Regplates Reunites A Plate After 50 years
A GRANDMOTHER has been reunited with her beloved Mini number plate 50 years after she bought the original.
Hilary Badhams, 67, fell in love with her first car, a green and white Austin Mini and nicknamed it the ‘Green Pea’ after it arrived with an ‘800 PEA’ number plate in 1967.
The retired headteacher even met her husband, Dennis, 69, when the engineer repaired the car in 1972, and the pair were engaged just a fortnight later.
The car was then sold in 1973 to be replaced by a newer model and the number plate disappeared with it.
Since then Hilary has owned six Minis but none lived up to her original “pride and joy”.
Hilary, from Alfreton, Derbyshire, who has one son and two grandchildren, said: “I bought the car in 1967. I learned to drive in it, and took my test in it after I put on the ‘L’ plates.”
“It was great fun to drive, and was one of those iconic 60s Minis which are so photogenic and nostalgic.
“It was a 1964 model, so it was lacking in a lot of the things we’d take for granted now.
“It didn’t have any indicators, and I had to manually roll down the windows and stick my arm out when I wanted to turn a corner.
“It didn’t have a radio, it didn’t have heaters and it didn’t have air conditioning, but it was in absolutely perfect condition.”
The car took on even more significance in Hilary’s life when it overheated in 1972 and her friend Hazel called on her brother to fix it.
Hilary said: “My friend Hazel brought her ‘little’ brother, all 6ft 3ins of him, to come and fix it. He came round to my house the next day to repair it properly.
“We just hit it off straight away, it was love at first sight. I’ve never known anything like it.
“Within two weeks we were engaged, and 12 weeks after that first meeting we were husband and wife.
“Pea brought us together. If it hadn’t of been for that car, I might never have met my soul mate.”
Hilary let the car go to replace it with bigger model and regretted seeing the 800 PEA plate go. So, when she bought her latest MINI Cooper earlier this year, Hilary decided to hunt for the reg.
To her delight she unearthed it for sale online.
She said: “Dennis mentioned the plate in an out-of-hand comment, and that got me looking for it online at Regplates.com.
“To my amazement, they had it available. I just had to have it. It cost us £1,200, which was a reasonable prize for a private plate.
“I’m so happy to have a new Green Pea. I’m never letting go of the plate again, it’s going to stay with me forever.”
The UK in particular has a relationship with personalised number plates. According to estimates by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), the UK reported an excess of two billion pounds in tax revenue from tax auctions over the past 25 years. As they are keen to state, an expression of interest in a particular plate by three people or more is enough to push the price of that Reg plate through the roof. It has also been documented that the buyers let their hearts take control of their heads when they bid for these plates.
Personalised number plate auctions are constantly rewriting the record books with regard to the highest price paid for a plate. The record currently stands at £518,000 which is quite impressive. The prices of these Regplates does not seem to be slowing down either.
Of particular interest is the recent auction of the highly-hyped 250 C Reg plate which sold for £21,500. This is a clear indication that the expectations for the prices of personalised number plates will continue to increase.
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