Myanmar-Burma 2017

February 10, 2017

A side-trip to Myanmar from our base in Kuala Lumpur, via the cheap and excellent airline, Air Asia, gave me the long-awaited opportunity to photo the plates of that backward land.    Burma re-plated in October 2013, changing from all-Burmese script to all-western alphabet, though there are still vehicles running with the original script.    All military vehicles and every type of motorcycle continues with the incomprehensible Burmese only.

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The motorcycle series is unchanged in local script, which in this case reads 34 Ya 44226.

The police continue with Burmese script on motorbikes, but their bigger vehicles switched to the standard new plates, indistinguishable from civilian plates.       See NPW 6H-9883 below.

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Commercial vehicles have always displayed a copy of their registrations along the sides of the vehicle and this is an former-series supplementary reg. J 3280, in Burmese, carried on a lorry with westernised translation  front and rear plates J 3280 (below).    (The only one such seen with mixed script formats.)

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CD-4/6  —  I was surprised to find a CD still carrying previous-series plates –  on an old car.     The new CD type has been extended from only the CD and UN prefix by adding code IO for International Organisations.      No letter-prefix at all would identify non-diplomatic embassy staff – NDES.  (See YGN 1-1020 below.)

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YGN CD 5-5  —  CD code 5 above is from the embassy of Pakistan in Yangon.

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UN plates’ leading numbers indicate a branch of the organisation – see breakdown in RPWO.    UN 15-1 (1=Head of  yet-unidentified Mission 15) seen at Yangon Airport (which is brand new and very impressive to those who arrive expecting a tin hut surrounded by angry generals).

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YGN 1-1020  —  Embassy vehicles without Diplomatic Immunity are issued no-letter-prefix CD-type plates, seemingly starting from serial 1000, and uncoded.     Embassy 1 = USA, on a Toyota minibus.

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YGN IO-1047  —  The new International Organisation plates’ serials commence at 1000.     This vehicle 1047  is attached to a German cultural Institute, though no coding shows on the plate.       Not many of the 2013-srs. plates are made with the horizontal substrate reading RTAD, as this one is, but all plates seem to have the top left and right stamps (as below).

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The least-seen (1!) of the new types was the green ‘foreign gift’ vehicle which in this case was a gift from the Red Cross/Red Crescent, YGN 3J-1815.     Note that all the categories of user take their registration from the single, common pool, so that the next issue after this green plate (3J-1816) could be a red taxi plate, or a black private plate etc.etc.

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Only two of the yellow ReLiGious vehicles were seen, issued for the transport of the many Buddhist monks. Odd code system, to my mind, but a splendid plate YGB RLG-6894…….

 

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This is an unusual ex-Japan Hino bus in that it carries a translation plate YGN G-4617 from the 1950s-2013 series, properly pressed in the latest style.     It was the only one of this type seen.

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Taxi YGN HH-1104  —  Normal bus and taxi plates (PSV) are red and began in 2012-3 with pairs of letters preceding 1-9999.     For no known reason, when AA to HH had been issued, the pairing idea was discontinued and now the Public Service Vehicles are registered in the normal run 1A-1234.         The red background material is fading to dark brown on some of  the earlier plates, which are said to be Chinese-made, so unlikely to be using the 3M non-fade material.      The first of the AA plates were made without the regional code atop the plate (see AA 4160 below).

 

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Taxi AA-4160 — One of the first 2013 new-series PSV plates, pressed without a regional code.

 

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Tourist Taxi YGN 8H-6379  —  Smarter, newer bus and taxi plates coloured blue are for the use of foreign visitors and these may legally accept currency other than the Burmese Kyat (with which so few visitors travel!)     (The rate is about 1750:stg£1 and 1350:US$1 at month-end Jan 2017.)         At last there are street ATM’s in the country and it has become  easier to obtain currency at a fair rate and without showing passports or standing in long, hot queues.

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YGN 7I-6590  —  A foreign-tourist-authorised taxi, registered in the normal NL-NNNN system, but in blue.     Both I and Q are used in Myanmar registrations.

