Nov/Dec 2021 edition
Issue #19 AutoMobilia Resource Magazine
Photos and story by Michael Wiener
Governor #1 Plates from US Territories/ Possessions/ NWT Canada Premier / Presidential plates from Haiti, Guatemala, El Salvador: Some Rare Governor plates from US Territories and Possessions; Northwest Territories Canadian Premier bear shaped, and Presidential plates from Haiti, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Politicians and elected officials have for many years sported colorful special low-numbered plates, some of which are illustrated here and are very sought after by collectors. In most states the No. 1 plate is assigned to the Governor’s limousine, while No. 2 is provided to the Lieutenant Governor. North Dakota has a unique approach to providing low numbers to their elected officials, as their Governor gets plates No. 1 and 5, while the state’s senior U.S. Senator receives plate No. 2, the junior U.S. Senator gets plate No. 3 and the lone at-large Congressman is issued plate No. 4. The Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota receives plate No. 6.
At a recent auction, several of the Georgia special plates bearing the initials “FDR” and “FDR 1,” once used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at his Warm Springs, Georgia, winter home, sold for $10,000 each. For many years the government of Washington, D.C., reserved the plates numbered 100 and 101 for official vehicles used by the President, and plate No. 111 was reserved for the Vice President. Inaugural plates have been produced every four years since 1933, with No. 1 going to the Presidential vehicle and No. 2 to the Vice President; these were typically used only in the Inauguration Day motorcade.
Where do I find low-numbered plates? I travel a great deal to plate meets all over the country, and I write thousands of letters a year to people who have the specific plates I desire. Among my favorites are those that belonged to and were actually used by governors in the 1920s and ’30s – especially the 1935 Territory of Hawaii No. 1 plate.
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