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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

Ah, glad they taught us Roman Numerals in school!

C7W289
Intermediate Driver

Sorry if this is repeated, computer issues.
I tried to get a subtle plate that only car folks would notice. I got C7W 289. If you know ford part numbers it's easy. Reminds me when my first daughter was born at 427 AM. Car guys would say "Well that's easy to remember!" and others would hear that and just tilt their heads like my dog.
Stinger76
New Driver

I wanted something descriptive for my '76 Corvette, so I got the antique tag L-48 HP. I hope you know what HP stands for, but if not, it makes sense as you watch my tail lights disappear. But the best vanity tag I have ever seen was on a beautiful Bullet Green Mustang which read, TI 3VOM.
I got the meaning immediately since he was tailgating me in the fast lane and the mirror image of his tag quickly explained to "MOVE IT" LOL
Billthecat707
Instructor

My favorite on a big-block Vega back in the '80's - SMOCUM
74sunbug
New Driver

I had an 82 VW Vanagon camper. If you aren’t familiar, Vanagons are big and square. And slow. I made a front plate for it, using an old metal hip prosthesis and it said ‘(hip)2B🔲‘. ‘Hip to Be Square’ is an old Huey Lewis & the News song and I thought that the plate was clever and the hip prosthesis would be neat conversation piece, since it was a souvenir of my surgical tech days. Apparently I was the only one who thought so and none ever asked about it…
eighthtry
Advanced Driver

Mine
2018 Corvette Z07 - CRAZ FST - Should have done STPD FST
61 Chevy Apache 10 - PROJEK - It has never ceased being so.
2011 GMC Yukon Denali - A QUEEN - No it is not mine. It is my wife's. I do get looks when I drive it however. She is THE QUEEN (would not fit), as in Elizabeth. I am Prince Phillip and I am dead.
DUB6
Specialist

I really like "PROJEK - It has never ceased being so", and I'm betting there are many others who can definitely relate (and wish they'd thought of it for their never-ending stories)  😎

Alpinist
New Driver

I’ve had an 80’s Lotus Esprit since 2009. In the spirit of James Bond, I secured the license plate 007 CAR. I wanted to have a vanity plate that was subtle, in fact, one that looked like a regular plate. At that time, a vanity plate in my home state could not be the same configuration as a regular license plate (three numbers followed by three letters). To get around this issue, the two leading alphanumerics I chose are not 0’s, but O’s. So it’s “double O” which seems rather fitting.
BenKayfetz
New Driver

If you are in Ontario Canada there are a lot of great Ontario vanity plates here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/247687177519183
Autoxr1
Intermediate Driver

I have a 2018 Shelby Mustang GT350 with the 5.2L Voodoo V8 that has an amazing 8250 rpm redline. The first vanity plate I put on it was SHFTL8R. This year I changed that to GOTREVS. The other plate I like for this car is GT3FIDY which fans of South Park (Loch Ness Monster episode) will get.
rluciano
Pit Crew

My favorite that I have seen was a Maserati with DUZ-185. I’m not that creative. My 1959 Austin Healey Sprite wears FROGEYE, and my 1925 Hispano Suiza H6B has “1925 H6B”
aenthal
Pit Crew

My 1960 Edsel has the plate EDSEL X.
Back in 1978, when I ordered it, California only allowed 6 digits and a half space. (You can now have 7). I went to the DMV with the intention of plating it NO JOKE. But that was taken. So was A EDSEL, and most other obvious choices. You could not have 60 EDSEL yet, but LX is 60 in Roman numerals, and it is a mysterious letter. So EDSEL X it became.
aenthal
Pit Crew

Favorite plate I saw on a vehicle was in the 1970's. A little Datsun pick up truck had DATS ME.
Ray48
New Driver

I became enamored with the Lotus Elan in the '60s. Fortunate enough to have owned both a '69 and '70 S4. Sold the last one 2 years ago, as I found it too difficult to work on, both to its small size and my large size (and age). Anyway, I bought a new Miata ND, and snagged the plate (ELAN S5) for it. Some of my fellow British car friends wanted to commit bodily harm on my person!
Robartz
New Driver

How about “SHELEFT”?
SilentBob
Pit Crew

"WHY TRY"

Virginia tag for 1972 GHIBLI
POTATOZ78
New Driver

My 1978 280z is Potatoz "potatoes" on an agricultural plate.

