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…………..


West Africa – Nigeria

February 17, 2013

NIGERIA Historic

 

West Africa  had four British-governed territories until March 1957, when Gold Coast/Ghana become the first to obtain independence under Kwame Nkrumah.   (Actually, there was also the ex-German Trust Territory of the British Cameroons, which was  absorbed into Nigeria).

The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria were the other three and we see below a smart sports saloon of the 1930/40s,  from the Nigerian city  of  Onitsha in Anambra State.    The port city lies on the banks of the Niger river and was an important trading settlement in palm oil.    This expat.  had been so successful there as to own and run what seems to be a very prestigious motor (Bentley? Jaguar? Alvis?), and ship it home to England, where member Pemberton shot it in the late 1940s in London.

Nigerian reg. ON 1175 is  from Onitsha, seen in the 1940s in Oxford, on an unidentified car.  Pemberton archive

Nigerian reg. ON 1175 is from Onitsha, seen in the 1940s in Oxford, on a yet-unidentified car (any ideas?).            Pemberton archive 1940s

Below   John P. also saw this 1948 Morris Oxford OM type, with the unusual  OO code, probably signifying Abuja, now the administrative capital.    Fortunately for us, he was carrying his camera on  this wintry day in London.

OO 3860 is an unlisted area code, but may be from Abuja (OOA), seen on a 1940s Morris Oxford.   Pemberton Archive

OO 3860 is an unlisted area code, but may be from Abuja (OOA), seen on a 1948 Morris Oxford MO.     Pemberton Archive late 1940s

OO 3860  —  Most interesting data concerning the Morris Oxford above may be read below,  from Morris specialist SMODRIVER – see his 17/2/2013  notes in the Comments section.

 

BYA 2866 was caught stationary in traffic during the early 1960s, and had the oval WAN not have been mounted, we would have been baffled by the non-African look of the plates.    BYA = Jos city, a prosperous tin-mining area .

BYA 2866 was seen in London by EU38 in the 1960s, coded for Jos, capital of Plateau state.   On a VW Karmann-Ghia.   Brumby archive

BYA 2866 was seen in London by EU38 in the 1960s, coded for Jos, capital of Plateau state. On a VW Karmann-Ghia. Brumby archive

LA 1561 is an early 1950s Lagos registration, shot by member Reg Wilson in Britain in 1954.    Rover 60.   Wilson archive

LA 1561 is an early 1950s Lagos registration, shot by member Reg Wilson in Britain in 1954 on a Rover 75 P4 saloon.     Wilson archive 1954

Z 2779 is a Flickr-sourced Picture of a Ford Consul Mk2 in Zaria, Kaduna state.

Z 2779 is a Flickr-sourced picture of a Ford Consul Mk2 in Zaria, Kaduna state.    Must be about 1958.

Official series below, from Nigeria 1960-70……

This Mini-Minor Traveller was a rare Nigerian Diplomatic Corps to be seen in London during the 1960s by EU38.    Red, cast-alloy plates abbreviated Federation of Nigeria and were not thought to be country-coded.    Brumby archive

This Mini-Minor Traveller shows the rare Nigerian Diplomatic Corps series, seen in London during the 1960s by EU38.     Red, cast-alloy plates abbreviating ‘Federation of Nigeria’  are not thought to have  been country-coded.          Brumby archive

This time, seen in Nigeria, another layout of the Federation-period CD plates, pressed on soft alloy sheet and un-coded.   Brumby archive

This time, seen in Nigeria, a variant layout of the red Federation-period CD plates, pressed on soft alloy sheet and  believed un-coded.         Brumby archive 1970s

 

Below:     CMD = Chef du Mission Diplomatique – Chief of Diplomatic Mission – Ambassador.

