Some curiosities

August 3, 2017

Is this one of the best postings for a diplomat?     This Land Rover Discovery is seen outside the British High Commission in Nuku’alofa, which is a two storey(!) beach house right next door to the mini Royal Palace on peaceful Tongatapu island.

(Tonga cd 90s~-GB)_UK 2_comp_2005VB

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The principal assistant to the Tongan economy is generous New Zealand, whose High Commissioner uses the CD type NZ 1.

(TO)(cd 90s~-NZ)_NZ 1_comp_2005VB

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 The Palace roof is of corrugated iron and the household operates a few vehicles with special-issue plates; here is a 1950s King plate (1)  from Jim Gordons’s photo collection.

(TO 50s)(king)_1_pl_JG

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PM 16  —  Parliament people carry privileged PM plates, more recently in white and yellow, front and back.

(TO 2000c~)(off-PM)_PM 16_comp_2005VB

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And also from the early times, G 271 illustrates the tractor issue, used during the 1960s-80s:

(TO 60s-80s)(trac)_G271_comp_2005VB

C 16 DKH   —  This pic has been sent in from Singapore recently – any ideas?

(SGP)_C 16 DKH_-VAN BRUSSEL-2-5-2017-IMG-PLAAT

 

Alastair Caldwell shot these plates for tourist-sale on one of many stalls in Buenos Aires.          The re-painting has  created some variations on the original black-on-white format!

(RA 68-10)(cd)2-Caldwell_2013VB

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CHINESE MILITARY MISSION to BERLIN

Roy Klotz made this note below in Europlate some years ago and Ray King saved it in his scrapbook, which is now part of our RPWO on-line archive. What a rare find – the only plate of its type in the world.

Or was it?

(D)(Formosa Military Mission Berlin 45-45)_article.Ray King,Roy Klotz

 

KB 042 846  —  The Stoel albums unveil another version of that Chinese mission, carried on a Mercedes 170(?) which also bears the 1947-48 Berlin plate type issued by the Allied administration of the city in the aftermath of the war – Kommandatura Berlin (Berlin Command).

(The subject of Chinese/Formosan/Taiwanese participation in the restoration of  1940s Germany must be worthy of some research…..)

(D national 47-48).Berlin Command_KB 042-846+China Mil Miss.M-B.vb4443KS

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BR 510-075  —  This Mercedes’ plate ticks several boxes.    It’s the Berlin 1948-56 series with BR meaning British Zone-North Rhein-Westfalia and the leading zero of the second number-set 075 shows that it is a dealer plate – as would the red-on-white colouring, if Mr. Stoel had had colour film.   Then, to make the matter even more interesting, it seems to have been an embassy car!      Diplomatic Dealer – quite unusual, we suggest….

(D GBz 48-56).Nordrhein-Westfalen(dlr)_br 510-075_(r.w)(CD oval)_M-B.vb4443KS

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In the 1930s, King Edward the Eighth of Great Britain visited Vienna and was driven about in A 182 (CD) which was probably the GB embassy Rolls-Royce.

Diplomats used low Vienna serials.

‘A’ coded Vienna until 1947, when ‘W’ became the capital’s identifier (Wien).

(A-H 30-38).A-Vienna(cd)_A 182_(w.b)_King_vb28KS___________________

Below: A page from the Stoel albums, prior to breaking-up in to individual images.

0291 P is thought to be an artist’s impression, not a Russian plate type.     The vintage car stuck in the mud somewhere is sporting an Asian script and is quite unidentifiable so far.

The motorcycle combination registered ‘Zh 12 11 is thought to be a 1931-34 *military issue in red on white.      30.09.2017 – We now learn  from reader Rein that it is a black on white normal plate from the 1931-34 USSR series, though so far, which area (Zh)  is not clear.    *Rein adds that pre-WW2, Russian military vehicles were unregistered.

 

(Rus-SU 20s).. vb01KS-DONE

 

And finally 24  – a Russian query.    Do we know of light-on-dark Russian plates in Tsarist 1915??

