Posted By on 30th October 2017

I can remember the registration number of my parents first car in 1960 (NJX 942) but all subsequent numbers, theirs, mine and ours, have been lost in the mists of time. In fact I’d go as far as saying that I don’t even understand how modern numbers are allocated.

In my day the single letter suffix indicated the year of manufacture and there was also some meaning in the preceding letters telling where the car was registered. The AA handbook of the time included a list and as a bored child on a long journey you could look up where the car you were following might be from. If I remember correctly ‘JX’ and ‘CP’ were the local ones for Halifax.

In 1991 we got our first MX5 and Peter took the opportunity with the ‘J’ reg to get me a personalised number, and so I joined the band of drivers who are often despised and ridiculed by other road users. No matter, at least having the same reg number for 26 years means I’ve more chance of remembering it when I have a ‘senior moment’.

Love them or loathe them there’s no doubt that personalised registration numbers are big business and some of the really good ones change hands for extraordinary amounts of money. Some people, such as the late Paul Daniels (magician) can afford the hefty price tags,

and what CEO/VIP could resist being driven around in one these beautiful cars complete with ego boosting registration numbers?

Some are a little contrived

others less so.

Some are very contrived and others downright rude or even dangerous, remember what trouble Clarkson got into in South America?

However some can be quite amusing.

It’s not just a British eccentricity either, our friends ‘across the pond’ have their own, rather more commercial, take on the subject.

You might be wondering why I’ve suddenly taken this trip into the wonderful world of personalised number plates. Well it all began a few weeks ago when I read an article on how the DVLA were withholding over 300 numbers from the allocation on September 1st as they wanted to avoid the possibility that some of them could cause ‘upset or offence’.

I looked at a selection from the list of 300 and it would be fair to say I didn’t even ‘get’ most of them and those that I did get were hardly ‘X’ rated.
I think we might be turning into a nation of over protected, over sensitive wimps. Just another version of political correctness gone mad.

Years ago, when we were young and foolish, (nothing much has changed, we’re just old and foolish now) we used to look at the registration numbers for sale in ‘Exchange and Mart’. Remember that?

One always stuck in my mind, don’t ask me why because there were far better ones available.

It was OHP 150F.

Can you see where this is going?

Whilst I was unable to track down that exact one, I did find a close relative.

Happy motoring!!

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