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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
Racer

Ooo - great tie-in with the ad campaign slogan!

Buzz
Detailer

I bought my 1970 coronet Superbee out of Plano Texas and had it hauled up to Spokane Washington. I bought it has a rolling painted shell at about 10 boxes of parts. I hired an open transport. The guy didn’t check his weather radio leaving Denver and drove straight into a nasty storm with baseball sized hail. The car was completely battered from end to end. My insurance company at the time (not Hagerty) sent me to total loss claims and I thought tooth and nail for three months to get a repair settlement so that I could keep the car. We finally settled and I spent $4000 out of pocket along with the settlement to finish the car’s body. 7 years of blood, sweat and gears later, it was finished. I gave it the vanity plate, BEESTLY. Not only is it a Superbee but with all of the headaches in addition to the challenge of my first full restoration, the car was truly a beastly experience to complete.
DUB6
Racer

@Buzz - there are a few times when I wish I could give multiple "likes" to a post - yours is definitely one of those times.  Congratulations on both the success with the insurer and on the completion of the project.  Great plate story!

Roundhouse
Detailer

In the 80s I ordered a vanity pants that was “MY TAG “
DUB6
Racer

@Roundhouse 

I cannot contain my curiosity any longer: what, exactly, are vanity pants?

sspader
Pit Crew

Over the years I've had a few vanity plate. In NY I had a VW Rabbit with the license plate "WILDHARE". I also came across another VW owner with a GTI that had "TUFFHARE". My 1943 WW II Jeep had a plate that said "43-GPW". People who weren't wise in the Jeep ways would figure out the "43" part OK but the GPW stumped most folks except that were into WW II military vehicles. "GPW" was the government designation for the Ford version of the Jeep while the Willys designation was "MB". I currently have a 1984 Buick Riviera with a plate of "84-RIV". However, the best NH plate I saw said "&SQIRL". Took me a while to figure it out. We have conservation plates that have a picture of a "moose". And if you remember your Saturday morning cartoons from the 60's with Boris Badenov & Natasha, I think you can figure it out! Great topic!!
pinballjim
New Driver

The vanity tag on my BMW is
"0-KIDS".
DT
Instructor

I saw a guy in CA that was driving a very nice Z-28 clone. His plate read NOTAZUC. Took me a couple of minutes but thought it was pretty clever.
grumburg
Intermediate Driver

Was looking for a same year plate for my 72 Yamaha XS650 on eBay.
Found 1972 Ohio plate “XS”. Right year and state for $40. Would not have meant anything to anyone else. A friend said the odds were greater of getting struck by lightning.
KinkCobra
Pit Crew

I remember on from the 60's before DMV got smart....FSTPHKR.
KingCobra
rcmadd
New Driver

Some years ago when I moved to Colorado, I tried to get "DR OLDS" vanity plates for my 1969 Hurst Olds. They were already taken, so I ran "IMA HO" past my wife as a second choice. Needless to say that idea was rejected out of hand. I now run regular collector car plates. Some people just have no sense of humor.
drewman3
New Driver

I own a 1969 Triumph TR6.
My plate is... RYE TOE.
(Say it with a British accent) 🙂
PhantomRhino
New Driver

I am an avid vanity-plate person. I enjoy trying to figure out what the owner was "saying". At one point, due to our large family, we had a Suburban and one of the first Tahoes. The Suburban had "5 BOYS" and the Tahoe had "MINI SUB" (i.e, a small Suburban). A son worked at Disneyworld and, since Disney versions were difficult, he settled for "DIZ KNEE". I had a '74 TR6 and tried for "7T4 TR6", but it was already taken, probably by a non-Triumph owner. I settled for "GRTR6" for my initials and car model. In retirement, I've tried variations of the theme "DUN WRKN" to no avail. My all time favorite, however, was the picture of an attractive owner showing the plate on her Porsche - "WAS HIS". Sounds like it was part of a settlement. Keep 'em coming!
DAdams
Intermediate Driver

Being from Massachusetts I am always surprised at how many people get vanity plates in this state. Mass. registration rates for them are atrocious - as are the rates for an Antique registration. I've thought I could be persuaded for 3MTA3, but Mass. regulations prohibit that one. LUV2FLY caused me to think - driving home from my first solo flight toward my private pilot's license I drifted over the speed limit. Nothing exotic. Something like 40 in 30 mph zone. If I recall it was a Mass. Registry cop the stopped me. Yes, I got a ticket.

