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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was hoping to get a quick education on California black plates and maybe what the letters mean if anything. My '63 convertible was sold new and lived a long time in California before coming to Colorado. The license plate program was very different in CO in the 1960s with letter designations for each county, and they issued new sets each and every year. The original plates for my car are long gone, but I thought it would be fun to have a set on that it would have had its first year on the road. Obviously I'm not trying to register them, just put them on when its in the shop for the winter. There are lots of them on ebay from $15 to $250+. I am just looking to get what would have been on a passenger car. I just don't want to spend the time doing it and find out later I have motorhome plates or something.

Any info would be helpful, thanks!
 

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Good source for info on the YOM law in CA and getting matching plates. Do you know where in CA the car was purchased, originally? To pull off a return to black plates in the best way, I think, you kind of want to know where the car is from. Lower letter black plates (A, B, C) are typically Northern CA issue at this time, D, E middle of the state, and F, G, H and so on southern part of the state. My '63 wagon came originally with a plate that has 'EUM' as the letters, and a plate guru immediately tagged that as being from Merced, middle of the state. He was absolutely right! I'll ask him again how he knows.

I write that to let you know that getting a black plate pair for your '63 would be cooler with the lower letter plate you could find. Something like before "M". '69 saw the run end with the ZXX sequences and then '70 went to blue with gold lettering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great info you guys! Thanks! I don't have any dealership paperwork from the original purchase but I do have a bunch of other misc. paperwork that the owner lived in Walnut Creek, CA east of Oakland.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That is awesome info! Thanks for the help, that's exactly what I was hoping for... just have to find them now.
 

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BZ, can't tell you how long I have wanted that list. It immediately signs me up as a plate geek, but who cares. Thanks so much for posting that.
 

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Based on only empirical evidence (cars I have owned from the '60's, seeing CA cars for years) I'm going to guess that VFT is late '67 or '68. Front the chart, it seems that both L.A. and Sacramento stockpiles were running out in '65, so after about July or August '65, it seems they came to new owners sequentially. I have had an 'ROS' '65 and a 'TUA' late '66, as well as two '67s that had plates that began with V
 

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That makes sense. These VFT plates were on a original 1967 model purchase. In Torrance, Ca. Thx.
 

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'67 4 door, 65 wagon. WISCONSIN
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Based on only empirical evidence (cars I have owned from the '60's, seeing CA cars for years) I'm going to guess that VFT is late '67 or '68. Front the chart, it seems that both L.A. and Sacramento stockpiles were running out in '65, so after about July or August '65, it seems they came to new owners sequentially. I have had an 'ROS' '65 and a 'TUA' late '66, as well as two '67s that had plates that began with V
My first 67 was VDN. Pasadena, CA car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow, I wasn't expecting to get the Rosetta Stone of CA plates! I went this far down the rabbit hole on CO plates a couple years ago to get the ones that I actually have my car registered with in CO. This stuff is fascinating to me for some reason. I guess you could put me in a class of plate geek now.
 

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I also had a 1963 Nova SS Convertible that I bought from an original owner in Pomona, Ca.
In 1985. Ca. License plate was YBU 643. I sold it to a guy from Pacifica, Ca. 1994. My car
made it on the full color cover of Classic Auto Trader classified magazine. I’m in So Cal. I was getting phone calls from all over the State. Of course, no internet then. The guy from Pacifica called, and asked what Airport
Are you near? I told him Ontario. Long story short. He flew down. I drove around Ontario airport in the Red Convertible.
Third time around, he flagged me down. I picked him up. Introduced ourselves, headed on the West bound
10 fwy. At the local Jack in the Box, near my home. I counted all the money we’d agreed upon. By 2:00 pm he’s heading west on the 60 fwy. Wanting to beat the vaunted L.A. Downtown rush hour traffic!
Crazy, but true. Lol.
 

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My 66 L79 has VHL. It was shipped in February. Not sure why it would have 67 black plates unless it was originally sold in 67. It was originally shipped to dealer in Orange County but they have no records saved from 1966. It may have been transferred and sold elsewhere but my friend found it in 1972 in Torrance California by our high school and bought it. I ordered the GM paperwork saying where it was shipped to originally so that is how I know that. My 66 Malibu was THE and my parents 66 Impala wagon was RAN. I bought the Malibu in Hawthorne off a used car lot in 73 also but not sure where my parents found the wagon listed in the newspaper from an original owner in 66 or 67. Obviously local but not sure how local.
 
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