All heritage number plate enthusiasts know that the ‘zero’ plate does not exist in Victoria.
But it nearly did…
Back in 2007 the Victorian Government decided it would be a good idea to create a zero plate (the number zero, not the letter O) and sell it via a tender process.
The plate was to be issued in the heritage enamel style, and was displayed at the 2007 Melbourne Grand Prix. I saw the plate for myself, but unfortunately did not take a photo.
The following email was sent out in late 2007:
“Vicroads “0” number plate Tender to be held in 2008.
ManheimFowles and Vicroads would like to thank you for registering your interest in the upcoming “0” number plate tender.
Your chance to make history and become the owner of this exciting and prestigious number plate will be made available to you once we have authority from Vicroads to launch the sale process .
Please keep an eye on the ManheimFowles website for clarification of the opening and closing dates of the Tender. Email notifications will also be sent to all registered parties by ManheimFowles informing you of the tender dates.
We look forward to providing updates for your opportunity to participate in the tender and make history and apologise for any delay in the sale of this exciting item.”
A website was created with the domain name MakeHistory.com.au that contained the following registration form:
However before the tender process could even begin the plate was withdrawn from sale.
The following email was sent out 28 May 2008:
Re- Number plate Zero
VicRoads has advised that the release & sale of the Zero number plate has been deferred indefinitely.
We thank you for your expression of interest and will keep you advised of any developments.
ManheimFowles Pty Ltd
Gordon Luck Avenue
Altona VIC Australia 3025”
There was no official reason (that I’m aware of) for the tender not going ahead, however it has been said that it was tied up in the V Plate court injunction which you can read about here.
Although the whole saga was probably very distressing for those involved at the time, I’m sure with hindsight they can look back and agree that releasing this plate, especially in the heritage enamel style, would not have been a good thing to do.
When the Victorian single letter plates were auctioned in 2010, the right decision was made to not include the letters ‘O’ and ‘I’.
Information for this article has come from my own materials as well as the Plate Shed forums.