For those who regularly visit this site, I
need to reduce the size of the weekly updates dues to other demands on my time.
No, my wife is not pregnant.
This Support Your Zoo
vanity plate was provided by Ryan Battin. As mentioned a few weeks ago,
these have also been showing up on more organizational plates types as well as
Veteran, and Classic tags. Personalizing the plate adds $100 to the cost
of most plate types.
These Permanent Trailer
plates show a change in the alpha-numeric formatting. The plate on the far
left is approaching the end of the Z series. The PT-0000A formatting has
been in place and progressing since these plates were reissued in April of 2001.
Now that the series has been exhausted, the near left plate shows a new
alpha-numeric format with PT-000A0. The older plate image came from
Tom Perri and the newer picture was recently spotted by Bill Stephens.
What's up with the Lock Haven University
plate numbering system? This school has an enrollment of some 5,500 and
yet has current plates with numbering in the tens, hundreds, thousands and
10-thousands. The numbering is all over the place like someone was asleep
at plate press, or maybe there is a more logical reason for this. The
L/H01000 was recently spotted by Ryan Battin. The L/H10010 was from
week I had the pleasure of visiting and spending a few very enjoyable hours with
fellow ALPCA member Arthur Levine and seeing his great collection. Arthur
has some great displays and he is an accomplished collector of many things
besides plates. We also managed a trade in which i got this Antique Historic
Added this recently acquired 1954
Miscellaneous Dealer plate to my collection and also to the Dealer History
Section. For '54 plates were all
6" x 10¼" in size and were also issued in New Car Dealer (A000A or A00A0)
format, Used Car Dealer (B000A). It is unknown when the C-series Transit
Dealer plates were first issued.
For 1977 Dealer
plates once again have new dated base and for
the first time since 1970 the colors switched back to dark blue on yellow.
The plate legend has also been reversed. The far left plate is an A-series New Car Dealer from Clayton Moore, while the
other plate is a B-series Used Car Dealer from
is this C-series M.V. Business plate
which is part of
my collection and is being cross listed from the
Motor Vehicle Business
section. Also, I recently acquired this D-series Tractor Dealer plate. What I don't
have is a plate or picture of an an E-series Trailer Dealer plate for '77.
The 1978 Dealer
series is almost a carbon copy of the 77 plates with the exception of the year.
The New Car Dealer on the far left is from
while the B-series Used car Dealer plate was provided by
These 1978 C- and
D-series plates represent the M.V. Business and Tractor Dealer plates which
again, are almost identical to the 1977 plates above.
Legislative News, the PA
Senate has passed Senate Bill 284 authorizing “Honoring Our Veterans” Motorcycle
License Plates. The bill
now moves to the State House. If passed, there will be a
Special Fund motorcycle plate similar to
the "Honoring Our
Veterans" plate currently available for passenger vehicles and trucks up
to 14,000 lb. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Veterans' Trust Fund.
Now, I'm wondering, if
this bill passes, could it open the door to other graphic motorcycle plates in PA?
Here's another vertical Motorcycle
plate from Ryan Battin. At least for now the M and C are non-advancing
characters making the 8K4 the portion of the serial number that advances.
The next plate in the series would be M8K5C, then M8K6C, etc. Eventually
after reaching M9K9C, the series will advance to M0L0C. These plates have
been around for about 14 months and are eligible to be personalized with up to 5
This pair of U.S. Navy Veteran
plates was provided by Ryan Battin. The plate on the far left was from
June of 2013 while the near left plate is a new high for the series. This
plate type has been around since late 2009 and started at 10000N/A
indicating that some 2000 plates have been issued since inception.
of dealer plates this week beginning with this 1967 Used Car Dealer
from Clayton Moore on the far left. The companion to this is the '67 Motor
Vehicle Business plate which I am cross listing from the section on
Business plates. I think putting all of the dealer types together for
each year shows a more complete picture, so eventually I'll add Tractor Dealer,
although very littlie is known about many years. For now I have no plans
to cross list Motorcycle or Moped Dealer plates. Still need a '67 New Car
For 1968 we have almost the same scenario as
above with a Used Car
Dealer plate from Clayton Moore on the far left, and the
corresponding Motor Vehicle Business plate cross posted from my own collection.
