Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Wisconsin’s license plates are white with black letters, pretty boring. There’s a little banner across the top with “Wisconsin” spelled out and, off to one side, what looks like a maybe a sailboat, a couple of sandhill cranes in flight, and a cartoon barn. Not even a credibly nice try at making it look interesting, and definitely not an improvement over the old yellow license plates, if you ask me.

But as boring as our license plates may be – on a scale from one to ten, with zero being the most boring, I’d give them a two – what I want to rant about today is collector plates.

Did you hear that? That noise was the sound of My Darling B rolling her eyes. I don’t know how she makes an eye-roll audible, but there you go. Amazing, isn’t it?

Collector plates are blue with red lettering and, according to the statue that authorizes them, are supposed to be used to license historically significant cars more than 20 years old that are being maintained as part of a collection.

What nearly everybody uses them for, though, is licensing their junkers. If you own a crap car that’s more than 20 years old and you don’t want to pay the yearly registration fee, no problem! Get the collector plate! It costs twice as much as a regular license plate, but you never have to renew it! A collector plate pays for itself in just two years, provided your junker holds up that long. Congratulations! You may now drive your piece of shit until it falls apart or you restore it, whichever comes first.

I know this because, although I very occasionally see a ’57 Chevy Bel Air sporting a blue collector plate, they more often have a vanity plate that says something like CHVYLVR. The blue plates, which I see nearly every day, are on Chevy Astro Vans, a vehicle so rare these days that they command sale prices in the hundreds of dollars. Serious collectors must be tripping over themselves to get hold of those.

collector plates | 9:39 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel, yet another rant
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