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The normal Private, Police and Government plates are white on black, all taken from the common system and uncoded:

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SHN 3M-9788 is from Shan District – Taunggyi.    Likely to be a government car.

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SGG 2F-3977, a Suzuki from Sagaing region, outside the legendary Strand Hotel on Strand Road in Rangoon/Yangon .

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MDY 4M-4552, from Mandalay, above.

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NPW 6H-9883 is a Napidaw-registered police lorry working in Rangoon, with a number taken from the normal register, and in white on black as for private vehicles.

 

A NEW DISCOVERY!

Heavy trailers have a white-on-red series of their own, previously unrecorded: 1 TLR 4594 at the docks.

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burtlr_1tlr-4594_cu_2017rangoon-docksvbThe 6 seen all had painted plates.   For the small run required, it probably isn’t worth manufacturing them…….

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Some bicycles carry a plate at the front: can you translate?

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There are no non-government 2-wheeled vehicles in central Yangon.

We were told that the ban on motorcycles in central Rangoon was brought about by the  sudden recognition by the generals who ran the country (and still run it, but are now out of uniform and in to business suits) of the ease with which a Honda 50cc carrying two unhappy citizens could slide alongside their Landcruisers in the eternal traffic jam of the capital and with a single shot, bring them Early to the Pearly Gates.

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BELOW:    A quiz subject here.    A small m/c with a blue plate.   What is it??

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BELOW:

Here are some examples of vehicles which have not changed their plates to the 2013 format, but instead, have fitted ‘translation plates’ from their old Burmese-script plates.     They are all small-medium commercial vehicles, which may mean something……

bur-58cremake-yangon_s-6339_truck-2017vb bur-58cremake-yangon_q-3594_mazda-truck-2017vb bur-58cremake-yangon_p-4138_cr_lrover-2017vb

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YGN O 7078 – a Land Rover clone.     O, P, Q, S, T & V serial letters were  seen.      The apparent  ‘minder’ of the government yard in which these old commercials was photographed, said that they were ‘Ministry’ vehicles and that he himself was the Minister of Publicity and Public Affairs.      It may have been the local English in which he explained this to me, but I was unconvinced.      I think they are simply old machines which their owners want to keep using, and to do that, the authorities tell them to translate their old plates in to western script, and add the new regional code letters.     All registrations were centrally issued from Rangoon before Burma’s 1948 independence from Britain, and reached RD (from R, RA, RB, and RC) using western script.     In the next years until about 1955, there was a mix of alphabets on plates.  Then the  ‘R’ prefix became lost and only the serial letter was given in that period.  When that alphabet set was exhausted, a serial prefix number was employed, (eg 1-Ya 1234), just as today.     Almost 60 years of Burmese squiggles-only then ensued, until the new, pressed, coloured-coded plates came about in 2012-3.       However, there are brand-new cars circulating in Rangoon, bearing untranslated pre-2012 plates and I can only assume that these are VIPs who can buck the system.     There are also quite a few very grand cars which have had their 2013 plates made up in differing western fonts, materials and sizes, to show themselves up.      As usual around the world, if one is well-connected here, the laws don’t apply…..

 

And from history-man Karel Stoel, a blast from the Burmese past……………

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Jungle stop to exchange info on road conditions, thought to be circa 1938.       Chevrolet LQ bus. RB 1824

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     Gha / 4?53 about 1953 on a Morris J2 half-ton van.

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RD 1802 with CD oval on a 1952 Packard Clipper.    No special format for diplomats then.       This former British-India series for Burma RA-RD  never reached RE in western script, but continued it in Burmese, and slowly dropped the initial ‘R’.     Later, as the single-letter Burmese-alphabet prefixes were used up, a leading serial number was added, and still is used, by motorcycles, which retain Burmese script.

 

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The swansong of Nuffield Group in Burma.    A new Morris Oxford MO gha 2140 and and a Wolseley (6/80?) gha 2235  pose  outside Rangoon’s Shwe Dagon pagoda.     It is probably about 1952 and already the switch to Burmese  ‘squiggles’ is evident.     Due to the ban on imports, 60-year-old cars like these were still running in Burma until about six years ago, but now the slow opening-up of the country is bringing thousands of cheap, used, right-hand-drive cars in from Japan.   Burma drove on the left until the 1970s, and though it now drives on the right of the road, all its vehicles remain right-hand-drive!     There are now some car dealers, but no trade plates were found.

