Mounting NSW Historic plates

NSW has a great historic registration system.   It allows for classics to be used for 60 days on a logbook for a drastically reduced fee.   For unknown reasons the plates issued are tiny plates with purple numerals.   The plates are so small they are not wide enough for the mounting holes on most cars.   As these plates don’t end up on some disposable SUV where new holes can simply be drilled, a mounting plate is required.    On the 250SE and Traction Avant, I fabricated my own mounting plates out of sheet aluminium.    I didn’t have time to do this for the 450SLC, so was looking for a more off the shelf solution.   I found plenty of covers, and one company who could do it a substantial fee, but no simple adaptor.

Instead, I found a company that makes novelty plates the same size as regular issue.   Normally, the purchaser of such plates nominates the letters to be printed on the plate, but I ordered them with no letters at all – a ready made adaptor!


The picture above illustrates the size difference between a standard plate and the historic one.   I simply needed to drill a few extra holes in the ‘adaptor’ plate, which cost me $30, and mount it to the car.

NSW Historic plate mount

I used pop rivets to attach the plate to the adaptor.   The 450SLC requires additional holes drilled to mount it to the car.   I don;’t mind drilling into the plate, just not the car.   I purchased the adaptor plate from ‘shh-boom‘.   I purchased an additional plate to use as an adaptor for the E-Type.    This is a slimmer version that I will mount that one  soon.

NSW Historic plate mount

This solution seems to work well given the limitations of these tiny plates.   I’ve seen some really horrible ways of mounting these plates.   A common (and ugly) one is to take the old number plate and reverse it, using it as a plate.   You can still see the back of the letters embossed.    Looks terrible.   This seems the fastest and most cost effective way of getting a NSW Historic plate mount.

Instead of having to make an adaptor plate, it would be better if the NSW historic plates were a more regular size.   Personally I would make them like the old black and white plates, but add the historic vehicle tag.   The black and white would be more in keeping with the historic vehicles than purple.

Update, October 2019:  I found another solution using a black EU number plate.

5 comments to Mounting NSW Historic plates

  • Edward Sliski

    Hi l did exactly the same thing for my fj holden on the rear boot holes already drilled for standard nsw plate and just screwed up on the outer screw holes is the adaptor the sam size as a standard nsw plate and powdered coated aluminium your absolutely right as my next historic plates has to fit a 1970 xw ford ute windsor factory fit 302 in the front bumper the little historic plate would look supid

  • Yes, the NSW historic plate doesn’t fir and looks horrible detracting from the whole concept of trying to present a car as best as possible.
    Every other state issues a standard sized 6 didget plate.
    I have lobbied & written to the current and past transport ministers that are both totally out of touch and complacent about the whole idea.
    The most bizarre response to date which was from the current minister was that these plate are that size as they fit all vehicles.
    I think he needs a different job as that was probably the most ludicrous answer Ive ever heard.

    • admin

      Agree. Not only is the size silly but the purple font is not in keeping with a historic vehicle. Should be like the old black and white plates.

  • […] out of sheet aluminium.   I’ve never been 100% happy with them.  On the 450SLC, I bought a black novelty plate in black.   I’ve been pretty happy with it.   It made a great NSW Historic Plate […]

  • […] Mounting NSW Historic Plates – 1900 views […]

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