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Minichamps had already released, in 1:43, the Continental R Coupe from 1952-55. To complement the "R", they've subsequently brought out the S1 Flying Spur, which shared, the 4.9L straight 6 of the later Rs.

This is a superb model, capturing the upright, regal coachwork of the car very well. The maroon paintwork also suits its lines. The chrome work on the radiator grill is excellent & the model looks at its best from the front.

Whilst the ride height, on the R, looked a tad high, that on the S1 seems more appropriate. One quibble, or more likely a query - the registration plate "KLB 313J" - indicates a car from 1970-71, the 1:1 was made from 1955-59. Perhaps modelled on a car, which was originally exported, and then brought back to the UK?



:cheers

Steve
 

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Interesting color for this car, Steve.
I wouldn't associate it being that color, shows how much I know :dizzy

Do you have the coupe? If you posted pictures I must have missed it. The Continental R Coupe is one of my dream cars from when I was very young.
:coolpics
 

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Looks like Minichamps deserves high praise for this model, Steve. Out of curiosity, how does the coding on the license plate work?
 

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<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post][/right]
Thanks John & as you asked, a quick history of British reistration plates. This relates to England, Scotland & Wales - Norther Ireland's system hasn't worked quite the same.

Plates were first issued in 1903, the first being "A 1" allocated to Earl Russell. Each county or city in Britain was allocated one, or more, one or two letter codings, to indicate where in the country the car was first registerd.

As I'm from Montgomeryshire, I'll use my local coding of "EP". Obviously the first plate issued would have been "EP 1". The plates were then issued numerically, until "EP 9999" was reached. The sequence was then reversed to "1 EP" to "9999 EP".

When these were exhausted, another letter was added, before, the "EP" - hence "AEP 1". When "AEP 999" was reached, "BEP 1" was issued. Not all the letters in the alphabet were used - I, Q & Z did not figure, due to possible confusion with 1, 0 & 2. When "YEP 999" was reached, the sequence was again reversed to start "1 AEP" & would end with "999 YEP".

By, the late 1950's, some areas of the country were beginning to run out of available plates, so in 1963, a new format came in - a letter suffix was introduced to indicate the year when the car was registered. Hence, in 1963 plates took on the format "AEP 1A" "AEP 234A" etc. On 1st January 1964 the suffix changed to "B", 1965 to "C" etc.

This had an unexpected side effect, people being people, they wanted the latest letter - the neighbours could see you'd bought a brand new car. Consequently, sales of cars in January far outstripped the rest of year. Therefore, in an attempt to distribute sales more equitably over the calendar year, the date of the letter change was adjusted. On 1st January 1967 the "E" suffix arrived, but was replaced by "F" on the 1st August 1967.

The suffix "G" arrived 1/08/68, "H" 1/08/69 & "J" 1/08/70 - Hence, the number plate on the Bentley, "KLB 313J, indicates a car registered between 1st August 1970 & 31st July 1971.

This system lasted until the "Y" suffix introduced on 1/08/82. As before, the system was then reversed. So on 1/08/83, the format became "A123 AEP". In 1984, I recall a Volvo advert, extolling their cars' reliability, showing a new model registered something like "B345 TLD" parked next a 1964 model with the plate "TLD 345B".

The prefix letter lasted until 31st August 2001 - there had been a change in 1999, the "S" prefix did not last until 31/07/99. Again in attempt to spread sales through the year, "T" came on board 1/03/99 & therafter the letter changed every 6 months on the 1st September & 1st March.

When the "Y" prefix ran out on 31st August 2001, a totally new system was brought in, in the format "CW51 RTY". Here, the first two letters indicate where in the country the car was first registered - although these do not equate to the letter codings used from 1903 - 2001. In this case the letter "C" indicates Wales (Cymru), the "W" the Bangor registration office. The #"51" indicates the period in which the car was registered - in this case from 1st September 2001 - 28th February 2002. The last three letters are random. On 1st March 2002, the format became "CW02 RTY", on 1st September 2002 "CW52 RTY". We are now on plates in the format "CW07 RTY" - brought in on 1st March 2007 - this will change to "CW57 RTY" on 1st September 2007.

For the most part, once a car is registered, the plate allocated, will stay with the car until it is scrapped. There is a caveat - people do buy private or cherished plates which they can transfer from car to car. These plates can be sold on to other people as well - there is a large market for these. Some, which are used, just to hide the age, of you car are cheap. However, others, particularly those which have one or two letters and/or one or two numbers can be very expensive - I've seen "A 9" on a Citroen 2cv - the plate was worth 100x the car!

Other plates which command big money, are those which spell names or words - or can do, with a little licence. For instance "A5 TON" is on an Aston Martin. A British comedian has/had the plate "COM 1C" I believe, that the most expensive plate sold was "K1 NGS" - I assume sold to a Mr King, for £250,000 - approx US$500,000

Sorry if you got bored halfway through!

:cheers

Steve
 

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<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post][/right]
Wow! If I'd known it would be so complicated, I wouldn't have put you through all that typing - sorry! Still, it was an interesting and informative read...thanks!
 
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