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 following list shows plates that have been sold in the past at the highest prices. Most of these were sold in auctions across the country although some were sold by the DVLA.
- ‘25’ O for £518,000.
This is the most expensive Regplates ever sold by the DVLA, and were purchased in 2014 by Ferrari dealer John Collins. The plate is currently being used on a Ferrari. The market value of the car is around £10,000,000.
- ‘F 1’ for £440,000.
This Regplate was the previous record holder for the highest price paid for a reg plate. The plate represents the initials of Formula 1 racing and was bought in 2008 by Afzal Khan, a businessman from Bradford. The plates are currently being used on his McLaren Mercedes SLR, which is quite an impressive match.
- ‘S 1’ for £404,000.
This is claimed to be the first Regplate that was ever made in Scotland. Therefore, it is both special and rare, as it is only one of its kind. The Regplates were purchased in 2008 at an auction by an anonymous bidder who said the plate would be used on an old Skoda. It’s a good investment, either to mark history or as an antique.
- ‘1 D’ for £352,000.
These initials bear a resemblance to the American pop group One Direction. However, it is interesting to note that the Regplate was purchased a year before the group was even formed. Nabil Bishara, a businessman from Lebanon, purchased it.
- ‘M 1’ for £331,000.
Mike McCoomb, a businessman in the phone industry, bought this unique Reg plate back in 2006. He said the plates were meant for his son, who was 10 years old at the time of the purchase.
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