July 20, 2018


(NL) KM-73-20  —  Dutch Sint Maarten has a few Royal Netherlands Navy vehicles in service.    This pick-up/ute/bakke was seen by Philipsburg dock in 2016.     We assume the military plates which go abroad are not specially coded.   (Koninklijke Marine)                                                  Brumby archive.



(F)  224 WAL 24  —  Also at the dockside  there but destined for FRENCH St. Martin was a heavy truck using French temporary exit plates from the 1990s(?)

(F)  224 WAL 24


(PAK) PALITANA 1  —  Prince Shiv of Palitana was a lively socialite in the London scene in 1955.       His new, scarlet Ford Thunderbird was photographed by the Daily Mail newspaper and three nascent plate-spotters jumped on a train from the English midlands, to search for the subject of this photo.      And we found it, in Berkeley Square!

Neither Terry Gray, Ivan Thornley nor the Blog  had a camera in those times and in the intervening 63 years, notebooks lost, we have wondered if we had dreamed it all, as we had no evidence – until a modern web search found the very shot.

Silver-on-red plates, as was the way with the Indian (and later, Pakistani) royal households’ plate style.



(GH)  GR 1000 E  —  Guy Lewis, stringer for the Blog ,spent a year in Nigeria in 2017 masquerading as an international banking plenipotentiary, and captured this Jaguar E-Type which had made its way over from Ghana – a rare sight in either country, one would think.

There was never anywhere to mount a front plate on an E-Type, so some enlightened countries permitted an adhesive Fablon format, which didn’t disfigure the aesthetics of that beautiful car.     Ghana seems to have become such a kindly place.

GR 1000 E

G 1000 E


(USA)  T-687  ==  Jim Fox Eu 0095 is extending his deep historical researches in to US state and federal government-issued plates           (Fox archive)

Jim – would you care to fill us in with the background of this very unusual issue?     (Responses below.)

US/FWA   T-687



This looks suspiciously like Karel Stoel’s 1940s bedroom and perhaps his mother wondering how best to tidy it up!

Later the whole collection went on public display at a small transport museum in Holland.    In the 1960s, the museum had to close BUT the plates were, we believe, saved in the nick of time.    Who has the story?

STOEL  ==  Many of these classic, obsolete plates have found their way in to modern collections, fortunately.    If YOU have one or more, why not send in the current picture, for us all to share your pleasure?    (What’s the R/I X 5154???)


BN 1627  ==  When this picture first came to light in the Stoel albums which were acquired from careful long-term storage by Europlate in 2016, we defined it as a Libyan Benghazi plate of a previously unrecorded format.      Later, we came to recognise it as an Anglo-Egyptian Sudan issue from the Blue Nile registration office.        Wonders will never cease!

Fortunately, THESE wonders didn’t come singly.     Another four evocative shots from Sudan, pre-independence.

(ET)  BN 1089  —  Blue Nile province on a Morris Minor (sidevalve) convertible, suspected 1949, is shot in London.

K 4206 —  Khartoum, Sudan 1920s-58 series.

c.1947 Vauxhall HIX-type 12hp


(ET)  E 1100  —  and this 1950s Morris-Commercial LD5 minibus was registered in Equatoria Province of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.========================

(ET)  K.35  —  Hard to believe, but this enamelled 1920s Khartoum Dealer plate survives in a collection somewhere………


Khartoum 4KH 22477  —  And, though this is predominantly a Historic plate site, as the Blog got a shot of a current-issue  Sudani in Ethiopia in 2017, we might as well display it.     It’s a poor shot, because I was being arrested during the filming – apparently tourists cannot take pictures in Addis Ababa…..



For more plate photos, be sure to visit The Europlate Historic Archive:

TEHA website

1955 Pakistan

September 30, 2012



Denis Fowler is a retired diplomat who served in Iceland, Nepal, and Pakistan amongst other places.

He has kindly trawled his old photos and slides and sent this (slightly fuzzy) shot of his Ford Prefect, on standard  KA (Karachi) Pakistan plates, but identified as a diplomatic vehicle by the CD oval, which had silver letters on a dark green background and a white rim.    He adds that he bought the Prefect from UK Ford dealer Lex via  the tax-free Home Delivery Export Scheme in August 1955, and ran it for a couple of months before handing it back to Ford for shipment to Karachi.

He knew that upon becoming a republic in March 1956, Pakistan was planning to switch from driving on the left to the right, and so he ordered the new Ford in Left-Hand-Drive, but after he arrived in November 1955, the plan was scrapped for this extraordinary reason:  camel-drawn carts were then used to take the imported goods from Karachi docks to all parts of Pakistan, by day and by night, with their drivers sleeping much of the time.

