African Oddities

November 22, 2013

African checkout

A recent run round southern, central and northern Africa unearthed a few unexpected plate sightings, which Bloggers may like to share.     A car-park in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga (formerly Northern Transvaal) presented the remarkable photo opportunity to compare the latest Mozambique plate with the current MP local plate.     The background colours of the MOC Maputo Province help to identify them from the mainly black on white South African MP series – but remembering that the two places share a national border, it does seem odd that such similar formats were adopted.

Mpumulanga at left and Mozambique (Maputo Province to the right.

MP and MP  –  Mpumulanga at left and Mozambique (Maputo Province) to the right.

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The ZANZIBAR Post from this trip  is already up on the Blog and the ETHIOPIAN page will come shortly.

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BELOW:  Non. 2013.    Just leaving Zanzibar for Ethiopia, I glimpsed a new Range Rover parked off-road  in a secure compound, carrying a quite new plate type,     T 312 CCI  .    Unusually, the guards on the gate  didn’t display the usual paranoia and let me slip in to get a shot.    Later, The Venerable Neil found a Google reference to CCI  under  http://www.homeless-international.org, which seems to pin this hundred-thousand-dollar car to a homeless persons’ charity in Tanzania.     Nice design, anyway.

T 312 CCI  -  Identified by Neil Parker and Google, as an NGO in Tanganyika.

T 312 CCI – Identified by Neil Parker and Google, as an NGO in Tanganyika.

ETHIOPIA

One of the first oddities seen in Addis Ababa – and not surrounded by spooks – was this military vehicle with a good condition plate.

Ethiopian Defence Force 2013

Ethiopian Defence Force 2013

At the former palace of Emperor Haile Selassie, now the University Ethnological museum in Addis, was a photo of his 1940s Ford V-8 convertible, on Harar plates.    A rotten shot of an old photo, but a rare image of an Abyssinian plate of the period – and from a jurisdiction other than  the capital.

HA 14ll - The characteristic font of early Ethiopian plates.....

HA 1411 – The characteristic font of early Ethiopian plates…..

(ETH 36-41)_HA 1411_cu_VBmuseum2013

BELOW:    This was a costly shot.     A plate seen up a side-street,  from the corner of my eye, through the vibrating window of my 17th.-century LADA taxi,  I commanded my driver to stop for a photo-opportunity, believing it to be a Saudi plate in Addis Ababa.    Up-close, the delight at identifying my first current-system Sudani was unbounded!

However, a bod in a dish-dash thought there might be a security issue with a western pensioner flashing his camera at a parked car, and with many a warning in Amharic (which is not a strong card in my pack of languages) and much waving of his night-stick, he did all he could to obstruct my photo-capture.       Within a few minutes, the local police force was upon me, sporting their side arms and arresting both myself and my poor cab-driver, who had come over to try to spring me.

Frog-marched a kilometre or so across some open waste ground  we reached the police station, a few ramshackle tents with an open fire for the ubiquitous Ethiopian coffee pot.   Officers of ever-increasing rank were brought to judge me and my ridiculous story and none were convinced of the innocence of our noble pursuit, although they couldn’t quite see what we might be up to.   Eventually, in a fit of diplomatic legerdemain, I presented them with an opportunity to release us without loss of face – or  paying the usual dash which overcomes all in most places.    I can’t remember how.

Here, then, for your amusement, is the result of that hour’s investment in time and fear.    (Noting that the ‘4’ is the 100,000’s prefix to the serial no. 22477, making this Khartoum car 422477, isn’t it unbelievable that this poorest of all countries should have registered so many cars in the four years this series has been extant?  Over a hundred-thousand a year!!!!)

(SUD 2009~)_4 KH 22477_cu_VB2013

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Meanwhile, other snippets from recent times and varied sources:

(AFG 74-04)(ndes)_M 673_f_weeTG

Mowqati’ 673KBL  –  (temporary/foreigner) in Afghanistan between 1974 and 2004.   Among the users of this plate type, were non-diplomatic embassy staff.       Note this Merc 180, seen in UK, sports an overseas AA badge, once a frequent sighting on used imports to GB.        Terry Gray archive.

Here is a typical overseas British Automobile Association radiator badge of the type created for all or most of the Commonwealth countries.

Here is a typical overseas British Automobile Association radiator badge of the type created for all or most of the Commonwealth countries.   These make a good collector’s subject.     Brumby archive

(B)(cd)_CD AD715_weeVB2013

The new dip. through the windscreen in Belgium during September 2013.      Brumby archive

(IND5)_TN22CY 0648_c_VBmo2013

Mike Oldham saw this Tamil Nadu in Cyprus during October 2013!!!

Someone important in Malaya.

United Nations in Afghanistan, but identical to other theatres of operation, too.

UN 00438  –  United Nations in Afghanistan, but identical to other theatres of UN operation, too……..     Brumby archive

here's a pretty similar UN in Sudan...