Again still needed is a '68 New Car Dealer image.
1969 M.V. Business and Tractor Dealer
plates are being cross listed with the 1969
Dealer series. Unfortunately at this point I don't have an images of 1969 New or Used
Car Dealer plates. Additional Tractor Dealer plates will be added later.
We move ahead to 1973 Dealer
series with a New Car
Dealer plate on the far left and a Used Car Dealer on the near left.
PLEASE NOTE: Parts of the of the
dealer history section are a bit chaotic, as I have been undecided about what to include.
Hope to get it straight eventually.
Here's the latest Moped high number plate
courtesy of Ryan Battin. This current series started at BA000 back in
April of 2000 on the www base, then switched to the visitPA base when the series
hit BN000 around August or September of 2007. With all of the additional
plate types that are now eligible to be personalized (vanity plate), it seems
odd that Moped plates do not qualify; however,
Moped Dealer plates
do qualify. For more on
Moped plate history, click this link.
Like the Moped plate above, Special Mobile Equipment
plates are out there but you certainly don't see them every day. This
plate type, now in the B series transitioned to the visitPA base around August
of 2013 after reaching SME-999Z on the www base.
These are seen on cranes, backhoes, well drillers, street sweepers and some
other construction equipment, but not on farm equipment.
Here's a new high Apportioned Bus
plate from Eric Conner. The plate has taken a big leap forward from the
previous high of BN-02585, and yet it still has not made the switch to the
visitPA base as has every other bus, limo, mass transit, and taxi type.
The reason for this is that they made a huge initial run of these plates that
will probably last a couple more years.
While on the subject of Apportioned Bus
plates, I am desperately seeking information, pictures, plates of the original,
Apportioned Bus blue on yellow base. It appears very possible
that none of the original series plates exist in the hobby today.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation plate is the latest high, and was
provided by Arthur Levine. In case you were wondering, Pennsylvania does
have an elk herd. Most are in Elk County and some of the surrounding
As I start this week's assortment of older Dealer
plates, it has become increasingly clear that this section will never be
complete in terms of photos, and it is very doubtful that there will ever be a
full description of every Dealer format for every year. This is a group
effort with help from a number of individuals without which there would be no
Dealer History section. I don't wish to sound pessimistic, in fact I am
The first plate to be featured this week is
this 1948 New Car Dl'r
plate from Clayton Moore. This plate series would have begun at A000A,
with the final alpha character advancing last, and the first character does not
advance. The plate before this one would have been A999C. There were
also Used Car Dl'r plates formatted as B000A. The existence of a C-series
Transit Dealer plate in 1948 is unconfirmed. A 1948 X-series was posted
Next in the lineup is this 1953 New Car Dl'r
plate. Except for the colors being reversed, the '53 plate is very similar
to the '48 plate above. It seems that at the time there were plenty of new
car dealers, but comparatively few used car dealers, thus the relative scarcity
of Used Car Dealer plates. It is believed that the '48 plates measured 6"
by 11", while the '53 plates were slightly shorter at 6" by 10¼".
This plate may have been on eBay some years ago.
As we move ahead to 1956, full-sized plates were standardized at 6" by 12".
Again the plates were 5-characters with the first letter indicating the dealer
type, except for the X-dealer series where the X is not limited to the first
position. Note in this 1956 New Car Dl'r
plate the second alpha character is in position 4. This is because the
first series after reaching A999Z, then progressed to
The next plate in this series is this 1958 Used Car Dl'r.
The years from 1956 thru '58 were transition years. First the
standardization of the plate size in '56, then the change from 5 to 6 characters
in 1957, and finally the addition the keystone separator and the start of
multi-year plates in '58. This '58 base with '59 sticker Used Car Dl'r
plate image came from Clayton Moore. Also note the tab slot on this plate,
missing on later issues of the '58 base.
