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Franz Ferdinand's car

Starting 30 January 2005

Taken from: Axis History Forum - Franz Ferdinand's car

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Author: Peter H.

Can anyone verify that the car that carried Franz and his wife to their deaths at Sarajevo in 1914 had the following number plate?:

A III–118

A superstitous person could read this as Armistice 11/11/18.


Author: Peter H.

I found this photo. It's true.

This first 1 of the '118' at the bottom is obscured by the angle of the photo.

Franz Ferdinands car

I think Ferdinand was visiting the III Corps on manouevres at the time so the A III,on the top, may denote this.

Peter H

Author: maxxx

A III has nothing to do with 3 Corps. Austrian licence plates differed by regional starting letters/numbers.

Author: Tony Eaton

I have read quite a bit about the Ferdinand's car and its number plate and I think it is genuine. I once studied a book on the assassination and took a magnifying glass to one of the photographs of the events that had been taken at the time and the number plate when enlarged read, A111 118. I believe that it is one of those astonishing coincendences that have appeared throughout history.

Author: collector49

I knew I had saved a copy of the original Internet story - hope this helps.

It originally appeared on Friday, Novemeber 12, 2004 on the "This is southampton" / Welcome / Daily Echo website. It is entitled "Brian regiester an amazing discovery". The store contains a clear photo of the Arch Duke getting into his car, and the front license plate apparently reads "A111118".

Author: mikedash

For anyone interested, I recently wrote up a reinvestigation of the various legends surrounding the Franz Ferdinand's car and posted the results here:

I'm grateful to various forum members for posting information that was useful in the writing of this article. A couple of conclusions are worth mentioning here:

- With regard to the "death car" legend, I was unable to trace this back further than Frank Edwards' notorious potboiler Stranger Than Science (1959), which is not a reputable source. All the secondary sources that allege various deaths were associated with the car imply it was in private hands till c.1926, so I have submitted an enquiry to the Military Museum in Vienna and requested a check of accession records to see if the car actually became part of the museum collections before that date, as is implied on this board occurred. If I get a response, I'll update my article.

- It is worth noting, however, that the vehicle still bears bullet holes dating to 28 June 1914, which would seem pretty implausible if the vehicle had been extensively repaired on at least three occasions, as required by the death car legend. I believe this in itself is really enough to demolish the myth.

- With regards to the number plate, the coincidence certainly is remarkable. Don't forget, though, that it's much more remarkable to a Brit than it would be to an Austrian, because the number plate's "A for Armistice" is meaningless to a German speaker (the German for 'armistice' is 'waffenstillstand'), and the date 11-11-18 occurred a week after the Austro-Hungarian army was knocked out of the war (armistice signed on 3 November, coming to effect on 4-11-18).

Cheers and thanks again for posting so much good-quality information.