61 CMD was an ambassador's plate, possibly for Hungary, and taken during the 1970s in Abuja by Murray Bailey.

61 CMD was an ambassador’s plate, possibly for Hungary, and taken during the 1970s in Abuja by Murray Bailey 1970s.

Early issue government series FGN 103 from 1960s or 1970s.   Info needed.    Brumby archie

Early issue Federal Government of Nigeria series FGN 103 from 1960s or 1970s. Info needed.                         Brumby archive

 

Below17 may be coded for the National Planning Commission, seen on this later-series1970s Nigeria Federal Government plate.

A Federal Government plate of the 1970s on a Range Rover, in Lagos.Brumby archive

17 FGN 260 – a Federal Government plate of the 1970s on a Range Rover,      in Lagos.
Brumby archive

Army, Navy, Air Force and Police each had their own prefixes. (Army not shown):

Air force motorbike and Navy Land Rover.

Nigerian Air Force motorbike (leading zero) and Navy Land Rover.  Brumby archive,1970s.

Nigerian Police Force.   Austin 3-ton truck.

Nigerian Police Force. Austin 3-ton truck. 1970s

Below:    Another civilian series commenced in the early  1970s, using a regional code, with a serial number followed by a town code.  Varying colours used for differing vehicle types.

OG...E codes Ake Abeokuta in the 1990s series.  Orange on black was for cargo vehicles.

OGE codes Ake Abeokuta in the 1970s series. Orange on black was for cargo vehicles.              Brumby archive (plate)

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A radical change in Nigerian plate styles occurred in 1992 when the US style and dimensions of pressed plates appeared, continuing in use today.     In earlier years, it was not uncommon to see Nigerian plates in UK, but for the last 30 years, it is possible that only one or two have been seen in all of Europe.

UNLESS YOU KNOW BETTER!!             Share it with us, please….


Egyptian visitors of the 1950s and later

February 4, 2013

This home album photo depicts a 1936  Hillman Minx de luxe which has returned from Egypt, probably in the ownership of a serviceman in the Royal Air Force, posted to the Egyptian Suez Canal Zone before the war .   There he was given sand-cast alloy plates CL  Privé 1526 – Private use/Canal/vehicle 1526.      This manufacturing method gives rise to the longest-lasting, strongest numberplates.         The 1936 British registration WV 9778, was issued by the County Council of Wiltshire, in which many RAF establishments were located.    It may be the Hillman’s original English plate from new, or it may be a new registration issued on it’s return to Britain.    Happily, the squadron-leader has left both plates for us to enjoy, though the village policeman would have scolded him for showing both …… It crosses my mind that the elder boy MIGHT be member John Pemberton himself – which, in 1938, say, it could well have been!  (Confirme

CL 1526 is from Canal Zone, with a plate sandblasted clean of black paint.   Pemberton archive.
CL 1526 is from Canal Zone, with the plate sandblasted clean of black paint by sand and the desert wind.       Pemberton archive.
san
Sand-cast aluminium Egyptian plate CL 1526
A more prosperous visitor from Cairo or Gaza (is the code C or G?) brought his massive American car to Oxford, as prey to JP's camera.    C/G 4463 waits alongside a 1930s Wolseley in 1940s Oxford.   Pemberton archive.
A  prosperous visitor from Cairo or Gaza (is the code C or G?) brought his massive American car to England, as prey to JP’s camera. C/G 4463 waits alongside a 1930s Wolseley in 1940s Oxford.      Pemberton archive.
A 1930s Ford Eight, returned from the Souks of Cairo.    Pemberton archive.
A 1938-49 Ford Prefect Ten, Cairo 13326, returned from the soukhs of Cairo.  Estimated at 1947, in Oxford.   JP to advise.         Pemberton archive.

An English family we knew, lived in Cairo in the 1930s, where there was a thriving motor club and great interest in sports cars.    They kindly passed VB a pictures of their cars there, the first being the sporty English Wolseley Hornet:

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

Note that this Egyptian series preceded the later PRIVÉ series above, using simply the city code (usually in roman and arabic)  as a central separator (in red)  for the numerals.   These two only show the C in roman. Their second car was a French Mathis (perhaps a 1932 Emyquatre) registered C 6700 – a big jump from 940, on the Wolseley of similar production year.   Why?