70-Z28-RS-LT-1
Pit Crew

Mine is pretty simple to figure out. 😀

 

IMG_20210722_184106286_HDR[1].jpg

lvc2jag
Intermediate Driver

My 91 Porsche 964 plate was WHOOSH. When people asked about it, I told them they would understand when I blew by them on the road.😃
lvc2jag
Intermediate Driver

One of the advantages of living in Nevada over California is fewer classic cars. I was able to get 52 JAG for my 52 roadster last year.
M2Pilot
Pit Crew

I've won 3 cars. I've resisted the temptation to get I1IT.
1of503
New Driver

We’ve always been a fan of personalized plates. Our 68 Triumph TR250 sported NISE TRI. The proper spelling was taken. When our son was old enough to buy a car to restore, it came home on a trailer. When his 65 Ranchero was completed it became his daily driver with the plate WZA JNKR. 20 years later he still has it. BTW for those in SoCal, check out the Nethercutt Museum; fantastic cars, many with cleaver plates.
Kraftwerk
Pit Crew

Years ago when NYC was a bit dangerous and hold-ups were common I saw the vanity plate;
HANDS UP
A few years ago we saw a brand new white BMW with the plate: KATEMOSS which just made us smile and laugh, kinda perfect. Last weekend I saw a pretty tricked out, new GTI with simply:
LOL ....rather envious of that one.
erne75
Advanced Driver

Many years ago I saw, on a busy road, a car which I hardly remember make, model or even color but both the license plate and the female occupant left me with a chuckle. The vanity plate read: PUTICA. This was in a Spanish speaking area of town...
Harley1826
New Driver

My friend who is a retired minister has a vanity plate that reads ALTAR EGO
and my friend “ Tony” has a vanity plate that reads GR8888T
fxstd
New Driver

The best plate I've seen in Michigan is WUZ FUZ. Obviously a retired cop. Very creative.
golfnut53083
Intermediate Driver

As you can see by my user name, I love to golf. In the mid '90's I was the owner of a cherry red 1988 Pontiac Fiero Formula that was a hoot to drive. When I was nearly exhausted trying to get a golf themed personalized plate, I chose ONNREG. The only people that "got it" were dye hard golfers. Do you?
DUB6
Racer

I get it, but only because I lost the remote once when a golf tourney was on and I accidentally overheard some of the commentary before I got over to the TV to change the channel!  🙄

Thanks for the backstory - and thanks for the mental image of you "hooting" while thrashing in that red bomber Fiero!

wdb
Advanced Driver

I inherited "L8R G8R" from my dad.
drummertom
Pit Crew

My Chevy has "DUBLNIKL"
DUB6
Racer

Cue Sammy Hagar!  (great road trip song!)  Oh, wait, now I'm thinking that must be telling us the year of your car.  Either way, even though you didn't actually tell us the backstory, maybe what we imagine it to be is just as good,,,

stony-lake
New Driver

I gave my wife Betsy a Bronco for her birthday HVN2BTZ
DUB6
Racer

Ya gotta know some "oldie" expressions to get this one - likely a lot of younger folks won't get that at all.  But fortunately, I'm an "oldie"!  😀

SirRichard
New Driver

My 1986 Ford Mustang vanity plates our M&M’s. Wish I could post a photo.
DUB6
Racer

@Sajeev can help you with that photo stuff!  But please, add the story behind the plates as well - this thread isn't just about what a plate says, but why it says it...

Sajeev
Community Manager
SlowPoke
New Driver

We had a 1980 Porsche 930 Euro for 26 years beginning 1982 with a Florida tag “EASY GO” which lived up to the double meaning when after MANY great miles we had to replace the head bolts when two broken ones were discovered during a clutch replacement..,,
Wish we still owned the 930 now!
normlr
New Driver

In NY they have "county" plates, that are held at the DMV office, and dispensed at the county clerks discretion, lower numbers being highly prized. These plates have a 2 letter abbreviation followed by a number, and the practice goes wayyyy back. I used to deal cars and lived in Fulton County. The county plates were either FC or FU followed by a number. Of course I had one FU plate until my wife wouldn't go to church in my car . EVERYBODY wanted the plate that a retired judge's wife had on her Cadillac..... The prized " FU 2"......
DUB6
Racer

Wow, did the minister know about this?  🤣

daren627
Pit Crew

I always go with the personalized tags. Got two matching sets now, but I'm down to four cars since I retired. I always had an average of 5, and had 8 when I retired. I've got SLOMOFO on my 2000 WS6. 2SLO2GO on my C5 Corvette. My 2008 Jeep is HOTSAUC and my 2014 Camry V6 SE is GOTSAUC. The slow themed tags are self explanatory. I'm known for my sarcasm. I'm also known for consuming hot sauces few humans can ingest. I also make my own because there's nowhere I'm going to have a meal that's going to have hot sauce anywhere nearly enough hot for me. I take it with me if I leave the house. Just in case.
DUB6
Racer

I like the hot sauce part of your plate backstory, as I'm the one in our family who craves the hottest I can get.  It's become a challenge to my grandson to try and best me in this, but so far he's failed miserably (and I DO mean miserably, for his mouth and stomach and sweat glands).  But I'm intrigued by SLOMOFO - typically, in my state, at least, you'd never ger MOFO past the censors, slow or otherwise!

