QotW: What’s your favorite period-correct license plate for your JNC?

Skyline License Plate

Thanks to California’s Legacy License Plate program we’ve been talking a lot about the proper period-correct license plates for your JNC recently. We’ve been Cali-centric, but we’d like to open the question up to our readers worldwide.

What’s your favorite period-correct license plate for your JNC?

A visit to Nissan resto-mod specialist Rocky Auto last year revealed a hakosuka GT-R with a a very unique plate. To quote David, “In Japan, whenever a car changes owners or is de-registered its plates are sent in to the rikuunkyoku, or vehicle registration center, and subsequently destroyed, whereupon new plates are made and re-issued. This plate, however, was the original plate, with only one digit on top rather than three, from when the car was brand new. That means that this KPGC10 GT-R is a one owner car!”

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of the last QotW, “Just the tip of the iceberg, or last of a dying breed? 

1988 Honda Civic CRX HF

Our winner this week is CobaltFire, who says of the mysterious trend of mint hi-po Hondas coming out of the woodwork:

I’m not sure which it is myself. I had the privilege of owning and driving a 74,000 mile, 100% original and in 95% condition (at least) 1991 CRX HF for a year. I was the second owner. I had bought it to drop a hot motor in, etc. but could not bring myself to do so. Taking that car to Cars and Coffe in Dallas was the experience that changed my mind. I had an NSX ask to park next to it (a 1991 in similar condition, red to my white) and had at least as many people looking all over the CRX as the NSX.

I ended up selling it off to a med school student sight unseen (he flew in to Texas from Chicago based on pictures) for over $6,000 about three years ago. I regret selling it to this day.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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15 Responses to QotW: What’s your favorite period-correct license plate for your JNC?

  1. CobaltFire says:

    Thanks, and from my first post too! Looking forward to rocking those on my next JNC (I’m without currently, but eyeing a few).

  2. 947METALWORKS says:

    Being from Oregon I have always loved the blue and yellow Oregon “Pacific Wonderland” plates. Oregon currently offers a new throw back version of the “Pacific Wonderland” plate but it comes with a hefty initial cost and subsequent yearly registration cost at double the usual registration price. I still personally like the original “Pacific Wonderland” plate far more due to the modern look of the new throw backs just not quite hitting the mark.

  3. cesariojpn says:

    Hawaii had only one for my state for the time period: The Warrior Head Plate.


    This does scream 80’s, It’s simple, defines Hawaii at a glance, and pays homage to Hawaiian History. Of course, this changed in 1991 with the “Rainbow” Plate (and is still used to this day, go figure). Surprised that plate hasn’t gotten Hawaii into trouble with the Anti-LGBT folks. Anyway…..

  4. redma61 says:

    I haven’t really thought about this much but since I’m importing my 69 corona into japan, I wonder if it will get a one owner license plate like the above mentioned GTR.
    I have noticed the California plates are a bit popular out here in certain car cultures.

  5. Gary says:

    In Australia licence plates are called number plates. I am an avid collector of number plates as my great grand father owned the No.2 car registered in the State of New South Wales (and No.2 plates). he died in 1958 and my great aunt sold the car with the plates! Thye later resurfaced and have been the highest price yielding plate in Australia!!

    We have a very fluid and dynamic market for selling and buying. Our plates have no real significant aspects that relegate them to indicate one-owner car (I know other Aussies will contest this), but we do have distinct ‘generation’ plates that if the plate generation is consistent with the cars year build we can assume it was the original plate for the car. Noted examples include ‘black & white’ plates in most States that now sport colours like black & yellow or maroon & white. We also have had slogans (and none at all) across the bottom that help carbon date the plate.

    Currently my son has on his MR2/MRS Spyder “MY MR T” (and are up for sale). These are not only well suited to the MR2/MRS’s but effectively all Toyotas, fans of MR T/ A team, and ironically Model T Fords…as well as people with a name starting with T…

    That aside, I still think they were the best plates for a MR2!