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

Below: Here’s one from the same 1913-56 series, using both scripts as separator.  3 BS 3 (Beni Suef) on a Vauxhall 12 (if you can see it).

BS 3 on a Vauxhall 12, made 1937-46, though wartime production was only for the military.  JG archive
BS 3 on a Vauxhall 12, made 1937-46 (though wartime production was only for the military).      JG archive
..and a rare picture of the pre-war Egyptian Diplomatic plate, of unknown source, CD 15. White on green.
..and a rare picture of the pre-war Egyptian Diplomatic plate, of unknown source, CD 15. White on green.
Cairo Motor Cab 14 pauses for a photo opportunity a hundred years ago. (anon)
Cairo Motor Cab 14 pauses for a photo opportunity a hundred years ago. (anon)

Because of the constant shortage of  material, Egyptians were obliged to wear hats without a brim, which worked OK save for the brief rainy season.

Early cross-desert explorers used C 2000 for most of the way.   This is taken before they left.   (anon)
Early cross-desert explorers used a vanity plate, C 2000 for most of the way. This is taken before they left, a long time ago.   Red ‘C‘ with white outline: probably enamelled plate. (anon)
Another red 'C' early Cairo car, circa 1913.    (anon)
C 614 – Another red ‘C’ early Cairo car, circa 1913. (anon)

Colonel Blinman of Penn, Bucks., UK  had this plate  hanging in his garage when I visited him in 1974 to deliver his new lawnmower.    Painted on the obverse of the other, long, front plate, was the new Buckinghamshire number allocated to his Hillman Minx when he returned from military duty at The Canal in the ’50s.     My need was agreed to be greater than his, for this pair of redundant plates, and I left clutching them with glee and a promise of a free first mower service!

Canal Zone 1484 circa 1951.  Brumby plate
Canal Zone 1484 circa 1951.                    Brumby plate (rear)

Below:   Taxi (orange) from DT = Dumyāţ, seen in Cairo by Angela Brumby 1966, in sea transit to Australia. A Fiat 1400/1900?      Not so, says David Wilson – it’s a Canadian Dodge (see comments)

1966 shot in Cairo of an elderly taxi DT 533.   Brumby archive
1966 shot in Cairo of an elderly Dodge taxi DT 533.    Brumby archive
Austin 1800 from the British embassy in Cairo in the 1970s, seen in Amersham, UK.  Brumby archive
1970s – Austin 1800 from the British embassy (52) in Cairo, seen in Amersham, UK.   52 / 3025       Brumby archive

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

Well, that’s where John Pemberton’s pictures of  ‘Egypt in England’  have led us this time!     Next – West Africa. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(ET3)(50-56)_C18541_cu_ALPCA
(ET3)(50-56)_A2528_cu_RKi
(ET3)(50-56)_C22809_cu_CS
(ET3)(50-56)_CL1484_cuf_VBpl1951c
(ET3)(50-56)_A15093_FPQ1954

But…. we have  few other early Egyptians, too…….. Cairo Alexandria Cairo Canal Zone (front) Alexandria Unknown – probably Cairo.

Reg Wilson saw this in Liverpool in 1955.
Reg Wilson saw this in Liverpool in 1955.

All die-cast in sand, except Canal Zone 1484, which is painted on the obverse of a  British plate previously  used on Colonal Blinman’s Hillman. Plus……

tax-free temporary import s were white on blue or blue on white
60 is the Greek embassy code in Cairo and the black/green plates were for non-diplomatic embassy staff there. Seen Athens Sept. 1993 by Trog Houghton.
tax-free temporary import s were white on blue or blue on white
Tax-free temporary imports to Egypt were white on blue or blue on white.     SAL is from Saloum. (Tom Tom)  
(ET4)(56-83)(it)_CH ALX9083_cu_VBmb

ALX from Alexandria.

