License plate collecting with the Wizard

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June 28th, 2013 at 12:56:08 PM permalink
MakingBook
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 1
Posts: 35
Wizard-

I don't collect plates (yet) but would love to start a collection with that one.

I'll offer $305. Let me know if you are interested. Otherwise, congratulations!
June 28th, 2013 at 1:09:45 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 753
Posts: 8881
I always though LAFNCRY would be a good vanity plate, after Stewie's vaguely obscene sounding lyric in the Family Guy theme song.

Lois: It seems today
That all you see
Is violence in movies and sex on TV
Peter: But where are those good old fashioned values
Entire Family: On which we used to rely?
Lucky there's a Family Guy
Lucky there's a man who
Positively can do
All the things that make us
Stewie: Laugh and cry!
Entire Family: He's... a.. Fam..ily... Guy!
July 1st, 2013 at 3:31:52 AM permalink
1nickelmiracle
Member since: Mar 5, 2013
Threads: 16
Posts: 549
September 3rd, 2013 at 5:35:39 PM permalink
Wizard
Administrator
Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 163
Posts: 3410
Sorry I haven't posted for a while in this thread.

I try to get one license plate from every country I've been to. It has taken four months, but a friend just sent one from Nicaragua. The socialist countries are generally very hard to get license plates from. I'd prefer the graphic style they have now, but in this case I can't afford to be choosy.



Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
October 13th, 2013 at 8:04:21 PM permalink
Wizard
Administrator
Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 163
Posts: 3410
Sorry I haven't posted for a while.

Check out this auction for a 1910 Maryland plate.

For those who don't know, I lived in Maryland from 1992 to 2001. During that time I put together a good Maryland run of license plates. The only year I'm missing is the first year of issue, 1910. For that year, the state made plates from metal about the thickness of tinfoil, with equally awful paint to match. For that reason, very few 1910 Maryland plates remain to this day. Maybe about 50 known in existence.

On top of that the price is only $305 right now. I predict it will go for about 2x to 3x that.

The problem is the thing is repainted. It would be better if they just left it alone, even if a rusty POS with no paint whatsoever.

You can see on Pawn Stars or Antique Roadshow all the time when they comment that a restoration job actually lowers the value an antique. This is definitely true of license plates. Most big collectors don't consider them legitimate plates, and will wait for a new-bee collector to come along to ignorantly buy it, should a repaint fall into their hands somehow.

However, when it comes to the illusive 1910 MD, there is no room to be picky. They change hands so rarely that you can't bide your time and shop around.

What do you think I should do?
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
October 13th, 2013 at 9:13:29 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 121
Posts: 5530
Quote: Wizard
What do you think I should do?


If you think there is always a market for this plate, then even if you pay quite a bit you can probably always get more money for it.
No one has ever proven I am not God.
October 14th, 2013 at 4:20:36 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 103
Posts: 7134
Quote: Wizard


What do you think I should do?


I'll just say what I once said before. Do you want the beauty of the plate or a collector's item? Obviously a serious collector may have some of both. If it was me I would pick it up to round out the collection. You can keep looking for a more authentic one if you like.

I've seen "repaints" at auto swap meets. I have to say many of the ones they were repainting just looked awful before, and if I was to display one before or after I would take after. Now, many of what I saw would end up on cars under YOM display rules. Nobody wants an old, ugly plate on a totally redone car. But I still would not care if it was just about display. But as they say, your mileage may vary.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
October 14th, 2013 at 7:51:28 PM permalink
Wizard
Administrator
Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 163
Posts: 3410
Thanks for the comments.

I think it is the car collectors that fuel the business of repainting rusty plates. My gut says to leave it alone. Even though I may not have another chance to complete the Maryland run for several years, I also hate the thought of a repaint contaminating the run.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
October 15th, 2013 at 12:01:46 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 111
Posts: 12175
Looks like you have 5 unique bidders already and god
knows how many who are watching and waiting for
the final 10min of the auction. Set the absolute amount
you're willing to pay and don't go over it. Collectors are
a rabid bunch, unless you have really deep pockets, you're
chances are slim of getting it.

Restoration on super rare items doesn't hurt their value.
It's the rarity that counts. Also, don't believe everything
Rick Harrison says, he's often full of it. He's right about
the 2000 year old Roman coin being cleaned had halved
its value. But that's only because there are so many of
them out there, you can take your pick. But when he says
cleaning an Edison cylinder phonograph had hurt it, he's
100% wrong. They are a dime a dozen and the completely
restored ones always bring the most money.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
October 15th, 2013 at 12:54:55 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 103
Posts: 7134
Quote: Evenbob

Restoration on super rare items doesn't hurt their value.
It's the rarity that counts. Also, don't believe everything
Rick Harrison says, he's often full of it. He's right about
the 2000 year old Roman coin being cleaned had halved
its value. But that's only because there are so many of
them out there, you can take your pick. But when he says
cleaning an Edison cylinder phonograph had hurt it, he's
100% wrong. They are a dime a dozen and the completely
restored ones always bring the most money.


Lets not forget, it will depend totally on the both the quality of the restoration and the desire of the person purchasing it. Not to mention the use of the item.

An antique car can be restored well or it can be restored poorly. There are guys who will literally restore the car to better factory specs than the factory that put it together. These do not bring as big of money as a mint vehicle with super-low miles, but they do very well. The person buying them wants to either take it to a cruise night or display it in their collection (eg: Jay Leno.) While there is a market for "barn finds" and "light restorations" they do not suit the purpose of having a nice, old car. If I want to look at a rough car I can look at the Hyundai I drive daily.

There are things that cannot really be restored. Coins come to mind. Even if you just polish them you are removing bits of the coin that can never be replaced. And there are things that collectors want to look unrestored. Think Civil War collectables. An old rifle may have some tarnish or even blood that was from battle. Just the aging can make you think of where it was and where it has been. I can say from my title searching on a small scale that when I look at an old, handwritten book or will from the 1800s or even 1700s I start to think about when it was written in and all the hands that have held it since. This is not nearly the case when I print out a microfiche.

Which brings me back to my thoughts on the plates. To put on a car under YOM rules I would not consider anything but a repainted plate or one in perfect condition. To collect for pure value I would only take one in original condition. But after that, what is the goal? The value is in if Wiz or whoever wants the repainted plate more than the dinner at Rao's or any other use.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
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