The New South Wales vintage registration plate ‘4’ sold for a record $2.45 million at the Shannons Winter Classic Auction in Sydney on Monday night.
The winning bid came in at $1 million over the estimated price guide – and a good deal more than the most recent records of $750,000 each for NSW plates 29 and 36. The bidding war was between two punters, one simply named ‘Ray’, and the other was adult toy billionaire, Peter Tsung, with Tsung coming away with the ultra-rare plates.
It seems Tsung is a collector of rare number plates, as he reportedly arrived at the auction in a red 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia (above) with the NSW plate of ‘2’, which he bought the latter for what seems like a bargain now – $750,000. He also owns the Hong Kong ‘1’ plate, and ‘ONE’ NSW plates on a more affordable 2001 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Tsung bought the 1910 ‘4’ plates off entrepreneur Steve Shelley, who in 2015, purchased them for $850,000, and registered his Toyota Tundra with them.
Aussie Home Loans founder, John Symond, is one of its more famous owners, who displayed them on his Rolls Royce (below).
And in the early 1920s, the plates belonged to Michelin tyres importer, Noris Duval, who also had them on a Rolls Royce – a 1909 Silver Ghost.
“The opportunity to acquire such a plate is exceptionally rare, as most single-digit plates remain in family hands, are usually passed down through generations and rarely, if ever, come onto the open market. Their unique status and desirability are never going to change,” said Shannons National Auction Manager, Christophe Boribon.
With the sale of these plates, it brought the record total for cars and memorabilia in this auction, to $4.7 million.
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