The World’s Oldest Number plate, “6”

Oldest Number Plate

John Roberts, a 69-year-old Canadian resident, bought the plate in 2006 and said he recently had it categorised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the Oldest License Plate in the World.

Horse Drawn Carriage

Roberts had been researching the Number plate that he purchased in 2006. It was issued in 1884 to a horse-drawn carriage in Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, Canada. The Guinness World Records mailed him the official certificate. The plate, showing No 6 is stored in a bank vault in Victoria, on the west coast of Canada.

Roberts said he is hoping the plate will fetch the price tag, because it is in “a world class of its own with nothing to compare it with”. The British expatriate, who moved to Western Canada in 1975, has been a collector of expensive license plates for 30 years: he also said that there are only 4,000 license plate collectors worldwide.

Roberts drives tour buses for a living, which takes him through the Canadian Rockies during summer months. He has never owned a classic vehicle, preferring to collect the plates that are on them.

Collectable license plates can be big business. In February 2008, at an auction in Abu Dhabi, businessman Saeed Al Khoury, 25, broke the world record for purchasing the most expensive plate in the world. He paid a whopping Dh52.2 million for license plate No 1, after fierce bidding. Similarly, No 5 cost its buyer Talal Al Khoury Dh25.2 million in 2007.

License plates in Victoria, Canada, were first issued before 1913. In 1884, a new law was passed — licensing hackney carriages and express wagons.

Roberts claims that his plate dates from 1884 – however, according to the Canadian Times Colonist newspaper, other collectors are disputing this

Ron Garay, national president of the Vintage Car Club of Canada, says Victoria by law No 1313 from 1912 describes the license plates like the one that Roberts owns, in great detail, the newspaper reported. A historian quoted in the same article states that the No 6 plate looks very similar to 1913 provincial motorcycle plates.

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