Front license plate bracket removal on an S1, uggh

Since I finally registered here after years of lurking, I might as well post another question I’ve had. I have wanted to remove the front license plate frame for sometime now. I was able to find and remove the long stabilizing rod that is accessed after removing a 4 x 20 inch flat plate near the bottom of the radiator from underneath. I’m still trying to figure out how to remove the other parts of the bracket. Does the Motif bar need to be removed and the plate floor of the ‘mouth’ removed? I took out the screws, but I wasn’t able to pry up the floor without fear of scratching it.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have searched on here and other places online before, but nothing is spelled out in any appreciable detail that a simpleton like myself can follow.



The cover plate has to come out because the bracket is held by nuts and curved packing pieces right in the tip of the lower lip. Unless it’s rusted in place maybe a strong magnet can lift it. You may be able to just lift up the rear edge of it and tape it up, and with a long extension insert a socket from the rear and remove those two nuts. In this manner you might not have to fully remove the motif and the cover plate.

You should be able to access the nuts by removing one of the headlights and sugar scoop which will allow you to reach into the lower under tray.


That’s possible also, but I suspect harder. My first task upon receiving my car was removing this eyesore. I think it took less than 30 minutes by popping the mouth cover loose and lying on my back with a long socket. The hardest part was locating the nuts by feel.

Possibly, but orders of magnitude much more difficult than mouth floor removal.

Not really but just an alternative if there is the fear of paint damage. I believe it was the Factory recommended method of attaching the plate by the Dealer. Takes about 15 minutes to remove the chrome, glass, headlamp, bowl and sugar scoop and then you can get your arm in through what is quite a large opening. No chance of damage.


I’m MUCH more fearful of damage from scoop removal, busted lens, and scratches from the screwdriver, reinstalling those dad-blamed screws!

Not sure how that poses “no chance of damage,” but, hey!

Different access ports for diff’rent folks!


Thank you all for the advice. I really like the magnet idea. The car has zero rust, and all original sheetmetal. It was how to get it pried up and started that has been the rub. I recently removed my passenger’s side headlight covered glass. Wow, not so easy to get back on. So I think I’ll try the magnet idea.

Be exceptionally careful re-screwing headlight lenses. It’s super easy to slip out of the screw and scrape the paint. It’s also very easy to cross thread the screws. Always use an awl or other pointy thing to move the captive nut into position, and before trying to screw in the fastener, rotate it backward to square up the nut. Always use proper pointed screws for this application.

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[quote=“Erica_Moss, post:9, topic:377116”]
Be exceptionally careful re-screwing headlight lenses. It’s super easy to slip out of the screw and scrape the paint.[/quote]

You can protect the paint with masking tape on the painted areas near the screws. Never trust your screw driver.

Not to hijack this thread… but I live in a state that requires two license plates. Has anyone here been given a ticket for not having a front plate? I am about to work on my bonnet and need to figure out whether it’s worth the trouble to install a front plate.

This is very much a YMMV type of thing. TX requires two but I’ve never been stopped or cited for just having one on my E-type. I was stopped once and given a speeding ticket, but no citation for the missing plate. I do get a lot of attention from the police but it’s always to ask me if it’s a 6 or a 12 cylinder.

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That is good to hear. I might pull my front one off again and carry it behind the seat. Soon after I got my car I removed it but a few years ago I read that Texas had re-imposed the requirement so I put it back on. I have mine registered with original black 1968 HEMISFAIR plates so they look better than most but the best look for an E is no front plate.

My car no longer has the retract rod installed. I bought the item #8 shown above and drilled out the bottom spot welds so that I could slip it over mount bracket and attached #8 with short screws and nuts thru the drilled out holes. This makes it easy to remove/install the plate in a few minutes. It can still pivot around the bonnet bracket.

68 E-type FHC

I have a YOM plate also, and that might be part of what has saved me. I think many in LE don’t know what is required for that program.

Also it’s not hard to identify the owner of a shiny red E-type. If I did something wrong I suspect they could be at my doorstep in five minutes, plate or no plate.

Me, too: in ~30 years of driving, the Jag never once was ticketed.

To hedge my bets, I put the front plate on one of those massive dealer magnets, then stuck it up inside, on top of the snoot.

If I had ever ever been stopped, I woulda acted surprised, and rotated it back out onto the beak.

Figured it was worth a try, :grin:

Well that’s a lot more plausible than my, “It’s behind the seat and I’m on my way to buy screws to mount it” excuse.

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There is an old thread with a list of excuses. I’ve never been stopped for a front plate problem. I’ll just express surprise and talk about how I just forgot to put it back during the restoration.

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Which was going to be my answer when I had it titled in Virginia. :grin:

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If you are lucky you just get stopped by someone like the motorcycle cop that got me last summer for turning right on a red light at an intersection where it was not allowed. After about 5 minutes of chatting about the car and asking for my insurance and registration, which was not in the car at the time, he told me that he had been sitting there just hoping that I made the turn so he could stop me. Then another 5 minutes of further chit chat and he said I should probably move on because he had to go back to work. E type magic did it again!


+1… you win the Internet, today!!

I had a cop stop me, when I was piloting my 'rent’s Auburn Speedster: showing him the supercharger was all it took!