$2 million number plate worth more than luxury cars

One driver had a journey to remember when he spotted a car with a coveted number plate in front of him and quickly snapped a picture of it.

It shows the number plate, with the single number ‘1’ on a Mercedes AMG, which is stopped and waiting for a light to turn green.

Hailing from Victoria, the number plate is estimated to be worth between $2 and $2.5 million, while the luxury Mercedes retails for around $200,000.

The last person reported to have owned the number plate was Peter Bartels, the former CEO of Coles and Foster’s Group, although it isn’t clear if he was driving the silver Mercedes sedan at the time.

He has reportedly been offered $1.5 million for the plate in the past but rejected it.

The number plate was released in 1932, but was locked in a vault at the Motor Registration Board for more than 50 years after the police commissioner, premier and governor argued about who should keep it, according to legend.

In 1984, Victoria’s ‘1’ plate made its debut at auction and was snapped up by a retired Ballarat mechanic who allegedly paid $165,000.

It went on the change hands a number of times including Izzy Herzog, who slapped them on a company car when he owned City Saab, before being used as a prize for a Channel Ten telethon.

Later, it ended up with Carlton & United Breweries — then owner of Fosters — in 1991 for a reportedly bargain price of $100,000. Mr Bartels negotiated the plates to be included as part of his severance package.

The record prize for a number plate is in NSW, where a vintage registration plate ‘4’ sold for $2.45 million at auction in 2017.

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