Vanity Plates Are Cool, Right?

Vanity tags are an interesting facet of car culture and individualism. I’ve seen a bunch of really lame ones, but here’s a collection of the few that have been worth taking a picture. After years of snapping license plates on various cars, I thought it would be worth sharing a masterpost of some of my favorites. Please enjoy.

The photo above, also known as the lead image, was taken last weekend when I got the opportunity to drive Sharkwerks’ newest project GT2 with 775 horsepower, and 12.5 inch wide rear wheels. It was a riot, but the tag made me chuckle a bit. Interestingly, Alex of Sharkwerks said that he had tried to get “Jaws 2” and “Jaws 3”, but the DMV said they were already taken. I think he should try for SHRKNDO, because it’s that insane.
It should be mentioned right now that most of the photos here are of Porsche license plates, because that’s what I am around most of the time, and what captures my eye most in parking lots. There are a few non-P-cars scattered throughout, though. This is sort of a V.I.S.I.T. post, but sort of not. Oh well, it is what it is. Have fun with it, and post a few of your own in the comments below.
This one was spotted on a PCA driving day. The car sounded amazing with an aftermarket exhaust. Probably my favorite tag, but I couldn’t tell you why.
I was co-driving this car that day. What a fun drive that was. Now better known as the Braid Wheels car, this 911 was recently purchased by the owner, and he let me flog the bajezus out of it (THANKS PAUL!). Were it not for a scoring error, I certainly would have won the class that day. Oh well.
This 1968 912 was seen at an Irvine “Cars and Coffee” (may the event rest in peace). I’m not positive what was under the decklid, but there was rumbling that it was turbocharged.
Spotted during a Mid-Ohio track day, this Cayman S had a case of misplaced identity. I’m not sure what the story is here, but it still makes me laugh.
How do you say X1 in German?
If you don’t get this one, you probably should hand over your “Car Guy” card immediately. The proper authorities will be by shortly. We know where you live.10014675_959269441299_6005903568917803231_n
A reference to my favorite long-running British Sci-Fi series about a time travelling alien. (What would this acronym be? Time And Relative Dimension In Zebras?)
Moby Grape. A San Francisco based music group from the 1960s, or an early 1990s Porsche 911 Cabriolet?
Don’t Panic, you Hoopy Frood. Never leave home without your towel.
I guess that’s one way to make sure you never forget your license plate number.10981437_10100215396532529_6966176266947387121_n
With a few hundred horsepower more than stock, and a penchant for going REALLY fast, this Z’s plate is probably pretty accurate.11021045_10100215395250099_3175562924394862466_n
Who needs water? Not this guy.
A member of the CIA named Obby? OH! I get it now.
This one was an absolute pleasure. If you can’t figure out whose car it is, click here.
There were a few more that I’ve seen that I didn’t get a chance to photograph, but either made me laugh or at least made me notice them enough that I still remember them all this time later.
1. Ohio plate “MYBOX” – on a 986 generation Boxster driven by a middle aged woman. This one made me laugh for at least half an hour.
2. California plate “NO911NV” – on an early Porsche 912. With a car like that, who would have envy?
3. Nevada plate “HOTPPR” – on a 957 generation Porsche Cayenne. Get it?
4. Nevada plate “REDRCR” – on an bright red BMW E36 325i sedan with a stick. A racer? Really?
Here are a few of the ones that I’d consider for my own cars and bike. Rowdy the Audi gets FunfZyl (as in five cylinder), ClbSprt for the Boxster, and Hoonda for my Honda MB5 motorcycle. What do you think?
All photos ©2015 Hooniverse/Bradley C. Brownell, All Rights Reserved.

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  1. jayp2112 Avatar

    A pal’s Porsche…
    Fingers crossed.

    1. Bradley Brownell Avatar
      Bradley Brownell

      I love it!

