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New California Bill Would Let 'Car Enthusiasts' Buy Out-of-Print License Plates for $50

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Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge Oh, this old thing? - WIKIPEDIA
A hipster's dream ride, realized by the California State Legislature!

Assemblyman Mike Gatto -- who appropriately represents L.A., car capital of California -- has proposed a rather petty bill to revive those fugly classic old license plates from the '50s, '60s and '70s.

"Car enthusiasts" could choose between...

... the black-on-yellow plates from the '50s, the yellow-on-black plates from the '60s and the yellow-on-blue plates from the '70s.

click to enlarge california_yellow.jpg
click to enlarge california_black.jpg
click to enlarge california_blue.jpg
They definitely have that retro, so-clunky-it's-cute thing going for them. Very much in the same vein as those label punchers everyone loved so much in the '90s.

Whether that means we should put them back on the market is another question.

Assemblyman Gatto argues in his presser that "it might make the state a little money." ($50 per plate, and they can't be issued until the DMV has received at least 7,500 applications. So yes, chump change.)

But think of the hipsters! Gatto says that aside from the monetary perks, AB 1658 would "enable everyone from the backyard auto restorer, to the nostalgic, to the purchaser of a brand-new but retro-styled automobile, to opt for a license plate most appropriate for their car."

Hardcore car enthusiasts are maybe not so enthused. This would essentially cheapen vintage plates in the private market by making them available to anyone with $50 to spend tricking out their VW Fastback.

"What's old is new," adds Gatto, completely missing the appeal of owning vintage stuff.

[@simone_electra / swilson@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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