Who knows their license plates?

I am looking for a UK license plate to put on the front of an e when I get one. Best ideas where to look? Thank you

They’re just a decal.

And somewhat detract from the beauty of the bonnet IMO. Random Google images…

Oh no! Not those. I agree that those take away from the car. I’m thinking about the metal plates. It’s just a thought to attach one. I had one on an MGB I once owned.

I tend to agree: oddly enough, when @chuck_goolsbee’s car needed a repair, necessitating its “65E” decal be replaced… I thought it looked a bit odd, w/o it.

Chuck put it back on!

You can buy a self adhesive front number plate (with your choice of characters) from Tipper Plates in the UK: https://www.tippersvintageplates.co.uk/

You can ask them for the period correct font (3 1/2" for pre 1964 cars) which they will hand cut rather than the modern computer generated font now in use in the UK. Everything you could need to know about number plates can be found here: http://forum.etypeuk.com/viewtopic.php?p=41625#p41625

As regards the front plate spoiling the look of the E-Type, Jaguar had no choice as the plates were a legal requirement in the UK and all the development cars wore them. In fact every photo of the 77 RW and 1600 HP E-Type’s published in every country in the world after the launch show the stick on plate. I will have to check but I don’t think I read anywhere that the most beautiful car in the world was spoilt by the number plate :slight_smile:

The E-Type has the distinction of being the only car to this day allowed to have a non-vertical front plate in the UK and probably Europe. Jaguar even issued a service bulletin on the subject and their dealers sold the plates:

The States of course had the option of the tilting plate mechanism but thankfully Jaguar did not even consider offering it over here. So for those of us on the Home team an E-Type bonnet without the plate is just plain wrong!




Newer styles here:

Older style here:


Not stick on though John.

Yeah, I know David. :smile: The OP didn’t specify stick on.

If wanting “close” but not perfect I wonder if a sign shop that makes stick on signs for cars could make one.

Possibly but Tippers are set up to make them and the front plate will only cost about $50. What the OP did not state was whether he wanted to stick it on the bonnet or use the tilting mechanism designed for US plates although they can take a UK plate. This is Angus Moss’s ex USA car with a UK plate:

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That’s quite reasonable, unless shipping, any taxes and customs duties jack the costs up significantly.

Hanging on the garage wall I’ve got an old black painted aluminum plate that measures about 21" X 5" with the individual cast silver aluminum letters and numerals that reads “TPX 646F”. It was given to me by a friend acquired it when he bought an old Jaguar saloon, Mark VII, IIRC. Can you translate those numbers for me? I know the plates are coded to an area but that’s all I know about them.

TP is a car first registered in Plymouth
X 646 are just sequential characters
F is date of first registration - 1 Aug 67 to 31 Jul 68

Neat, thanks. Now I know. :smile:

I believe the original UK plates, black with raised “inverted V” silver characters, were made by a company called “Ace” and they attached a small metal label to the corner of the plate with their name.

This is an involved and complex subject, with changes in legislation regarding digit size, etc.

Tippers are good, so are Framptons, and there is a company using the name ‘Ace’ but I don’t know if they are connected with the original makers of the cast aluminium Ace digits. Bluemels were probably the most common in period for the sixties. If you contact Tippers, they buy up stock of original Ace digits and can produce some registration numbers, but not all, depending on availability. Earlier Ace digits are cast aluminium and have the word ‘Ace’ incorporated in the back of the cast digit, and Ace backplates have ‘Ace’ stamped into the plate pressing, it’s not added.
The larger digits were used on pre-suffix plates, i.e. three letters and three numbers (or sometimes fewer). The suffixes came in in 1963 - ‘A’ suffix, used almost exclusively in London, and ‘B’ in 1964, again most commonly in London. By '65 (suffix ‘C’), the need for the extra digit had spread to most of the country. Each suffix ran from 1st Jan to 31st Dec, until 1967 (‘E’ suffix) which was the famous ‘short’ year and ran from 1st Jan to 31 July. As noted above, ‘F’ then ran from 1st August '67 to 31st July '68. The reason for this 6-month offset of suffix with date was entirely for the benefit of car sales and motor traders - you either bought a new 1969 car on Jan 1st, or a new ‘G’ plate on August 1st. Hence two high sales months per year instead of one. Also people have other calls on their cash at Christmas time.
The use of stick-on plates, as seen on a number of cars of the time, not just E-types (my Mini Cooper S had one on the bonnet, as did my Sunbeam Tiger), is technically no longer legal which explains why several manufacturers now refuse to make and sell them.
It’s also interesting that there is no set size or shape legislated for the actual plate. The law relates to digit size and width (not sure those on the dark silver E-type in the photo would be legal) and the size of the border around the digits. Some Rovers of the sixties (and retro-look ones in the nineties) had a rear plate shaped to fit the bootlid recess, and smaller numbers (I have a 1960s three number/three letter plate on a new 124 Abarth) can legally be on a physically smaller plate, as long as the border around the digits complies.
All UK plates post 1963 through to present indicate the date the vehicle was first registered (not built, which could be a couple of years before if it was a difficult model to shift!). The authorities do not allow display of a plate that indicates the car is newer than it really is, but it is perfectly legal to have a plate that suggests the car is older. This leads to some anomalies with the aforementioned long old-stock cars - I remember dealers that had V12 E-types in their windows for at least two years.
Then, in 1973, along came the modern-looking reflective plates - white background at the front, yellow at the rear. We still have this convention but the numbering and dating system has changed two or three times since the black and white (occasionally silver) days. The situation is confused even more - back in the day, when an older car was given a new pair of plates (often at resale, as the dealer’s details are on the new plates and it was a good advert), nobody was interested in black plates so pretty much everything gained the modern look white or yellow. It’s only recently that folk have stuck old-look (but usually pretty inaccurate in appearance) plates on their classics. Also, the government has resumed the rolling road tax exemption status, and the law now allows any car that is old enough to be tax exempt (i.e. over 40 years old) to display black and white/silver registration plates. Thus, you will now see classic cars in the UK with black and white ‘M’, ‘N’, ‘P’ etc. plates - these never existed in period, and to my mind just look completely wrong.

Hope that helps!

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Im no expert, but here’s an old Ace plate I have. The name is added, not stamped…

Thanks, John.

This is the plate I was given by a friend. It looks the type as in your link for “older plates”.


I’m glad to see you’re putting the service bulletins I sent you to good use.
FYI, many states do not require front license plates unlike the “home team”…

You’re absolutely right. All the ones I have seen have been stamped, presumably both were supplied.


The larger style will have 3½" tall digits - the later style were 3⅛".
‘LF’ indicates that plate was first issued for London. An expert would be able to date it fairly accurately, too.