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Philgrenoble
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2014-03-06

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PostSubject: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 08:40

Dear ladies and gentlemen,
I am Philippe, 56, from Grenoble, south east of France.
My presence on this forum might look strange, but it is because I have a specific interest in BFG, and especially in the business which provided British export cars to them. I hope I will find some help, because I red a post dedicated to this subject here.

[url= http://bfg-locations.editboard.com/t835-nato-cars]http://bfg-locations.editboard.com/t835-nato-cars[/url]

I am trying to find the history of my 1973 MGB (Teal blue) and I could get some help from the DVLA.

Today, I hope some members of the forum will help me to understand the export business in the 70's, in Germany.
Let me explain.

I found that my MGB has been sold by "Rankin's of Reydt" to a first gentleman in 1975.
6 months later,  he sold his car to a RAF Captain (Mr Hicks) who had it for 8 years (in Germany + UK)

So, a few questions:
_ who was "Rankin's of Reydt" ? Where were they located,  UK or Reydt – Germany ?
_ in which RAF station did most of their customers come from ?
- What was the configuration of the cars sold as export cars (my MGB is right hand drive, but the manufacturer's certificate states it originally was left hand drive !!! ).
_ what were the conditions and interest for taking an exported car back to UK ?
_ Could it be JX B4 B the first registration number of my MGB?

Thank you in advance for your answers, and excuse my English which can be surprising sometimes !
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steve
LE Maj
LE Maj
steve

Number of posts : 851
Age : 70
Localisation : near Cuxhaven
Cap Badge : Royal Signals + Royal Engineers
Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 11:19

Welcome Philippe

Rankin's of Rheydt

The main dealer premises were in Rheydt south of Mönchengladbach…I have met the founder Roy Rankin in person…he established a German dealership in the town in the 1960s…creating a specialist division supplying tax free RHD cars to British Forces in Germany…with self-employed sales persons in each garrison town and in the NAAFI car showrooms all over Germany

The company encouraged only RHD sales and had a compound owned by a shipping company in Bremerhaven docks…so BFG customers collected “outside Germany” thus avoiding the company paying German VAT and the hassle of getting it back though the German system controlled by the NAAFI (Navy, Army and Air Force Institute)…this arrangement ceased in the 1980s and RHD cars were collected from an AUSTIN ROVER dealer in Venlo just over the border in Holland

At some point…cannot remember when…the company went bust and Roy Rankin was a salesman again working for a German Jaguar dealer

Regarding the registration…always thought BFG plates had 2 or 3 numbers not 1 but could be wrong…the only one I can remember was my own OPEL Rekord SS 28B from the 1960s

JXB 4B could be a UK registration issued 1984/5 or purchased later as the DVLA did hold back low digit numbers for later resale

Back in the old days if a member of BFG took a tax free car back to the UK after 1 year? use in Germany and not sell for 2 years? Import duty and purchase tax was not payable…today it is 6 months use and you can sell straightaway without payment of taxes…however there are conditions if you wish to purchase another tax free car as the system was open to abuse

Best regards and hope his helps
Steve
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https://britisharmyingermany.com
JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1101
Age : 78
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 11:36

Philippe

Welcome and thank you for question, this is just the type of challenge that members of this site will delight in responding

There are a number of members who have a detailed knowledge of the Rheindahlen area including atleast one who still lives in the area.

A quick response, Rankin's of Rheydt were based in Germany and were one of the major car firms selling cars to British Servicemen throughout the then BAOR

There were a large number of Army and RAF units in the Rheindahlen area. The principle RAF units were Headquarters Royal Air Force Germany/ 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force (HQ RAF(G)?" ATAF), RAF Bruugen, RAF Laarbruch and RAF Wildenrath.

I suspect Mr (Captain) Hicks was an RAF Group Captain. (Colonel)

The rules for importing "Duty Free" Cars varied over the years. Others are better placed to advise you.

jX B4 B is undoubtedly the registration number allocated when first sold to a British serviceman based in Germany.

Please do not apologise for your English, there are very few members of this site who could reply in French.
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brum
FM
FM


Number of posts : 2808
Age : 78
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 12:47

JXB 4 B ?

JX 84 B, surely.

I had a registration KN - something - B, around that time, (70s, I mean).
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Philgrenoble
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2014-03-06

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 12:56

Thank you for your very kind welcome!
I used to be a sergeant in a french signal corp during my military service in 1981 in Alsace...

I am starting to understand much better the amazing history of Blue, my MGB.
So there were different sites for "Rankins of Reydt" and not only one in Reydt. So it will be difficult to know the which one sold the car,  unless I can join the very first owner. He kept his car only 6 months before selling it to Mr Hicks. Strange ?

