OMAN and a little more of the Gulf

March 3, 2014

A great air-route to take between some European airports and Malaysia, is via OMAN, formerly known as the Sultanate of  Oman and/or  Muscat and Oman , until July 1970.   It is a happy. prosperous and politically-settled arab country of 1.5m. population, which welcomes all visitors without concern for race or religion – a boon in these present times.

Oman Air is an example of the new Gulf airlines increasingly (and cheaply)  serving the East-West-East routes via their extravagant airport hubs in the former dunes and inhospitable terrain of the desert, now built up and planted with parks, trees and fine turf.    Muscat, Oman’s capital,  is well worth a few days’ stop-over for the dedicated plate-o-phile, and visiting vehicles from the other Gulf states are often to be seen, as a spotter’s bonus.

The background colour is what differentiates the many types of  Oman licence-plates, from yellow for private vehicles, red for commercially-used vehicles of all sorts, mid-blue for export plates, white for officials of all types save the dark blue for police, to turquoise for  dealers and temporary plates.   The military units, royal protection and palace household maintenance fleets each have their own series.

Private vehicles use black on yellow, a serial number and a one- or two-lettered serial, having no coding.   Not all the letters of the alphabet are used.

(OM 2001~)_D 31516_VB2014blog

D 31516 .. Bentleys are less seen in Oman than in the nearby UAE states.                 Brumby archive 2014.

(OM 2001~)_HD 68_VB2014blog

HD 68 .. Low numbers can be bought for a premium if not previously allocated. then kept for transfer to new cars later. ( Not much later, in the oil-rich Gulf countries….)                                          Brumby archive 2014

There are few motorcycles.   Those seen all carried the letters LK, indicating a defining code.    Brumby archive 2014

There are few motorcycles.    Those seen all carried the letters LK, indicating a defining code.                                                                              Brumby archive 2014

This seems to be a plate carried by learner-drivers on motorcycles, until they pass their test.             Brumby archive 2014

L 1966  ..  This seems to be a supplementary plate carried by learner-drivers of motorcycles, until they pass their test.                                   Brumby archive 2014

Commercial plates are red:

The red plates distinguish vehicles used for hire and reward - a few are coded, including this K-prefixed for Taxi.  K, KA/B/C etc.    Brumby archive 2014

The red plates distinguish vehicles used for hire and reward – a few are coded, including this K-prefixed example for Taxis. K, KA/B/C etc.                         Brumby archive 2014

Hire cars use the 'T' prefix, starting with a single 'T', then A/B etc.   Current issue is TB/ at Feb. 2014.    Brumby archive 2014

Hire cars use the ‘T’ prefix, starting with a single ‘T’, to 9999, then TA/B etc. Current issue is TB/ at Feb. 2014.                                            Brumby archive 2014

Minibuses with multiple seats, and which can take some cargo, use code KK and are little seen in the main town of Muscat.    Brumby archive 2014

Minibuses with multiple seats, and which can take some cargo, use code KK and are little seen in the main town of Muscat.           Brumby archive 2014

YB 9439  ..  standard truck plate on a heavy 6-wheeler.    Brumby archive 2014

YB 9439 .. standard truck plate on a heavy 6-wheeler.    Brumby archive 2014

Parked nearby, we see the current Bahrein plate, in dark blue on white, with striped figures.      Brumby archive 2014

Parked nearby, we see the current Bahrain plate, in dark blue on white, with striped figures, 281422.      (You can double-click on images, to enlarge them.)                                               Brumby archive 2014

TRADE PLATES & TEMPORARY

21930  ..  Turquoise dealer plates are a common sight in Mutrah and Muscat.   The high number of this current, 2014 annual-issue seems odd.    Brumby archive

21930 .. Turquoise dealer plates are a common sight in Mutrah and Muscat. The number of this 2014 current, annual-issue seems rather high.       They are issued, re-dated, each year.              Brumby archive

Trade plates with a month number preceding the year are issued as temporary registrations - or were - as only this one, from 2013, was seen.    Perhaps the series is discontinued?    Vic Brumby archive

February 2013 interim/temporary  ..  Trade plates with a month number preceding the year are issued as temporary registrations – or were – as only this one, 422 from 2013, was seen. Perhaps the series is discontinued?                      Vic Brumby archive

GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS

Goverment ministries have great fleets of vehicles of every type.   From Ministry 31 comes reg.666.     Brumby archive

Government ministries have great fleets of vehicles of every type. From Ministry 31 comes reg.666.                                                Brumby archive

The Ministry Pulic Works registers some motorcycles for transport of gardeners to the far reaches of the towns, to the parks, highway verges and floral roundabouts.    Here an inspector checks on a Tamil labourer near the airport.     Brumby archive

The Ministry of Public Works (54) registers some motorcycles for transport of gardeners to the far reaches of the towns, to the parks, highway verges and floral roundabouts. Here an inspector checks on a Tamil labourer near the airport.                                                                                                 Brumby archive

4-167  ..   closer look at the Oman Ministry motorcycle variant.

54-1678 .. A closer look at the Oman Ministry of Public Works (54) motorcycle variant dimensions.

This Ministry plate could be the chief of department 366.  The script read OMAN.

This Ministry plate could be the Minister/Chief of department  no. 366.      The script reads MUSCAT.         All such are seen on mighty, new cars; the lucky fellows riding in the back  must all be very good at their jobs…….                             Brumby archive

THE ROYAL HOUSE

The Top Banana has a number of specially-plated grand cars, one of which we find parked, open to photography.       Brumby archive

The Very Top Banana has a number of specially-plated Very Grand Cars, one of which we find parked near the palace, un-manned, so open to photography.    Among the World’s most handsome plates??                          Brumby archive

The Sultan has two sorts of mates, to whom he hands slightly different plate designs, which seem to have replaced the former types shown in RPWO.    Brumby archive

VIP 900  ..  The Sultan seems to have two sorts of mates, to whom he hands slightly different VIP plate designs, which seem to have replaced the former types shown in RPWO.                                                                   Brumby archive

another close friend

Another sort of close friend or relative?                               Brumby archive 2014

THE HIRED HANDS

The staff of the palace and grounds are plated separately, too so that when the butler has to dash to the soukh to fetch tomato ketchup, he can park with impunity.      Brumby archive 2014.

The staff of the palace and grounds’ vehicles are plated separately, so that when the butler has to dash to the soukh to fetch more tomato ketchup, he can park with impunity.                                                             Brumby archive 2014.

1028  ..  Royal Household staff.

1028 .. Royal Household staff.

UNKNOWN TYPE

and another variant yet unidentified - and the only one seen.     Brumby archive 2014

8209  ..  another variant yet unidentified – and the only one seen.    Taken by subterfuge, under the gaze of officialdom.                Brumby archive 2014

The Palace Guard has a few light vehicles around the Big House, closely watched by soldiers, albeit cheerful, but zealous in their guardianship.     You have to join up to get a decent picture.    They have a system other than the regular army, using uo to 3 numbers, a shield and a symbol, in cream on a mid-brown field.     Brumby archive 2014

The Palace Guard has a few light vehicles around the Big House, closely watched by soldiers, albeit cheerful, but zealous in their guardianship.    You have to join the army to get a decent picture.        These chaps have a system other than the regular army, using up to 3 numbers, a shield and a symbol, in cream on a mid-brown field.                                         Brumby archive 2014

POLICE  (Handsome plates)

(OM 2001~)(pol)_6815_r_VB2014blog

(OM 2001~)(pol)_4550_cf_VB2014blog

The well-made insignia of the Omani police plates. Brumby archive

The well-made insignia of the Omani police plates.                   Brumby archive

The well-made insignia of the Omani police plates.  Brumby archive

The stencilled insignia of the Omani army plates.               Brumby archive 2014

(OM 2001~)(mil-army)_4999_c_VB2014blog

4999 .. Army Land-Rover.                                                         Brumby archive 2014

The Oman army insignia

The Oman navy insignia………

.....carried on light bus 437.      Brumby archive 2014

…..carried on light bus 437.                                               Brumby archive 2014

THE DIPLOMATS

Dip. plates have optional US or Euro dimensions, the differences seen here:  1 indicates an ambassador.

1/16  ..  Oman Dip. plates have optional US or Euro dimensions, the differences seen here and below: 1 indicates  an unknown embassy, favouring the 12×6-inch (?) yanqui measurements                         .                         Brumby archive 2014

Embassy 16 seems to be ROK Korea, as it was parked outside.

