Among the amazing plates displayed at Trezzo, near Milan, this weekend (Easter 2012) were these, shown for the benefit of those who could not attend – but who have access to the Europlate Blog!
Albania was occupied by Italy during WW2 (1939-43), and dedicated Italian plates were issued to the few vehicles in circulation there. Probably they had no plates before – or they were made up of goatskin, which hardly lasted the year between those annual emission tests ……
Italy issued some great extra-territorial plates whenever it erected its flag in some fortunate corner of the world. Rhodes, Cattaro and Eritrea are examples.
Here, from Trezzo, is a plate from the Eritrean Liberation Front fleet of semi-military vehicles, all now abandoned in the shifting sands, but awaiting your visit with a screwdriver. (Take some bail money with you in case the plan goes wrong. And some long books. It may take some time to organise your evacuation – you will certainly miss the 2014 Convention!)
The ELF operated between the 1960s and 1990s, so this plate may be of that period.
Interesting that opponents to the ‘government’ were able to obtain official-style plates. We know that neighbouring Somalia has long abandoned plating their militia Toyota pickups.
This ‘font’ is characteristic of Ethiopia, which supports the ELF, so probably these plates came by way of aid to their administrative HQ at Tent 14, Dune 32,883, Boiling Desert. A great place to fight over.
After WW2, several international missions operated in Italy, to assist in the post-war recovery and their personnel were issued a fancy orange plate marked with the initials ‘CITES’, which Roberto Solbiati has kindly decoded for us as:
CIRCOLAZIONE TEMPORANEA in ITALIA di ENTI STRANIERI .
To make an acronym that they could read, they put ITALIA before TEMPORANEA.
So the sequence of words is :
C – Circolazione – (Circulation (licence))
I – (in ) Italia
T – Temporanea – (temporary, for duration of posting)
E – (di) Enti – (entity, organisation, mission)
S – Stranieri – (strangers, foreigners)
(Temporary Licence for Foreign Organisations in Italy.)
Shortly after WW2, a new symbol was embossed on the (rear only) Italian plates, depicting three swords on a shield; this was the symbol of the National Disabled Veterans’ Association. This CITES plate shows this emblem well.
The SITES series ran from 1947 to 1952, we understand.
The SITES plates ran alongside the ‘EE‘ plates issued to foreigners who purchased Italian cars there, to export to their home countries. (EE=Escursionisti Esteri=Foreign excursionist/visitor)
I will add more pictures of the other Trezzo plates which made me gasp, in a later Blog.