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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

The best stories behind your favorite vanity license plates

Vanity license plates and collector cars go together like LFTTRNS and NASCAR, 57CHVYS and RKNRLL, and RDTRPS and STNWGNS. So, when we recently asked the Hagerty Community to share the stories behind your personalized plates, you CARCRZY peeps did not DSAPPNT. Some of your stories made us smile, some made us tear up, and some made us think.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/hagerty-community/the-best-stories-behind-your-favorite-vanity-license...
249 REPLIES 249
DUB6
Specialist

Wow, that one is even more obvious than mine.  Do you find yourself having to count to 10 before answering them?  🤣

franimal007
Intermediate Driver

I had a 55 T-Bird.
ERLY BRD
The-capt-ron
Pit Crew

On a C1 Corvette: NEW N 62
On a Red Ferrari: MISCUZE
convert66
New Driver

Mustangs for life,
Have had my 66 convertible for 15+ years it’s been a pleasure making her look the way she does now. Complimented the license plate “66MSTNG”.
Musco03
Intermediate Driver

INFERNO Was on my Ferrari and my first name was Dante. And when I moved to Florida years ago my first address had the numbers 666 in it.
Had a really great time dating!
DUB6
Specialist

I'm giving you a thumbs up - - - just in case 😊

Musco03
Intermediate Driver

Thanks
As they say "I rode that horse as long as I could "😁
Robertgouwens
Pit Crew

My brother has a GTO.
His license plate is old goat. He lives in Indiana.
He has a photo of his car with two more GTOs with the same plates, one from Illinois and the other from Wisconsin
JGeske
Instructor

I am from Wisconsin, and have seen a GTO at a car show here (Iola car show) with said plates, I would bet it is that same one.
corv3tte
Intermediate Driver

I got pretty close with mine....... CORV3TTE
Fiatfool
New Driver

When I registered my Fiat I used FIAT124. Everyone in my car club was like, “That was AVAILABLE?” But here’s the rub: it was a 2000.
Timbo
Detailer

Mine was "TIMSTR6" which was Tim's (Me) (Triumph) TR6. I was asked too many times what Timster6 meant.
Billthecat707
Instructor

While they're looking at the car? 🙄
the1vette
New Driver

My wife and I once owned a black 1984 Mercedes 350SD and a light cream 1985 Mercedes 190D. The plate on the black car was Ebony and on the white/cream car was Ivory. Go figure!
KYColonel
Detailer

C5 4ME
My wife got me this one for my Corvette back in 2001.
It still wears its plate proudly.
XLR-Pirate
Pit Crew

My Cadillac XLR which is built on a C6 Corvette platform has a license plate CADETTE.
Callen
Intermediate Driver

In 1999 I ordered a BMW M Roadster (MZ3), Estoril blue with all black interior and black top. While waiting for it to arrive ordered a vanity plate. What I wanted was 2000 M, but it was already taken and I had to settle for 2000 MZ3. A couple of weeks after ordering the plate I was at the dealer with my wife's 3 series. I ran into my salesman and he said "you should talk to get guy over there, he is picking up his M Roadster today". As I'm talking to the guy, turns out his car is Estoril blue with the black interior and top also. I started telling about the vanity plate I wanted and what I had to settle for. He was grinning the whole time. Yeah, he got the plate I wanted and ordered it one day before I tried to.
DUB6
Specialist

Wow, you told us the backstory for your plate, AND the other guy's, too.  Nice!

Chromer88
New Driver

We have a 1950 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon. A true woodie. The plays reads. NICE ASH.
papa94301
Intermediate Driver

I really liked the honesty of the person who put this California tag on his replica Cobra, which I saw at the Concorso Italiano parking lot some years back: FAUX 427.

I think my favorite one on the street was on a 1971 Olds Cutlass. It read: I WAS 9. Doesn't that just tell a story?

In California we have only seven characters, plus an optional space, but when I lived in North Carolina we had eight characters, and some friends of mine restored and souped up a Jaguar XJS so I thought up this vanity plate for them: BLEWBYOU.

My own plate, in California, is a mystery to most Americans. It's on my RHD Ginetta and it reads: REAL ALE. Folks from England understand the tie between classic cars and craft beer (as in the Campaign for Real Ale).
tdell461
New Driver

The story behind my Vanity license plates #UH-1D CE & #UH-1H CE:
I have quite an unusual set of license plates on both of our cars, and they are #UH-1D CE & #UH-1H CE. These represent the two different Helicopters I flew on while in Vietnam. I was a Crew Chief in Vietnam and one of my helicopters was a Model UH-1D Huey, and the other was a Model UH-1H Huey thus the Model Number of the choppers and letters CE for me the crew chief. Those were Uncle Sam's workhorses in Vietnam, and they were very reliable... We flew those helicopters day and night for my entire tour which lasted 11 months and 11 days in Vietnam. I was one of the lucky ones that came home in 1970 with all my limbs attached. As many did not...