These are the sort of historic pictures the Club has gained from the acquisition of the Stoel albums. Paid-up members who wish to see the progress-to-date made in the scanning and identifications can email me for the hyperlink – which will shortly be generally distributed in any event.

VWB Kuala Lumpur 10.02.17 (and successively amended).

 


unknown (perhaps diplomatic) plate or fake

March 4, 2016

I´ve got this picture from garyschmidt5@myself.com.

He saw this plate in Riga/Lithuania and wants to know what it could be.
I´m not able to identify it. (Is it possible, that Netherland´s diplos have the ´CD´ not only at the beginning ?)

licence plate


Caribbean Offers

April 8, 2014

The Masterpieces Sotheby’s couldn’t handle!

Quentin Henderson, long-term member, apiarist, plateman and oddfellow, cannot join us at Thierhaupten at Easter, because, naturally, he is walking across America.

But to ameliorate our dolour at his absence, he has very sportingly sent some rare plates for the auction, which we hold to swell Club funds and ensure a luxury retirement for those who have held the Europlate Presidential chain of office.

Here they are, as they have arrived by post; I have not cleaned them, but they are in good order, with just a whiff of rum detected when one holds them directly to the nose.

(K&N)_P 5924_c_QH2014

P 5924  —  1969-99 were the years of issue of the plain ‘P’ plates for Private vehicles on Kitts & Nevis.     Prior, the Islands used ‘CN’ (Christopher and Nevis).

(K&N)_P 4829_c_QH2014

P 4829 — Private vehicle, Kitts & Nevis, plate via Quentin Henderson.

PA was first issued in 1997

P 9999 was issued and PA was first issued in 1997

(NA-Eu 99)_E-487_cu_QH2014

E – 487  —  Of the Dutch Antilles, the most unusual are Saba and ‘Statia’.     Quentin’s haul from Sint Eustatius was was taken on a day trip he took there some years ago. (He may have swum over to it from Nevis – the history of his acquisitions is given at the obverse of all his auction plates.)         Formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles, Sint Eustatius became a special municipality within  the Netherlands on 10 October 2010.    The name means ‘a good place to settle’.     And a good place to have a plate from!

(K&N)_CD 07_cu_QH2014

CD 07  —  Here is a true oddity.   Saint Christopher and Nevis is a Commonwealth Realm, whose sovereign is that of the United KIngdom.    I had not thought that such a status warranted diplomatic representation by foreign embassies and that The Federation of   ‘Kitts & Nevis’ might not even need embassies in such a tiny place.           However, Quentin produces this remarkable CD plate, showing salt-erosion evidence that it has been out and about there for quite a time.    Yellow on blue is the idiosyncratic colour-set for the West Indies CDs (though nowhere else) -= so that’s OK, – but why a leading zero, for goodness’ sake????     Only St. Kitts applies leading zeroes……    There could be some hot bidding for this Extremely Rare Plate…..     Thank you Quentin!       JULY 2015 – The plate never made it to Thierhaupten as planned, and was therefore not auctioned.    Held over until 2016……..

(Mon)_M 551_c_QH2014

M 551  —  A delight to see this characteristic font, which applies only to Montserrat, where still, many/most plates are painted on any old piece of steel/alloy sheet. This was captured on Nevis, from a car which changed islands.

(Mon)_M 1494_c_QH2014

…. as was this……

See some of you at Thierhaupten at Easter!


A Little More Pemberton

November 13, 2013

The things John Pemberton saw in the 1940s and 1950s!     (We MAY have shown some of these in earlier Pemberton Posts…..)

OK for the reader to make the identifications?

