When travellers needed double-plating

July 7, 2017

 

It wasn’t long after Man had his first automobiles that he wanted to explore outside his own territory with his new-found freedom of movement.    But governments being what governments are, they soon found ways of making some money at border crossings.   To circumvent the delays and costs of formally importing their car – even temporarily – to another country,  the idea of a carnet de passage was

(B 1899-1906)_228_ & (NL)_Z-203

1899-1906 Belgian plate 228 and Dutch plate Z-203 seen on a very early car which probably lived near the two countries’ border, so needed registering in both places, until the carnet system was devised.   228 close-up, under.

(B 1899-1906)_228_cu & (NL)_Z-203.vintage car.anon

 

established, which guaranteed payment of import duty to the visited country, if the vehicle entered their land, but didn’t leave it, possibly having been sold to a local buyer.    The owner had to deposit the due duty with a bank in his home country and the bank (or, later,  national motoring associations) issued the carnet document, which was a promissory note to the foreign Customs-Zoll-Douane, should the vehicle not be officially exited from their territory.   However if the car was documented by validating the carnet on exit, no taxes were payable and the beginning of popular motoring tourism was about to open.

Many countries did not participate in the early conferences which then took place to create a protocol for international border-crossing, and tourists from those non-members who still wished to go touring, had to re-register their vehicles in to the visited country at the port of entry .

Placamundi has published a detailed history of the history of this interesting period, which can usually be found on RPWO, with a set of their other learned ‘booklets’ on specific historical matters.     Right now (July 2017) website alterations prevent their display.

Placamundi International Identification Ovals

 

So many fine pictures have come to light in the great albums of Karel Stoel, and from other member sources.       The photos are between 50 and 80 years old, and were taken on pretty basic cameras, so we have to tolerate less quality than we expect today!

See how many plates (and cars!) you can recognise:

(MC 28-50)_MC-1818_US car.1947JP

(S 06-72).Stockholm city_A 34351+KB 292(USA)_vb1947JP

(CDN-BC 50)_24-680_vb1950JP

(USA-Ohio 48)_4048-C_car in Sweden.vb43311KS

(I)(timp 35-59)(51)_EE 20951_f_Chev. vb123KS

(USA)(NH 35-36)_54-087+308560(q)_US car.vbKS

308560 above is an oddity – Swedish make-up etc. – but, numerals only???

(USA)(Va46)_487.842_JP1947vb

(USA-Wis)_9 85432+R-8895(NL)_BuickEight,vbRK

 

(I)(timp 35-59)(50s)_EE 21885_f_(+USA)_UScar.vbi051KS

(I)(timp 35-59)(48)_EE 16638_f_(+48Arizona AA3)_Ford Sedan.vb p1KS.

(I)(timp 35-59)(48)_EE 16342_f_(+NH48)_vb1940sJP

(I)(timp 35-59)(39)_EE 3011_f_(+NH 39)_UScar.vbKS

(I)(timp 29-35)(30s)_EE 5230_r_(+NC33).vbp1KS.

(GB)(timp 54-56)(AA)_QF 5412_(Aus Vic)_Vespa mc.vbKS

(GB)(timp 54-56)(AA 56)_QF 1096_(+BC56)_Chev.vbKS

(GB)(timp 51-54)(AA)_QE 1116_(+Ont.)_UScar.vbKS

 

(GB)(timp 49-57)(RAC 53)_QD 7721_f2_1953 Monte Rally_Holden.TheAuto.VB

The Australian Holden above doesn’t really count, but as the team came over from the other side of the world, they get a free pass………

(GB)(timp 49-57)(RAC 49m)_QD 366_(+PanamaCZ49)_BuickEight.vbCZ40KS

Possibly a young spotter placed these Canal Zone tags on a suitable car for the photo….

