Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Ex-policemen don't need to have a number plate on the front of their car, allegedly.

Yesterday, a beautifully restored 1960s E-Type passed me and stopped in front of the office next door to pick somebody up. An excuse for some gratuitous car porn, methinks:

I noticed that there was no number plate on the front, even though it was clearly an English car (right hand drive and with an English number plate at the back), so I scampered after it and asked the driver how he got away with it.

Simple, he replied, I'm an ex-copper, and tutted to indicate that the conversation was thereby ended.

It sounds a bit implausible to me, I have no idea whether he was bullshitting (either about being an ex-copper or that alleviated him from the need to have a front number plate - what happens, for example, if his wife drives the car..?). But the fact is, there was no front number plate.

Can this possibly be true or is it an Urban Myth in the making?


Rich Tee said...

Just googled it and this car does not have a bracket for a front number plate. This must have been legal at the time of manufacture. Some people seem to stick them on the bonnet, but the legality of the situation seems to be unclear for cars manufactured before 1973.

Dinero said...

Crikey your street looks tropical this time of year!

View from the Solent said...

I remember that the Mk 1 XKE had their front number painted?stencilled? across the front of the bonnet, just above the grill.
That one in the photo is a ghastly colour, I always lusted after one in red.

Mark Wadsworth said...

RT, thanks.

D, this wash;t THE car i saw, it is a very similar one that I pinched off the internet.

VFTS, that's what most of them have. REd? A bit vulgar, and E-types too much bloody commitment and responsibility for me, I drive around in cars for driving's sake, I wouldn't want to own a National Treasure. E-type drivers provide a service to the general public, not themselves.

Striebs said...

The front number plate is on an adhesive sticker which is stuck to the bonnet .

It may have been painted on some cars .

Is the one in the picture a 2+2 ?

Always hankered after the more unusual colours ; Gunmetal gray with a red interior , light metallic green but beggars can't be picky about colour .

Striebs said...

Mark ,

I believe you claim to be "left wing" but your comment on E-Type owners and lack of jealousy make you like few other modern lefties .

Can you imagine what Richard Murphy would have to say ? Probably tax it at 100% of it's value if you don't want it confiscated and crushed .

Mark Wadsworth said...

S, I am not "left" in the sense of socialist, I am left-libertarian.

As to lovely old cars, there's nothing to be jealous of. They have the huge expense and people who see it get cheered up for free. It's a public service.

I thought all hard top e types were 2 + 2? I've never seen a true 2 seater.

Striebs said...

Mark ,

The 2 seater with a roof which cannot be removed is designated FHC (fixed head coupe) and production started in 1961 and continued in various series until the end .

The 2+2 came along some time in the mid 1960's .

Agree with you about people driving them doing a public service .

They are a lot of work and things seize up if they are not used regularly .

Lola said...

The early ones also have bloody awful brakes. In period they lasted about five laps before they were shot away. I was having a go at one at Brands a few year ago and following it into the Paddock Hill Bend braking area it was spewing bits of hot brake pad out from under its arse like shrapnel. Oh, and without serious work they handle like boats.

Probably the best looking car, ever, though. Even Enzo Ferrari thought so.

(streibs is right about the hardtop thingy. Personally I like the Lightweight low drag version best )

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, that's as maybe. Which backs up my theory that owning an E-type is a burden not a privilege.

As to styling, it is clear that any 2+2 looks a bit shit, whether that is an E-type or Ford Capri or Honda Prelude (or any number of pseudo-2 seaters). The rear windscreen is too far back and too steep. The convertible E-types looked much better.

Lola said...

MW. Yes. Aesthetically the drop top - an early version - is probably the Most Beautiful Car, Ever.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

What he meant was that since he's an ex-copper he knows all the current coppers, and therefore although it's illegal not to have a front number plate, they will never shop him for it, so it doesn't matter.

Laws are only for the little people, after all.