A prompt response from Richard Mathers (EU871) is given in COMMENTS below

(F)(SN)(AOF)_7081 1.A_JPvb

7081 1.A   –   It is particularly odd that a British car – an Austin A40 Devon – should have been seen on French West Africa plates, as all French overseas territories were strongly wedded to cars and lorries of French manufacture.        Senegal became independent of France in 1960; this photo is estimated to have been taken in Britain during 1953, when the international identification letters for the whole territory were AOF – Afrique Occidentale Francaise. Our Austin boasts only a modest ‘F’.   Another oddity is the light background and dark digits of the plate, when normal plates were simple white on black.      At independence, a preceding ‘S’ was added to the zero or 1 codes which marked the Senegalese sector of AOF – where 1 represented Dakar.    (7081 S1.A)       Pemberton archive.

(CL 1947-8)_CY 3533_JP1951c

Ceylon‘s 1947-8 code CY adorns this American Mercury? Eight, photo’d in London, possibly in 1952.          NOTE: The CL international oval is of the large 300mm x 180mm (12 x 4.75″) specification, as determined by the early Conventions.            Pemberton archive

 

 

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DSD 770 – The Peugeot 203 was produced from 1948 to 1960.    DS = Dar-es-Salaam, the capital of Tanganyika, issued suffix D from Sept. 1950 to Jan. 1952.   Photographed in London in the early 1950s for the  Pemberton archive.         Note the unique style employed by the British East African territories of Tanganyika, Kenya and Uganda, in the use of brackets round the code letter for each of the three administrations – EA(T), (K) and (U)….    (Nyasaland is said to have been allocated EAN, but  there is no evidence of its use – unless YOU have a photo!)

(NP)_BT 2999_JPc1937

BT 2999 – 1930s Hillman Minx from Blantyre, Nyasaland.   Also using the massive 12″ I.I.P.            Pemberton 1940s archive

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C Privé 4463 on a heavy US anonymous machine.    Is it a Packard??   From the 1913-1956 series, with C for Cairo.      Pemberton archive.

(GR)(cd)_DS 277 CD_JP1950s

DS 277 CD – Greek Diplomatic series from 1930s-1952 on a circa 1949 Morris Oxford in Oxford in 1950.       The DS, here translated from the Greek, abbreviates Diplomatikos Soma – or Diplomatic Body.   Though ‘CD’ was internationally accepted, there were no French usages in the home of Homer!       Pemberton archive

(IR)(oos)_T 26 4595_JP1947

T/26 4595  –  The Farsi/Dari area code letter and validity year/serial numerals of the Persian plates were changed to western characters only if the vehicle was to leave the country. This 26-dated T-Teheran out-of-state plate refers to the Persian year 1326, corresponding to our Gregorian calendar year which was from March 1947-March 1948.       The US car model is unidentified, the shot taken somewhere in England in 1948/9.      Pemberton archive

(IR)(oos)_T 26 4595_cu_JP1947

(KT)(rh)_50_JP1950s

The red and white Flag plates of the Kuwaiti royal household, shot in London by John Pemberton on Aug. 6, 1956.    Plate 50 on a Cadillac

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LM 7667  –  Mozambique – Lorenzo Marques, which could have used the MOC oval, but was only seen with Portugal’s  P.         A Dodge Fluid-Drive, made from 1947-9, seen in London about 1950, before the dash separators became  standard for Portugal and its overseas possessions.          Pemberton archive c1950


Diplomatic fantasies

June 18, 2013

A little story from a man and his car, who obviously would like to be seen as a diplomat…..

He used this Mercedes 200 in Vienna for some weeks in December 2012.
F Diplo unklar (2) 2012-12-17
A French insurance sticker in the windshield to check the license number for verification by police brought to light a genuine current French registration, but a regular series – nothing diplomatic.

He had had his French plates re-made, in the Portuguese diplomatic style.

In 2008 the same car (look at the CD-Sticker, the screws and the small, black, square element) was seen on same place in Vienna with this strange plate:
F + P Diplo Wien 4., Dez. 2008
In 2008 it was also seen in Paris (photo by Francoplaque I think) and we had it in our newsletter.       It was then assumed to be an old Portuguese registration pimped up to resemble French-looking diplomatic plates.     And the car was originally, like the driver, from Portugal as I have found out since.

