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Nsw number plate 1

‘NSW 1’ Number Plate Bidding Exceeds $10 Million, Already Smashing Auction Records


In an unbelievable turn of events, the rarest and most sought-after number plate in Australia is currently up for auction at Lloyds with bidding surpassing $10 Million at the time of publishing. There are still 43 days to go in the auction, but approved bidders are dropping record-setting amounts of money on the number plate that was previously thought to have vanished from existence. This is the first time the plate has been offered for public auction in more than 110 years and will likely be the last, representing the ultimate blue-chip investment for buyers.

Previously, NSW number plate ‘4’ went up for auction in 2017 and fetched $2.45 million. Most recently, Victoria number plate ’14’ sold for $2,270,000 followed by South Australia number plate ‘1’ which sold for $700,000 in 2020 and Queensland’s ‘Q65’ which sold for $780,000 in 2019.

The most expensive number plate in the world title belongs to Dubai ‘P7’ which sold at auction in April 2023 for 55 million Dirhams (AU$22.3 million).

RELATED: We deep dive into the world of million-dollar number plates in this article.

Heritage plate number 1 2 and 3
NSW number plates 1, 2, and 3 on Daimler 130, Model A Ford Coupe, and 1938 Vauxhall (left to right) | Image: Supplied

The story behind number plate #1 in Australia is seldom shared publicly, and as such, it’s hard to trace its provenance. However, this listing states that these plates were issued to a vehicle of the state’s first Police Commissioner in 1910. From there the story gets murky, but we know they were acquired privately by businessman and politician Sir Frederick Stewart in the 1930s and he fixed them to his Oldsmobile.

After Sir Stewart’s passing in 1961 he left them to his widow, Lady Marjorie Stewart, who fixed them to her 1981 Ford LTD. The listing states that she declined an offer of $200,000 for the plates in 1988.

When Lady Marjorie Stewart passed in 2000 many hoped that the plates would go up for sale again, but it never eventuated. Instead, they were spotted on rare occasions in the time since. First, they appeared on a Daimler in the US in 2009 and then in 2014 at Motorclassica. It’s the last we’d heard or seen of the plates until today.

At the time of writing the NSW number plate ‘1’ has surpassed $10 Million, and with bidding due to close at 9:00am AEDT on 27 January 2023, it could go for a lot more.

Number 1 plate spotted in 2014
NSW ‘1’ was spotted in July 2014 on the same Daimler 130 | Image: Facebook/ Heritage Number Plate Spotting

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