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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
RokemRonnie
Instructor

My late father had vanity plates that weren't really vanity plates. He was a veterinarian (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) and his clinic was on Detroit's Woodward Ave. Back then all regular Michigan plates had a three leter prefix followed by three numerals. The prefixes were assigned to particular Secretary of State offices, which issues plates in Michigan. When the red, white, and blue bicentennial plates came out for 1976, my dad found out which office was assigned the series that started DVM, as it happened just down Woodward in Highland Park, and he got the folks working at that branch to let him get DVM-000 and DVM-001 for the family cars. I still have DVM-001.
DUB6
Specialist

I've said since the beginning that the stories about the plates are generally more entertaining than the clever plates themselves. This, to me, is an example of that belief. The stars had to align just right for this to happen. And @RokemRonnie has a great memory that ties him tohis father.
firemanjax
New Driver

My 1978 Gold Pontiac Trans AM sports BA on the plate. I wanted TA or some other combination but none were available. Oddly enough BA was available, and since I think the TA is Bad A$$ it fits.
I previously had 6y on the car but few could figure out the SEXY reference.
DUB6
Specialist

Don't you just hate it when no one else is a clever as you are?  You spend all that energy thinking up the greatest vanity plate message ever conceived, only to be surrounded by people who can't recognize your genius!  I feel your pain, @firemanjax!  😉

RPdL
New Driver

The best I ever saw was "Ciao BB" on the back of a (of course) Red Boxer Berlinetta.
Ranger240
Intermediate Driver

A girl from my college days had a dad w/ great plates. “ENZO 4RE” was on the back of his Enzo.

I was invited once to make the 3hr trip over to see his collection, but school assignments got in the way.
papa94301
Intermediate Driver

The owner of my favorite body shop long had a 360 Modena (manual) and now has a 458 Italia. They both carried the same plate (which he switched when he sold the Modena). It's true and it reads: MY DAILY.
DUB6
Specialist

Man, I woulda skipped class!  😋

SCHNELL
Intermediate Driver

Plate should match the car, nothig else, but different strokes for different folks
Rider79
Technician

Why should they?
MeanMrMustard
Intermediate Driver

See above
MeanMrMustard
Intermediate Driver

Well if you want other people to recognize and get a kick out of your vanity plate then I agree it should kinda go with the car because no one’s gonna get obscure references. I mean to me half of these in this article don’t even make sense because they’re so personal.
I have a 72 Lincoln Continental Mark IV and the color is light yellow gold just like Grey Poupon mustard and that is my license plate.. Poupon.
Hymie60
Intermediate Driver

My friend has 68 Chevelle, with a vanity plate in Cal. IDMA 68. “It Doesn’t Mean a Thing 68”.
wahip1
Pit Crew

Most people seem to pronounce the name of my Abarth incorrectly, so my plate allows for the correct pronunciation... "ABART".
daffodildeb
Intermediate Driver

My 986 Boxster S bears the plate “Sabine1.” (I tried to get just plain “Sabine” but couldn’t.) The car is named for the Queen of the Nurburgring, Sabine Schmitz, who sadly died last year, although I already had the plate.
BCONNER
New Driver

Have to share my Arizona Veterans Vanity Plate, no doubt about the meaning:
IRSSUX




DUB6
Specialist

When it comes to my wallet, they actually VACUUM...

erne75
Advanced Driver

Your other car should bear plate: GOVSUX
avideo
Detailer

My Shelby GT350 Fastback has the Arizona license plate "REAL 350"!

And yes - it really is a real Shelby GT350 in the Shelby Registry and signed twice on the car's glove box and the Driver's side sun visor by Carrol Shelby himself!
ThePorscheMan
Detailer

So it's got fake signatures as his name is...
Carroll.
papa94301
Intermediate Driver

I was once talking to Bruce Canepa at a car show where he had his (real) Shelby Cobra and he told me it was the rarest Cobra. "How so?" I asked. "It's not been signed by Carroll Shelby" he replied.
tpkrods
Pit Crew

What a great response, My 68 GT-350 ranks with those as well. No Carroll Shelby signature but my plate plate says exactly how I feel about my Shelby "GT-XTC"
DUB6
Specialist

in addition to timing, spelling and proofreading, as they say, is everything...

tpkrods
Pit Crew

haha looks like like you got me
MysticCtDon
Pit Crew

Best tag I've ever see belonged to "Charlie the welder" in Connecticut in the 1960s. His vehicle sported the plate "IOU 69". Still gives me a chuckle........
RogerRamjet
Pit Crew

About 20 years ago I bought a 1959 Porsche 356 from a friend. When I went to get plates I thought I might as well ask for one with the number 356, even though that number was probably spoken for long ago. The clerk looked it up and she said it wasn't available, but then she said, "Wait, it was reserved, but it hadn't been renewed and the grace period has just expired, so it's yours if you want it." Of course I wanted it!

