The Victorian heritage number plates 10 and 12 have both been linked to the Murdoch family.
Although a number of ultra-wealthy Australians (and their families) have owned heritage plates, perhaps none have as much history as these two plates.
In the booklet for the 1983 auction at which the plate was offered for sale, plate number 10 includes the following entry:
“From 1932 until 1938, research indicates Sir Keith Murdoch was the registered owner of vehicles displaying the number plate ‘10‘.”
It states that in 1934 the plate was registered to a Cadillac sedan, owned by Sir Keith Murdoch of ‘Heathfield’ Toorak.
Google didn’t reveal any further information about the Vic 10 plate, however it did lead to information about another very low heritage.
It turns out that Vic 12 was also owned by Sir Keith for a period of time, and then by his wife, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, for most of her life.
Various sources confirmed Dame Elisabeth as the long-time owner of Vic 12.
“She devoted increasing time to voluntary work. Her “VIC 12” numberplate was a familiar sight on the road between Frankston and Melbourne”
My time must be running out, but I’m not going to waste a minute of it – Sydney Morning Herald – 6 December 2012
“Dame Elisabeth’s number plates, “12“, had been Sir Keith’s when he had been courting her.
She found herself constantly discouraging young men who wanted to buy them, telling them: “I went to my wedding with these plates and I am going to my funeral with them.””
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch dead at 103 – ABC News – 5 December 2012
“Murdoch turned up, driving, at high revs, a Peugeot, number-plate , VIC 15. This was enough to win over the car-obsessed Walsh for good: “You must have had that plate for a long time,” he said. Seventy years,” she replied.”
The matron & the maverick – Weekend Australian Magazine – 25 October 2003
The above article refers to the plate 15, however we presume this is a typo and it should have been 12. The photo below is likely the Peugeot referred to:
This photo was sent to us in August 2014, but was said to have been taken some years earlier.
In more recent times the plate has appeared on a Mercedes-Benz B250. It was first sent to us in September 2014, and the photo below was sent to us in September 2015.
It’s unknown if the plate was sold after Dame Elisabeth’s death in 2012 or passed on to a family member. After 80+ years in the Murdoch family we hope it’s still there.