Mostly because of its potato-head collection of parts in a Datsun shell: Ford motor, a turbo, GM IRS, VW seats and shift knob, BMW wheels. But when someone said it as Potato Z...well that works too. Lots of family memories with this car which I think is what its all about.
Mike_B
Intermediate Driver

When I bought my '70 Cougar Eliminator I wanted to put vintage plates on it ~ ideally something with "428" on them since my car has a 428CJ. I contacted a guy in my State that specializes in vintage plates and he sent me pics of an "NOS" set that he had. They had never been used and were still in the DMV envelope. Yep, those were the ones!
They are so perfect that when I went to the DMV to register them the little old lady behind the counter read them and said "MEW... oh these would be great for a cat lover!"
Why yes, yes they are 🙂

IMG_1572.JPG

sweepster
New Driver

Saw this plate on a sweet Maserati on Long Island: PP DOC. Yes, he was obviously a urologist.
Corvettebaggs
Intermediate Driver

My '70 Road Runner read: 7TAGOGO
13eagle
Pit Crew

My boss once bought a very ratty '72 Firebird from an estate sale; its California vanity plate read "DATE ME". Yeah, I bet that tactic was successful...

raysfirebird14.JPG

13eagle
Pit Crew

raysfirebird9.JPG

13eagle
Pit Crew

Just remembered a good one: Austin-Healey Sprite with CA plate "NOT 7UP".
VLStu
Pit Crew

Back in the early 80's I read a really great story about John Ward's "Bad A** Cadillac". One thing that stuck in my mind was his California plate number. When I decided to get custom plates for my black AMX, I decided to go for a New York version of "1FASTMF".
To my surprise, the request sailed through, and within a few weeks I had my blue & gold custom plates. They got quite a bit of attention - especially when I drove the car to Daytona for the 500 one year.
Fast forward a few years, and NY changed their plates to red, white, and blue. Everyone with custom plates was supposed to automatically receive a new set in the mail. I waited ... and waited ... and the plates did not arrive before the expiration date of my old plates. So I called the DMV, and reached a nice older woman who looked up my account. She said "hmmmmm ... they seem to be on hold for some reason ..." I asked her what I needed to do to get them off hold, and I still remember her saying "It's okay sweetie, I'll release them for you - it's probably a mistake."
A few weeks later I had my shiny new 1FASTMF red, white and blue NY license plates!
DUB6
Specialist

I'm amazed that they let it through the first time, let along the second.  That makes for a pretty good backstory, for sure!  😊

Tom9716
Detailer

I’m a member of the Porsche Club of America, so when Texas approved a specialty plate for our club, I was one of the first to order one. Of course, I tried to think up something related to my Porsche ownership. After trying multiple variations with no luck (all of my ideas were already taken), I typed in “P CAR” on a whim and, surprisingly, it was available. I bought it on the spot.
red-on-red
Intermediate Driver

Once upon a time I had a hot rod 55 Chevy. It had a 283 mouse motor, 4-speed, and a posi. When I registered it, the new license plates that they handed me were " MKY 283 ".
Cool , and I didn't even have to pay extra.
DUB6
Specialist

An "accidental" fun backstory - I like it!  Thanks, @red-on-red!

jsmarsh
Intermediate Driver

For a few years I lived near Carlisle, Pa where the annual "Corvettes at Carlisle" event occurs. Being an amateur photographer I was suddenly aware and overtaken by the volume and imagination of an apparent majority of the thousands of Corvettes I saw there that had vanity plates. I will forever be in awe of the Vette drivers that concocted an unbelievable variety of phrases in 8 letters or less. I have a great collection of photos of those plates but I couldn't seem to upload one as an example. /Desktop/CVetts@Carlisle-11_250811_098-A.JPG
Sajeev
Community Manager
jsmarsh
Intermediate Driver

Thanks Sajeev.  I downloaded the photo above in another post.  It's taking me a while to get comfortable with the software.  But just because I'm a braggart, I'll leave another one here.