Embassy 16 seems to be ROK Korea, as it was parked outside their tent.                           Brumby archive 2014

Several 8-coded cars were parked outside the Saudi-Arabian embassy.

A United Nations car was seen, bearing identical black/white plates, but with U.N. in place of C.D.       In the ensuing chase, I neither got the picture nor noted the registration……..     But I did back in to a bollard during the turn-round, which lost me a few seconds, and quite a few rials when Europcar received it later for exchange.    Well – all hobbies cost something, don’t they?

ODD BODS

A roving Kuwaiti on Muscat.   The series number 6 is part of the batch 1-49 allocated to private vehicles and are always black on white.     Brumby archive 2014 Oman

A roving Kuwaiti in Muscat.    The series number 6 is part of the batch 1-49 allocated to private vehicles and which are always black on white.                              Brumby archive 2014 Oman

Export plates are normally seen OUTSIDE their country of issue, but this was a lucky find at the main port Al-Qaboos.

Export plates are normally seen OUTSIDE their country of issue, but this was a lucky find at the main port Al-Qaboos.

(OM 2001)(exp2014)_519_r_VB2014blog

HISTORIC OMAN.

From inception (year unknown) Muscat and Oman, as it then, had owner-supplied plates, usually painted, with an arabic serial number over the arabic  'Oman'. ThIs Land Rover travelled out-of-state to be photographed in London during 1964. There were few roads and very few vehicles. It's British re-registration has YU for London and a number between 10 and 99 usually indicated a used-import re-registration.    Brumby archive 1964

From inception in Trucial Oman (year unknown) Muscat and Oman, as  it became, had owner-supplied plates, usually painted, with an arabic serial number over the arabic ‘Oman’.     This  lwb Land Rover travelled out-of-state to be photographed in London during 1964, and had to mount a white  translation plate for that purpose.   The low number 667  illustrates the absence of proper roads and the very few vehicles.     It’s 1960s (C) British re-registration is coded YU for London and a number between 10 and 99 usually indicated a used-import re-registration.                                  Brumby archive 1964

464  ..  A similar M&O plate from the Bernt Larsson archive 1960s

464 .. A similar M&O plate from the        Bernt Larsson archive 1960s

The only sand-cast Omani plate recorded is part of the World Collection of Mister Music, Jim Fox.   Also from the 50s-72 original series.

336  ..  The only sand-cast Omani plate recorded is part of the World Collection of Mister Music, Jim Fox.     This is also from the 1950s-circa 1972 original series.

From the 1970s until 1986, the few vehicles in Oman carried black on yellow plates for private and white on black for commercial usage.    Brumby plate 1973

From the 1970s until 1986, the few vehicles in Oman carried officially- pressed black on yellow plates for private – and white on black for commercial usage.       And not very well painted……….                           Brumby plate 1973

12814  ..  Seen in Britain in the 1970s is an on-car shot of the circa 1970 private series, from the Terry Gray archive

12814 .. Seen in Britain in the late 1970s is an on-car shot of the circa-1972-1986 private series, from the                       Terry Gray archive

(OM 70s-86)(comv)_15537_cu_VBplblog

1970s-86 commercial vehicle, using white on black pressed, thin alloy plates. Brumby plate c1980.

MORE ODDMENTS:

The odd Saudi is seen in Oman, via a magnificent cross-desert motorway to the border.

BLD 3252  ..  The odd Saudi is seen in Oman, via a magnificent cross-desert motorway to the border…………                                Brumby archive 2014

(KSA 2007~)_BLD 3252_VB2014blog

and mixed UAE plates, including exports.    Brumby archive 2014.

……..and mixed UAE plates, including exports.                Brumby archive 2014.

(UAE)(Sh 2014)(exp)_85019_cu_VB2014blog

Finally, Dubai sent over a couple of plates, to improve the set    Brumby archive 2014

Finally, Dubai sent over a couple of plates, to improve the set.    The dating seems to give expiry at March 2nd. – but which year, Cedric??                   Brumby archive 2014

(UAE)(Dub 04~)_N 27443__VB2014blog

N 27443  ..  The current Dubai 2004 series is not very thrilling, in my view, partly due to the dreary font they chose – a bit like the font which Sweden introduced, then withdrew, through lack of interest!         Brumby archive 2014

SO – Oman’s worth a visit…………………..