The next Dealer plate release was the '62 base
which was renewable thru 1963 and included this '62 New Car Dl'r plate with a '63
sticker. The remainder of the series included Used Car Dl'r (B prefix),
C-series (Transit) Dealer, and X-series (Miscellaneous) Dealer plates.
This image was provided courtesy of Clayton Moore.
Bruce Bufalini captured this first image of a University of
Pittsburgh plate in a personalized or vanity format. In recent
months these have been showing up on more organizational plates types as well as
Veteran, and Classic tags. Nice, but a little pricey, as it tacks on an
additional $100 to the cost of the plate for most types.
Which is the correct Lehigh
University sample plate? Note the plate on the left has the
L/U identifier on the right side while the other sample has it on the left.
Also the legend font is different on the two plates. The correct version
is the one the far left, and as confirmed by the plate below. Back before
the transition to the www plates, there were a number of test plates made as
samples, and some of these have found their way into collections. The
yellow on blue version is shown for comparison. That image was provided by
Back in late 2006 Lehigh
University moved forward into the graphic plate arena with this
upgrade. The plate on the near left, while not a particularly good image,
is the current high. The plate on the far left would indicate that some
lower numbered plates on the www base were reissued on the visitPA base.
As we continue to add to the Dealer plate
history section, we begin this week with a 1948 Dealer plate as identified by
DEALER on the plate legend and the characteristic 'X' in the serial number.
The X could at least be in the first or second position, and all plates are
believed to be five characters. There were also A-prefix NEW CAR DL'R and
B-prefix USED CAR DL'R plates at the time. The A and B Dealer plates are believed to have come into use in 1946.
The picture was provided by Clayton Moore.
The next plate this week is this 1949 New Car Dealer
plate, also from Clayton. This plate has the distinguishing 'A' as the
first character of a New Car Dealer plate to identify it as such. The 'A'
did not advance but the final letter did advance but was the last character to
do so. There were also 'B' series Used Car Dealer plates. I guess
there weren't many used car dealers at the time since the plates are pretty
rare. Of course the 'X' series dealer plate was also part of the mix.
This 1950 New Car Dealer
plate has a lot in common with the '49 plate above. The final 'L' on both
plates is just a coincidence. This plate was courtesy of
Again there would also have been a 'B' series Used Car Dealer plate and an 'X'
series Dealer plate.
Here's a '51 NEW CAR DL'R. This plate
is similar to the plates above and likewise would have had a 'B' series Used Car
Dealer companion. At some point in time as the number of dealer plates
increased, the second alpha character after reaching A999Z, likely advanced to
A00A0. It is unknown when this took place. Also at some unknown
point in time besides the A and B-prefix plates, there was a C-series dealer
plate such as C001A. This was at a later date referred to as a Transit
Dealer while the X-series dealer plates were called Miscellaneous Dealers.
Anyone have more insight or knowledge on this?
We're going to jump ahead to this 1970 New Car Dealer
plate from Vern Kreckel. In 1957 all dealer plates went to 6 characters,
and in 1966 the legend NEW CAR DL'R and
USED CAR DL'R was shortened to
just DEALER, however, the A and B prefixes still meant new and used. This
was from Hauck Chrysler Plymouth in Ridgway PA,
which is in beautiful Elk County, PA.
This dealer also sold Ford in the late 70s until it closed for business in 1980.
For some this may have no meaning but
for others this tells the storey behind the plate.
Here's a '74 New Car Dealer plate also
telling a storey of its place or origin. On
the reverse there is a dealer sticker from
Rich Chevrolet Cadillac in Ridgway Pa, which
is also in Elk County, PA. This dealer went out of business around 1984.
Last, but certainly not least, is this very
nice, low number, 1942
Motorbike plate from Tim Gierschick. No it's not a Motorboat
plate. They used MBL at the time, were slightly larger and used different
colors. We should all look so good at 73.