Right-hand-drive – and is it a FIAT?

19Sept2017 – Well – 24 is obviously a pre-revolution (1917) registration and there wasn’t a national system yet in Russia – each town used whatever they liked.   Member Rein has info that this is a rally car in Moscow from Chisinau after that long drive, so now we don’t know if it is a Russian or a Bessarabian plate!!  

See his notes below:

The last plate “24” is pictured in May 1913, not 1915 as printed. The car is a Benz and it arrived to Moscow from Chisinau, Bessarabskaya guberniya (Moldova). The owner of the car was Mr Suruchan, winner of the 1913 Star Race, organized by Russian First Automobile Club. Competitors started from different cities to drive to Moscow. There were no general Russian plates at that time; every city and province had its own colours and designs. Colours were usually changed every year, to denote payment of annual vehicle tax.

q(Rus-SU 15-q)_24_(w.b)_1915photo.anonVB

finis

 

 

 

 

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Honduran check-out

April 14, 2017

Friends having been persuaded to invest in the Honduran island of Roatan, south of Cuba, invited the Brumbys to visit in March 2017.    Having little knowledge of the Central American region, save for Costa Rica and Puerto Rico, if that counts, we took them up and flew United Airlines London-Houston where one must overnight at the massive airport before taking another 2-hour island flight next morning.    On arrival, the airport carpark gave up a prize immediately, with 3 of the International Mission (also titled elsewhere Aid/Non-Government Org.) MI plates.    Brown rim and lettering rather than the red suggested in the guides.    They must be batch-coded, as there would not be 4463 such vehicles, even in Honduras!   MI 4463

(HON 99~)(aid)_MI 4463_cu_(b.br.w)_2017VB

INTERRUPTION:

Though I have always favoured pictures of plates mounted naturally on their vehicles, I find that photographing plates in countries which use small detail in their plates is seldom successful when reviewing them later.      Nowadays, aided by the free-use digital cameras and phones, we can take both distance AND close-up shots.

I used to be able to then create a ‘comp’ – a composite picture for display, using Photoshop – but I have forgotten how to do it!

This is an comp. example, from a 1996 visit to an Egyptian fire station

(ET 96)(mun)(fire)_LU 4&5_comp_1996VB

 

Therefore, the Honduran photos shown here tend to be portraits, so that the reader can see the detail.

 

HONDURAS CONTINUED:

Another plate type first seen at the airport, was this National Government plate using an ‘N’ prefix.  N 11905(HON 99~)(gv)_N_11905_cur_(b.bl.w)_KIA ute1.2017VB

These National plates use the colours of the current private vehicles issue and are used by the regular police and other state offices.   N 11905 is an undercover  police ‘ute’ (or pick-up truck), photographed from the safety of our hire-car, as they had more guns than we..

(HON 99~)(gv)_N_11905_r_(b.bl.w)_KIA ute3.2017VB

The alpha system uses two forms of the letter ‘N’ and perhaps Honduras could be the only country to use Ñ….

PDÑ 9676 has the Private vehicle prefix P and the Dx serial was current during our visit, changing to PEA just as we left, pursued by swarms of sandflies and mosquitos, two of the islands’ most successful breeding fauna, alongside the poor but jolly villagers.

(HON 99~)_P DN 9676_(bl.w)_.Roatan2017VB

 

Duty-Free Imports

There are two colours of PP plates, which were thought to be for rental cars – but they use normal plates.     I was told by a Thpanish-thpeaking local that the PP abbreviates ‘Placa Pimiente’ or Temporary Plate, and later,  by an American whose car carried a set of them, that, to encourage retirement settlers from US and Canada to Honduras, their household equipment and cars may  be brought in free of import duties, providing they are not sold within five years.

Costa Rica has a similar privilege plate for retirees.

Our esteemed Editor, Señor Barragan, who knows a good bit of Thpanish tells me there is no  such word as Pimiente – so it seems that my first source spoke with forked tongue.

Anyway, most PPs are all-red but a few light pick-ups (utes) had black lettering.     Why?

