1951 African car rally - Our Passports
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1951 African car rally

Participant’s passport.


Here is an odd bird indeed.


1950 issued US passport that was used to attend a “Car Rally”, taking the holder to various African states: Starting with Nigeria, then continuing to Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, Northern Rhodesia, and South Africa with the last stop at Cape Town, at the tip of the Cape of Good Hope.


Though I cannot pin point to the exact car rally that he attended, since on-line checking has revealed some, not many, already began to run around 1950. I can site several of those bellow:


  • Rally du Sud;
  • Méditerranée-le Cap (Rallye Alger-Le Cap);



The passport is also full of additional exotic visas that took the holder later on to Australia, New Zealand, Burma, India, Cook Islands, St Vincent and more. What makes it more intriguing is the fact that the holder, Marc Henryk Banaszak, stated profession is a “Cosmetician”. Paging through the passport, that eventually also took him to South America and allied controlled Berlin as well; one cannot stop and ponder on the question: “Was he really a cosmetician?”


The passport came together with 2 other older passports: one issued at the end of 1938 in Hawaii, taking him up to 1939 to Shanghai (!) with German, Czech visas from that city and returning back to Poland and back to the US as war broke out; the 2nd passport was issued right after the war in 1945 and, again, full of exotic visas…


Not to steer away from the main topic of this article, the images attached here are of a passport used to attend the rally in Africa.


Hope you enjoy the sampled images.



Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.




Neil Kaplan
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