A century-old NSW numberplate expected to sell for $1m

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Numberplates NSW 1 Numberplates NSW 1

Numberplate trading is at times even more lucrative than cars, and the scene isn’t slowing down

What does the man (or woman) who has everything, buy next?

Well – if they’ve got deep enough pockets, and get that far down the list – often it’s a super exclusive and super expensive numberplate to compliment the already-purchased super exclusive and super expensive car!


This week, reports broke that the NSW "1" motorcycle numberplate had come on to the market for the first time in 80 years – with an expected sale price of up to $1 million.

For the unaware, the amount of money that changes hands – often behind closed doors - for the humble numberplate is absolutely dizzying.

Steven Hantos, Director of the Australian online buying/selling platform numberplates.com.au, said the NSW plate is "without a doubt the most valuable, impressive and sought-after motorcycle plate in Australia".


The plate has changed hands only a few times, and was offered to the public even fewer. The plate’s history goes back to 1918, when it was owned by Bennett and Wood, who originally sold Penny-Farthing bicycles but later imported Honda Motorcycles. In 1935, it was sold to Honda’s General Manager.

In 1978, it was transferred to a family in NSW, gracing the rear of an MV Agusta – before it was sold to its current, and private, owner.

Numberplates are a completely different market to classic cars, but generally speaking – motorcycle plates are in less demand than their car counterparts.


The 2017 Shannons Sydney Winter auction saw the NSW "4" numberplate sell for $2.45 million. It shattered records, and was the most expensive lot of the night – selling for more than any car present, and for over a million dollars above the top-end guiding range.

At the most recent Shannons Auction in Sydney this week, the most expensive plate sold was NSW registration "138" – for $310,000.

It may seem absurd to some, us in the office included; but numberplates can be rare and certainly can be commodities – and demand for them only seems to be increasing!


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