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Old 6th July 2009, 12:23   #106
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And now for JK9898 that failed to upload!
Cheers
Cedric
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Old 6th July 2009, 17:29   #107
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Hi Cedric & Harit,

Thanks a lot for all your inputs .I am posting a picture of the Number plate as it was when the car came to me a year back.I am sorry its hardly readable but thats how it was when it came.I will shortly be posting a picture of the car after it has been through a an overhaul.

Cheers!!
Promod
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Old 6th July 2009, 20:14   #108
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Here Are some of the cars my family has owned but sold eons ago

Ambassador OHV- WGX 6161
Dodge Kingsway (police model) - BML 5422
Mercedes 200 (compact)-MRD 1892 (Burnt in the Mumbai riots)
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Old 7th July 2009, 00:14   #109
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bhasin54,
Many thanks for the picture. It certainly shows BGM 10 clearly enough. I would say that painted plates are far more common in the 1930s than pressed ones. I usually only see pressed plates on the most expensive cars or ones with royal connections. Not that it proves anything but interesting. It looks like there might be another number painted under the BGM 10? Any thoughts on that?

Do you have any history on the car? Like how long it had been unregistered or any previous owner location history?

I certainly hope we can sort this out for you (and us).
Cheers
Cedric
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Old 7th July 2009, 14:29   #110
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Hi cedric,

I am posting a picture with which i am not too happy.So far no history is known but the car came from east India.I will post some more better pics shortly.Anyway thanks once again for your inputs.

Promod
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Old 7th July 2009, 18:27   #111
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MYC is chikmaglur MYD is for the commercial vehicle MYG is mangalore
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Old 9th July 2009, 23:33   #112
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Harit (and indeed anyone else who may be able to help with this problem).

There is no doubt that BGM was a 1902 series Belgaum number in the Bombay Presidency. There is also no doubt that during the 20s and 30s Indian registrations were sometimes duplicated in different areas at opposite ends of the country. Not that many but they do exist.

Promod's comment that his 1933 BGM 10 came from east India, the existance of BGM 134 with Midnapore on the plate, the existance of BGU 577 photographed in West Bengal in 1947 and, not least, your concerns/objections, lead me to ask a historical-political-geographical type question.

The only 1902-1939 West Bengal registrations that I have listed are all WB and a serial letter indicating the area. Indeed Midnapur is listed as WBM - interesting!

So to the question.... Is it possible that at any time during the late 20s and early thirties (or maybe even before) that West & East Bengal could have been officially called simply Bengal with the code BG (and a serial letter indicating the area) and then at some time later - I would like to think maybe 1935???? - changed to East & West Bengal and BG became EB & WB?

I tried Google and Wikipedia and didn't really get a clear picture of what they called anything in those days in Bengal. Are there any Bengal historians out there or can anyone dig up any information on this?


The only concern I have with early Bengal plates is that this photo was taken in 1939 of a car from Bengal. Now I don't know my cars but it looks a lot later than the series should be as we have B recorded as Bengal 1902-? and before WB and EB started (or maybe before BG started). Can anyone work out what sort of vintage the car is?

Cheers
Cedric
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Old 10th July 2009, 00:32   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabinesnubbing View Post
The only concern I have with early Bengal plates is that this photo was taken in 1939 of a car from Bengal. Now I don't know my cars but it looks a lot later than the series should be as we have B recorded as Bengal 1902-? and before WB and EB started (or maybe before BG started). Can anyone work out what sort of vintage the car is?
'seems to be an early (30s) Fiat 500 Topolino.
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Old 10th July 2009, 00:55   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabinesnubbing View Post
Harit (and indeed anyone else who may be able to help with this problem).

There is no doubt that BGM was a 1902 series Belgaum number in the Bombay Presidency. There is also no doubt that during the 20s and 30s Indian registrations were sometimes duplicated in different areas at opposite ends of the country. Not that many but they do exist.

Promod's comment that his 1933 BGM 10 came from east India, the existance of BGM 134 with Midnapore on the plate, the existance of BGU 577 photographed in West Bengal in 1947 and, not least, your concerns/objections, lead me to ask a historical-political-geographical type question.

