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1968 Volvo, period plate opinions...


Lankytim
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Hey all.

I’ve finally done some work on my 145! The steering rods, box, idler and spindles were a mismatch of various years which didn’t quite fit together properly, parts from a 1973 donor solved the issues but while lowering the jack the handle caught the front numberplate and snapped it in half, doh! No big deal as it was cracked anyway.

The Volvo sports modern 2001 style plates, which weirdly are actually correct as it was imported from Sweden in 2010, however now is probably the right time to fit plates correct for the late ‘60s period. 
 

I’m not a huge fan of silver on black plates and I think a 145 would look too modern for them, ideally I’d like the type with separate black plastic digits on an aluminium yellow/white base but I recon that could end up very pricey, yellow/white pressed ally plates are an option but I’m not sure if they were common in the late ‘60s, plus I think they’re only available in the post 2001 font. 
 

Is it even possible to get new period plates made nowadays that don’t look obviously new when fitted to an old car? 

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  • Lankytim changed the title to 1968 Volvo, period plate opinions...

Anything from the mid 60's onwards looks shite with black and silver plates. A quick look at some period photos from the late 60s and early 70s shows that fitting the new yellow/white plates to cars was a very popular thing... and why wouldn't you want to make your car look newer than it was? Sadly we now have the opposite where all those lovely patinated plates are being binned for cheapo black/silver plates in the post 2001 font.

Anyway, enough of the rant; Nice Volvo!

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Got to be yellow and white with black letters, whatever format you go for.  I well remember my dad's last brand new car, a 1967 Cortina (HWM 457F), that arrived with silver-on-black (which I think were pressed).  Within the first year he had adopted the new, fashionable coloured plates, and if you knew my dad, you knew that wasn't something he did lightly.  Nowadays, of course, the trick is to get the font correct...

By the way, have you asked Dave to pick up the mitre saw yet?

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Black and silver pressed plates all the way for pre 1970. Here's the original rear plate from my old 69 Morris Minor. Sadly the plate outlasted the car. Yellow/white and black just looks wrong. 

 

I used Tippers for the black and silver rear plate for my 61 Lambretta. To give them their dues, the quality was pretty damn good. 

 

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11 hours ago, Kiltox said:

I don’t really get the obsession with “period correct” plates - anything brand new but old style will look too new to be correct anyway.

Go zero emission :D

 

I used to be like that, then I started hanging around here. 

Now I have replaced plates on two k plate cars because they had post 2001 font. It's a slippery slope...

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In 2002 I bought a 1982 Cortina Ghia estate, it was in nice condition and had been resprayed at some point, the car looked very nice but had several additions (stripes, wrong spotlamps etc.) which I immediately removed and improved the looks immensely. The main issue remaining was the number plates were ‘show plates’ with Italics font. I got new ones made at a show, not realising they were the dreadful new style font. When I fitted them to the car they looked dreadful and it took me a while to realise why. I was very annoyed with myself for wasting the money on these plates, it was very painful having to buy yet another set but absolutely necessary in my eyes. It is amazing how much a decent set of number plates improve a car. I can live with dents and scratches but incorrect details really grate. My vote is the framptons reflective plates. I need to order a few for my cars.

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Personal choice I guess. My old Amazon had the silver on black plates which I thought looked quite smart but aesthetically  I fancy the raised white letters/black background combo on your 145 if you're OK with not having the safety blanket of a big yellow reflector on the back of a car which by modern standards won't have much in the way of rear lighting.

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I will say that some cars on the crossover do tend to suit black plates better than others, and an early 145 is definitely one of them. The first owners would have been precisely the sort of conservative, sensible upper-middle class people for whom keeping up with the Joneses (by fitting reflective plates) was of little or no importance.

I still think this one needs reflective Tippers plates though

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4 hours ago, barrett said:

I will say that some cars on the crossover do tend to suit black plates better than others, and an early 145 is definitely one of them. The first owners would have been precisely the sort of conservative, sensible upper-middle class people for whom keeping up with the Joneses (by fitting reflective plates) was of little or no importance.

I still think this one needs reflective Tippers plates though

Here's a later 145 that appears to be still sporting it's original black and silver plates, surely by 1970 they must've been an oddity on a new car?

 

Volvo 145 DL ESTATE CAR

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2 hours ago, Lankytim said:

Here's a later 145 that appears to be still sporting it's original black and silver plates, surely by 1970 they must've been an oddity on a new car?

 

Volvo 145 DL ESTATE CAR

Yes exactly.  I remember seeing every year's crop of new cars, and by 1970 (J suffix) the black plate was the preserve of big utilities like the Royal Mail, who absolutely would pinch pennies at every turn.  On a privately-owned car such as a Volvo, reflectives were the way forward.  50 years on, I hate seeing black plates on anything post-1968-ish.  I actually enjoy seeing a genuine period set of reflectives on a pre-67 car though.

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I remember seeing an N reg VW Beetle about 30 years ago which had B&W plates, that looked like they were original to the car.

The 1973 Motor road test book I have has cars with a mixture of reflective & white on black plates, though some press cars deliberately had non-reflective plates so it wouldn't have glare problems when photographed.

I've seen a few examples of pre-1967 cars with reflective plates retrofitted, often repainted with brighter colours than they left the factory with.  It seemed common to do this to older cars in the 1970s.

 

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