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Old 3rd October 2008, 10:33   #1
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Default Early registration numbers in India

Registration numbers often give valuable insight into the history of an old car or bike, a dedicated thread is in order.

From what I understand, the 3 alphabet-4 number format (ABC 1234) came into practise around 1940 (give or take) with the exception of Chandigarh (which used CH 1234) and Pondicherry (which used P or Px 1234). There may be more exceptions too. The royal cars continued to use STATE followed by car no., (usually 1 or 2 digits) in gold or white letters on a red plate.

However before this the system of regns really didn't have a fixed pattern nationwide. Some discussion can be found on pgs 17, 18, 19 here
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/vintag...s-cars-17.html

and an excellent post here

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/952623-post197.html

Harit gets the ball rolling.

Quote:
I saw a number of posts concerning registration numbers.
Invite people to check old pics and send details of fully legible registration numbers and make, model, year and type of body if possible. This should be listed alphabetically, and a sheet should be prepared where one could add. Who knows, one day you will find common registration numbers and pictures of the same car.
Also, you can make a list of Maharaja numbers, like Baroda, Gondal. There are surely some odd ones around.
I have not put any three alphabet registrations of Mumbai/Gujrat series like BMW, BYJ which were started around 1942.
So here goes:
CP 4986 Ford A Bus
D 44 Veteran car
DJ 61 Austin 7 Tourer
FP 2*** Buick tourer (definitely Bombay reg)
HS 803 Fiat Tourer
KAC 633 Doughlas Bike
W 5270 Ford V8 Tourer
W 9999 American Sedan
X 9964 Chevy Tourer
Y 255 Unidentified American tourer
Y 1395 Fiat Landaulette (definitely Bombay reg)
Y 4815 1927 LaSalle (definitely Bombay reg)

There is a number on an Austin seven starting with SC and followed by Arabic/Urdu numbericals.
Depending on response, I will add more and get the Arabic/Urdu numbericals translated.

Harit
My 2 bits - KAC 633 is probably a Karachi regn, as I have a picture of my aunt with my grandfathers Enfield shot in Karachi, regd KAC 43. This was pre-independance.
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Old 3rd October 2008, 10:50   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
Pondicherry (which used P or Px 1234).
Are you sure ? Because as far as i can recollect, Pondicherry had PY(A-Z) series, not just 2 letters.
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Old 3rd October 2008, 11:05   #3
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Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
Are you sure ? Because as far as i can recollect, Pondicherry had PY(A-Z) series, not just 2 letters.
At a later stage yes, they became 3 alphabets, and so did Chandigarh (CHA, CHB etc). Earlier however there were P and Px.

Early registration numbers in India-citroen02.jpg
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I believe Goa earlier had a series IGZ, a friend has an early Honda regd so.
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Old 3rd October 2008, 14:23   #4
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So what are these 2?

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Old 3rd October 2008, 14:44   #5
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Some more for reference.

A couple of bikes courtesy Dominator. Perhaps he can give us exact regn details of these two.

Early registration numbers in India-01.jpg
Early registration numbers in India-02.jpg

An AJS, am not 100% sure this is in India though. Cant remember where I found this picture.

Early registration numbers in India-ajs07.jpg

Douglas courtesy Julian

Early registration numbers in India-douglas04.jpg

An early Triumph.

Early registration numbers in India-triumph01.jpg

Some misc cars.

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Old 3rd October 2008, 15:40   #6
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Nice thread you've started karl!
Although among the "misc. cars" the TN regn. on the red Austin 7 appears most confusing to me! 'couldnt be a period one (unless TN stood for some other place then) as what is now TN was always known as Madras state/presidency until the late 60s.
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Old 3rd October 2008, 15:47   #7
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Another Pondicherry number at the Mayurbhanj wedding, presumably driven all the way there.

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Old 3rd October 2008, 16:44   #8
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Some more number plates

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Old 3rd October 2008, 16:54   #9
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Lovely pic Julian. Where did you get this?
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Old 3rd October 2008, 18:21   #10
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Cochin State (now Kerala) used to have the "CS" series. And "MD*" was from Tamil Nadu (Madras state). Wonder what it was for Mysore.

