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Prestige Plates


One of the more expensive styles of personal number plates is the acrylic plate with an aluminium frame. These are called "Prestige" plates. These are an impressive looking plate, but to my mind they are totally out of keeping with the lines of most modern vehicles.

With their sharp edges and unforgiving flat profiles, they look more at home hanging on a wall than they do on your car.

The current versions of these number plates consist of a solid acrylic sheet with the characters and background being vinyl sheeting bonded to the rear surface. Any damage to the face of the plate by stones etc., will be permanent. The plate also employs an extremely basic and cumbersome mounting bracket with three exposed grub screws protruding from the bottom edge of the frame.

A Prestige number plate and bracket as supplied by plate company.
Rear of a Prestige Plate showing the heavy and clumsy mounting bracket.

I can't help thinking that owning one of these very expensive plates must carry with it some sense of disappointment.

In response to requests from a number of our customers, I've developed a method of mounting the plates which overcomes their drawbacks and maximises their good points. I describe this below.

Issues 1 and 2: Sharp edges/Damage from road debris.

I've dealt with both these issues at one stroke by developing a method of incorporating the acrylic plate within one of the Kingpin number plate covers. Using a CNC controlled router, the edges of the acrylic plate are machined to allow it to fit neatly within the cover.

Needless to say, this is a delicate operation. The result though, is outstanding! The plate now has neat, rounded edges and the front surface of the plate is protected by the tough lens of the cover. Any stone damage can be taken care of by replacing the cover - less than a $30 expense.

Issue 3: Cumbersome mounting bracket.

The combined plate and cover are mounted on a Custom Plate Bracket. This supports the plate over it's whole rear surface and allows it to mount solidly to the vehicle. The process is shown in the slideshow to the right.

Programming the CNC router to trim the acrylic plate to fit the Kingpin cover. Trimmed Prestige Plate ready to fit the Kingpin cover. Prestige number plate and cover fitted to Custom Plate Bracket.

There are no protruding screws or sharp edges and, within the limits of the flexibility of the number plate itself, the whole assembly can be slightly curved. This allows the finished item to blend well with the lines of your vehicle.

Procedure

In order to carry out this process, I require the customer to deliver the plates by post or courier to our premises. Each case is individual, and it may take up to four weeks before the plates and fittings are ready to return to you. Pricing is variable, depending on the vehicle. I will prepare an accurate quote before beginning each job and require payment in advance.

If you would like me to consider working with your acrylic number plates, please contact me (Philip) using the form here, or phone me on the local call number (for calls within Australia from a landline) 1300 838 454.

What if you'd like to retain the original frames?

In some cases, of course, the Prestige plates in their original frames can suit your car's styling - it's just the mounting that's problematical. In these instances, I make mounting brackets which are totally concealed behind the plates. The plates and frames slide in and are locked into place by concealed locating tabs. As well as being neat, this system makes them very difficult to steal.

The following photos show an example of this style of bracket destined for the front of an HSV E-Series 3 Commodore.

LAKIN Custom bracket destined for the front of an HSV E-Series 3 Commodore. It will hold a slimline Prestige plate. LAKIN bracket (prior to being powder-coated) with a Prestige Slimline Plate, almost ready to be fitted to the front of an HSV E-Series 3 Commodore. The finished LAKIN bracket, powder-coated satin black to match the plate frame, ready to be fitted to the front of an HSV E-Series 3 Commodore. The finished LAKIN bracket, powder-coated satin black to match the plate frame, ready to be fitted to the front of an HSV E-Series 3 Commodore.

Reviews

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