So you’re close to completing your major car restoration project. You’ve probably gone through the rigorous process of disassembling parts of your vehicle, if not the entire thing, documenting all the pieces, finding replacements, putting everything back together and making sure it’s all in working order again. Now it’s time for those finishing touches which really evoke memories of the era your car came from. Getting the right paint finish and working on the tiny details can be the difference between making your car roadworthy again and getting it to a professional show-level standard.
One of the most crucial details in many cases can turn out to be your number plates. A registration from the original year of manufacture can really bring your vehicle to life and if you’re looking for a truly authentic finish it’s essential that you get this right. Number plates from particularly old cars can pose a problem because they may well have been removed, replaced or damaged over the decades. For this reason, many classic car enthusiasts opt to replace them entirely by ordering custom made number plates from a printing service. Companies like Motoshow Plates have an online number plate creator that can produce classic styles like the black and silver plates issued throughout the early 20th century in the UK. The main advantage of using a modern number plate maker is that the plate will obviously look brand new, which really adds to the look of the vehicle and makes it look exactly as it would have when it was newly built.
Alternatively, some restorers prefer to exclusively use the original plates that the vehicle was manufactured with. If these are available to you and in a good enough condition to be restored to a high standard, then this may be a better option in terms of authenticity. Much of this comes down to the original material of the plate, since many early plates from the US and elsewhere came in a variety of materials including leather, porcelain and unusual combinations of different metals that don’t necessarily deteriorate at the same rate. If a plate has been damaged in an accident or completely rusted through it’s unlikely you’ll be able to return it to its former glory, but there are professional services available to assist if it just needs a thorough clean and a new paint job. In any case, for private collectors and the most hardcore fans of classic vehicles, an original restored plate will be worth the extra investment.