Here's the first image of a Classic Vehicle
plate in a personalized or vanity format. The picture came from Ryan
Battin. According to form MV-11, for Classic registration plates, up to
FIVE letters and/or numbers in combination are permitted. The form goes on
to say that a pre-printed, stacked letter configuration will appear on the
personalized registration plate. So either the plate was made incorrectly
or the form was. I'm sure that refers to the C prefix, in fact if you
enter the combination shown here into the vanity check, the system shows that
the plate would be C 94ZUK.
Here's the latest Going
Home Greyhounds high plate from Brandon Sowers. The plate
helps to support the Going Home Greyhounds cause.
Presque Isle Partnership plate represents another new high.
This specialty plate helps support the Presque Isle Lighthouse. Presque
Isle is a beautiful state park out in Lake Erie. Where else can you go to
see a lighthouse in Pennsylvania?
The NASCAR 3
Dale Earnhardt Legacy plate image on the far left was recently
provided by Brandon Sowers, and with its black and white NASCAR graphic along
the bottom of the plate, it is typical of the 5 or 6 images I have. By
contrast, the serial number on the near left is less than 30 plates apart, yet
it has a colored NASCAR graphic. Of the many NASCAR plates produced, the
Dale Earnhardt Legacy plate is believed to be the only one to use the black and
This is the first image of a 1987 base Amateur
Radio plate. While these may not have been all that hard to
come by, there were four different plate variations of the yellow on blue base
beginning in 1984. First there was the
Got a Friend"
base, then about 1987 the Keystone base
as shown here, then in 1988 the "AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR" legend and finally in 1990
the the legend was shortened to "AMATEUR RADIO". Click the link above to see them all. This
plate image was provided courtesy of eBay seller thisnthatnc14.
Here we have a 1934 Dealer
plate. For the first time since 1923 the word Dealer is back, but, the
expected X is gone. The plates were short at 6 by 10 inches and therefore
limited to 4 characters. With a 4-digit limit, it was necessary to use
alpha-numeric combinations such as A123 to accommodate the needed number of
dealer plates. It is also known that Dealer plates with fewer than 4
characters were issued, such as A12. The plate image was provided by
We jump ahead to this 1936 Dealer
plate, also courtesy of Clayton Moore. Immediately it is apparent that the
plate is longer, now 6 by 12 inches, has 5 characters, and the X has returned.
At this point not much more is known about '36 Dealer plates; however, if they
followed the same formatting as 1935 plates, there would have been 6 by 10 inch
Dealer plates and the serial sequence would have been X1 to 99X9 on the shorter
plates, and X1000 to 29X99 on the longer plates. Hopefully in time some of
these questions will be answered.
As I add more Dealer plates from the
'70s and '80s I will
cross-list some of the MV Business and Tractor Dealer plates that were previously
posted in their own categories. In this case these '71 MV Business and
Tractor Dealer plates were added to the '71 New Car Dealer and Used
car Dealer plates that were posted last week.
NOTE: The first year for Trailer Dealer or
Utility Trailer Dealer plates, E00-000E format, is uncertain. It could
have been as early as 1971. They are confirmed to exist by 1973.
Next up this week is this pair of '72 New Car Dealer and
Used car Dealer plates, again with the 'A' series representing New
Car Dealer and the 'B' series representing Used Car Dealer. During this
period Dealer plates were issued annually until 1975 when an undated plate was
issued with a sticker. That plate was then renewable in '76.
Following the 2-year plate, the series went back to an annual issue of dated
plates in 1977. The 'A' series plate is from Clayton Moore and the 'B'
series plate came from Chuck Sakryd.
This 'C' series MV Business and 'D' series
Tractor Dealer plates from 1972 are being cross-listed with the other '72 Dealer
plates shown above. The early history of Trailer Dealer or Utility Trailer
Dealer plates (E00-000E) is not well documented. Any information would be