It became recognised that the animals could not be trusted to walk unattended on the ‘wrong’ side of the road to that to which they had  been accustomed for generations.    It would have caused accidents and chaos, and so the new republican government never proceeded with its plan – which had probably merely been a symbolic act of casting off their imperial yoke, and not of any actual practical value.

We hope to see further pictures from Dennis’ delving in to his photos and slides!

His daughter spent periods in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Bolivia and his son drove back to Britain from Nigeria in a Landcruiser.    They have been asked to inspect their albums for period plate shots!

1955 British Ford 100E Prefect in Karachi, 1956. KAA 4957


Readers are advised to ask for such pictures of any old pals who once served abroad.    They are a unique record of extinct plate types, and will not generally be recognised as being of interest to their heirs, when they inherit parents’  old photo albums and transparencies/slides.      Sad to think how many great pictures are thrown out in house clearances…..



Below is an unusually-plated Morris Minor, also in Karachi, but shot by me (VB)  in 1965, and which for years I had never properly identified.

Apparently the Urdu script reads ‘Mashriq’ 41  – any ideas, anyone?

ANSWER from Europlate member Kurt Leothold  –

 “The word  correctly translated is: MAKRAN, a province from Baluchistan, Pakistan (Gwardar).”

Wikipedia notes: Makran Division (Persian: مکران ) was an administrative division of the Balochistan Province of Pakistan, until the reforms of 2000 abolished the third tier of government.    Districts of Makran Division included GwadarTurbatMand and Panjgur.

Makran is the ancient name for Baluchistan and was an exclave of Oman until 1958, when Pakistan bought it from the Sultanate of Oman.

So – thanks to Kurt, a 47-year-old puzzle eventually explained!      (The low number 41, the colours and the style of the plate would indicate that it was a Morris Minor of the Khan/Sultan’s fleet – or possibly of some high-ranking State official.)


Finally, one of the very few Pakistan plates seen in Britain since 1947 Partition – a VW Camper from Quetta in Baluchistan, sporting a PAK oval provided by the Karachi Automobile Association.     Seen in Kensington Church Street, London in 1964, by VB.

QA 6209, a Quetta plate in 1964 London.

More finally, I parked my Peugeot 404L  next to a pair of diplomatic VWs in Rawalpindi in 1968.     That same CD system is still in use in Pakistan, 44 years later!

I doubt if the airline offices are still intact, as such places have become targets for angry mobs fretting about cartoons and daft films.       It was a peaceful and pleasant country then, with the Moslem population kind and hospitable……

BELOW: When EU38 visited the newly-built British High Commission in Islamabad to collect my mail from the Poste Restante service they used to offer travellers, I was amazed to come across a car from Sarawak – the first I had ever seen!   And as used to be the convention, it showed the international oval SK, as supplied by the Kuching office of the AA.

How unusual to see a vehicle from Borneo in the ‘stans!

Sarawak K 9033 outside the BHC, Islamabad, 1968.   K=Kuching.



PR-9679  —  Seen in Karachi in 1965, this Jeep with United Nations connections, belonged to the Pakistan Forestry Project and was registered in Peshawar in the regular series.                                 Brumby archive 1965



ID 8146 ID was the newly-created  code for the 1960’s-built new capital city of Islamabad (PeaceTown),  when this photo was taken in the 1970s, on a Datsun 1200.      There were still very few  such fully-imported cars in neighbouring India, due to the shortage of foreign currency with which to buy such, yet Pakistan seems always to have imported  from anywhere without difficulty, even though it must have been even shorter of money.      Previously, British Ford 100E Anglias were built there from parts sent from Dagenham. and Morris Minors were assembled in India, alongside the eternal Morris Cowley a.k.a. the Hindustan Ambassador, Indian production of which 1955 design finalised in 2013!.      The Suzuki pick-up is from Peshawar – PRH 3032.    Soon such Japanese products displaced the British-built vehicles  which had held sway from 1900.                  Brumby archive 1970s (Capt. Pointon-Taylor)


KAW 6444  --  red-on-yellow Karachi Trade-plate on a new British Vauxhall Victor, there in 1965.     Brumby archive.

KAW 6444 – red-on-yellow Karachi Trade-plate on a new British Vauxhall Victor, there in 1965.                        Brumby archive.


(PAK1a)('47~)_KAE9800 Urdu_comp_VB_resize

KAE 9800 — It was unusual to see an Urdu-scripted plate in Pakistan in the 1960s. This oddity is seen in Lahore in 1965, on a Morris 1000, registered in Karachi.                            Brumby archive 1965