The only 1902-1939 West Bengal registrations that I have listed are all WB and a serial letter indicating the area. Indeed Midnapur is listed as WBM - interesting!

So to the question.... Is it possible that at any time during the late 20s and early thirties (or maybe even before) that West & East Bengal could have been officially called simply Bengal with the code BG (and a serial letter indicating the area) and then at some time later - I would like to think maybe 1935???? - changed to East & West Bengal and BG became EB & WB?

I tried Google and Wikipedia and didn't really get a clear picture of what they called anything in those days in Bengal. Are there any Bengal historians out there or can anyone dig up any information on this?


The only concern I have with early Bengal plates is that this photo was taken in 1939 of a car from Bengal. Now I don't know my cars but it looks a lot later than the series should be as we have B recorded as Bengal 1902-? and before WB and EB started (or maybe before BG started). Can anyone work out what sort of vintage the car is?

Cheers
Cedric
Hi Cedric, responding to your post.

I really have serious doubts about BGM being 1902 Belgaum.
I feel that three alphabet registration numbers came much later. First there were no numbers, then there were only numbers, followed by single, two and then three alphabets. Bombay had BOM 1234 in around 1920, then followed single alphabets like X, W etc. which were re-registered in around 1939.
I am not sure if there were duplicate registrations at the same time, there are pictures of a SS 100 - Jaguar racing in Bengal around 1940-1950, it had a BLB registration which was introduced in Bombay only around 1990. But they were not concurrent. There is also an Auburn in Kolkatta which has a similar plate even today.
And that brings us back to Bengal registrations. Before 1947, there was just one Bengal, so probably no WB registrations before that. They had BLB and similar. In fact WBA series have vintage cars of different ages, WBA 1 is a RR P III, must be around 1936?, WBA is a Fiat of around 1926. So they must have re-registered after the partition in 1947. At that time there were also a lot of riots, perhaps govt. offices and records were burnt.

The single letter B on a Fiat Topolino of about 1936 could be Bengal, but need not be. Bombay has X1234, there is and was no Xanadu here. There was a tendency to give alphabets relevant to the region, but Bombay with X, W and others were not relevant.
My educated guess is that WBM Midnapore is a post 1947 registration. Before partition Bengal must have been one state and registrations started with B. That is quite certain. Unfortunately there are not many pictures of cars with pre 1947 registration. Karl, can you check in the nostalgic thread and pull out some pics? I think that Julian had put up some.

To deepen the mystery, I had purchased many years ago pictures which were taken in a Garage with lovely cars including an SS90, Studebaker, Standard etc. About 6 years later I showed these photos to a person in connection with some other matter and he wondered how I had got them because these were taken in their branch in Calcutta. And, the registrations were only numbers, 5 digits! Now figure that out.

Cheers harit

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Old 10th July 2009, 10:08   #115
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Following are my observations from pictures and anecdotes posted earlier elsewhere on the forum. Just observations, subject to correction.

Circa WW2 Calcutta plates sported BLx series. Calcutta is today in West Bengal, somewhere along the way it was partitioned to form West Bengal. (Prabal, can you fill in the gaps?)

After partition the BL series (probably Bengal) changed to WB (West Bengal). There is a period picture of BLA 7266 (I think), it is an early AC 4 door convertible. The car still exists, and carries plate WBA 7266. There is a Wanderer of Netaji Bose with a BLA/B regn, plus more period pictures by Julian of cars in Calcutta.

So we can safely assume BL series were in place in Bengal circa WW2 (there are a series of pictures taken by American GIs on the nostalgic thread), and post West Bengal formation they replaced BL with WB. Hopefully the host of other Calcutta stalwarts who are missing in action of late can add to this. Mr. Ghosh, Mr. Chaudhry, Mr. Kanoria, Mr. Sircar?

Incidentally in the 80s Bombay city issued a BL series too, but of course way after the Bengal series was de-registered.