Now on to Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia)

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Malaysia – next series and jottings

June 25, 2013

June 2013 – Su Ling, our stringer in Kuala Lumpur sends  information today  carried by the government website:   May 2014 – corrections in red.

http://www.jpj.gov.my/transaksi-percuma-no.-pendaftaran-terkini

The Wilaya (Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur) is about to issue the last component of its three-letter, four-number series, with WYY 9999.   It is intended to move to W 1 A 1-9999. W 1 B 1-9999 etc.   It has rushed through its ‘W’ code, which only started in 1974 with WA-WY, then WAA=WYY, and it will have lasted just about 40 years…..    The other Malaysian states commenced their issues on or before 1934, first with their single state code letter and 1 to 9999, then adding a  one-letter A-Y suffix* to 9999, then most of them to double-suffix and to 9999.   * missing such as I, O & Z.

No other Malaysian states or territories are anywhere near exhausting their current 3L4N series – indeed, Perlis has not yet issued its first three-letter plates, being still at RJ 8187 this month!   (06/2013)    Even little Labuan, the Bornean island, has reached LE, having only started LA a few years ago.

Malaysia was one of the first jurisdictions to use plastic for its plates and there are many snapped, splintered ones to be seen.    They can be hard to photograph because of their shiny surface reflecting sunlight or flash.    Anyone can make these plates and the new slim characters have slowly replaced the big, British-style ones common to Malaya until the 1970s.    The blue Trade Plates are still pressed alloy in that earlier style and appear to be officially made and issued.    Many heavy lorries and trailers use pressed-alloy plates, because the plastic  plates are too easily breakable on rough terrain/building sites etc.     The most common font is almost identical to the former South Africa design.

I don’t like ’em!

(MAL1a)_TJ3079_VB_resize

TJ 3079. Could be Transvaal-Johannesburg – but it’s from Trengganu.

TJ 1 Belonged to the Mayor of Johannesburg,  Brumby archive

TJ 1 Belonged to the Mayor of Johannesburg,
Brumby archive

CA 6363. Could be Cape Town - but it's Pahang (seen in Penang)

CA 6363. Could be Cape Town – but it’s Pahang (seen in Penang)

NN 2625.   Could be from Newcastle (City) in Natal, but it's from Negri Sembilan.
NN 2625. Could be from Newcastle (City) in Natal, but it’s from Negri Sembilan.

UK has adopted the plastic plate, sadly, even for diplomatic and consular series, though still trade plates are officially manufactured and allocated  by the state.    Military vehicles can be seen with metal plates.   (Probably now made for us in China! )

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SARAWAK

The information contained in the Malaysian Govt. website noted above, confirms the suspicion noted in the 25th. March Blog that Sarawak has adopted a suffix letter.     We showed this photo:

I may be behind on developments in Kuching, Sarawak, but I am surprised to see this apparent development in their system, in the addition of a suffix serial - and already at letter 'C'!   A is for Kuching, the capital; it is unlikely to to have spread to the other registration centres yet, I imagine....    VB in Kuala Lumpur 25/3/2013

I may be behind on developments in Kuching, Sarawak, but I am surprised to see this apparent development in their system, in the addition of a suffix serial – and already at letter ‘C’!     QA is for Kuching, the capital; this new suffix is unlikely to to have spread to the other Sarawak registration centres yet, I imagine…. VB in Kuala Lumpur 25/3/2013

Confirmed first sighting of Sarawak now using a suffix serial, C.    (Vic Brumby)

Confirmed first sighting of Sarawak  using a suffix serial, C.  and now as far as suffix ‘G’.                      (Vic Brumby)

For good measure,  let us finally note the simple transport employed by the wise leader of this Malaysian state.  It was the central vehicle in a noisy son et lumiére cavalcade of motorcycle outriders, dark-window’ed Range Rovers full of goons and an army Landrover or two, which accompanied him to his noodle  lunch one day at the pub I was staying at, near the Kuching airport.

His grandfather travelled by dugout canoe, collected shrunken heads and gave Shell a licence to explore for black gold!

