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License Plate Collection Tops 80,000
Dale Luttig's license plate collection has grown from a handful of plates kept by his mother to more than 80,000 plates from about 75 countries. He and his wife Carol have traveled to more than 20 countries, in part to add to the license plate collection. The rest have come in trades or purchases.
"I've gone as far south as Tasmania and as far north as Barrow, Alaska looking for license plates," says Luttig. "I have plates from every province in Canada and every state in Mexico, Australia and the U.S."
His Kansas plates are at the heart of the collection. Not only does he have plates from all 25 counties in the state, he has one or more from every year in every county from 1913 on. That doesn't count the 23 additional sets of all 25 counties in Kansas for many years.
Another set he has been putting together consists of consecutively numbered plates. He is now six plates short of having 6,700 in a row.
"I have 11,000 plates on display on the walls in my storage buildings," says Luttig, who claims to have no good reason for collecting them. "I don't know why I started collecting, except that my mother had a bunch from local counties, and I wanted a complete set."
Luttig buys and sells plates, sometimes in large amounts. His biggest purchase was 64,000 plates from one collector, but more common are the individual purchases and sales.
"I figure I have averaged about 10 per plate that I have bought," says Luttig. "I had an offer of $100,000 for my complete collection, but I said no. What would I do if I sold them?"
While he doesn't want to sell out yet, he does sell parts of the collection or individual plates. Sales can surprise even the long time collector. One 1913 Kansas plate that was thrown in on a small collection Luttig purchased brought $572 on the internet. Another internet sale brought $2,800 for a leather license plate he stumbled across while having some work done on his car. Leather plates were issued by Kansas municipalities prior to statewide licensing. Luttig reports paying only $50 for it.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dale Luttig, 9565 Hwy. 63, Emmett, Kansas 66422 (ph 785 535-2610).


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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2