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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

$2 Million ‘Cash’ Grab Attempt For Iconic California License Plate


Back in 1970, patent attorney Claude Arthur Stuart Hamrick registered a plate based on his initials, CASH, and slapped it on his Buick Riviera. Now, the NFT era may have boosted its value.

California drivers who’ve attempted to register a vanity license plate with the DMV know it can be a Kafkaesque experience involving arbitrary rulings on the propriety of tags spelling S8TAN (acceptable) and DICKOUT (not).

But for former Silicon Valley patent attorney Claude Arthur Stuart Hamrick, it was simplicity itself. Back in 1970, he registered a plate based on his initials, CASH, and slapped it on his BuickRiviera.

In the intervening 50-odd years, Hamrick resolutely transferred the plate to whatever new ride he acquired, despite blandishments from car dealers to sell it; according to the Mercury News, Hamrick swore he’d never sell the plate, not even for “a million dollars.”

But in the era of multimillion-dollar valuations for NFTs, Hamrick has apparently found a price he could live with—his CASH plate is listed for $2 million on a California custom license plate exchange.

According to the News, Michael Modecki, who runs the exchange, which matches buyers and sellers of rare license plates, justifies the price of Hamrick’s “CASH” plate by comparing it with the princely sums eventually paid to acquire early World Wide Web domain names that later became indispensable to giants like Facebook and the Weather Channel when internet commerce exploded.

Perhaps. For now, Hamrick’s platinum license plate has yet to find a buyer.


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