast away by surviving relatives as being of no interest etc.     Work done by such members as Pieter Lommerse, who has trawled so many sources to gather historic pictures of  Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, is of inestimable value to all collectors.   The Legend of  The Larsson Library is whispered of in exalted circles!      Any shots you may have will find a welcome home in the Blog, or else simply post them in for scanning and return, to Victor Brumby at 8 Cleeve Court, Streatley, Berks. UK – RG8 9PS.

End…………..