Netherlands Indies-Schouten Islands

July 10, 2018

((NGN BIAK-MAP Schouten_Islands_(IN)_Topography

G 255 (IN)

Karel Stoel brings us more treats with this amazingly obscure island plate from BIAK, a distant Dutch outpost in the South Pacific Sea, North of Papua-New Guinea island.    Until lost from The Dutch Netherlands New Guinea territories in the early 1960s, code G was issued between 1950-59 and was the only NGN single-letter code.   (Could there have been as many as 255 registered vehicles on that spot of remote land?)

This is the only picture known to exist of that G series, depicted on an Auto-Union-DKW 1000 Sonderklasse F91,  an advanced German car of the period 1953-58.

(NGN 50-59)(Biak Is.)_G 255_f_(

(NGN 50-59)(Biak Is.)_G 255_CU_(

The more usual (??) issue of the 1950-59 Papua/Hollandia (now Jayapura)  plates, used the NG prefix and leading zeroes, probably on the white/Prussian Blue plates of mainland Holland.    This VW Beetle NG-04 is certainly using the Dutch dies AND as it carries the NGN international Identification oval, it would seem to have been photographed in Holland, having returned from service in the Papua territory.      Few people still living ever saw such a plate!

(NGN 50-59).Hollandia_NG 04_(NGN oval)_Beetle.plKS

(RI)(exp 37-50c)(IN)_X-451_(w.b)(IN oval)_plKS

X- 451 (IN)

Further west, in Netherlands Indonesia, those who returned their cars to Europe at the end of their work tour. were given a temporary plate with an X prefix, for the first many years in white on black, and later in black on white.     They almost always carried the regulation oval and it is thought many came back to Holland and tickled Stoel’s fancy.

(RI)(exp 37-50c)(IN)_X-554_(b.w)(IN oval)_Fiat500.plKS

Several pictures of the microcar Fiat 500 Topolino/Mouse exist showing us Indonesian plates.  Wholly unsuitable for the rugged conditions, one would have thought – but probably very cheap indeed, so a few sales were guaranteed.    X 554 is an example of the white version of the exit plate issued to vehicles leaving permanently from Dutch Indonesia.


There is confusion over the systems in use in NGN.    The 1950-59 series above was issued concurrently, it seems with another, below, using a prefix letter for the year (M=1955, N=56, O-57, P-58, R=59, S-60, T-61 and U=62.)    Then followed a suffix for the vehicle type – where A coded motorcycles,  B coded cars, c, lorries, D, buses and F, moped-scooters.       The serial number indicated the issuing offices, which were allocated batches of numbers.

These two types are said to have been issued (but partly overlapping?) between 1953 & 63.    Who knows anything which could clarify this matter?       

Vanuatu Fake

December 11, 2011


6778 - false Vanuatu plate, one of several seen around Europe

6778 – false Vanuatu plate, one of several seen around Europe

I photographed this Porsche GT three years ago in Vienna/Austria.    Unfortunately I wasn´t able to speak with the driver.

For sure in the red field on the left part of the plates there were the letters ´VU´ and the flag of this islands. Front and rear plates were ident and they didn´t seem to be of paper. Right beside there was a ´CD´-Oval.

All my research shows quite different colours and appearance of Vanuatu plates.

Of course I found the mass of wrong examples and the possibility of offshore-registration in Vanuatu, but they always look quite different…

Further I found that there really is existing a Vanuatu registration with this number for a Porsche GT held by the mysterious GT-Group.    This dubious firm consists of mailboxes spread around the whole world and sells all kinds of licenses.

I´m sure this car haven´t ever seen one of the islands of Vanuatu.     It´s much cheaper to use a fantasy-registration.     The riddle is why nobody else discovered such type of Vanuatu fake yet.  Others have been seen, Peter – Vic

Tahiti Consular CC IT 4

October 25, 2011

Tahiti isn’t much seen outside the islands.   In 53 years, I have seen it twice in France and once in New Zealand, PLUS this very unusual Consular Corps version, un-noted in any official references to the islands’ plate systems.     This Volvo Amazon was captured by VB in London around 1962

and the cheerful owner advised that he was the Danish consul in Papeete.

I went over there in 2000 and square-searched Papeete for any remaining evidence of consular plates, but there were none – just regular registrations with  separate black on green ‘CC’ ovals.     And Air New Zealand wouldn’t give me my money back!

The typical  ‘TAHITI’  silver on red plate was carried at rear, used in the absence of a dedicated international oval, though officially, I suppose it should carry an ‘F’  oval.

(As should St. Pierre et Miquelon and Guiane etc. etc. etc.  but how dull that would be!)

Anyone else seen a Tahiti vehicle outside the islands?

Addendum Nov 2011:     Recent contact with the island motor bureau reveals that they are sure no such series has existed!     They are sure CC IT 4 is not from Tahiti!      (I wonder where that Dane is today?   He could fill us in….)

8011 A - This E-type Jaguar was seen in Auckland in 2002    Brumby archive

8011 A – This E-type Jaguar was seen in Auckland in 2002 Brumby archive


1250-P seen in Antibes during the 1980s, displaying the TAHITI alloy label often used when travelling abroad.     Brumby archive.

1250-P seen in Antibes during the 1980s, displaying the red TAHITI alloy label often used when travelling abroad.                     Brumby archive.