A basic conveyance for the village headman in Kuching.

A basic conveyance for the village headman in Kuching.


Ras al Khaima

April 7, 2013

The BP Mocamp outside Istanbul was a luxury caravanserai for the distance traveller in the 1960s.   Operated by the BP oil company, it was a new idea they had to provide US-style motor-camping facilities allied to service stations, the camping, I recall, being  provided at very modest cost.

The principal benefit to the writer, apart from clean showers, well-kept lawns and a good restaurant (in 1960s Turkey, that meant something), was the plate scene, as motors came and went from east to west.   When I first glimpsed this Mercedes, I was baffled; even when the driver explained, I was uncertain of the existence of this sheikhdom – but it remains one of my favoured shots today, and still unlike any other I have seen from R.A.K..   The European driver was returning to Europe after a tour of duty in the emirate and the acquisition of the Mercedes from the ‘royal’ fleet.

I was economic with film in early times and only one or two shots were ever wasted on one subject, unfortunately.    Then of course, we waited weeks to finish the film in  the camera, another two weeks while it went away to be processed in to prints or slides – and only then – too late – did one know whether the shot had succeeded!    Happy days now, with digital photography and immediate gratification…..

RAK 20 seen in Turkey in 1968.   Red/white indicates a 'royal household' issue.   Brumby archive

RAK 20 seen in Turkey in 1968.      Red/white indicated a ‘royal household’ issue.        Brumby archive

Cedric Sabine’s archive brings the genre forward 50 years, with a current RAK royal plate 120, carried on a Cadillac.

A 1994 visit found so-called royal household cars all over the place and as they are picturesque, they probably justify another airing.  Prince no. 35 stopping for a Coke and a diamond head-dress.

A 1994 visit found so-called royal household cars all over the place and as they are picturesque, they probably justify another airing. Prince no. 35 stopping here for a Coke and a diamond head-dress.

 

end.


Muscat and Oman, 1960s.

April 4, 2013

MUSCAT & OMAN

The earliest pictures of plated cars in Oman are from the 1960s, when there were hardly any vehicles or roads in the sultanate.   Perhaps this is why the few pictures collected are on cross-country vehicles, particularly Land Rover.

Our former President  Bernt Larsson has fielded this magnificent shot from his library.   It’s almost like a publicity picture for the Land Rover catalogue!

Muscat 464 photographed in Oman in the early 1960s and kept safe in Bernt's album for 50 years until April 2013, when he gave this exhibition!   Bernt Larsson archive.

Muscat 464 photographed in Oman in the early 1960s and kept safe in Bernt’s album for 50 years until April 2013, when he gave us this exhibition!            Bernt Larsson archive.

Prodded by Bernt’s senior-team display, the percussive Mr. James Fox, of those United States, hurried to counter him with this very unusual DIE-CAST Omani plate of the period (they being simply painted tin sheet as a rule).   This plate is reminiscent of the Kuwait plates of the period, which were almost all heavy, cast  metal, like this (and also silver on red)

diecast alloy MUSCAT 337, a classic plate from the Jim Fox cornucopia.

Diecast-alloy 337 MUSCAT, a classic plate from the Jim Fox cornucopia.

EU38 also has an exemplar of the period, which had the additional curiosity of an out-of-state plate to translate the arabic-only Muscat/Oman registration.

Muscat 667 was captured in Fulham, London, in Spring, 1965, having been imported to Britain, and given a dedicated* used-import re-registration, DYU 24 C. Brumby archive

Muscat 667 was captured in Fulham, London, in Spring, 1965, having been imported used to Britain, and it was given a dedicated* used-import re-registration, DYU 24 C.                                   Brumby archive 1965

 

DYU 24 C – Readers may be surprised by the evidence of sunshine in this photograph  and wonder if the image may have been put through Photoshop.     I can attest that this WAS taken in England – though, of course, long before global warming was an issue!

On the taxi-rank in Kabul, in September 1968, the very same Land Rover was to be seen waiting for customers!    Some coincidence…..    The owner must have been just  ahead of me on the overland  route from Britain……     The British plates, DYU 24 C, which had been painted on originally, were still in evidence in Afghanistan.

