I just picked up a NJ 1927 plate at a barn sale this morning. its rusty but solid, on the back I can still see the original green color. I would like to restore it and put it on my 27 Roadster. any advise would be really appreciated.
Randy Glowacki, Parsippany, NJ
Check with your local DMV. Some states permit you to repaint the plate as long as it is in period correct colors and is readable. Others do not allow plates to be repainted.
In Ohio I was permitted to license my '22 Coupe and '27 Touring with period correct plates as long as they were readable. I did repaint them to period correct colors and they accepted them.
If your state allows you to restore the plate, here's an excellent video from Steve Jelf on the process:
Just so you know: a lot of guys who own T's in New Jersey run an original plate on the front of their car. THEY ARE TECHNICALLY ILLEGAL! New Jersey DMV laws do not allow for original plates, period. You run it at your own risk.
With fifty state legislatures in the business of making vehicle registration laws, some of them have shown great creativity and imagination in coming up with colossally stupid legislation.
Click on the link below to see the correct colors for your plate.
Your right, I think New Jersey is at the head of the line there. I mentioned a while back to Gov. Christy that he is losing money with his ZZ tags. Im sure the suggestion of using vintage tags as NY does tags went in one ear and out the other before he even turned away from me. But thats ok, I tag my T's with there vintage tags in NY. Not once have I heard them complain.
Since this thread on license plate restoration has seemingly run it's course, allow me to 'tag' on this additional request: Many years ago there was an excellent license plate restorer living in a suburb of Denver but then moved to a suburb of Atlanta. To me 'excellent' is defined as very reasonable in price and delivering a gorgeous product. Anyway, I've had occasion to send him Texas plates of the teens and twenties when in both locations. I'm now in need of his services again but can't find contact information. Can anybody help?
There is a guy every year at Chickasha who restores plates. I believe he is in Indiana. Not sure but he does great work and is reasonable.
Maybe someone on the forum remembers who he is.
The license plate fellow at Chickasha was Gerald Thiele, but I think he was planning to retire from the business.
10955 CENTER DRIVE
VERNON, TX 76384
I haven't seen Brian Mabry's work in person, but it looks excellent in the pictures. http://www.finishyourplates.com/
I restored a 50s plate the same structure as your 27, it was steel and rusty and some dents. I gently pounded the dents out with a body hammer then painted the entire plate with the background paint (black). The numbers were a caterpiller orange. I found some cat orange in a rattle can. Being an ex printer I had some soft printing press rollers and I sprayed the paint on the roller evenly around it and with one pass over the plate it transferred evenly on the raised letters. The raised frame was also painted but yours appears to be the background color so it may need to be masked. If you screw up wipe it off and do it again you will get it. If you are not satisfied the paint can be removed and start over again.
Don't make the mistake that I made. I had a real nice pair of Colorado 24 pates that needed a repaint. I use to do my own who I believe is the number one most active plate collector in Colorado painted the plates for me. I traded him some plates that he wanted for the paint job. I installed the plates on my 24 Coupe. Months later you could wipe the paint of with your thumb. Apparently these plate collectors use paint that is not better than water colors which is OK for hanging on the wall but no good for a car that is out on the road. I had to redo the plates.