I'm still clueless about what was present before BLx in Bengal, but your theory on BGM - Midnapore seems plausible.
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Old 10th July 2009, 17:07   #116
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Gents,
Bengal is proving to be a difficult one!

I will lay out the series I know of.......
The first registrations started in some places in 1902 we now believe and most were plain numbers starting at 1 and ending up in the 1910s & 20s at 5 digits.
We know of Bombay, Calcutta and Hyderabad. There may indeed have been others, I just don't know.
We think Madras started with M1 rather than plain numbers but I am not sure.
I refer to registrations by their series I am afraid so if I speak of the 1902 series that means the registration was sometime between 1902 and 1939 when a much better organized national system was introduced.
In the 1902 series there were 100% definitely three letter registrations in some of the presidencies and agencies. I will attach the screen dumps (the forum didn't like my cut and paste from Word last time) of Bombay and Central Provinces although others used 3 letter combinations at some point pre39. I am not saying they started in 1902 but my best guess would be that by 1920 they were in common use.
I got the man in the UK who keeps the old paper archives we have to scan some more stuff for me this morning and he found an old document that says "Bengal white on black - no prefix letters, up to five figures. Then letter prefix B when 5 figures exhausted. 1939 BL (meaning BLA-Z) prefix letters started and commercial vehicles and buses changed to black on white".

Now, my existing list has had BL as Calcutta 1939 series but has had all those WBA-Z codes in the 1902 list. This is clearly wrong and I will remove them. However there are some other letters that we know of for Bengal pre39.
I have a photo of a Calcutta bus that was taken in the 1930s (and is pre39 for sure) MB115. There are reports of Calcutta vehicles with T as a prefix letter but I am not totally happy about them as T was a fully used Bombay registration and by the 30s, vehicles were moving about India I am sure.
I am starting to think that in the 1902 series, there was no letter, then B and that may or may not have been exhausted by 1939 but my feelings are that it must have been (8-10 years for only 10000 registrations in the 1930s in a big presidency). I would guess that in the early 30s they introduced further letters (including MB that may have been only for buses or commercials in general) but we don't know them.
We are all happy I think that in the 'new' 1939 series BL existed for Calcutta including BLP-T for taxis and buses (and maybe trucks I don't know). I would bet money that BGA-Z also existed for the rest of the presidency outside Calcutta and that the third letter indicated the place as per the list I have of WB letters. I will have to presume for now that the BL and BG series were introduced in 1939 and not before but I do wonder if that is true. We also record that EBx existed as a series in 1939 for East Bengal. Where that information originated I do not know and I am not sure now if it is true BUT my feeling is that it did exist as there are no other letters 'available' for the locations in East Bengal as all the BG letters are for West Bengal. Strange though that they chose BG and EB rather than WB and EB.

Karl, as you say the picture of BLA 7266 is a period picture from 1945 but do we know which year the reregistration to WBA 7266 took place?

Anyway, I am off to redo some lists now and my head hurts! :-)
Cheers all
Cedric
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Old 10th July 2009, 19:05   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabinesnubbing View Post
Gents,
Bengal is proving to be a difficult one!

I will lay out the series I know of.......
The first registrations started in some places in 1902 we now believe and most were plain numbers starting at 1 and ending up in the 1910s & 20s at 5 digits.
We know of Bombay, Calcutta and Hyderabad. There may indeed have been others, I just don't know.
We think Madras started with M1 rather than plain numbers but I am not sure.
I refer to registrations by their series I am afraid so if I speak of the 1902 series that means the registration was sometime between 1902 and 1939 when a much better organized national system was introduced.
In the 1902 series there were 100% definitely three letter registrations in some of the presidencies and agencies. I will attach the screen dumps (the forum didn't like my cut and paste from Word last time) of Bombay and Central Provinces although others used 3 letter combinations at some point pre39. I am not saying they started in 1902 but my best guess would be that by 1920 they were in common use.
I got the man in the UK who keeps the old paper archives we have to scan some more stuff for me this morning and he found an old document that says "Bengal white on black - no prefix letters, up to five figures. Then letter prefix B when 5 figures exhausted. 1939 BL (meaning BLA-Z) prefix letters started and commercial vehicles and buses changed to black on white".