*Most London registrations between 10 and 99 were kept for registering used imports of all types, probably from the 1940s to the late 1960s.

Kabul Taxi 6469 which had driven from Oman via London to Kabul to become Kabul's toughest taxi.    Brumby archive.

Kabul Taxi 6469 which had driven from Oman via London to Kabul to become Kabul’s toughest taxi.    I think the driver may now be the current President and the tree has fallen without his support..           Brumby archive.

Brumby archive

The same Land Rover model I was attempting to drive to Australia, left England in 1965 with its front wings emblazoned with a few of my more colourful plates, including a green Cameroun diplomatic,a red Kuwaiti cast-alloy and a blue Hungarian DT diplomatic.   As we were lifted off the ferry at The Hook of Holland, Netherlands Customs soon put a stop to that, though I was allowed to keep the AUS oval. Here it is in 1965 Kandahar with the very kindly mayor and his official car, an International Scout 4wd, ‘Official’ plate no. 1.         Brumby archive

The above series was replaced by simple pressed plates on to soft alloy sheet, in white on black, about 1973.   Later the colours changed to black on yellow.
The above red series was replaced by simple pressed plates on to soft alloy sheet, in white on black, about 1973. Years later the colours changed to black on yellow.      VB plate

810 - the yellow variant.

810 – the yellow variant.      Brumby plate

The yellow plate begs the question:  why the low number, if yellow came after black?   Cedric, please??

Cedric Sabine has responded with the info that the black plates were for commerical vehicles, the yellow for private use.

 

Another private vehicle issue from the 1970s, caprured by EU9, Terry Gray.

Another private vehicle issue from the 1970s, captured by EU9, Terry Gray.

 

 

A final shot we cannot leave out of an Oman Posting:

Thought to be a royal household plate of some sort, the shot was taken by non-member André Mas in a 2010 visit to the country.

Thought to be a royal household plate of some sort, the shot was taken by non-member André Mas in a 2010 visit to the country.

That’s all from Oman for now…….

 


Middle East when it was OK

February 3, 2013

John Pemberton found a few sandhoppers in London in the 1940s, one of the most interesting of which was this 1948 Morris Oxford registered in Israel, a country which had only just started registering its own vehicles after the British Mandated presence there came to an end in 1948.

1948-55 series of first Independent Israel plates used a number followed by a regional code, in this case, that for Haifa.    Taken in a London Park, in 1949-50.

944 H  —  The 1948-55 first-series of newly-Independent Israel plates used black-on-white numbers followed by a regional code letter, in this case, that for Haifa. Taken in London’s Hyde Park, in 1949-50, on a new Wolseley 4/50 or 6/80 (thanks, Mike Parry – we had it as a Morris Oxford MO).    Both Wolseley models (4-cylinder and 6-cylinder) were built from 1948-56..                               Pemberton archive

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oil exploration was well under way in the 1940s and it was probably that business which took these cars  to the Middle East and then home again, when the owners’ tours of duty were ended.     First, below, a 1948  Hillman Minx Mark 3 with clearly painted plates:

IRAQ – Kirkuk

Iradi Hillman from Kirkuk oilfields area.  Pemberton archive.

KK 1420.  Iraqi Hillman MInx from Kirkuk oilfields area.   Seen in Britain early 50s.     Pemberton archive.

IRAQ – Baghdad

Maybe a Bentley, BD 7084, at Brighton Marine Drive during 1940.   Pemberton archive

Maybe a Bentley, BD 7084, at Brighton Marine Drive during the 1940s.   Iraqi plates of this period could be either black or red, and b/w photos don’t help us to decide which!                          Pemberton archive c.1940

Iraqi vehicles travelling outside the country should have carried translation plates or be made to carry ‘Q’ temporary import plates when they visited Europe and Britain.   The above cars slipped in ‘under the radar’, it  seems, but the car which carried  KK 2460 was correctly prepared for its trip, via its translation/out-of-state  plate.   The vehicle ended in a scrapyard in Amersham in 1973, where this plate was salvaged by EU38!  (Below)

Kirkuk 2460, probably a plate of the late 1950s, with translation for use outside Iraq.   Brumby archive)

Kirkuk 2460, probably a plate of the late 1950s, with its translation for use outside Iraq.    Brumby archive

BAHRAIN

Below:   Re-imported to London in December 1950 from Bahrain,  this 1947 Vanguard LXK 90 was allocated a registration from the London batches of 10 to 99, which were retained for the re-registration of used imports. Unusually, this owner chose not to dismount his original Bahrein 495 numberplate – strictly not legal, but its suits us!