::::::::::::::::::::::

Unknown type seen 1980s at Luxor.
Unknown type seen 1980s at Luxor by VB.    It reads Luxor Private 4177.      The white panel remains unexplained (unless it might indicate a second replacement plate 4177, the original lost following an accident or plate theft……..)    (Tom Tom)

……and 3 different CD layouts, possibly from different periods….

Uncoded CD 3009 – remains undefined.   Embossed.

2020 – valuable response sent to the Blog by ‘Tom Tom’:

3 different types of CD

1 / 7018 below is identified by ‘Tom Tom’  (25/01/20) as a 1958c-73 issue, with ‘1’ as the code for the Soviet Union.   The embassy code was given only in arabic.       The 7018 meant nothing and was simply a serial.                    See 31/1301 below (which looks to be embossed).

(ET4)(cd2-SU)(56-83)_1 7018_cu_VB96

CD 52 / 5035 is probably a variant of the 1958c-73 series.     Hand-painted on flat sheet, whereas 7018 above had been in pressed steel, probably still hand-painted. Embassy 52=United Kingdom.

(ET4)(cd3-GB)(56-83)_52 5035_cu_MasPlvb

And added later, 31/1301, another 1956c-83 series image, with diplomatic code 31 for Sweden.

In all cases the arabic script translates to ‘Political Corps’.

:::::::::::::::::::::::

Below are two temporary transit plates, handpainted, seen in London, years apart.   The first is from Port Said (1972) and the second from Suez (1976).   They are thought to be  ‘get-you-to-the-border’ exit* plates, valid for a few days for vehicles leaving Egypt and made to hand back in their normal plates.     They and have surprisingly high serials.

(ET4)(56--)(exp)_PTS3372_comp_VBpl70s
(ET4)(56--)(exp)_SZ3913_comp_VBmb76

*Japan and Hungary CD also employ this system of retaining their national plates when vehicles are known to be leaving the country permanently.

:::::::::::::::::::::::

Below: An odd UN type from the 1960s.   Personnel attached to the World Food and Agriculture Organisation, who had a semi-diplomatic status.     White on black.     Reading: Private, Cairo 1/D 53003.     (Tom Tom). The arabic letter D indicates an embassy/Organisation-owned vehicle; the 1 code could signal USSR – but on a British Morris Oxford ??????

An odd UN type from the 1960s.

That all for now  (16/06/2020)


Current St. Lucia (WL)

February 3, 2013

Roger Kimbell has returned from the island today with two nice shots for our delectation:

The British High Commissioner has a smart Land Rover Discovery with a cherished Dip. plate!

St. Lucia - British H.C. 2013.   CD 1.

St. Lucia – British H.C. 2013. CD 1.

(WL)(cc)_748_VBrk2013

Previously un-noted St. Lucia Honorary Consul, with CC oval on normal plate. January 2013 – thanks to Roger Kimbell.

The four Windward islands seldom send cars off-island, and thus a sighting of an international oval WD/WG/WL/WV  is neccessarily rare.      The only photo of which I am aware is of this Mk. 2 Ford Cortina in Bayswater, London in the 1970s.    The owner must have visited the Automobile Association HQ in Leicester Square, and asked them to dig an adhesive plastic one out of a dusty drawer for him.

The only known WL oval on-car, in London 1970s.  Brumby archive

The only known WL oval on-car, in London 1970s.  Saint Lucia 2900.    Brumby archive


Greece in the 1950s

February 2, 2013

Young Pemberton collared two odd Greeks on celluloid, during his forays into the capital during the days of rationing.    A 1950s American Buick Eight convertible  parked in Upper Regent Street in London bears a baffling, plain,  T 38  plate, unlike anything we know.   John  was certain it was Greek.

Was it a Thessaloniki Port tourist entry plate?

May 31, 2019   Yes – this transpired to be just that, and our Stoel albums provided another example from the same period – T 62, carried by a 1949-ish Hillman Minx.

Any ideas about this 'Greek'?