Let me introduce Blue :
Presentation and help needed  Blue10
Presentation and help needed  P1070010
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Shelldrake
FM
FM
Shelldrake

Number of posts : 3029
Localisation : Camberley
Cap Badge : Royal Artillery
Places Served : Troon, Lippstadt, Devizes, NI, Paderborn, Dortmund, Colchester, Belize, Canada, Cyprus, Gutersloh
Registration date : 2010-10-26

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 13:35

Gordon Bennett a French Scaley!! Shocked Shocked 

Hi Philippe and welcome to the site. Nice car, I don't think that JXB 4B is a British Forces Germany registration number, JXB 4B was issued between January 1964 -December 1964, and was issued in London. JXB 4B could have been purchased as a "Personalised" number after 1964 but would have to be "Deregistered" on resale. I had a Ford Taunus in 1974, registration number KT 707B.
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Philgrenoble
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2014-03-06

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 13:43

I will have a better look at the DVLA documents, it could be JX 84 B, instead.
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brum
FM
FM


Number of posts : 2808
Age : 78
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 13:54

brum wrote:
JXB 4 B ?

JX 84 B, surely.

I had a registration KN - something - B, around that time, (70s, I mean).

The auxiliary brain cell just kicked in.

The "KN - something" number was in fact KN 456 B.

"JX 84 B" would, as Shelldrake said, put the MGB in the 1960s.

Sorry.  Sad 

PS

Has it been noted that Philippe was a (gasp !), French Scaley ?
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Philgrenoble
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2014-03-06

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 14:01

... French "scaley" ????  scratch 
perhaps I should have a few sips of Chartreuse (local brewage) to understand the dialect of this forum

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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1101
Age : 78
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 14:14

Beware you British Scaleys, we have a gentleman of impecable taste on board
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Shelldrake
FM
FM
Shelldrake

Number of posts : 3029
Localisation : Camberley
Cap Badge : Royal Artillery
Places Served : Troon, Lippstadt, Devizes, NI, Paderborn, Dortmund, Colchester, Belize, Canada, Cyprus, Gutersloh
Registration date : 2010-10-26

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 14:15

Philgrenoble wrote:
... French "scaley" ????  scratch 
perhaps I should have a few sips of Chartreuse (local brewage) to understand the dialect of this forum



Philippe, "Scaley" is a nickname given to the British Army members of the Corps of Royal Signals. The general consensus of opinion would seem that the name derives from the fact that Signallers carried batteries on their backs spilling some of the acid in the process which resulted in them having "Scaley" backs. Laughing 
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Goldmohur
WOII
WOII


Number of posts : 93
Age : 78
Localisation : Doncaster
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Gutersloh, Duisburg, Bracht, Rheindahlen. Also Non BAOR, Blackdown, Corsham. Shoeburyness, Ty Croes, Aden, Bicester.
Registration date : 2007-03-10

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 14:20

I bought my first ever new car from Rankins of Rheydt in December 1966. A Fiat 850 Reg No BY 343 B. The service of selling was good - a car was brought to my remote location for a test drive on a weekend. I had already determined to buy it so I guess I was an easy sale.

Later I took it with me to Rheindahlen, not far from Rheydt and it was serviced in Rheydt. The workshop and showroom lay on my way to duty from Wickrath to HQ BAOR. The service and repair work was efficient but I think now they took good advantage of my lack of motoring knowledge at the time and made a deal of money from me.

The car served me wll lasting until about 1974 when it fell to bits owing to rust. But the rust problem was endemic in cars of the time.

Steve`s account is very interesting - I was unaware of most of his information.
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Philgrenoble
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2014-03-06

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 14:41

Thank you for your testimony Goldmohur.
Did you have a standard uk reg. plate or a BFG plate when you were in Germany?
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Goldmohur
WOII
WOII


Number of posts : 93
Age : 78
Localisation : Doncaster
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Gutersloh, Duisburg, Bracht, Rheindahlen. Also Non BAOR, Blackdown, Corsham. Shoeburyness, Ty Croes, Aden, Bicester.
Registration date : 2007-03-10

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 15:26

The number quoted was a BFG plate - I still have it hanging in my shed in the garden. On return to UK in May 1970 I obtained standard UK number plates. There was a period or time by which this was necessary after arrival. In those days I travelled on leave via Europoort Rotterdam for Hull and then frm Liverpool to Belfast - these may not seem epic journeys today but for me, at that time, they were.
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Goldmohur
WOII
WOII