DUB6
Specialist

@tdell461 - first, thanks for your time in the UH-1s.  Second, made for some good vanity plate backstories!  You and I were in Vietnam at the same time ('69-'70) and I agree 100% with your assessment of the Huey.  I rode in the back many a day in those, experiencing pings off the hull and rotor hits, and seldom saw one go down (none that I was on).  The Crew Chiefs and ground guys were the absolute best at keeping things in the air.  One of the pilots in the MAG that flew us around Quang Tri Province for most of my hitch is still one of my best friends after 50+ years (call sign QueBall, which is also the vanity plate on his '72 Camaro)!

1stGenCamaros
Intermediate Driver

I saw and liked a plate back in the late 70's that read "ILBCNU" Don't remember the car but it was something fast.
Bertone780
Detailer

Always thought I should get "8ERT0NE" for my Volvo 780.
j7161762gto
Pit Crew

hi j7161762gto here you are correct i have a 1966 gto with 1099 pass ri on it i had the same car at 16yrs old it was 4 yrs old i paid 750.00 for it it was not even messed with still had factory hub caps on it the person i got it from went to work as a salesman at amc dealer got a demo his wife could not drive 4 speed the one i have know is its twin yellow black vinyl top factory working a/c but its an auto to worn out and to much traffic for a 4speed i really had some guy say to me how much longer do you think this car is going to last all i said to him was a lot longer than the new bmw your driving i only wish my dad was still here to see how much they are worth because he told me i was crazy to pay that much for a 4 year old car oh well
autowriter
Detailer

Early on, I wanted to buy a used first generation Honda Prelude. I would have put the license plate PM FAUN on it. Not everyone would have gotten it, but I would Greatly have enjoyed meeting those who did.
Sam-D436-Pa
New Driver

I have had a few vanity plates over the years. There are two that stand out as the best of the bunch being in the funeral business. I decided to get creative in the late 70s. After a few quite a few cocktails went on to Pennsylvania's DMV to see what was available. At which time I acquired two. UNDRTKR and RUNXT. The first one went on the lead car in the 70s was a Cadillac Fleetwood and later transferred to an Escalade. The second (R U Next) was on the Hearse for one year as I received mixed comments about it, such as, How True, Tacky, Inappropriate, most of the time. A lot of laughs from every one that saw it. Still retain the undertaker plate on my Cadillac Allante.
papa94301
Intermediate Driver

We played it in high school band.
JPH27
New Driver

This is a great article! In DE, low digit license plates is big business. People pay 100K's for double and single digit tags. Even with PC (Passenger Carrier) and C (Commercial) as well. I've got E36, E46, E92, AP2, (You can guess the cars they are on) four, 4 digit tags and one 3 digit PC. I've had plenty of other creative names as well, but registration only allows for 2 tags including a vanity and the way the letters have to come before numbers limits some of your flare. We also can display with black & white stainless steel and porcelain plates as well. To me, sometimes the tag makes the car!
GoFast
Advanced Driver

most of these plates are dum. Try harder next time. Like mine: ZORA AD on my 2020 Corvette. Extra points to those who decoded AD.
dclaxon
Intermediate Driver

In 2011 I bought a VW Karmann Ghia convertible that had been built the same month I had graduated from high school (May 1970.) Before the next class reunion it was wearing a plate with my name and the year, CLAXN 70. It still has that plate, and is currently in the garage getting the ORIGINAL top replaced, and hopefully will be back on the road in time for the 50th reunion, which has been delayed by the covid.
Also, in spring 1991, shortly after I graduated from University of Illinois in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (yes, it took me a few years, I didn't make it through on the first try,) I bought a Dodge Caravan and I put the plates UI TAM 91 on it. Those plates and the minivan are both long gone.
Stang16
New Driver

On my Porsche, my tag was IXXI. 911 in Roman numerals.
The name of my auto painting business was Budget Auto Painting, my tag was BUDGET, and it was on my RR Silver Shadow. Got lots of comments and laughs with that one.
Rossbateman
Pit Crew