2013 – And now the current display: after new police investigations (it became a little hotter) the car once again has been sighted in Vienna in April 2013 with the original French normal plates, the owner having removed his oval CD claim to fame!
F echte Kz. 2013-05-19 (2)

It has probably now returned to Paris again.      Perhaps he plays out there his diplomatic illusions…

From PlatePeter


Singapore 2013 checkover

April 19, 2013

SINGAPORE

April 2013.

Singapore’s plates continue as shown in RPWO and a wide variety of colours and codes are enough to keep a keen spotter occupied for some long time.     Two of the outer islands have been allocated their own plates – Sentosa and Ubin – and these cannot be used on the ‘mainland’ of Singapore.      If they must go over there, for repairs etc., they will carry SGP trade plates for the journey.

Sentosa’s colourful plates have been known to us since about 1998.

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This Vespa RU 1115 Y is one of few two-wheelers registered on Sentosa.     Brumby archive 1987.

RU 2424 Z is the Restricted Use plate for Sentosa Island, a hundred metres off Singapore's coast.

RU 2424 Z is the Restricted Use plate for Sentosa Island, a hundred metres off Singapore’s coast.    Brumby archive 1987

The Sentosa Development Corporation, whatever that is, has a few buses, which are allowed on and off the islet, and have a special SDC code issued!

SDC 26 M is one of the island buses, registered on the 'mainland'     Brumby archive

SDC 26 M is one of the island buses, registered on the ‘mainland’ .              Brumby archive 1987

 

UBIN

But we have only recently become aware of the special plate colour given to the few vehicles on Pulau Ubin (Ubin Island), which is a mile off the North-East coast of Singapore, by Changi airport.     The island is lightly populated by fishermen and kampong farmers and has completely escaped the rapid advance to the six-star first-world status now enjoyed by the Republic of SGP.     There are about ten mopeds on Ubin, of which half still work and about 15 minibuses, which carry the islanders and some of the weekend visitors along the narrow island roads to various camping sites and hiking/cycling trails, for which Ubin has become a popular, rat-race getaway.

(SGP3)(Ubin)_PU 4 P_VB2013_resize

The fourth motor vehicle registered on Ubin Island is a Honda moped, still in running order, PU 4 P.                                             Brumby archive 2013

(SGP3)(Ubin)_PU 104 J_cuf_VB2013

One travels to Ubin by bum-boat, for 3 ringgit ($1US) which takes fifteen people at a time on old vessels which you would not expect to be still in service, but which are the pride and joy of their rough-looking but friendly owners.     Since registrations started on Ubin, perhaps in 2000, and originally only for a few small motorbikes which had previously run plateless, about 135 total registrations have been made, of which perhaps 15 to 20 remain in use.    The system is that of the Singapore mainland, using the PU area code, a serial number (current highest 137) , and a check digit, all in white on a pea-green background.

One of the island minibuses, PU 102 P.     Brumby archive

One of the Ubin island minibuses, PU 102 P.                       Brumby archive 2013

PU 130 H is just seven off the highest number on Pulau Ubin, the. latest minibus being PU 137.      Note that all the plates are properly made, even though this island is quite primitive.... Brumby archive

PU 130 H is just six off the highest number on Pulau Ubin, the latest minibus seen, being PU 137.       Note that all the plates are properly made, even though this island is quite primitive….
Brumby archive 2013

There are a few special purpose vehicles on Ubin, such as Police Land-Rovers and a couple of biggish lorries for construction jobs, and as these are there temporarily, they retain their normal Singaporean plates.

QX 5045 K is a standard Singapore police plate, coded by the QX.    This is one of two allocated to the island - surely an easy posting for the island coppers!      Brumby archive

QX 5045 K is a standard Singapore police plate, coded by the special code QX. This is one of two allocated to Ubin island – surely an easy posting for the island coppers!                               Brumby archive 2013

 

Singapore Specials

The SGP government is sponsoring experimentation in clean/non-emission vehicles and has allocated a dedicated ‘Research and Development’ numberplate to the handful of cars being tested on the island.