Number of posts : 93
Age : 78
Localisation : Doncaster
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Gutersloh, Duisburg, Bracht, Rheindahlen. Also Non BAOR, Blackdown, Corsham. Shoeburyness, Ty Croes, Aden, Bicester.
Registration date : 2007-03-10

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 15:30

Also Rankins advertised heavily in Forces newspapers in those days - they were well known in Forces circles. I am under the impression that they were centred on Fiat only but this may be due to my failing memory!
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Philgrenoble
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2014-03-06

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 15:48

Was your BFG registration plate with letters, numbers ?
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Goldmohur
WOII
WOII


Number of posts : 93
Age : 78
Localisation : Doncaster
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Gutersloh, Duisburg, Bracht, Rheindahlen. Also Non BAOR, Blackdown, Corsham. Shoeburyness, Ty Croes, Aden, Bicester.
Registration date : 2007-03-10

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 16:22

Black plate edged in white with white numbers and letters BY 343 B. These stood out as German plates as you will know are white with black numbers and letters.
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brum
FM
FM


Number of posts : 2808
Age : 78
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 16:26

Am I right in thinking that BAOR went over to German number plates after a bunch of IRA men murdered some servicemen in Germany ?
Apparently it was decided that the BFG plate made too good a target.
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BobG
Lt Col
Lt Col


Number of posts : 330
Age : 80
Localisation : Northumberland
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg, Verden, Liebenau, Hohne, Hamm, Duisburg, Minden, Hannover, Fallingbostal, Kuwait, UK, HK, USA/Can.
Registration date : 2008-02-27

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 16:48

I cant remember when the change of BFG plates came about but LHD cars were given German registrations for the area in which they were based. RHD were given standard UK plates for the year of first reg, the car still had to be re-registered upon import to the UK.
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steve
LE Maj
LE Maj
steve

Number of posts : 851
Age : 70
Localisation : near Cuxhaven
Cap Badge : Royal Signals + Royal Engineers
Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 17:22

JXB 4B could be a UK registration issued 1984/5 or purchased later as the DVLA did hold back low digit numbers for later resale

Thanks to Shelldrake realise my error 1964...in 1984/5 the B was at the beginning not the end of the registration number...we have a great thread!
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https://britisharmyingermany.com
steve
LE Maj
LE Maj
steve

Number of posts : 851
Age : 70
Localisation : near Cuxhaven
Cap Badge : Royal Signals + Royal Engineers
Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 17:24

Philgrenoble wrote:
I will have a better look at the DVLA documents, it could be JX 84 B, instead.

Pretty sure the former BFG number would not be on the DVLA documents...do you have the original service booklet?
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https://britisharmyingermany.com
steve
LE Maj
LE Maj
steve

Number of posts : 851
Age : 70
Localisation : near Cuxhaven
Cap Badge : Royal Signals + Royal Engineers
Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 17:26

brum wrote:
Am I right in thinking that BAOR went over to German number plates after a bunch of IRA men murdered some servicemen in Germany ?
Apparently it was decided that the BFG plate made too good a target.

A WOII was ambushed and killed in Belgium...
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https://britisharmyingermany.com
soprano54
WOI
WOI
soprano54

Number of posts : 160
Age : 61
Localisation : Gloucestershire
Cap Badge : RTR
Places Served : Fallingbostel, Tidworth, Paderborn, Cyprus, Bovington, Hemer, NI, Coltishall, Incirlik, Benson
Registration date : 2007-03-10

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 19:15

steve wrote:
brum wrote:
Am I right in thinking that BAOR went over to German number plates after a bunch of IRA men murdered some servicemen in Germany ?
Apparently it was decided that the BFG plate made too good a target.

A WOII was ambushed and killed in Belgium...

It was the RSM of either the RRW or RWF!
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Philgrenoble
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2014-03-06

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 20:01

I am sorry gentlemen , the registration was JX 134 B ! from what I understood it was definitely a BFG plate.

The first owner applied for a registration for a period of 4 months only.
Strange idea ?????  

And he sold the car to our Captain Hicks at the end of this period. The car got a UK registration for this occasion...
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UncleGrumble
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 18
Localisation : Highlands
Cap Badge : REME
Registration date : 2013-12-21

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PostSubject: Re: Presentation and help needed    Presentation and help needed  Icon_minitime6/3/2014, 20:57

The car I bought and registered with BFG in September 1974 was given the number KA 855 B. In 1979, I registered a new car, and was given the Reg No SN xxx B. I was involved for many years with operating the dreaded annual BFG test for vehicles, and I cannot remember a two digit plate.
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