  2. franktcat Avatar

    I’m partial to mine

  3. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    I have HOONVRS for the Wombat and HOONTRK on order for the, um, HoonTruck

  4. hwyengr Avatar

    I take license plates very seriously. Way more seriously than is healthy.
    For my silver Gen 2 SHO, AG BUL8.
    Illinois has plates that commemorate Rotary International, I almost kept my RX-8 when moving back just so I could get that plate with WNKEL.
    Illinois also has plates commemorating sheet metal workers (don’t ask). All commemorative plates have a 2 letter sequence that gets appended to the end of every plate of that type. The sheet metal plate’s code was SM. For the 928, since you have to be a masochist to keep it running, I was very tempted to get NTOBD.

  5. ptschett Avatar

    I’m gathering that 2SOONJR is a reference from that Passed and Spurious series?

    1. salguod Avatar

      I’m glad I I’m not the only one who has no idea what that obvious S2000 plate refers to.

    2. Bret Dodson Avatar

      I didn’t get it either.

  6. Krash Kadillak Avatar
    Krash Kadillak

    Seen on a white 80’s full-size Chevy van in Orange County:

  7. Maymar Avatar

    A friend of mine has told the story of meeting someone (on a track day, I believe), who once got really bored, or drunk, or both, and started applying for the most obscene personalized plates he could think of, to see what would he could get away with. Apparently, the ministry of transportation approved BUKKAKE.

  8. Sjalabais Avatar

    I’m a bit ambivalent about vanity plates. The occasional plate can be fun, but most of them come off a bit lame. Since they usually cost extra, I’d opt out on principle. Norway, with its two letters and five numbers, has a lot of cars registered in one rich district west of Oslo – they say it supports used car values – but that’s no real vanity plates. Sweden has three letters and three numbers, and they forbid “GOD”-plates, among others. Germans then…lots of room here, besides the obvious Berlin plate for Bimmers (“B-MW” – municipality abbreciation + 2-3 letters + 2-4 numbers = German plate).

  9. Monkey Tennis Avatar
    Monkey Tennis

    I used to regularly cycle past the house in Chelsea (London, UK) with these two cars parked outside.

    (Google images search shows that these two plates have been transferred across a number of different cars in this same parking spot over the years. Some days they are lazy with their parking and the message NOT2B 2BE confuses passing motorists).

  10. Tyler Brand Avatar

    Looks like S2000 owners have a sense of humor in at least two states. I snapped this one at the local autocross.

    1. Tyler Brand Avatar

      Oh heavens, now I have to try to sort out images in comments again.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Write the following in pointy brackets:
        img src=”http://…” width=”600″

  11. Bret Dodson Avatar

    I love creative plates. However, I find plates with the model of the car annoying. Yes, I know your S4AVANT is an S4 Avant.
    Harrumph. Get offa my lawn.

  12. Batshitbox Avatar

    My favorite feature of Billy Gibbons’ “Cadzilla”

  13. mr smee Avatar
    mr smee

    Can’t think of anything more embarrassing than having a vanity plate.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      Driving a Prius.
      With a vanity plate.
      That says, “POOFTER”

  14. njhoon Avatar

    The best one I have seen in my memory was on a worked M5. At least I think it was an M5, all badges had been removed. The plate was: 8yr benz.

  15. Ricko Avatar

    A great one on a Ferrari, in Brisbane Qld (Aus) read: NZOFRE

  16. Krautwursten Avatar

    Can’t have a vanity plate discussion without this gem.

  17. IronBallsMcG Avatar

    My K1600

    1. IronBallsMcG Avatar

      I tried to post an image. My K1600 is “SECHS”

  18. spokey Avatar

    Lacol black jeep ‘BAA BAA’

  19. ninjabortion Avatar

    Ooooh comments are back in action. The price for custom plates is insane these days in TX. 2 years ago it was like 80 a year, now it is up to 150 a year.
    For awhile i had the plate TACOS on my beater truck but figured it wasn’t worth the new prices. I have however been watching this plate for years and it finally came up so i snagged it for the max years and cheapest price tier…