My question - would not re-registration (after N number of years) compulsorily force you to relinquish that number?)
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Old 3rd October 2008, 18:46   #11
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Quote:
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Lovely pic Julian. Where did you get this?
Put it together with mspaint
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Old 3rd October 2008, 19:20   #12
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Very Interesting and Informative Thread Karl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian UK View Post
Put it together with mspaint
Nice collage there Julian
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Old 3rd October 2008, 19:24   #13
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That Austin 7 , most probably has an incomplete registration.Madras in the 10's & 20's started with MC.This was replaced by MSC, followed by MSP, MSZ, MSY, MSX, MSV, MSS MSR, MSQ etc Thereafter came the TM series.
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Old 3rd October 2008, 19:36   #14
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The Tamilnadu series after MSQ were MSM and MSL before it went to TMC. Also between MSV and MSX there was MSW.
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Old 3rd October 2008, 22:43   #15
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Some comments from Harit.

Quote:
There are more cars with "P" Pondicherry registration, the Caddy in Dharamsthala and Doc Ravi has a 180 Ponton with such a number.
There are the royal number plates. Julian has posted a number of pics, there are inaccuracies, like ORM 436 and Mayurbanj mentioned on one plate. Correct would be only ORM, as on my Dodge Custom Royal.
Why not list out the royal number plates like Jaipur, Gondal, Udaipur, Baroda etc. These are generally seen on cars abroad to show their origin and on old photos. But there are unusual ones too. Let me start, "Sarangarh" and "Parbani". I had these on 2 cars I own. It will be a challenge to list all royal plates. I believe that not all states had this privilige. Someone may know more on the rules applicable at that time.
About the comment on change of numbers, well it was compulsory for all vehicles to change to a new system except
1) When XYZ 1234 changed to MH 01 XY 1234
2) CH and P are still valid.
3) Sometime ago RTO in Mumbai Central compulsory changed the old registration numbers like BMW 1234, BMU 1234 etc. to BLI 1234. Many cars did have this change. I believe that the VCCCI took up this issue and people were allowed to claim back their old registration numbers.
I have seen registration books where the old single alphbet registration number like X 1234 was mentioned in the new RC book. But new books were definitely issued with the new numbers.
It was upto the owner to apply and get new registration. If he did not, then it lapsed. About 15 or 20 years ago my friend bought a Studebaker which still had the BOM 1234 registration number on it. There were however no documents. I had enquired with RTO, they said that they have the records somewhere but it would be very difficult to locate. So if you did not re-register, too bad.

Today I got into my hand an old album only on cars, some side view and some with front view. The registration numbers and makes are as follows:
T 999 Chrysler Airflow belonged to either Dr. S.R.Mulgaokar or Dr. A.J.Kohiyor (not very legible)
T 1941 Morris Sedan belonged to Mr. Joshi
T 3639 Austin? or Morris?
T 3697 Chevrolet tourer belonged to Mr. Allen
T 3767 Adler Trumph
T 4749 Austin Sedan
T 7610 Packard
W 714 Chevrolet Sedan
W 1079 Citroen tourer belonged to Inspector Mansfield
W 6489 Chevrolet Sedan belonged to Mr. Fowler
W 6503 Crossley tourer belonged to Mr. R.S.Vatcha ( of the petrol pump at Hughes Road?)
W 6781 Chevrolet Sedan belonged to Mr. White
W 8129 Buick Tourer 1934 belonged to Mr. F.H.Commisariate
W 8989 Morris Six tourer
X 5734 LaSalle tourer belonged to a Mr. Vakil
X 6227 Citroen Tourer
X 7755 Ford V8 tourer
X 9232 Huge American Sedan belonged to Mr. P.N. Lobo
X 9552 Morris Sedan
There are 2 different Morris's with following registrations:
L.M.P.86 Morris Flat Nose Sedan belonged to Mr. Mitchel
L.M.P. 87 Morris Sedan belonged to Mr. Carry
These must be some special series, perhaps trade plates? I do not think so.
Then there is a Chevy? POLICE 27
By the way, if any of these persons are known to anyone, please ring a bell to Karl.
All the above photos were taken in Bombay, I am sure because I know the place where these were taken. I am doing some further research.
I suggest that if photographs of old vehicles cars, busses, trucks, motorcycles etc. with legible numbers are seen, then please list the numbers and not just put photographs. You never know when you strike bingo, 2 photos of the same car from different sources.

Regards
Harit
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