A Renault experimental electric car RD 3073 K, one of two seen at the Renault distributor in SGP.  Brumby archive

A Renault experimental electric car RD 3073 K, one of two seen at the Renault distributor in SGP.   April 2013.                                    Brumby archive 2013

RD 6096 A is carried on a Mitsubishi minicar and has a 100km range, recharging 80%  in 20 minutes.   It says here.     Brumby archive.

RD 6096 A is carried on a Mitsubishi minicar and has a 100km range, recharging 80% in 20 minutes.   It says here.         Brumby archive 2013.

There may be up to 50 vehicles on test, each of which is connected by wifi signal to a central office, in which its location, performance, battery-condition, range etc is transmitted every 5 seconds for analysis.

This category uses such high numbers that they must be split in some way, perhaps the first two or three numerals indicating a code for the few participating bodies in the experimentation.    Certainly there are not more than a hundred of  these low-emission category vehicles in the whole country, so 6096 seems optimistic….

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It is of mild interest to note that Singapore vehicle owners can choose for themselves whether they plate their vehicles with the original silver/white on black plates, fore and aft, or Euro-style black on white (front) and yellow (rear).     About 20% favour white on black, I estimate.

Light goods vehcle codes seen here with both plate colour options.     Brumby archive

Light goods vehicle code G seen here with both plate colour options.         Brumby archive 2013

TR – Singapore trailers are now up to TRE, having exhausted TR and  TRA to TRD.

Another unusual SGP variant is the recently-adopted orange background to distinguish lorries wh.ich carry hazardous cargo, such as fuel and chemicals.     These cannot enter tunnels and need to advise police and fire when they need to access certain zones of the island.   The Y starter letter tells us that the truck exceeds 3 tonnes unladen; the M is serial.      Brumby archive.

YM 942 S – Another unusual SGP variant is the recently-adopted orange background to distinguish lorries which carry hazardous cargo, such as fuel and chemicals. These cannot enter tunnels and need to advise police and fire when they plan to access certain zones of the island.    The Y starter letter tells us that the truck exceeds 3 tonnes unladen; the M is serial.        Brumby archive 2007.

SH – Taxis have progressed to SHA, SHB and now to SHC.

SHA 5376 H is the Singapore Hire code with suffix serial A, on a typically smart, clean, new car, a credit to the taxi fleets.    Brumby archive.

SHA 5376 H is the Singapore Hire code with suffix serial A, on a typically smart, clean, new car, a credit to the taxi fleets.         Brumby archive 2013.

New private cars are up to SKJ, having jumped SH (kept for psv’s) and SI (‘I’ never used) and having presumably used up SJA-Z (though not seen).

 

Odd Chauffeur-drive/Private Hire possiblity.

We have believed that the special series for hire cars, SZ and SZA, had been long abandoned.   But now e find SZA 8 R, from the  current series on a chauffeur-driven/livery Mercedes, outside the Copthorne Waterfront hotel.   When questioned the driver claimed it was just a standard plate issued alphabetically in the normal series, but we know that Singapore is nowhere near 'S' inits alpha issue.   So perhaps there are a few (note this is only car 8) special-category registrations continuing to use the SZ prefix.     This was the only example seen.     (Brumby archive 2013)

We have believed that the special series for hire cars, SZ and SZA, had been long abandoned. But now we find SZA 8 R, from the current series, on a chauffeur-driven/livery Mercedes, outside the Copthorne Waterfront hotel. When questioned, the driver claimed it was just a standard plate issued alphabetically in the normal series, but we know that Singapore is nowhere near ‘SZ‘ in its alpha issue.      So perhaps there are a few (note this is only car 8) special-category registrations continuing to use a version of the old SZ hire/rental prefix.   (This was the only example seen.)    Brumby archive 2013

Here is SZ (Singapore Rental-Hire) carried on a new Toyota in 1968, seen at Singapore docks.     Brumby archive 1968

Here is SZ (Singapore Rental-Hire) carried on a new Toyota in 1968, seen at Singapore docks.                       Brumby archive 1968

680224 3 _4532TT25 at docks_resize

The only other SGP hirecar plate I ever saw was on this Vauxhall Victor, SZ 1779, also at the docks in 1968, alongside the Peugeot 4532 TT 25 which we drove back to Britain over four months.         Brumby archive 1968

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A very rare sight in Singapore is the semi-diplomatic plate allocated to foreign technical aid personnel.    TE is the suffix code for these ‘Technical Expert’ vehicles and this BMW 525 example is coded 36 for the Philippines.

