Here are some of the more normal photos from John Pemberton’s album, showing us some early post-war European plates, with their massive international ovals on display. The French 373-TT 8H is a rare one.
The Polish diplomatic is a very peculiar one – have any bloggers any thoughts on B-00069?? SZYMON has clarified this oddity with his reply below and this web page. Thanks, Szymon!
Our Turkey/Greece/Cyprus specialist Pieter Lommerse will be happy to see the old Turk from Adapazari (first picture)
T 38 above is given by John Pemberton as Greek, but is not like known Greek types? However, could it be a 1940s Thessalonika customs-issued temporary importation plate??? BUSES: Beyond the Buick, going north on Upper Regent Street, are two pre-war AEC double-deckers of London Transport’s STL class. Pemberton archive
B-00069 — We were baffled by this plate, which claims to be a Polish Diplomatic, yet is nothing like anything seen before. Taken in 1940s London by John Pemberton, and carried on a 1938-1946-ish American car (a Lincoln-Zephyr V12?), an identification one day will be of considerable interest……. Feb. 2014 – Finally we have the answer via ‘Szymon’ The ‘B’ WAS for diplomats’ (cars) in 1940s Poland ! B-00069 is a Polish diplomatic plate from 1946. First letter A or B meant passenger car, numbers 00001-00999 were reserved for diplomatic purporses:
00001-00299 – CD cars and motorcycles
00300-00399 – CC cars and motorcycles
00400-00799 – embassy staff cars and motorcycles, CD/CC trucks
00800-00999 – not used
B-00069 – For more information from the Polish Club, go to
A close-up of the strange Polish CD – with a narrow font similar to some Spanish plates of later years…….B-00069. A and B were for diplomat’s cars
In the 1928 to 1950 French system, the suffix numeral(s) (5 here) indicated the tens of thousands. Thus this registration can read QJ 52028 and QJ was the code for Sarthe (Le Mans) until 1950, when the département code 72 replaced letter-codes with the new, numerically-suffixed, département series. Is this a Renault? Seen on the seafront at Hastings soon after the war. John Pemberton archive c. 1938
373-TT 8 H – Packard? A white-on-red temporary import of a used car to France in 1938 or 1948*. The 8 signified the year of entry and the H, the port of entry – in this case, H = Cherbourg, the principal French port for the transatlantic liners of the age. Many wealthy Americans travelled with their grand cars before the era of car rental.
*Thus a ‘3’ suffix could have marked a registration in 1933, 1943 or 1953! This French temporary series was issued between 1933 and 1955 and apparently could also be used for the temporary registration of new vehicles purchased in France for imminent export elsewhere.
105 RL 8 (F) – from 1928-1950, RL was among the codes for Paris. The 8 suffix represents the ten-thousands in the serial number – hence this American car could be seen as RL 80105. Pemberton in Oxford 1947-ish.
1928-50 France srs. YA-YD=Département of Seine-et-Oise(later suffix 78), in London, 1940s. Soon, at 9999 YD, a suffix 1 would be added, giving 1234 YD 1. Citroen Light 15 Decapotable?
S 5.320 (Austrian 1947-89 series.) – A Morris Minor from Salzburg circa 1951. Pemberton archive
346 148 (B) – 1926-1953 Belgium. Usually of porcelain, in red-on-white with the last three numerals preceded by a black symbol (see below) on the rear plates – the front being supplied by the owners in varying styles.
Belgium’s 1925-53 national seal borne on the rear, official plate, using the French and Flemish names for the country. Brumby archive