About Us


About us at www.historicplates.com.au

A couple of years after the 1985 Great Plate Auction I began a small business with a long name called South Australian Number Plate Brokers. I'd attended the 1985 auction and realised there was a niche for someone who understood how the numberplate system worked, could offer outstanding customer service, knowedge and marketing and was extensively networked with SA numberplate buyers and sellers.

It was 1989.

Today is no different.

We were the first and remain the only

I was the first to deal in special plates in SA with a focus on the black-and-white Historic Plates

I was the first to register an internet based numberplate business (numberplates.com.au, which was subsequently sold) in the early days of the internet around this time

I was the first to launch an SA based historic plate website www.historicplates.com.au ,  specialising in low, desirable and special SA numberplates. 

Historicplates.com.au went live on March 27, 2009.

I was the first to hold a large scale live auction of Historic Plates owned by private clients since the Goverment first issued plates in 1985. Our event The Great Plate Auction 2011 broke several records for SA Plates including the sale of four rare 2-digit plates for record prices.

I look to be the first to sell over a million dollars worth of plates in one year, as historicplates.com.au continue to be the leading and driving force in the historic plate market in South Australia.

Why call our site “Historic Plates”?

Ever since their introduction at auction twenty five years ago, the SA black and white plates have been referred to as Historic Plates. The original papers for the Proprietary Rights to the plates is boldly titled "Historic Plate Agreement" and since then they’ve been known by collectors, government departments and owners as “Historic” plates - it’s the term most often used to describe these both rare and historical numberplates. Recently some folks and the Government themselves have been calling them Heritage or Numeric plates or the awful “Class Specific Rights” Plates......but ‘round here we know them correctly as Historic Plates. And, with the early plates tracing their lineage back to 1906 when these numbers first took to our roads, we think they are nothing but Historic.

Historicplates.com has been established to provide a source of information and an avenue through which to buy and sell only the best registration plates in SA- historic, grands prix and classic name original auction plates. Quite simply, we’re the best name in town to know when it comes to expertise on historic and investment number plates.

My journey with numberplates: SDA-7168

 Most folks can remember times in their lives when something interesting set them off on a path.

For me and numberplates, that event occurred in 1977. As a seven year old, one of the visiting Mercedes-Benz London to Sydney Rally factory mechanics gave me a Landeshuptstadt Stuttgart numberplate, no SDA-7168; straight off the Mercedes 280E factory rally car.

The Mercedes-Benz Factory entered 280E, reg SDA-7168 at the Torrens Parade Ground, Adelaide SA 1977. I was there as a 7 year old.

I’ve cherished this plate for years and today it sit’s proudly in my equivalent of “the pool room”. That plate was bolted to the 280E rally car in the Works department in Stuttgart, left London and then proceeded to drive all over the world until it reached Adelaide, Australia. It still has today what I like to think is the dirt of a hundred deserts on it. It’s a pretty interesting piece of Mercedes Factory memorabilia, and is the first thing I credit with starting my interest in plates.

SDA-7168 leaves London at the start of the rally.

Recently I did some online research as I became puzzled as how or why the mechanic was able to remove a plate off the car whist it was still competing in the event. And, then I came across and image of the open boot of the factory rally car: Mercedes being Mercedes had affixed a spare numberplate in the boot of the rally car in case one of the two plates on the car was damaged. I think the plate the mechanic gave me was this boot mounted spare plate – the rally was near it’s end and the likelihood of needing the spare was diminished. So, I ended up with this souvenir of the 1977 London to Sydney rally and the legacy of an interest in registration plates.

The spare SDA-7168 plate in the 280E's boot.....mystery solved.

14 years later and two years after starting my dealings in numberplates I secured my own piece of local number plate history when I acquired a vintage Porsche 911 from it’s second owner. It’s original 1965 issued registration number; SA 119.

Our expertise

My historic plate expertise stretches back to 1989, when I established South Australian Numberplate Brokers, becoming the first in the state to specialise in the purchase, sale, brokerage and sourcing of Historic, Grand Prix and Classic Name plates. With a close eye on the market and knowledge of off market sales, historicplates.com.au provides you the motoring and plate enthusiast with expertise and knowledge of almost all things SA plate related.

We buy plates outright, can broker plates, consign plates or sell discreetly to pre-registered interested collectors.  We offer free no obligation advice, and can aid in either the disbursement or acquisition of great SA historic plates. Recently, responding to client demand I have initiated an adjunct to our historic plates business, The Great Plate Auction vehicle which has been developed to aid our clients with rare, low and unique historic plates in achieving an accurate market price for these sometimes "once in a lifetime" available plates. Some plates have recently sold quite quickly and it's my view that they've been underpriced, hence have not achieved their true market value. Offering plates via auction is a proven way to offer plates at a true market value price.

Our February event achieved over $750 000 in sales under the hammer in one day. An SA record.



It is the charter of www.historicplates.com.au to protect the privacy of all clients and registered owners of historic plates. It’s been our experience that our clients and potential clients protect their anonymity and we wholeheartedly respect their position on this.

Indeed, it is our commitment to clients and future clients to respect their privacy, and we feel that up front this is a point worth stating for all our clients. Again, historicplates.com.au will both respect and protect your privacy.

The historic plate market has come a long way since the first release of tradeable, re-saleable proprietary right plates in 1985. The ensuing years have seen good, interesting or low SA historic plates perform strongly as investments. As with any investment advice, you should make up your own mind and act accordingly.

We have numerous clients seeking interesting plates; should you wish to register your interest in purchasing a plate, please fill out the historicplates.com contact form, which can be used to pre-register your interest in historic plate availability here:


Many plates are sold discreetly and privately “off market” to the satisfaction of both vendor and purchaser- indeed very low and desirable plates often don’t make it to public sale. Registering your details with us ensures you’ll be kept abreast of news and plate availability as it comes to hand. Contact details are required but again your privacy will be respected and protected.

Remember, no one has the expertise, experience, mailing list and buyer contacts that www.historicplates.com.au do.

Quite simply we're the #1 place to buy and sell historic SA numberplates.




Stewart Kay


ph: 0401 722 222

email: sell@historicplates.com.au