Vanity plates will set you back a few extra dollars in the United States, but you can’t get even vanity plates in Britain. Instead, those looking for special plates to adorn their cars are forced to find buy them at auction where one guy just bought plate number “25 O” for £518,000.
That translates to $814,000 which is completely insane. The plate was just one of 1,600 that were offered up by the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency as a part of its 25th anniversary and marked their 150th auction. This was also the second plate that the buyer took home from the auction as he earlier purchased “250 L” for £130,320 or $205K.
Who spends that kind of cash on little pieces of metal to affix to the bumpers of his cars? That’d be one John Collins who is the owner of classic car broker Talacrest.
The “25 O” license plate that cost more than most of our houses will now be going on the bumper of a Ferrari 250 GT SWB that once belonged to Eric Clapton. The other plate will be adorning his 1964 Ferrari Lusso which is a long-wheelbase touring version of the same car.
After the auction, Collins was asked just how much he’d have been willing to pay to get these plates for his precious Ferraris. He said that he was determined to own them and it was a matter of how much, not if, he’d get them in the auction so a £1 million plate wasn’t out of the question.
His purchase also set a new record, breaking one previously set in March of 2009 when “1 D” went for £357,000 or $560K. It also beat another pricey purchase made by Afzal Khan, a tuner who paid £440,000 or $688K for the “F1” plate in 2008. This is less than what Collins paid, but accounting for exchange rates at the time, it actually works out to more at around $870K.
It all sounds a bit on the crazy side, and truly it is, but there might be a significant return on the investment in these special plates. Khan is currently sporting his “F1” plate on a Bugatti Veyron and was recently offered a ridiculous some of money for the plate.
Khan turned down an offer of $9.3 million for the plate. That’s enough to buy more than a few new supercars, but Khan said the plate is his favorite and he has no intention of giving it up.