Cvettes@Carlisle_12_250812_074-A.jpeg

Sajeev
Community Manager

I love it, thank you for sharing that photo. I know the software isn't the easiest thing in the world, but that C6 plate was worth the effort! 

alfaq
New Driver

I'VE GOT AN BMW E30 VERT- MPROVED
shidevlin
New Driver

I saw a Renault Le Car in the 80s with a tag "LE TAG" .
jsmarsh
Intermediate Driver

For a few years I lived near Carlisle, Pa where the annual "Corvettes at Carlisle" event occurs. Being an amateur photographer I was suddenly aware and overtaken by the volume and imagination of an apparent majority of the thousands of Corvettes I saw there that had vanity plates. I will forever be in awe of the Vette drivers that concocted an unbelievable variety of phrases in 8 letters or less. I have a great collection of photos of those plates but I couldn't seem to upload one as an example.

** Thanks Sajeev for showing me how to upload an image.   Here it is:

CVetts@Carlisle-11_250811_098-A.JPG

DUB6
Specialist

Do you suppose it belongs to a Count (who can't be seen in a mirror) and says "Velcome to my home" ven you come to wisit him?

jsmarsh
Intermediate Driver

There are definitely other interpretations.  Including my own.  You can count on it.

 

Woly
New Driver

If you are a Cobra owner, how’s “QQOBRA” or “SNAQQE”,…. gotta work the fangs & eyes into the message,..
DUB6
Specialist

Terrrrrible spelling, but clever!

ed
Advanced Driver

I use HAVOVOM on my SL63. Two things to consider: 1) New England states require front plates, 2) I live near Boston.
Captain823
New Driver

Working law enforcement for too many decades, you see them all. Last year, near Charlotte, NC, I saw a woman driving a pickup truck with the plate 1HRLYGAL. Because of my occupation, my mind read it differently from its intended meaning. I then noticed a motorcycle sticker on the vehicle that likely provided me with the correct meaning.
DUB6
Specialist

Funny - I've never been in law enforcement and for about 50 years, I rode motorcycles, and yet I too jumped to the same meaning as I suspect you did @Captain823.  🙄

Hey, but as one dirty old man to possibly another, please let me thank you for your decades of cop service.  Definitely a tough job, and we too often don't show enough appreciation for those that choose it and stick with it (IMHO).

Buddy623
New Driver

I had a 1988 IROC-Z convertible tagged: ROOFLSS. The tags expired in 1999 however I kept them. I now have a `1999 Corvette Convertible (family owned since new, 23K on the odometer) that I put that tag on at car shows since the expiration date matches the year the car was built. I get a lot of comments at shows/gatherings about it.
MINITEE64
New Driver

Well mine's pretty self explanatory, although sometimes I do get asked if I'm a golfer.
MINI - I'm on my second MINI Cooper, the dream one day is to have a classic though - fingers crossed.
My first name starts with the letter "T"

Hence the birth of MINI TEE
DUB6
Specialist

I hope you someday get that vintage Mini @ddub.  I would love one too!

ddub
New Driver

Best one I've seen was recently on a newer black sedan. The tag said "BuryEm" Can only wonder if he was an undertaker! 😆
rjamw
New Driver

I have a 2005 MB CL65 V-12 with the plate "STRSNSE". This stands for the 2006 Breeders Cup Juvenile winner Street Sense. I have been a life long horse player and this was the biggest score I ever had. I was able to make a nice deposit on a 2004 Infiniti G35 coupe, a terrific underrated car, fast, handles well, great amenities.
Mountaindriver
Pit Crew

MAVERATI. A very nondescript 1973 Ford Maverick, 2 door, 305 V8, LDX option package (buckets, vinyl seating, floor shift automatic, AC, vinyl top, white, boring.)
And then, a few years later: A 1989 Ford Probe, same basic package, white with blue velour interior, 5 speed, non functioning AC, the FORDRARI. Took these cars to many many local car shows. Always a lot of smiles, but never an award. Small old white Fords don't get many votes.
wentwest
Intermediate Driver

Not mine but I wish it was. Someone in the neighborhood where I used to live had the plate TIVOOM. It seems like nothing until you see it in the rear view mirror, and then ....
TACoupe
Pit Crew

Mine is TA COUPE
Obvious to most of the older crowd like me. Won't let me post a pic but if you go here to see my car you can probably figure it out:

https://imgur.com/gallery/owWcE0q

Roy