 

(GB)(timp 47-51)(AA)_QB 4032_(+ 6104BZ)_Beetle.vbKS

(GB)(timp 31-49)(RAC)_QC 902_UScar.vbKS

(GB)(timp 31-49)(RAC 48c)_QC 8825_(+Tangiers)_Standard 14.vbJP

(GB)(timp 31-49)(RAC 48)_QC 9425_(+Mich.48)_UScar.vbKS

(GB)(timp 31-49)(RAC 48)_QC 8277_(+Utah.48)_UScar.vbKS

(GB)(timp 31-49)(RAC 48)_QC 7995_(+Ct.48)_UScar.vbKS

(GB)(timp 31-49)(RAC 39)_QC 7119_(+Que.39)_vbJP

(GB)(timp 51-54)(AA 54)_QE 4872(+BC54)_vbKS

 

(GB)(timp 31-49)(RAC 30s)_QC 1585_UScar.vbKS

(GB)(timp 31-49)(RAC 30s)_QC 363_(+BRAZIL 2 73 08.BL

(F)(timp 33-55)(1951).Cherbourg_1530-TT 1H_(+Nebraska51)_UScar.jecKS

(F)(timp 33-55)(1951).Cherbourg_1440-TT 1H_& Calif-Plate_UScar.jecKS

(F)(timp 33-55)(1949).Paris_270 TT 9X+P1245(EL)_UScar.vb17KS

(F)(timp 33-55)(1949).Marseille_1477-TT 9S_f_+Connecticut vty._jecKS

(F)(timp 33-55)(1939).Marseille_995 TT 9S_(+Maryland 1939-40)_UScar.jecKS

(F)(timp 33-55)(1934).LeHavre_26 TT 4 F+P636(EL)_vb19KS

(D)(temp 07-50)(31-32).Bremerhaven_01515+Illinois1931_vbKS

(A 30-38).Vienna_A 2020_overland Steyr.vbKS

This Austrian Steyr car must win the prize for its 1930s expedition to the Far East!     China and Japan plates were carried, plus two series of Austrian, A 2020 & T 15001.   The car still exists in an Austrian museum!

 

 

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Faked vehicle registration

May 11, 2014

PLATEPETER writes from Austria:

I found this car last week and could recherche (I found) that an Austrian citizen used this Austrian unregistered car for the last five years with this historical British import-plate.     He parked and drove in Vienna without a driving licence and also had some troubles with police in respect of alcohol, but the discrepancy of the faked British registration never came to light…    QK is a circa 1964 issue!

 

GB  alt 10., 28.4.14

 

 

In 1964, when QK was a current issue, this Mercedes was  bought in England for subsequent export, and so was issued with a 'Q' plate for it's temporary stay in UK.

In 1964, when QK was a current issue, this new Mercedes was purchased in England for subsequent export, and so was issued with a ‘Q’ plate for it’s temporary stay in UK.

The 'Q' series had a long history in Britain, starting in 1921.    Another use for them was to temporarily register a visitng car from a country which did not subscribe to the international conventions.    This vehicle entered GB for a rally in 1932, and the Automobile Association issued it this QE 469 tag for the duration.  The AA and the RAC were authorised to allocate these plates on behalf of the State, to facilitate  motor tourism, all services for which the two clubs offered.

The ‘Q’ series had a long history in Britain, starting in 1921.    Another use for them was to temporarily register a visiting car from a country which did not subscribe to the international conventions.     Thus they were unable to circulate using their foreign registration plates.   This vehicle entered GB for a rally in 1932, and the Automobile Association issued it this QE 475 tag for the duration.                    The AA and the RAC were authorised to allocate these plates on behalf of the State, to facilitate motor tourism, as all the complex services were offered by those two venerable Clubs.