(The London batches from 1-9 were then generally held for diplomats and privileged citizens.)

Standard Vanguard Phase 1 built 1947-53.  This one has served in Bahrain and returned to Britain to use LXV 90 plates.

495  —  Standard Vanguard Phase 1, model built 1947-53.     This one had served in Bahrain and returned to Britain in 1950 to carry LXK 90 plates.     Pemberton archive.

Below;   About 13 years later, a Bahrain Mini was parked for a photo-opportunity.

Bahraini Austin Seven 'Mini' 11002 in Notting Hill, London in 1962. Brumby archive

Bahraini Austin Seven ‘Mini’ 11002 in Notting Hill, London in 1962.    The arabic script for ‘Bahrain’ was not usually shown in this period and it is odd that many such cars were permitted to run in Britain with these arabic-only plates, when really, they should have been given ‘Q’ temporary import plates at the UK port of entry…….          Brumby archive

Some Bahrein royal household plates were occasionally seen in London in those times, sometimes with modest cars……

A  c.1960 Austin A55 Cambridge with the serrated red and white plates of the Bahrain 'royal household'  members. Early 1960s - reg. 12405. Brumby archive.

A circa 1960 Austin A55 Cambridge 12405, with the serrated red and white plates of the Bahrain ‘royal household’  members.            Brumby archive.

….and sometimes with the grandes voitures which would become the hallmark of Gulf visitors in later years……

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facel_Vega_Facel_II

A French Facel-Vega supercar in London during the 1960s, bearing 'royal house' red/silver die-cast plates, with a minor error of spelling!Vic Brumby archive

644  —  A French Facel-Vega ‘Facel 2’  supercar in London during the 1960s, bearing ‘royal house’ red/silver die-cast plates – with a minor error of spelling!    Only 180 of this car were made, in their 2 years of production 1962-4
Vic Brumby archive


Qatar – Camels to Maclarens

July 6, 2012

Ivan (Nip) Thornley on RPW Patrol – year 51 of service to the hobby.    Still he rejects the computer, and so what may be the biggest collection of  paper photos in the Club, cannot be easily sent round to members, except by hard copy in the post!   The writer is slowly scanning his archive, but it is a lifetime’s project!          Brumby archive

Whilst spotting in London on Saturday 30th.,  June, 2012, June being the premier month for visits by citizens of the Gulf countries who are not scrapping among themselves, VB noted this eminent autonumerologist at work with his trusty (film) camera, capturing an Illinois 2012  Harley-Davidson, seemingly abandoned.                 Gathering this worthy gent up into my car, N 692 LUF, I was guided by that ace-spotter, Nip,  to one of the Gulf-patronised hotels in the area, where two Arabian families were displaying their little treasures in the most prominent parking spots of the hotel forecourt.

The Qatari Maclaren plate 177  below carries the serrated red edge of the royal household members.   Tom Redington adds some amazing detail about this car in his response below!

QATAR 177 – The F1 Maclaren centre-steer road racer.   Brumby archive

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Parked in front of the Maclaren are two identical Saudi Maybachs which  are registered 111 and 999, and probably bring the total value of the cars this group bring on holiday with them in their private 747s, to about  US$1.5million.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Such wealthy visitors as these, incidentally, do not carry conventional motor insurance, by special agreement with the appropriate government legal departments.     If they damage a local vehicle, they either hand out cash for repairs or replacement on the spot, or send someone round to pay up the next day, according to reports in the national papers.

London Transport, with their thousands of buses,  has the same facility, depositing a bank bond to cover any charges which might arise from a successful claim against them.    Presumably, so have the military fleets of some countries……..

I calculate that one could comfortably accommodate six wives in each Maybach, a situation with which I have considerable sympathy for the much-wed Muslim.

Perhaps the benefit could be that he can have no need to buy a dashboard sat-nav, as such prolific advice would be forthcoming in abundance from behind – if my experience is anything to go by.