  6. Dandism says:

    In the UK Vanity plates don’t really exist, but there is a good trade in plates which can say something when spaced legally or in many cases illegally (you can get your own plates made up by plate / sign makers here in the UK). Names etc TUR 80 is a good example

    Historic cars had very short number / letters e.g A1, this grew with certain letters denoting areas of the country followed by up to 4 numbers. As vehicle numbers grew we got suffix plates i.e ABC 123A with the last letter changing each year, then when they ran out they switched the order A123 ABC etc and now we have AA12 AAA style.

    After a little searching I managed to bag A386 TOY for my 4AGTTE Engineed N2 kitted AE86, thats a 1983 plate and the cars an ’85 but I still think its cool as its the closest to AE86 TOY you can get, is period correct for the model, and is 100% legal when spaced so never has any issue with the Police.

    Alas these are still the modern white / Black in front and Yellow / Black in the rear. Pre 1973 can use White/ Silver on Black. My Honda N600 and Z600’s run these but in the Japanese plate sizing 🙂

  7. Dutch 1960 says:

    The blue and yellow CA vanity plates first came out about 1970. Here in San Diego, early in the program, an RX2 coupe wore the vanity plate “ROTARY”. Used to see it all the time in the early and mid 1970s. Would love to know where that plate and/or that car is now.

  8. Moominsean says:

    For my ’72 Hako, I managed to find a set of Japanese plates with the number 09 72 (dot for the zero), close enough to 1972, and the plates are from Kurume, which is the home of Bridgestone tire. I just use one as a decorative plate on the front…

  9. Moominsean says:

    The ’69 Corona I had a few years ago still had its original California plates, which I thought was kinda cool…

  10. Bob says:

    Many years ago, I was looking on eBay for a Japanese plate, when I spotted an auction for a worn plate with a story. Apparently, the seller’s father was a US serviceman stationed in Japan in 1969 who had his personal car brought over with him… exactly what it was escapes me now, but I seem to remember a Ford Falcon. The plate was issued to him in Japan and came back with the car.

    I ended up with it and, naturally, threw it on the front of my ’70 Chrysler 300. The hole spacing was the proper distance for a US car, the only issue being it only had holes drilled at the bottom… and my 300’s front only held plates by the top holes.

    So I put it on upside down.

    I drove to a friend’s pizza shop, and he noticed it through the window right away. “I don’t know if that’s offensive or not, but I love it.”

    Another time, I had parked it along Woodward during the dream cruise in a sea of much-shinier and more typical classic cars, left for awhile, and when walking back past, a family of, I’m assuming, Japanese people walked past a series of Mustangs unamused, spotted the plate, and began taking pictures laughing. That made my day.


    I’ve since pulled it back off the car for safe keeping, but I liked the idea that it was at least appropriate for the car had it actually been sent to Japan when it was new (as far as I understood, the 3 denoted anything with a larger than 2 liter engine, no?).

  11. Matt says:

    Canadian plates up until 1970 were replaced each year. I managed to find an awesome set of plates for my 510 at a local swap meet. Correct year, nice patina and it says 510 (with a couple extra zeros) but hey, close enough! Will be rockin’ them in shows this summer 🙂


  12. John says:

    Up until the late 1960s in Texas the license plates had the year when it was bought new stamped into the plate, and the plate was intended to stay with the car forever. They started out as white plates with green letters, but then in the 50s they switched to alternating colors. Every odd number year was a white plate with black letters, every even numbered year was a black plate with white letters.

    Unfortunately for most JNCs, they stopped this habit in 1969. In 1970 the plates went to all white with blue letters…

    Being a 510 guy at heart, I have always wanted the rare and elusive 1968 model just so I could run the black plates. You see, here in Texas if you register it as an antique, you can use the original YOM plates. So all one needs to do is buy a clean pair of 1968-stamped plates and register them with the DMV. 😉

    And since the “Hemisfair” was held in Texas in 1968, the plates were stamped to commemorate the event.


    Good thing I just bought a ’68 510 wagon… 🙂

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