UN 334  –  ……..here’s a pretty similar UN in Sudan…

Historic corner

This Austin A35 circa 1960, hails from Northern Rhodesia.   L and 3 numbers in the GB style could just as easily come from Aden or Cyprus, or Fiji or Labuan.....

L 219  –  This Austin A30 circa 1958, hails from Livingstone, then Northern Rhodesia and now Zambia.      In the 1950s,  L and 3 numbers in this GB style could just as easily have come from Aden or Cyprus, or Fiji or Labuan!

For example:

Another Austin, an A40 model, retired to an outdoor museum in Kota Kinabual, Sabah, but sporting 1960s plates from Labuan Island.

Another Austin, an A40 model, retired to an outdoor museum in Kota Kinabulu, Sabah, but sporting 1960s plates from Labuan Island.

Four numbers this time, but three were issued in Aden Colony in the 1960s.

(ADN60-63)_L 8820_TG_resize

A Keith Marvin Aden  image from his 1960 book, 'License (sic) Plates of the World' - possibly the first volume dedicated to xeno-autonumerology!

A Keith Marvin Aden image from his 1963 *book, ‘License (sic) Plates of the World’ – possibly the first volume dedicated to xeno-autonumerology!

Ah – AND Turkish Northern Cyprus (still current)

(CYN2)(83-97)_L 312_weeVB

Keith Marvin's rare book, which brought mant worldwide collectors to each others notice, and helped to form associations.

 *Keith Marvin’s rare book, which brought many worldwide collectors to each other’s notice, which in turn,  helped to form long-standing associations.   A famed and very prolific writer on automobilia in the US, he died only about 2011, aged over 90.

AUF WIEDERSEHEN……….

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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

 

 

(EAT)_DSD 770_JPvb

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

(ET2)(13-c56)_C 4463_JP1938vb

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

(MOC)_LM 7667_JPvb

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


Mpumalanga or not?

February 8, 2013
Dealer (trade) plate from Mpumalanga Province, ZA.

Dealer (trade) plate from Mpumalanga Province, ZA.

Here is an example of the dealer plate for the South African province of Mpumalanga, characterised by the letter ‘A’ starting the trio of registration letters, and of course the MP suffix of the province.

So when I was cruising the streets of Knysna (ZA) today, and saw a BMW parked, registered ACE 668 MP, I stopped the scooter and went back to photograph it, as MP dealer is quite unusual.(MOC)_ACE 668 MP_ VB2013_resize (MOC)_ACE 668 MP_cur_ Knysna VB2013

Well, it caught me out!     Perhaps you other members were quicker to recognise my mistake?

Who will be first to explain by commenting below?

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Did you know that South Africa doesn’t issue plates with any vowels – because without vowels, no vulgar words can be formed – which saves the authorities the headache of  contemplating possible word meanings in many African and other languages.

One day, when they see how much money they can make from adding vowels, and then being able to sell stupid letter combinations to vain citizens, I expect they will change their minds!      Even Sweden succumbed to the demon vanity plate industry, a country I always assumed was too ‘straight’ to do such a thing.    Germany and France still proudly sidestep the temptation to mine this income source – bravo!


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.


Is the plate of the Governor of Portuguese East Africa?

January 12, 2013

Recently I came across this image (which I straightened from an angled shot and cropped) of a plate supposed to be that (until 1975, according to RPWO, although without illustration) of the Governor of Portuguese East Africa, currently known as Mozambique (or Moçambique in Portuguese). This plate was allegedly given “personally” to an American who was working there at the time. A nice looking plate with an interesting history—Portuguese East Africa number 1, surely a coup for any plate collection, and deserving of a place of prominence in a display.

MOC.PEA 1p

But wait a minute. Don’t they speak Portuguese in Portuguese (!) East Africa, and now Mozambique? According to Wikipedia, “Portuguese Mozambique or Portuguese East Africa (officially the State of East Africa upon erection and later Overseas Province of Mozambique) was the common name by which the Portuguese Empire’s territorial expansion in East Africa was known across different periods of time.” In the table accompanying the article the “languages” [sic] are given as “Portuguese” suggesting that any indigenous languages in this part of Africa were, if not suppressed, not to be considered; indeed (Wikipedia again), “Mozambique, according to official policy, was not a colony at all but rather a part of the ‘pluricontinental and multiracial nation’ of Portugal. Portugal sought in Mozambique, as it did in all its colonies, to Europeanize the local population and assimilate them into Portuguese culture.” By the way, Mozambique became independent from Portugal on 25 June 1975.

If one visits this article in Portuguese (an easy click away via the Languages sidebar to the left of the article), he finds the following introductory sentence: “Moçambique ou África Oriental Portuguesa (oficialmente Estado da África Oriental, depois elevado para Província Ultramarina de Moçambique) era o nome comum pelo qual a expansão territorial do Império Português na África Oriental era conhecida em diferentes épocas.” And there it is—the Portuguese rendering of the name of the name of the state (as in country) or province (as in part of Portugal)—África Oriental Portuguesa, which surely would have been rendered on the Governor’s plate as AOP.

Is this really the plate of the Governor of Portuguese East Africa?