S 3682 TE is a semi-diplomatic plate for foreign technical aid personnel.   Brumby archive

S 3682 TE is a semi-diplomatic plate for foreign Technical Experts personnel.   36 is used by the Philippine embassy.         Brumby archive 2012

The Consular Corps variant is also hardly-seen, but Taiwan had code 66 in this category (photographed there in 1993, so possibly not current).

Taiwan's mission code 66 seen on a Volvo given Consular, rather than diplomatic recognition, presumably due to pressure from PRC to sideline the territory they hope to recover some day.     Brumby archive.

Taiwan’s foreign-mission code 66 seen on a Volvo 240, given Consular, rather than Diplomatic recognition, presumably due to pressure from PRC to sideline the Formosa territory they vainly hope to recover some day.        Brumby archive 1993.

Motorcycles exhausted their two-letter FA-FZ prefix codes some time ago and current registrations, for every size of  2-wheeled bike, has re-started from FAA…..     Note that, against the trend, SGP still requires a front plate to be displayed, either double-sided along the front mudguard or a forward-facing plate adhering to the faring.

Examples of motorbike front plate mounting positions.    Brumby archive

Examples of motorbike front plate mounting positions.     Brumby archive 2013

The current motorcycle format now uses two serial letters, the leading F, designating 2-wheelers.    Brumby archive

The current motorcycle format now uses two serial letters, the leading F, designating 2-wheelers.                          Brumby archive 2013

There is an auxiliary police orce,it seems, but they use normal private m/c plates.  FBA 6232 B.     Brumby archive.

There is an auxiliary police force,it seems, but they use normal private m/c plates, as FBE 5246 A.                              Brumby archive 2013.

The author’s first visit to Singapore was in 1966, when the vast majority of the vehicles were made in Britain, from motorcycles to double-deckers.     I still enjoy finding the leftovers from that period and recognise that many owners are very proud of their cars, which are now collectors’ items!

A well-restored MG TC sporting the special, low-tax plates of the approved vintage and veteran cars and bikes in Singapore.    SCL 69 D is a normal registration issue, and it is the plate colour which gives the privileged status.    Brumby archive.

A well-restored MG TC(?) sporting the special, low-tax plates of the approved vintage and veteran cars and bikes in Singapore.    SCL 69 D is a normal registration issue, and it is the plate colouring which gives the privileged status.                                Brumby archive 2008.

 

Singapore Historic

 

About 1960, many British Army, Navy and Air Force personnel served in Singapore and it was a period of very heavy registrations, as most  purchased a car there or duty-free at home, to take out.    This Austin A40 Farina belonged to a Wing-Commander, whose daughter June, modelling here, now dwells in Ottery St, Mary and makes jam for the W.I.     Brumby archive.

SS 9806.   A plate from the former series.       About 1960, many British Army, Navy and Air Force personnel served in Singapore and it was a period of very many new registrations, as most of them purchased a car there – (or duty-free at home, to take out and register there).    This Austin A40 Farina belonged to a Wing-Commander, whose daughter June, modelling here, now dwells in Ottery St, Mary and makes jam for the Womens’ Institute.                Brumby archive-June Harvey.

Finally, a photo which has materialised recently is certainly worth display.     Here is Singapore’s eighth car looking as  if it had just come off the ship from the Britton* motor factory in England.    Unusually for a British territory, Singapore used a dash or dot separator from inception to the mid-1930s; S-8 favours the dash.      The driver was known in those times, out east, as a syce – an archaic term for a horse-carriage driver/groom, which carried on into the age of the car.

*I can find no reference to the Britton marque after a quick search……..

S-8, among the very first automobiles to reach the Straits Settlement of Singapore, in 1911.    anon.

S-8, a Britton, among the very first automobiles to reach the Straits Settlement of Singapore, in 1911.     (No details seems to survive of this marque.)                   anon.

