Mozambique now and then

February 1, 2013

VB thought he would share some of John Pemberton’s limelight with this former Portuguese East Africa posting, first by showing the first new-series Mozambiquian plate I saw this morning, at the Tsetsekama Gorge viewing-point, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.     Luckily the car was stationary, enabling enough camera time to gather the details.    The three letters and three-numbers are serial, and the final two letters are the regional code – in this case MC for Maputo (City).    The lady driver thought the new series had been running for 4-5 years, though 2-3 may be more accurate.      The plates are clearly manufactured in South Africa and they closely resemble current ZA practice – just as the new Swaziland plates do, too.

(MOC3)_ABB 505 MC_c_VB2013

Cappark Find - New MOC srs.

Car-park Find – new-ish  MOC srs. from Maputo City.

The shield detail from the new MOC plates.

The shield detail from the new MOC plates.

tax documents and all windows etched to foil thieves.

All the windows etched to deter thieves.

Below:

Tax documents for 2013 MOC.

(MOC3)_ABB 505 MC_tdisc_VB2013_resize

But this is in 2013………………

65 years ago, if we had  trudged round London  with JP, we would have found a Lourenco Marques registration on a big American (Dodge?) car, LM 7667.     This was from the original Portuguese East Africa plate type which commenced in 1930 and was issued until 1957, when the LLL-NN-NN series began – example below.

LM 7667 visiting London after the war, using the official 'P' which Portugal used for all its overseas territories.

LM 7667 visiting London after the war, using the official ‘P’ which Portugal used for all its overseas territories.   Although Mozambique was issued MOC  no sighting has ever been reported.    JP archive.

The only other photo of the LM code on a vehicle is this, and the origin is unknown….

colour slide tak

Colour slide taken in Lourenco Marques/Maputo by an unknown spotter, perhaps in the 1960’s.   VB archive.

This Beira-registered Ford Model A (c. 1932) stands in Johannesburg's Museum of Transport and gives us our only photo of Beira plates on the car.

This Beira-registered Ford Model A (c. 1932) stands in Johannesburg’s Museum of Transport and gives us our only photo of Beira plates on the car.

This BMW 3.0 SCi was captured on Madeira in 1978.  MBE 11-93 was coded B for Beira, the second city and a popular holiday place before independence in 1975.

This classic BMW 2000 CSi was captured on Madeira in 1978.     MBE 11-93 was coded B for Beira, the second city and a popular holiday place before Mozambique’s independence in 1975 and subsequent fall into chaos..                VB archive.


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!


Pemberton’s Rara Avis – Somaliland

January 26, 2013

Of JP’s photo collection, few depict a plate (and international oval SP) as rare as his London sighting, circa 1955,  of a Morris Oxford MO  Traveller, on British Somaliland plates.

As the rear door sports an ADAC badge, we may assume that the car had previously run in Germany, probably on British Zone BZ plates, in which case, the owner was probably an RAF or Army officer many of whom travelled round their foreign postings with their cars…….(more info on this came along.   See responses below from Mike Raine and now from Barry Scowen)

The pressed figure ‘8’ is of an unusual design…..

S 815 from the Somaliland Protectorate British zone, until independence in 1960. Seen in London;s West End.

S 815 from the Somaliland Protectorate British zone, until independence in 1960.   Seen in Coventry Street in London’s Theatreland  circa 1955.    Pemberton archive

(SP)_S 815_JPvb

Of the 1941-1960 plate types (of which so few illustrations exists) two prefixes existed – S and SO.   There is a suspicion arising that the Italian zone of the the Trusteeship of Somaliland issued SO, and the British zone a simple S.    Mega-collector, author and international cymbalist Jim Fox has gathered one of each into his gallery of exotica, beating the sum of the Other Collectors of the World by a factor of two!

 

Jim Fox' British Somaliland Protectorate S 1357 rarity.

Jim Fox’ British Somaliland Protectorate S 1357 rarity.

and Jim's SO 5611 believed to be from the Italian zone of the trusteeship territory 1941-49-60 and a bit beyond.

and Jim’s SO 5611 believed to be from the Italian zone of the trusteeship territory 1941-49-60 and a bit beyond.   (Fox archive)

Victor Brumby saw SO 5671 in Britain about 1961 on an Austin A50 Cambridge, driven by an English man with a huge Somali lady passenger.   Stopped for interview by our spotter on his Triumph bicycle, the business card of the driver gave ‘Mogadiscio’ as his home base – then the capital of Italian Somaliland.   The International Circulation Permit (ICP), which temporary imports to GB had to carry in place of a licence disc in those times, read SOM in the ‘Country of Origin’ line.     The 5671 plate was painted or stencilled and the car bore no international oval at the rear.

Note that S 815 wears a ‘Visitor To Britain’ window flag, another authorised international motor-visitor accessory for new arrivals to GB in those days.    To help with parking wardens, doubtless!

 

Another photo of S 815 from Mike Raine, up in the Somali highlands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOVE:    Here is reader Barry Scowen as a boy in Somaliland with the Morris which is the subject of this Blog page.   His father must have been the second or third owner of  S 815.   See Comments below.

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Terra Incognita  could describe this benighted ‘country’ from the perspective of  collectors.   Who knows more?

