There is something going on here that is not quite right, I know this car and it is correct that the engine was refurbished last year, I did it. The registration is not what you will see if you look at my Rosengart Pinterest page and look at left hand drive Opals. I have emailed the owner to find out what is going on.
Vince Leek rebuilt the back axle last year also.
It is my friends car and it's not been stolen, the registration changes if you register it in another Department (County). This is an ce original car, it comes with the original bill of sale from the French Austin dealership. I wish that I had room for it.
The car has recently changed hands, and as such has to carry a new (SIV - système d'immatriculation des véhicules) registration which has the format AB-123-CD and will remain with it for life irrespective of future ownership changes. This is a national system introduced in 2009. There is the possibility of older cars to have the silver on black plates (as in this case) but moderns must have the new style black on white reflective plates front and rear.
If you see a french car with a black on yellow rear plate in the old style format then it hasn't changed hands since 2009 and may well be older, like this one which was first registered in 2001:
You can see my RP in the background with it's old style FNI (Fichier National d'immatriculations) in silver on black. It was registered here in 2003.
Many former rental cars carry a 60 (Picardie) marker - it used to be the cheapest place to register.
This is the new (SIV) style registration plate:
A departmental marker on the new style plates is purely optional and does not have to refer to where the owner is currently resident. In my area there are lots of cars about carrying 2A or 2B markers (Corsica) but I have no idea why, unless they are former hire cars or the owners think that the Cosa Nostra will stop people from tampering with it? There just seems to be too many for them all to be old rentals.
Location: Gard, France 30960. Used to be Languedoc-Roussillon but now it's Occitanie