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Homepage. This page: Not a puppet in sight, but definitely a very familiar FAB car registration in evidence.

FAB 1 on a road car.

FAB 1 is probably one of the most famous car registrations on the planet, having graced Lady Penelope's distinctive Rolls-Royce in many an episode of Gerry Anderson's "Thunderbirds" TV series in the 1960s, plus on a more recent film outing in 2004. David emailed over this shot which he thought might be of interest. In it are two cars, neither of which was particularly rare or exotic at the time yet sported two very distinctive registrations. Bill and several other members of the Aston family ran businesses in the Midlands bearing the family name, and according to David he had an eye for unusual registration numbers, and snapped up a number of interesting choices as they became available.
For example, RAY 1 he bought for his sales manager at the Austin dealership the family owned, while BAT 1 was also purchased at some point. Most distinctive though were the matching pair FAB 1, and 1 FAB. FAB 1 resided on a Series 1 Jaguar XJ6, while 1 FAB graced an Austin 1800 - complete with roof rack. It would seem that the use of the registration FAB 1 in one of the film spin-offs did lead to several conversations between the producers, and the owner of the real car to which it was allocated at the time. The FAB registration series hailed from Worcestershire, and it seems likely that the number featured on the XJ6 was originally allocated to a vehicle in July 1946 - I wonder what it was?
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Cars registered FAB 1 and 1 FAB
The Austin 1800 remained in Bill's ownership after he sold the business in 1974, in fact it continued to be used until his death in 1990. The front passenger seat was removed in order that his beloved Great Dane could ride with him.
In more recent times both registrations were sold, 1 FAB appears to be on retention, while FAB 1 - now owned by Chris Evans - at the time of writing resides on a pink Rolls-Royce, available to hire with funds raised going to charity. More details can be found on the fab1million site. So both registrations survive, but what of the Austin 1800 and the Series 1 XJ6?
My thanks to David for sending over this interesting picture.
Return to Page 18 in the photographic archive, or visit the main index here.
A photo of a Police-spec Austin 1800 can be found on this page in the gallery.

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