The international settlement of Tangiers, the enclave in (former) Spanish Morocco, was among the territories which required local plates in many of the countries they might visit.    Here is a Standard 14(?) just pre- or post-war, using QC 8825 for a visit to Britain in about 1948.                Pemberton archive

 

 DOUBLE-CLICK to enlarge any image

 

The Scottish RAC also had a batch of 'Q' plates to hand to visiting motorists, many of whom were US servicemen, at Scottish bases.     QS 2801 is seen here on vacation in Paris, during the 1950s, the 'S' showing its Scottish RAC provenance.

The Scottish RAC also had a batch of ‘Q’ plates to hand for visiting motorists, many of whom were US servicemen, at Scottish bases.     QS 2801 is (just) seen here on vacation in Paris, during the 1950s, the ‘S’ showing its Scottish RAC provenance.    (anon)


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).

Read the rest of this entry »


Mixed Europeans Part 2

March 4, 2013

Here are some of the more normal photos from John Pemberton’s album, showing us some early post-war European plates, with their massive international ovals on display.    The French 373-TT 8H is a rare one.

The Polish diplomatic is a very peculiar one – have any bloggers any thoughts on B-00069??  SZYMON has clarified this oddity with his reply below and this web page.   Thanks, Szymon!

Our Turkey/Greece/Cyprus specialist Pieter Lommerse will be happy to see the old Turk from Adapazari (first picture)

(TR)_H.252_cu_JPvb (TR)_H 252_JPvb

(IS)_R-4793_JP1940sv

(MC2)_2340_JPvb

Peugeot?

(GR)(0tax)_T 38_jp1940vb

T 38 above is given by John Pemberton as Greek, but is not like known Greek types?       However, could it be a 1940s Thessalonika customs-issued temporary importation plate???         BUSES: Beyond the Buick, going north on Upper Regent Street,  are two pre-war AEC double-deckers of London Transport’s STL class.         Pemberton archive

(PL)_B-C 0069_JP1940svb

B-00069  —  We were baffled by this plate, which claims to be a Polish Diplomatic, yet is nothing like anything seen before. Taken in 1940s London by John Pemberton, and carried on a 1938-1946-ish American car (a Lincoln-Zephyr V12?), an identification one day will be of considerable interest…….   Feb. 2014 –  Finally we have the answer via ‘Szymon’      The ‘B’  WAS for diplomats’ (cars) in 1940s Poland !     B-00069 is a Polish diplomatic plate from 1946. First letter A or B meant passenger car, numbers 00001-00999 were reserved for diplomatic purporses:
00001-00299 – CD cars and motorcycles
00300-00399 – CC cars and motorcycles
00400-00799 – embassy staff cars and motorcycles, CD/CC trucks
00800-00999 – not used                                                                                                   

B-00069 – For more information from the Polish Club, go to 

://wptr.pl/index.php?dz=tablice&pdz=1922

(PL)_B-C 0069_cu_JP1940svb

A close-up of the strange Polish CD – with a narrow font similar to some Spanish plates of later years…….B-00069.  A and B  were for diplomat’s cars

(F2b)(28-50)_2028 QJ 5_JPvb

In the 1928 to 1950 French system, the suffix numeral(s) (5 here) indicated the tens of thousands.    Thus this registration can read  QJ 52028 and QJ was the code for Sarthe (Le Mans) until 1950, when the département  code 72 replaced letter-codes with the new, numerically-suffixed, département series.     Is this  a Renault?     Seen on the seafront at Hastings soon after the war.         John Pemberton archive c. 1938

(F2b)(28-50)(exp)_373-TT 8H_JPc1940vb

373-TT 8 H – Packard?     A white-on-red temporary import of a used car to France in 1938 or 1948*.   The 8 signified the year of entry and the H, the port of entry – in this case, H = Cherbourg, the principal French port for the transatlantic liners of the age.    Many wealthy Americans travelled with their grand cars before the era of car rental.
*Thus a ‘3’ suffix could have marked a registration in 1933, 1943 or 1953!             This French temporary series was issued between 1933 and 1955 and apparently could also be used for the temporary registration of new vehicles purchased in France for  imminent export elsewhere.