A new discovery was a trailer system, with a leading ‘R’ as usua;, for Remorque or similar, and a serial letter.     They are uncommon, yet they have reached C as a serial.   Trailer R C 1429,  adjuring all to ‘Protect our Forests’.   The English word ‘bosky’ is a relative of this Latinate word Bosques….

(HON 99~)(tlr)_R C 1429_(bl.w)_trailer.Roatan2017VB

and trailer R A 8536

(HON 99~)(tlr)_R A 8536_cu_(bl.w)_trailer.Roatan2017VB

Motorcycles are  as expected, prefixed M …

(HON 99~)(mc)_M AB 7049_(b.bl.w)_mc.2017VB

 

The Fire Brigade seems to have freedom of choice about what it displays!

(HON gv)(fire)_HRB-00146_f_(r.y)_Nissan ute.Roatan2017VB

(HON gv)(fire)_HRB-2409_(y.r)_mc.Roatan2017VB

(HON gv)(fire)_HRB-2401_c_(y.r)_Roatan2017VB

Ambulances enjoy a similar freedom.   Same plate front and back.

(HON)(amb)_(r.w)_AMBULANCIA_c_.2017VB

 

A lengthy chase following a high-speed turn-round  enabled the photo-capture of an unknown military plate type, Repubblica Honduras Fuerzas Navales, as I judge it to mean, and we may rely on the Placamundi contingent to bring accuracy where there is only inspired guesswork.

 

(HON gv)(mil-navy)_RHFN 5718_cu_(bl.w)_Roatan2017VB

 

Several small cars carried the plate below and were hired to tourists.   It’s not exactly a plate, is it?

(HON)(rtl)_JAAR_(bl.w)_cu_KIA.Roatan2017VB

 

 

A special police group travel with blue plates, unlike any others and are tricky to photograph, for reasons you will understand.    This is as close as my survival instinct permitted me to get to white on blue, stencilled UD 11-001….

P1070508

….from which my editing software gleans this:

(HON)(pol)_UD 11-001_ute.Roatan2017VB

 

 

The only non-Honduran plates on the island were from Guatemala.   It seems that there is paid work for GCA workers if they come to the island.     The authorities are still issuing 2004-dated plates!

(GCA 2004)_P 947PWS_Roatan2017VB

This GCA ute was dumped.   Its  P947 DWS plates were secured by self-tapping screws and are no longer attached.     A brand-new ute (still 2004)  P767 GJJ is seen below.

(GCA 2004)_P 767GJJ_cr_Roatan2017VB

A couple of odd US plates varied the diet:

(USA-Tex 2016)_transit_Roatan2017VB

(USA-Tex)(disabled)_68KBJ_(bl.w)_Chrysler SUV.Roatan2017VB

I suspect the driver of the Texas vehicle was laid low by the sandflies, the heat and the ghastly food of the island and was issued a handicapped plate by his hospital back home. Odd thing is, he went back to Honduras for more……       We won’t.

Victor Brumby, April 2017

QUIZ

For three weeks I have been dismantling the pages of Karel Stoel’s German albums and the period 1895-1945 is at last complete.      A plate I cannot identify presents your chance to show us your skill as a xeno-autonumerologist:     D 7090

(D 40s).q_D-7079_(l.d)_mil car.vbKS

 

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More early German shots will appear in the next posts plus some of the Protectorates seized from the surrounding countries when Adolf got the bit between his teeth.

Here are two cars of senior government personnel, parked outside a great meeting hall in Vienna some time during 39-45.    Early vanity plates!   Nd 1 and W 101 are from Lower Austria and Vienna Protectorate…      Vienna/Wien used white plates during the occupation.

Less exotic IIB 57022 is from Upper Bavaria (Oberbayern).    How about identifying the three cars?

(D 39-45).Prot.Niederdonau-Lower Danube(A)_Nd-1 + W-101_vbKS

Now get back to work.

 

 

 


German ovals.