Any ideas about this ‘Greek’?                JP archive  

May 31, 2019   Yes – this transpired to be just that, and our Stoel albums provided another example from the same period – T 62, carried by a 1949-ish Hillman Minx.

(GR)(timp 14-54)_T 62_r_HillmanMinx.plKS(GR)(timp 14-54)_T 62_f_HillmanMinx.plKS

Well – there’s another series we had not known of!     Thessalonika Temporary Importation registration, free of duty.

 

Below:

A Morris Oxford MO was the choice of transport for this 1940’s-era British diplomat in Athens, seen on leave in UK.     Embassies were not coded in those times.

CD 277 on leave from Athens. in Britain, circa 1949-50.

CD 277 on leave from Athens. in Britain, circa 1949-50. Pemberton archive

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Below; Not many years later, in about 1958, the rare Greek diplomatic was photographed in Earls Court by VB.    Also on a Morris Oxford, but the later, Farina-designed 1960s version.

A Farina-designed Morris Oxford from Athens embassy, in about 1958. VB archive.

A Farina-designed Morris Oxford from GB Athens embassy, in about 1958.           VB archive.

The 56 on these plates gave the year of their first issue only.   56 continued to be issued until they were replaced in 1969 with similar (green) plates, but now showing ‘69‘.   This ran until about 2011, still marked ‘69‘!    So the date meant nothing.

The DS transliteration of the Greek dip. plates abbreviates ‘Diplomatikos Somos‘ or ‘Diplomatic Body‘.   Greeks are not keen to use Latin-based words (Corps), when they have their own, older language!

At last, an attractive new turquoise plate design has replaced the 1969 series:

The latest Greek CD.

The latest Greek CD.


Burma, Vietnam

January 25, 2013

Another long-standing Europlate member, John Grabham, took a very few photos during his long spotting life, which, sadly, ended a few weeks ago, in January 2013.     He had allowed Vic Brumby to scan two of his photos, which are reproduced here:

A Land Rover seen in the 1970s.  A painted Rangoon 11838 translation plate had been added for travel outside Burma.

A Land Rover seen in Wales in the 1970s. A painted Rangoon ‘ri 1838‘ translation plate had been added for travel outside Burma. (JG)

There is no evidence of another Burmese plate sighting in Britain since the 1950s.   Unless YOU know otherwise……

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NG*1249 below was John’s other very rare photo, from 1970s Viet-Nam, of the series created for diplomats.

NG abbreviates the Vietnamese Ngoai Gaio, translating to  “Foreign Affairs” – the international equivalent of ‘Diplomatic Corps’.        Though RPWO has a full embassy code list from that time, it remains difficult to attribute the plates of which Europlate has pictures,  to that list.       As a (presumably) British embassy car, this Sunbeam should have 01 in the registration, but it shows either 12 or 49 for a code…….

Usually these were green on yellow – this one, oddly, is black on yellow.

Sunbeam car from the British embassy in Saigon, seen in Cardiff, Wales.  John Grabham.

1970s Sunbeam Rapier car from the an embassy in Saigon, seen in Cardiff, Wales by  John Grabham during the 1970s.

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Thanks to John for seizing these two rarities.~~

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VN (cont.)

About the same time, Nip Thornley saw a similar diplomatic Ford Fiesta NG 0942  in Britain, but the code doesn’t indicate the British embassy (01)…..

NG.0942 came from Saigon embassy 09 or 42!

NG.0942 came from Saigon embassy 09 or 42!

Below:

This Land Rover Y*00137 was shot in Saigon by Murray Bailey  at the British Embassy in Saigon, during the 1970s and is one of the few we can be sure of, attached to a specific embassy.   Here, the 001 must(?) be for GB, car 37, possibly?

Later unknown CD or semi-CD type, using Y or T and five numerals.

Y*00137  Later, unknown CD or semi-CD type, using both Y and T and five numerals with leading zeroes, circa 1976.    Brumby archive, via Murray Bailey.

