Number Plate Stories
What a nice pair!
Finding a matching pair of number plates is rare but rewarding. Dean Lawrence Easterby, from Longton near Preston bought his first number plate when he was just 18 years old. “I’d been interested in number plates since I was 15. As soon as I passed my driving test, I bought a Ford Cortina with the Irish plate MIA 8508 and was soon calling the car Mia. In 1981 my mother and I bought a Rolls Royce, a 1969 Silver Shadow. A friend at the time had the plate 5 Y00 which appealed to me. I soon found 3 Y00 for myself.”
It wasn’t long before Dean had bought a car which also had another similar plate. “4 G00 was on a 1963 Austin Cambridge. It was in the days when you often had to buy the car to get the plate. The trouble was, I still craved a plate with my initials DLE. In 1984, when I was 21 years old, I was lucky enough to see DLE 1 advertised. I decided right then to start searching for 1 DLE, the reverse plate, to make a pair. This took a little longer than expected – 15 years to be precise.
“1 DLE is now my favourite plate. Not only is it my initials, but it also spells ‘idle’, which I’m not, by the way! I can’t imagine ever parting with these numbers. I can safely say that I would sell absolutely everything else first!”
Stephen William Latimer from Bath has also become attached to his pair of plates. He already had 9 SWL when he discovered SWL 9 in 1978. “9 SWL has been in my family from the date it was first issued. The DVLA found it amusing that I was transferring a registration number to and not from a Morris Minor! 9 SWL is on my Mercedes, which is the 11 th car that has worn it since 1976. That was when the transfer fee was just £5.”
A father from Cornwall saw the long term value of owning a really good pair of plates. He bought WET 1 and 1 WET for his children as an investment for their future. “My parents left the children some money in trust, but I decided to put it to better use for them. I think personal number plates are a far better investment option than stocks and shares. When the time comes we will only sell the plates as a pair, they’ll be worth more that way. I hope there are lots of rich ducks out there!”
One pair of plates that haven’t managed to get together yet are 1 TEL and TEL 1. Former England football coach, Terry Venables has 1 TEL but TEL 1 was sold a few years ago to a man in Essex.Finding a matching pair of plates can be like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack, which is why it’s a shame when you hear that a couple of numbers that have been together for years have split up. NAS 1 and 1 NAS were previously owned by boxing champion Prince Naseem. He had already decided to sell the plates when his Mercedes with NAS 1 crashed in March 2005. NAS 1 sold a few months later to a private collector in Luton, Bedfordshire.