...and to conclude, another elegant car from another of the Straits Settlements, Penang no. 64n, the car of the Chief of Police there in the early 1900s.     June Bennett

…and to conclude, another elegant car from another of the Straits Settlements, Penang no. 64n, the car of the Chief of Police there in the early 1910s.     It may be a Stutz Bearcat.                       June Bennett

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


Seychelles

April 10, 2013

SEYCHELLES

 

Never one to shirk La Dolce Vita,  my plate-researcher’s soul was ever  drawn to warm, safe places and I felt  it could be left to other, bolder members to deal with Chechnya, DRC, CAR, North Korea, Nigeria and New Guinea.   In modern times, Mr Ralidis appears as a heroic figure, who chances life and limb to snatch plates from the jaws of  cruel zones such as Iran and Pakistan.    A medal may one day be his.      The islands of the Indian Ocean always seemed to appeal on hedonistic  grounds, and save, now,  for the marauding bandit sea-pirates off the Somali coast, it remains one of the world’s fine zones.

British Airways catapulted me to Mahé Island, and to the capital village, Victoria in 1991.     For a tiny place,  it had a pleasing variation of plates, designed after the style of the British, who controlled the islands from 1903 until independence in 1976, when they fell under the stultifying spell of Russian communism.    From the first cars there, about 1937, straightforward white/silver on black plates with an S prefix followed by up to four serial numbers were, and remain, the normal private series (though now using five-digit serials).

Most plates were properly made, but here is a painted variant.    Brumby archive

Most plates were properly made, but here is a painted variant. Brumby archive

S 234 is a plate from the Mas collection

S 234 is a plate from the Mas collection

Seychelles permits retention of voided numbers and low numbers are always re-used.    Brumby archive

Seychelles permits retention of voided numbers and low numbers like S 5  are always re-used.    Motor cycles use normal car plates, but smaller.         Brumby archive

Musician/Beatle George Harrison had invested in a grand hotel project with Peter Sellers and others on Mahé – and in the British rowing town of  Henley-on-Thames, where he lived, near my home, I saw his gold Rolls-Royce Corniche  convertible on Seychellois plates AND sporting an SY oval – clearly a souvenir of the islands which he had had flown home!     Sadly no photo – he was driving the other way – and George was no slow driver!   Among his many quick cars was one of the first V12 6-litre F1 McLaren streetcars.

Taxis carried normal plates, supplemented by this specially-manufactured Hire Vehicle plate with its unique authorising number.     Brumby archive

Taxis carried normal plates, supplemented by this specially-manufactured Hire Vehicle plate with a unique authorising number.       Brumby archive

Seychelles Government employ a serial from the national series, on black, using a G prefix.    Brumby archive..

Seychelles Government plates employ a serial from the national series, on black, using a G prefix, removable when withdrawn from service..    Brumby archive..

Government vehicles used the same series, but with a red background, repainted black when sold in to private use.    Brumby achive

Parastatal (semi-government) vehicles used the same series, but with a red background, repainted black when sold in to private use. S 1537.  Brumby archive

(SY1)(para)_S 8333_VB1991_resize

Diplomats plates were also taken from the main system, but yellow-backgrounded, and with CD or CD appended to the plate in a random way.    Brumby archive

Diplomats’ plates were also taken from the main series, but yellow-backgrounded, and with CD or CC appended to the plate in a random way.   S CD 6266.   Brumby archive

Uncoded CD 2046 CD

1991. Uncoded Seychelles Diplomatic Corps  S 2064 CD

the less-fequently-sen Consulat variant, CC S 1884.    Brumby archive

The less-frequently-seen Consular Corps variant,                 CC S 1884.       Brumby archive

the very rare sight of a UN variant UN S 6993 is characterised by a green background - a change from UN Blue!

The very rare sight of a CD  UN variant UN S 6993 is characterised by a green background – a change from UN blue!     Brumby archive.

A handful of motor dealers exist on Mahé island only and use test plates to legally move untaxed vehicles.    What a fine plate!      Brumby archive

A handful of motor dealers exist on Mahé island only and use red  Seychelles  Test plates to legally move untaxed vehicles.    What a fine plate!      Brumby archive

end…