The 'T'  variant on 1970s Vietnam diplos.

The ‘T’ variant on some  1970s Vietnam diplos.

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Below:  The first Vietnamese I ever saw, was in Cannes in 1957 and is the only one I have ever seen with a VN – and with Chinese script included in the plate.    Apparently it reads ‘”Viet Nam“.   The N indicates the North of the country (Hanoi) the B was the code for cars and the M was serial.

No such ideogram-embellished plates existed in Viet Nam, I am sure; this smart American Ford Fairlane  had been specially plated to bring home to France by a departing French senior colonial administrator, I would suggest.

1957 North Viet Nam seen in France.

1957 North Viet Nam seen in France.  White on black.

Finally, below, the unidentified category of embassy or foreigner plate represented by this single example I saw in Saigon in 2008.    Can anyone help?           YES!

Feb. 2013 – Alex Kafka finds the definitive answer to this QT question in his detailed comment below, dated 25/1/2013 …..QT stands for “quốc tế” (‘international’)

QT - Unidentified type in Saigon, 2008.

QT – Unidentified type in Saigon, 2008.   Now see Alex’    International Organisations explanation.       Brumby archive  


South Africa items

January 20, 2013

A fine motor museum outside Franschoek, Western Cape, reveals a few early plates which are now little seen. http://www.fmm.co.za

Orange Free State - Bloemfontein, circa 1910

OB-914, Orange Free State – Bloemfontein, circa 1910 at Franschoek.    This car is a Lorraine-Dietrich.         Brumby archive

Below:  Next, BDP 795 EC, a former series Eastern Cape plate re-registering a 1920s Ford model ‘A’, using the new EC-suffixed series, but on a plain yellow ground.    Soon replaced by the multicoloured background of the current type.    A handful of these are still to be seen in use.

P1070311
BDP 795 EC interim plate design for Eastern Cape Province.    These plain plates were issued from 1996 to Oct 1998.    Brumby archive

                            Below:   NO 85 from Kwazulu-Natal (then simply Natal) coded NO to Melmoth, a small place half-way between Durban and Swaziland.NO 85 on a Natal motorcycle.     NO is from Mtonjaneni-Melmoth

NO 85 on a Natal motorcycle. NO is from Mtonjaneni-Melmoth

    Below    CC 22 FL GP –  examples of the new layout of the Gauteng (formerly Transvaal) plates, showing the square version and the long.

In 2011, starting with BB 00 AA, Gauteng had exhausted its 3-letter 3-number series.  Rear size.

In 2011, starting with BB 00 AA, Gauteng had exhausted its 3-letter 3-number series and changed to LL NN LL.  Rear size example.

(ZA)(Tv4a)_BH 26 KD  GP_cu_VB2013                                   Below:   GDF 116 G – Here is a central government series, always plain. background. Maybe 'Government Garage'.   Seen 16-1-2013, Somerset West.

Dept. of Transport national issue.    GG codes   ‘Government Garage’.    Seen 16-1-2013, Somerset West, Cape.

      and finally an archive shot from John Pemberton’s album – Natal/Durban no. 20 during the 1940s in Oxford, UK., bearing a big Royal Automobile Club oval.    (What make/model this American car?)

Unknown American car from Durban,

Unknown 1940s American car from Durban.   ND 20   Oct. 2014 – Now identified by Andre as a 1946-8 Chrysler!

Until 1981, South African Govt. departments were allocated plates from the ' Government garage'.    Here is a Ford Cortina Mk 3 estate car in Grahamstown in those days.    Brumby archive

Until 1981, South African Govt. departments were allocated plates from the ‘ Government Garage’.      Here is a Ford Cortina Mk 3 estate car in Grahamstown in those days.                 Brumby archive

DIP 123 D is of the diplomatic style of the 1970s.

DIP 123 D is of the diplomatic style of the 1970s.