Also, many years ago I owned a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Short-Wheelbase Berlinetta and got a license plate with "SWB" on it (see the car model description above). Another case of asking for what you want.
DUB6
Specialist

timing, as they say, is everything...

Cobraguy427
Pit Crew

I have 65 427 Cobra built by Cardiac Cobras I Canada in the late 80s to early 90s before production ceased.

My plate.is
WHOSNZO
ThePorscheMan
Detailer

Newmarket area??
I think I recall seein' that.
68RSSS396
Pit Crew

When I finally had the opportunity to buy my first Harley I wanted a personalized plate. I own an auto repair shop called Able Auto Repair. We named that because we wanted to be one of the first shops listed in the phone book. Customers would come into the shop and wanted to talk to Mr. Able. So when I got my vanity plate went with RUABLE.
JBBearcat
Detailer

In 1979 I bought a new Mustang.
A couple of years later I was in the Air Force and kept my official home state plates
Vanity plates were inexpensive, so I chose P-51, appropriate for a Mustang.
One day I'm driving and I get pulled over.
The policeman just wanted to ask whether I owned a P-51.
"If I could afford a Mustang, would I be driving a Mustang?"
Rider79
Technician

Well, ya gotta get to the airport! ;<)
68RSSS396
Pit Crew

I told a coworker I liked the vanity plate on his Mustang. He said "Oh that. It was just the plate they handed me." It was F16 KID.
timb0
Intermediate Driver

Back in the 1970's, Herb Caen from the SF Chronicle reported that a beautiful young woman sported the plate on her XKE that read 41BJ. Not sure if they will print this, as I have been unable to find the reference to it on the net, in one of his daily columns from that era. I remember it well though.
Rider79
Technician

I must be naive; I don't understand. "BJ", maybe, but 41?
sspader
Pit Crew

"41" = For One ........
DUB6
Specialist

Yeah, the backstory on that one might indeed be unprintable!

DT
Advanced Driver

For one BJ, Get it now ???
DT
Advanced Driver

I can back you up on this one. I saw that article too 🙂
Gimmea6
Pit Crew

I thought about vanity plates for my 1997 Mazda MX-5 but I decided to stick with my standard issue 405-PLN in honor of Paul Newman. He wore those initials on his helmet and on his race cars.
Kern
Pit Crew

I agree that the stories are fun and the plate can also be obscure enough to have to be explained. This adds to the fun.

I have had a 1991 Jaguar XJ-S convertible for several years and had the plate "NCHNTRS" on the car. Many people could not figure it out, some did. I explained that the plate stood for ENCHANTRESS and when my wife was driving the car it referred to her. When I was driving the car, it referred to the car. Both are enchanting in their own way.
DUB6
Specialist

Nice double meaning!  Your wife and your car are both lucky to have you around...

RonRod
Pit Crew

RonRod

My wife's 2012 911S Carrera Cabriolet has NJ plate MY ROI.
Her work took her to really rough and dangerous places around the world and she applied her bonuses to buy the car new.
Ric_Rabbit
Pit Crew

If you ever have a great, or even good, idea for a vanity plate, keep it to yourself until it's yours. Back in about 1999 I posted on a BMW forum that I was go to get VIIIV for my BMW '88 535is. By the time I got to DMV somebody else had taken it.
DaveB
Detailer

LOL. thanks for the smiles.
ThorstenD
Pit Crew

One of my all time favourite vanity plates is PD4BYDK, on a fancy Lexus owned by a very clever dentist.
uweschmidt
Instructor

DUB6 What a beautiful Lady to leave us so soon Tears
DUB6
Specialist

@uweschmidt - Thanks, I appreciate the kind words.  Talking about her and our close connections (the car being just one of them) helps a lot.  So many of the Hagerty Community have expressed sympathy - and I truly thank each and every one.  I know others have lost loved ones, and that I'm not alone, but sometimes it is nice to have someone say something nice about her on these pages.  After all, she's the entire reason I'm even on here - if not for her desire for that car, I'd probably just be driving my '02 Dodge pick-up, and no need for Hagerty Insurance membership for that old hulk!

 

a cold brew beside the campfire...a cold brew beside the campfire...

Postie-13
Intermediate Driver

Saw this plate in Ontario Canada: GTOVRIT
Apparently the owner wanted "SUKITUP" but was not allowed to get it.
So, they settled for ..."GETOVERIT"
Very novel!