P.S.    These ‘S’  plates of typical British design could just as easily have come from Seychelles, Cyprus, Fiji, Singapore, Mauritius, Southern Rhodesia, Guyana, Bermuda, Trinidad and Barbados!    Absolutely identical.     Fortunately in those day, car owners usually fitted the international ovals, which helped the perplexed spotter!

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Below:   Sometime after the Somalilands’ 1960 independence, this Italian-influenced Somalia system commenced:

The independence of Somalia gave rise to this series, about 1960. This is seen in Nairobi in 1978

The independence of Somalia gave rise to this series, about 1960. This is seen in Nairobi in 1978, on a Benz lorry.    Vic Brumby archive

When the country collapsed into anarchy, few vehicles bore any plates at all!

This plate was 'liberated' by a Reuter camera team during a newsgathering visit in about 1983. From an armoured Toyota pickup of one of the insurgent groups.

This plate was ‘liberated’ by a Reuters camera team during a newsgathering visit in about 1983. From an armoured Toyota pickup of one of the insurgent groups.  Brumby archive


Pemberton on Libya

January 25, 2013
A Morris Minor Tourer from Benghazi circa 1951. BN 1089. (JP)

A Morris Minor Tourer from Benghazi circa 1951. BN 1089. (JP)

Neither Ivan Thornley nor I ever saw a Libyan like this, using “BN” as a code.   Furthermore all previous examples place the arabic before the western script.     Wonderful!

LIBIA T.5829 circa 1950.

LIBIA T.5829, circa 1950.

Then JP saw a Sunbeam Talbot 90 with another VERY unusual plate design – and no arabic at all…..  Such plates  had been used in the 1930s, though this Sunbean model was produced from 1948.    And it looks as if the background might have been a light shade, rather than standard black.     Probably from the 1937-50 series.

Below:    The mid-1950s to late 60s used the next style and many used to be seen near British Air Force bases in England in that period, when US and UK had very active bases in Libya.   LB-Benghazi, LT-Tripoli.   Initially made with the arabic to the left and after about 1962, the arabic to the right.

(LAR2)(55-62)_LT21331_comp_VB1962

Libya-Tripoli 21331

Unofficially the international oval was LT, (Libya-Tripolitania) but I don’t think any were ever seen – unless you know otherwise?    Now it is LAR Libyan Arab Republic – and still none have ever been seen!    The way things are shaping up in post-Gadaafi Libya, it will be some time before they get round to worrying  about international ovals!(LAR2)(55-62)_LB 11673_Flickr1960s


Swiss tourists in 1940s Britain

January 25, 2013

The journey from the Alps to England in the 1930s/40s would have been long and tedious – and all the more so in this selection of vehicles which Monsieur Pemberton snapped in those uncomfortable times.      I would have chosen the Citroen, for my voyage…….

ZG 239 motorcycle from Zug in Oxford 1940s, see by John Pemberton

ZG 239 motorcycle from Zug in Oxford 1940s,      seen by John Pemberton

Berne Citroen Light Fifteen, 1940s London.   JP

BE 4646 – Berne Citroen Light Fifteen, 1940s London. JP

A real old-timer - possibly 1938 in Oxford.A real Genevan old-timer, maybe American make – possibly 1938 in Oxford.

British Ford Eight - noisy, slow and bumpy.

British Ford Eight from St. Gallen – noisy, slow and bumpy journey to London??          Pemberton archive.


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  


Out-of-date Czechs

January 24, 2013

Polymath member Kavka spent a little time in CS as a boy, so these Pemberton spottings in wartime/postwar Britain may have some resonance for him.      Rather than attempt to identify them for readers, it  is suggested that you send in your own notes:

M-OL-132

M-OL-132    Looks like London

P-14873

P-14873, probably in Copenhagen.

P-60-298 (what is this car??)

P-60-298 (what is this car??)  Oxford after the war.

 

It was a rare sight to see a Skoda ai London in 1964, using Dealer plates.    A 09-17 photo by Vic Brumby.

It was a rare sight to see a Skoda in London in 1964, using Dealer plates. A 09-17 photo by Vic Brumby.

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Trieste 1950

January 22, 2013

Another of John Pemberton’s  fine sightings in the late 1940s or early 1950s was this Austin A70 Hereford from the Allies-administered territory of Trieste.     A big, expensive car of the time, it was probably the private car of one of the senior British military administrators, who shared the duties with the USA until the sector was returned to Italy in 1954.

Trieste international zone seen in Britain c. 1950.  Austin A70 reg. TS 10333.

Trieste international zone seen in Britain c. 1950. Austin A70 reg. TS 10333.

Two other Italian sightings in Britain, immediately post-war, it is thought.  SV 4740 (Savona).

(I)_SV.4740_JP1939vb

and MI 94279, a Fiat Topolino with a low Milan number….

Fiat 500 'Mouse' cabriolet behind two Swedish cars in Park Lane, London, early 1940s.

Fiat 500 ‘Mouse’ cabriolet behind two Swedish cars in Park Lane, London, early 1940s.


QUIZ – BR

January 21, 2013

QUIZ:      What kind of plate did Brazil issue before WW2, which used no legends, above or below??

An odd Brazilian, 1938, Oxford..

P 17.36      An odd Brazilian, 1938, Oxford..


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.