French possessions in the 1940s

January 19, 2013

To see a car from Senegal, in Britain, in about 1950, would have been a big slice of luck.   Here is John Pemberton’s sighting, on an Austin A40 Devon car – unusual to find in a French territory.

Can Francoplaque help to explain why the plate is ‘dark on light’, perhaps, as we think all were white on black then?

Note that it carries the light-alloy ‘F’ ‘oval’ which was so common in early times.   As Senegal was not independent until 1960, this car could have carried an ‘AOF’ oval, is it was part of Afrique Occidentale Francai

a 1949 Austin Devon from Senegal, 7081 1.A
A 1949 Austin Devon from Senegal, French West Africa.  
7081 1.A   (1=Dakar)

1356 MA 15 in Oxford, 1940s/50s

Odd French diplomatic, 1940s-50s.

Odd French diplomatic, 1940s-50s.

This early VW also carries the alloy ‘F’ sign, because its plate is from the pre-1956 independence, French Moroccan series – 1356 MA  15.

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And concluding this foray into interesting French series, John captured a CD of an unknown type to me, carried on a rare Austin A40 Sports, made predominantly for the USA.

(Or is the car carrying the wrong international oval??)

Francoplaque! M’aider, m’aider!


CD symbol on Chinese and Taiwanese plates

January 19, 2013

More on John Pemberton’s possible China 1940s  diplomat.

03-0524 PRC CD

03-0524 PRC CD

MR(?) 172 remains unexplained for now……

 

Further to the March 2013 Post  ‘Fancy a Chinese?‘  and the subsequent identification of the Chinese character on the shield, Alex Kavka sends the Blog the Chinese ideogram for ‘ambassador’, on his Taiwan diplomatic photo 359.    It is the same as that of the current PRC diplomatic corps (not necessarily ambassador)  ideogram 01-718 and another 1972-4 Taiwanese dip. 1 50 also shows the same character.       (from ‘RG’.)

Shown below are the examples from both countries, for comparison…   (Top, RC (current),  centre, PRC,  bottom, RC historic)

(RC)(cd)_359_AK2012

Peoples' Rep. China diplomatic corps from

Peoples’ Rep. China diplomatic corps from 1970s/80s.     Brumby archive

Taiwan dip.1972-4 (RG plate)

Formosa/Taiwan dip.1972-4 (RG plate)

 

 


Taiwan CD

January 14, 2013

Alex Kafka writes:    The Chinese “ambassador” character 使 on John Pemberton’s photo caught my attention. It seemed familiar, and in fact I had seen it last November in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.

Taiwan has diplomatic relations with only 23 countries. All others have abandoned it in favour of mainland China.  Therefore diplomatic plates are rare and I was thrilled to see three: numbers 19, 299 and 359.

RC_12_Taipei42 RC_12_Taipei32a RC_12_Taipei53

Last time Taiwanese diplomatic plates were reported, they had a yellow panel with a black character 外, which means something like “foreign”. But now the panel was red and the character was 使.  This is in fact similar to the way the plates looked in the 1970’s (white on red, and 使).  Does anyone know when they changed back from yellow to red?

RC_12_Taipei43   RC_12_Taipei43B

The car with 359 carried a blue-white-blue flag (see photo).  Unfortunately there was hardly any wind and the flag never quite unfurled.  Now Wikipedia has a list of the possible 23 countries:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_diplomatic_missions_of_the_Republic_of_China,  very helpfully with flags.  It turns out that there are three possible candidates with similar flags: El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.  Luckily, although the centre of the flag is poorly visible on my photo, part of it got reflected in the shiny bodywork of the car, enough to reveal a piece of the coat of arms of Nicaragua!  (Compare the enlarged detail of the photo with Nicaragua’s flag, from the Internet.)

nicaragua-flag

Does anyone know if the plate numbers are coded or blocked by embassy?  From the single sighting of 359 for Nicaragua it’s hard to draw any conclusions. The other cars, 19 and 299, were caught  moving in traffic;  there was no time to look for any clues.

Alexander Kavka (Eu.575)