Now, my existing list has had BL as Calcutta 1939 series but has had all those WBA-Z codes in the 1902 list. This is clearly wrong and I will remove them. However there are some other letters that we know of for Bengal pre39.
I have a photo of a Calcutta bus that was taken in the 1930s (and is pre39 for sure) MB115. There are reports of Calcutta vehicles with T as a prefix letter but I am not totally happy about them as T was a fully used Bombay registration and by the 30s, vehicles were moving about India I am sure.
I am starting to think that in the 1902 series, there was no letter, then B and that may or may not have been exhausted by 1939 but my feelings are that it must have been (8-10 years for only 10000 registrations in the 1930s in a big presidency). I would guess that in the early 30s they introduced further letters (including MB that may have been only for buses or commercials in general) but we don't know them.
We are all happy I think that in the 'new' 1939 series BL existed for Calcutta including BLP-T for taxis and buses (and maybe trucks I don't know). I would bet money that BGA-Z also existed for the rest of the presidency outside Calcutta and that the third letter indicated the place as per the list I have of WB letters. I will have to presume for now that the BL and BG series were introduced in 1939 and not before but I do wonder if that is true. We also record that EBx existed as a series in 1939 for East Bengal. Where that information originated I do not know and I am not sure now if it is true BUT my feeling is that it did exist as there are no other letters 'available' for the locations in East Bengal as all the BG letters are for West Bengal. Strange though that they chose BG and EB rather than WB and EB.

Karl, as you say the picture of BLA 7266 is a period picture from 1945 but do we know which year the reregistration to WBA 7266 took place?

Anyway, I am off to redo some lists now and my head hurts! :-)
Cheers all
Cedric
Hi Cedric,

How is your headache? Hope better.
In the list of registrations you have posted, I notice that many are missing. Is it because you are not aware or because the list is just incomplete. Because I have pics of cars in India with other numbers. Like the Ford tourer in Aurangabad posted a few months ago.

You refered to registrations by their series and clarified that when you speak of the 1902 series, you meant that the registration was sometime between 1902 and 1939. But I do not think that it was necessary for all re-registrations to have taken place in 1939. And apparently Mumbai had a sort of re-registration twice, the BOM was abandoned sometime perhaps in the 1920's.

I also noted that you have confirmed that at one stage Calcutta had only numerals upto 5, that explains the registration in my pictures.

So let me know if I should check and list the registration alphabets I have in my pictures.

Hope you got some relief!

Cheers harit
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Old 10th July 2009, 19:46   #118
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Harit,
I only listed the ones we know of from those two areas (Bombay and Central Provinces). My full list has many more but I will guarantee it is incomplete. I also have a small (thankfully) list of plates that we have no idea where they came from. One may be a UK registration but the others are a mystery. I am also lacking many codes in my 1939 list I am sure.
Give me a little time and I will revise my list with the latest information as there are still some queries outstanding and then I will send it to you. If you get the chance to see what you make of it and if there are any extra ones that would be great.
Cheers
Cedric
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Old 11th July 2009, 00:34   #119
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A 50s(?) Ford truck posted by trammway in this thread:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/post-1...ster-year.html

Note it has a private regn. MSX (albeit a period one, being Madras presidency)

Anyone who could clarify how this could be possible?
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Old 11th July 2009, 17:17   #120
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Quote:
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A 50s(?) Ford truck posted by trammway in this thread:

Note it has a private regn. MSX (albeit a period one, being Madras presidency)

Anyone who could clarify how this could be possible?
I had been in Tamil Nadu in around 1986. That time we hired an Amby Taxi. He had both private and taxi plates, same regd no but different colour, both white on black and black on white. He claimed that this was legal and changed to suitable colour when crossing state borders. Maybe the explanation lies in that.
It was possible to have a truck registered as a private vehicle, but then the colour of the plate had to be that of a private vehicle too.
Just like some of the recovery trucks seen in Mumbai
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