Years ago, the day the new series of vanity plates was initiated in Ontario, I decided to hustle down to the nearest license shop to buy something distinctive & attractive. My Morgan 4/4 already had MMM*444 (the only configuration early on was letters, a crown, and numbers) and I didn't want to change that. I knew that the premier plate in the Province was the Lieutenant-governor's: 1*1. So for my $100 I thought it would be cute & distinctive to emulate that, with I*I . The store, a tiny shoe-and haberdashery shop in tiny Port Rowan, opened at nine---the door was unlocked and within seconds, I'd asked for i*i & it was available. Then I decides on II*II for a second plate, and III*III for a third. All available by 9:05 AM. (I could imagine round-the-block lineups in Toronto and I felt sorry for those people.). The ii*II plate, is for my wife's car (She wears glasses: a poor joke, i know). The III*III reminds me of the Parthenon---but all three appear to be graphic parts of the car designs---and not prison-uniform-like bureaucratic numbers.
67GrandPrix
New Driver

Several years ago, I bought a '67 Pontiac Grand Prix that is nearly identical to one my father bought brand new. He sold it in the 70's and regretted it ever since. I purchased this GP and let my dad keep it in his garage. I have a personalized antique plate which reads, "67 GRAND".
Hercule
Intermediate Driver

Best one I ever saw was IM LATE, on a white rabbit, second best was VANITY, on a tiny van, both here in Ontario. I've got HERCULE on my aircool VW bug. No one gets it.
wickedace
Pit Crew

I have a 2002 Camaro SS convertible I ordered pre-production in August 2001. It is white with a white top. I got the vanity plate to put on at delivery. SSNOW
1d1a2d2a
Intermediate Driver

My vanity plate is, Senile. Hahaha Bought it from a friend and his 1947 Studebaker Champion.
DUB6
Specialist

So, is your story that it's an accurate description, or not?  😂

beamo
Pit Crew

My german last name is quite long so I've always been called the shortened version 

"Beamo". My 2004 corvette has the plate BMOZ04. 

beamo
Pit Crew

My german last name is quite long so I've always been called the shortened version "Beamo".
My 2004 corvette has the plate BMOZ04.
ConfuciusRacing
Detailer

on my 2006 Ford GT: "ENZOSWRY"
Inline8OD
Technician

Knew an internist whose plate was THYROID, and a nurse whose minivan was ATIVAN.
SilentBoy741
Instructor

That moment when you settle in, click open the Daily Driver, spit out your coffee and go, "Hey that's my car!"
markim
Pit Crew

Close to 10 years ago I was going through the phase of change so I had a plate with MANOPOZ on my collector car. It was all I needed for justification to my better half to own the car. I sold the first car, bought another toy and am past that stage in my life. All my wife and I do now is have fun in our little Miata.
tpkrods
Pit Crew

I have a1968 Hemi GTX that I recently completed restoring. While I was restoring it, I thought about what would be an appropriate vanity plate to have on the car. My favorite was "DUMBO" but when I applied at motor vehicles, I was informed that any plate with a Disney reference was long gone. OK so plans B to Z. As luck would have it, I was able to succeed with my second choice "PKYDERM". Turns out that may have been the better choice as its fun watching people stare at the plate with a look on their face that clearly says "what the heck does that mean?" A few true Mopar fans do figure it out when they see the HEMI badge mounted on the trunk lid.
DUB6
Specialist

So sad that there are so many people who don't know about the elephant motor (and Im not even a Mopar guy!) - but kudos to you for helping keep the message out there in your cool GTX!

Billthecat707
Instructor

Love it, truly appropriate.
Jackrambler
Pit Crew

When the province of Ontario came late to the dance allowed vanity plates sometime in the '70s, they underwhelmed, charging a lot and limiting choices to three capital letters and three numerals, which was consistent with standard issue plates at the time. A teacher quickly grabbed ABC 123. Wow. I noticed a Rover TC200 with a plate which got around the censors and amused me greatly. The plate read MMM 069. (Hint; think the letter O rather than the numeral 0.) I had a '67 Rover at the time, so I looked at the car first and subsequently noticed the clever plate.
Kazi
New Driver

My 73 Duster was DUSTED
2006 Mustang GT was BOBZGT
2014 Challenger R/T is BOBS RT
Wife's 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee is DEBJEEP
DADSOLDS_1968
Pit Crew

If you haven't guessed by now what my favorite vanity plate is, it's in my user name. 'DADSOLDS'
When my Dad and I refurbished his 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass 'S' we saw it fitting that we go vanity plates. I started driving it in '83 and to this day I call it DADSOLDS in response to that 'not so great' ad campaign Oldsmobile rolled out way back when. 'This is not your father's Oldsmobile.' Well this one is!!!