THESE numberplates are worth more than a new Ferrari.
Some of South Australia’s first-issued numberplates from 1906 are for sale on historicplates.com.au and they are expected to sell for more than $700,000 in total.
The 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale is, in comparison, a snap at $550,000.
Website administrator Stewart Kay says the rarest and most expensive plate up for auction is “SA 31”, which was originally owned by Norwood man William Thornborough Hayward who had registered the plate to his Darracq 10-Hp.
Bidding for the plate was fixed at $78,000 when The Advertiser checked the website on the weekend, but Mr Kay expected last-minute bidders to throw in lump sums for it before Monday’s 8pm deadline.
“If previous years are anything to go by, I would expect for it to sell for more than $100,000, easily,” Mr Kay, of Parkside, says.
“For example, two years ago SA 81, which is a higher number than 31 and therefore regarded as less expensive, sold for $123,500.”
“People are so interested in them because they’re seen as an investment and the plates, particularly the old black and white numerical ones, do come with status.”
The first batch of SA plates just had numbers from one to about 350000 before the State Government introduced a new system in 1966.
Transport Department figures show there are 3380 residents still using those numbers on the road.
The first plate SA 1 was initially registered on September 16, 1906, to chemical analyst William Arthur Hargreaves from Woodville. He had owned a Beeston Humber and a De Dion 10.
Today, the plate can be found under a layer of dust on a vintage Ford Thames truck — which was once used by a Glenelg dry cleaning business — in a shed in McLaren Vale. The undisclosed family bought the plate in 1952 and have no plans to sell title to it, Mr Kay says.
In the online auction, there are more than 70 plates up for grabs, making it SA’s biggest sale of numerical and custom numberplates and the first of its kind online.
Also for sale are custom plates LSA and FGT.
Both are expected to fetch more than $5000 each because of respective connections with HSV Commodore and Ford GT.
There are 109,000 personalised plates registered in SA and they fall under 10 categories, such as euro, numerical and grand prix.