Birdie8
Pit Crew

I purchased a new Mazda 626 coupe in Sacramento CA in 1986 for $12,500 out the door literally, I drove it out of the showroom. Although that doesn't seem like a huge price to pay in todays dollars, it was a huge investment for me at the time. Hence, my one and only vanity plate read, COSA4TN.
corv3tte
Intermediate Driver

I forgot when I posted my CORV3TTE plate yesterday, that as a sail boater, I managed to snag
SAILBOAT for my Enclave. In the past I've had IDSKPR, GRAN AM and FORMLA on Pontiacs, XPROBEX on my Ford, TO80Z and a couple that I can't recall. Always fun trying to devise a new one that makes sense.




Rossbateman
Pit Crew

Several tars ago, when the Ontario gov't was re-establishing its vanity plate program, I hustled down to tiny shoe-store/haberdashery/license office in tiny Port Rowan to get some new ones.

I didn't want to replace my Morgan 4/4's MMM*444 under the previous $25 program (when all you could get was letters, a crown, and numbers, in that order, but I wanted to look for something similar to the premier plate in the Province: that on the Lieutenant-governor's car: 1*1

.So, at 9AM sharp the door was unlocked. I walked in and asked for I*I. It was available, and in a few seconds, I had that for my MG. Then I went for "the series": II*II for my wife's car (She wears glasses, but that's a poor joke, I know.) and a third one that looked a bit like the Parthenon III*III. In about two minutes and $300 later, they were mine. ( I felt sorry, of course, for vanity-seekers lining up around the corners in Toronto.)

These plates look more like parts of the intended design of my cars than the look of bureaucratic prison uniform numbers of the usual plates.
3_Lightnings
Intermediate Driver

When Colorado first offered vanity plates I was able to get SHELBY for my '56 GT 350, and when I sold the car I acquired a '70 429 SCJ Torino Cobra that had the plate COBRA. I've still got the plate that I have currently on my '94 SVT Lightning.

When I bought my wife a '95 SVT Lightning in 2009 I asked her what personal plate she'd like and she settled for SVTRK. However, the first time she went to the gas station to fill it up someone asked her 'Is that a Service Truck?' She hasn't changed the plate, but she still laughs about owning a very special 'Service Truck'.
3_Lightnings
Intermediate Driver

Dang typing keys! It was a 1965 Shelby GT 350.....
DUB6
Racer

Did you put a toolbox and air compressor in the bed for her?  😉

3_Lightnings
Intermediate Driver

Toolbox, Air compressor? She's too quick and reliable a truck to even think about wanting those things. Racing into the future......
Billthecat707
Instructor

Ya know, "service truck". 🙂
Kewina50
Intermediate Driver

I always kept vanity plates on my cars. With six different plates costing an additional $100 per year each. Our state offers a permanent plate for collector cars and special interest vehicles. One reasonable fee and the car is registered forever. I abandoned my own 'vanity" for the "one-n-done" option. One plate I had several years ago, (kinda wish I had it still), was so very appropriate for our current times:...TWLTZNE. I believe Rod Serling would agree: We have all entered...The Twilight Zone! HPY MTRING!
torysyvrud
New Driver

I had a business meeting in downtown LA, and I was heading there on Santa Monica Blvd. I decided to turn right toward Wilshire by going down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Came up on a red light and already stopped in the right lane was a new white Rolls Royce with the top down. Approaching I could see a head of blonde hair over the top of the blue convertible boot. As I stopped alongside, the female driver came into view. She was gorgeous. LA gorgeous. Hollywood gorgeous. Movie star gorgeous. She turned and gave me a big smile. I thought, "oooh...", then remembered I was driving a gray Hertz sedan. As the light turned green, she drove away in her white Rolls, and I caught a glimpse of her plate which read: WASHIS. The perfect plate for Tinseltown.
DUB6
Racer

Ouch.  Painful on several levels...

torysyvrud
New Driver

Had a friend tell me about his doctor, a Urologist, who had vanity plates on his Mercedes which read IVSKIN. Let's see who gets this one.