(F2b)(28-50)_105 RL 8_JPvb

105 RL 8 (F)  –  from 1928-1950, RL was among the codes for Paris.   The 8 suffix represents the ten-thousands in the serial number – hence this  American car could be seen as RL 80105.      Pemberton in Oxford 1947-ish.

(F)_9709 YD_JPvb

1928-50 France srs. YA-YD=Département of Seine-et-Oise(later suffix 78), in London, 1940s.       Soon, at 9999 YD, a suffix 1 would be added, giving 1234 YD 1. Citroen Light 15 Decapotable?

(A)_S 5.320_JPvb

S 5.320 (Austrian 1947-89 series.) – A Morris Minor from Salzburg circa 1951. Pemberton archive

(B)_346148_JPvb

346 148 (B) – 1926-1953 Belgium.    Usually of porcelain, in red-on-white with the last three numerals preceded by a black symbol (see below) on the rear plates – the front being supplied by the owners in varying styles.

Belgium's 1925-63 national seal borne on the rear, official plate.     Brumby archive

Belgium’s 1925-53 national seal borne on the rear, official plate, using the French and Flemish names for the country.           Brumby archive

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More European ancients (Part 2)

January 26, 2013

Some more of John Pemberton’s photos of European plates seen in postwar Britain…..

Can anyone throw light on the Polish Diplomatic (Chrysler Airflow?)  reg. B 00069(?)  (pictures 3 & 4)

And T 38, Picture 7, which John has identified as Greek – but is it???

(TR)_H 252_JPvb

An American Nash from Adapazari, Turkey in 1950s London, snapped by J. Pemberton.

(TR)_H.252_cu_JPvb

(PL)_B-C 0069_JP1940svb

(PL)_B-C 0069_cu_JP1940svb

(MC2)_2340_JPvb

2340 – The window displays a ‘Visitor to Britain’ flag on this Monegasque unidentified car, shot by John Pemberton c.1950.

(IS)_R-4793_JP1940svb

R is the code for Reykjavik, Iceland, on a Jeep Waggoneer, early 1950s. Pemberton archive

(GR)(0tax)_T 38_jp1940vb

IF this T 38 is a Greek plate, as John believes, might it be a Thessaloniki temporary importation customs registration?       Seen Upper Regent Street, London circa 1950.

(F2b)(28-50)(exp)_373-TT 8H_JPc1940vb

373-TT 8H – An American Packard visiting France temporarily in the 1948 has been given a set of Temporary Transit plates at the port of entry – H for Cherbourg, 8 for 1948 (or 1938).       This series ran from 1933-1955.   Very possibly, the car also carried it’s original American plate at the rear, as was the habit of the time.    Pemberton archive

(F2b)(28-50)_4515 RQ 1_JPvb

4515 RQ 1. A Citroen Light 15 from Departement of Ain (1), seen in London in the early 1950s. This series started in April 1950, but using only 3 serial numbers – this has four – 4515 – why?                  Pemberton archive

(F2b)(28-50)_2028 QJ 5_JPvb

2028 QJ 5 – 5 was from Hautes-Alpes (Gap) from 1950 to August 1951, when 05 replaced the single 5. This plate has a four-serial registration 2028 , though three numerals were the norm until June 1965…… (Francoplaque?) Pemberton

(F2b)(28-50)_105 RL 8_JPvb

8 = Ardennes, from the 1950 series.

(F)_9709 YD_JPvb

9709 YD on an unidentified convertible car is thought to be French, but if so, which series??                                                            Pemberton

(B)_346148_JPvb

346148, a late example of the Belgian series which issued from 1926 to 1953.

(A)_S 5.320_JPvb

S 5.320 – Austrian Morris Minor from Music City, Salzburg.            Pemberton

That’s all of the Pemberton European pictures.      A few Africans,  Middle Easterners and South Americans to come before we close his fortunately-found album.    Thanks, John!