March 29, 2017

 

(D)(exp 51-88)_818 Z-9349_cu_1960sVB

Before the ubiquitous Export Z-plates of the post-war years were seen all over Europe, as Germany stepped up her motor manufacturing with vehicles the whole world wanted to buy, another, simpler form of the unique oval licence plate had been born.

(D 07-50)(temp)_01515+Illinois1931_vbKS(D 07-50)(temp).Prussia_31205_UScar.vbKS(D 07-50)(temp).Bremerhaven_219_r_UScar.vbKS(D 07-50)(temp)_01962_Henschel lorry..vbKS(D 07-50)(temp).Hamburg_5579_ (CD sign-S)_Ford Eiffel.vbKS

Reader Hassan translates: “Second to last car from Berlin… Captain Sigvard Drake of the P-4 (armoured) regiment, Skövde, narrates an exciting trip home from Berlin in his Ford Eifel Cabriolet in the letter below. (letter absent -Ed)  The picture is taken outside of Hedberg’s (Ford Dealership) in Malmö”     Thank you Hassan.

 

Who would like to write a covering piece about this historic temporary series?

 

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Bali Query

March 29, 2017

29-3-17

Jake Brumby was alert one morning last week, when this very odd Indonesian Consular Corps passed him in  traffic.    iPhone at the ready, he grabbed this shot.

Expiry being apparently in the 68th. month of 2001 leads you to the suspicion that this false-plate maker doesn’t know a lot about his subject!   Or is it something NEW?(RI)(cc)_CC_ DK 68-01_BMW.Ubud2017JB

 

Usually, Indonesian Consulars are thus:

where 12 is the US embassy and 22 indicates that the driver is 22nd. in line for the Big Job if it ever becomes free.   His plate ran out of tax  in July 2012.

(RI)(cc 92~-USA)_CC 12 22_cu_VB

But regional Consulars are  coded for their locality which in this case is the DK  code for Denpasar, the BALI capital.   42 tells us that there is a Mexican consulate there, and 01 would be the Consul himself.     Not a bad posting!

(RI 92~).Bali(cc-MEX)_DK 42 01 CC_2008VB

Maybe they run out of consular volunteers sometimes and pull in a few Honorary Consuls, because Indonesia makes a special plate for them……

(RI)(cc honcon 77~)_L 980 CC_cu_ITvb

and before the thin tin plate design commenced years ago, the original Netherlands Indies designs were in use, and show the family history.

(RI)(cc honcon 62-77).Jakarta_B.7178 K CC_comp_mb1970sVB

Note also how cameras have improved since the 1960s!

The country sports some of the most baroque military and police plates in the world, and because it’s a laid-back place, the cops don’t mind you photographing them.    Try this in Moscow!

(RI).Bali(pol)(mc)_XI 14-115_cr _2008VB

Roman numerals, indeed!

 

And what did Mr. Karel Stoel have to say about the Spice Islands?    Plenty – including BA-439

Sumatra West – on another of those Auburns which Jean-Emmanuel found in Guadeloupe!

(RI 20-62)(IN).Sumatra west_BA-439_plKS

(Guad 20s-52)_3162 1930s Auburn.jec.jpg

Next – notes from a banana republic….

 


| platesite on WordPress.com

March 4, 2016

Seen some years ago on a highway in Austria. Towed by a truck with the same Polish plate in regular white. So far i could recherche, in Poland there are no yellow repeater plates for trailers, so i…

Source: | platesite on WordPress.com


unknown (perhaps diplomatic) plate or fake

March 4, 2016

I´ve got this picture from garyschmidt5@myself.com.

He saw this plate in Riga/Lithuania and wants to know what it could be.
I´m not able to identify it. (Is it possible, that Netherland´s diplos have the ´CD´ not only at the beginning ?)

licence plate


Fake on ebay.de ?

February 15, 2016

I just saw this plate in an ebay auction in Germany. This plate was mentioned as a fake in the Richter article about military missions (see here: http://europlate.org.uk/archives/Germany-Missions.pdf ). A photo of this plate is on page 25 of this article. You will see that the holes are at the same places, but the plate on ebay looks now much more used.USAREUR