‘NSW 1’ number plate resets the record books and sells for millions

$11.5M for a number plate? You'd better believe it


Update: 27 January, 2024

We have a new Australian record holder in the somewhat baffling world of number plate auctions, with ‘NSW 1’ selling for $11,505,000 plus 7.5 per cent buyer’s premium today.

This is the first time ‘NSW 1’ has been offered to the public in over 100 years. The previous Australian record was $2.45 million, set by ‘NSW 4’ in 2017.

The Queensland record has also been reset, with ‘Q1’ fetching $5,655,000 plus BP – also the highest figure for a two-digit plate sold in Oz.

‘Q1’ was previously held by Brisbane hairdessing icon Stefan Ackerie, who purchased the plates for $100,000 in 1985. Not a bad return!

The story to here, 14 Deceber, 2023

The historic ‘NSW 1’ number plates are making waves after lying dormant for over a century. It’s not just an auction; it’s a spectacle, a showdown that’s causing seismic ripples in the world of rare plates.

The auction house is heralding this event as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a chance to snag the “most sought-after Heritage Plate in Australia.” As the vritual gavel dropped, the bidding blitzed past $10.10 million, and there are still 43 days left in this electrifying auction.

Breaking records is the name of the game here. The current Australian number plate price champions, ‘NSW 4’ and ‘Vic 14’, are about to be dethroned. ‘NSW 1’ is on a mission to shatter all previous benchmarks.

Normally, plates of such prestige stay within families, passed down like precious heirlooms. But not this time. ‘NSW 1’ is breaking free from its century-long slumber, emerging from the shadows and thrusting itself into the spotlight.

When the hammer finally falls at 9:00 am AEDT on January 27, 2024, we’ll know the true worth of this automotive relic. Estimated values are one thing, but the mystique of NSW 1 is unparalleled. Last seen in the wild back in the 1980s, it carries the legacy of being the first NSW Police Commissioner’s badge of honor.

The tale takes a twist as it journeyed through the hands of Sir Frederick Stewart, a railwayman turned bus tycoon and founding chairman of Australian National Airways. His ride, an Oldsmobile adorned with NSW 1, became a piece of history in 1961. Lady Majorie Stewart, refusing a tempting $200,000 offer in 1988, showcased the plates on her 1981 Ford LTD.

This Australian sensation might even set a new global record, toppling the current champion – ‘UAE plate 1’, which commanded a princely sum of $20.5 million today in 2008.

As the seconds tick down, the world watches in awe as NSW 1 steers into uncharted territory, rewriting auction history and leaving an indelible mark on the high-octane drama of rare number plates.