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Fourteen states, four time zones and 5400 miles

14 states 4 time zones

Steve Saunders contacted Regtransfers in December 2011 after spotting himself and his SCS 1 number plate in our numberplates.com photo gallery.

The photo to which Steve referred was black and white and clearly not recent! Steve thought we might like an update on SCS 1.

We actually have two old pictures of SCS 1: one featuring the number on a Hillman Avenger, while the other shows it on a Mini. In the Mini photo, a youthful Steve is shown posing alongside the number plate.

“The photo was taken in 1970,” Steve told us. “It shows the very first car to wear SCS 1 – in my ownership, at least. I had to think long and hard about the purchase at the time, and I ended up paying the huge amount of £125!”

Forty-one years and sixteen cars later, the plate now resides on Steve’s Mercedes SL55 AMG, having been on a couple of BMWs, a Jaguar, two Corvettes plus assorted Fords and Minis.

I am frequently asked if I am a computer geek,” said Steve. [The question no doubt prompted by the resemblance the number bears to the acronym SCSI, which refers to a kind of interface for connecting devices to computers – Ed.] “And in answer to the other question I always get: no, I do not make my living selling sofas!

“At the time of purchase, in 1970, I was a photographer for a group of local newspapers. In 1976 I became a photographer for a magazine group and worked on various motoring magazines.

In fact, my VW Golf was used as a project car for Street Machine magazine, and was converted into a coupe with modified rear side windows, four rectangular headlights and strip rear lights. The car featured in the magazine and appeared at several custom car shows bearing, of course, SCS 1.

“In 2004 when the number was attached to my first Corvette – a red C5 – I fulfilled a long-held ambition to drive from coast to coast across the USA. When the car was shipped out from Southampton to Baltimore, the shipping agents advised me to take at least two sets of number plates with me because foreign number plates are often stolen as souvenirs. The wisdom in their advice was demonstrated when I stopped for a lunch break at a cafe in deepest Kentucky.

“A local man had seen me drive into the car park and wanted to know where I was from. He told me he collected licence plates and had one from every state of the USA. When I left the restaurant an hour later he had added a set of British plates to his collection! I was also pulled over by a Highway Patrol Officer in Oklahoma who wanted to know where the “fancy licence plates” came from. Luckily I had all the correct documents and my road fund licence was current. Believe it or not, even when the car is in the USA it still has to have an up to date British tax disc.

“I took six weeks to complete the trip, which included most of Route 66 and Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles, but the highlight for me was probably driving my car down The Strip in Las Vegas.
“By the time I left the Corvette at Long Beach to be shipped back to the UK I had travelled through fourteen states, four times zones and clocked up 5400 miles.

I suspect that the next car to display SCS 1 will be another Corvette. Good as the Mercedes is, it just hasn’t got the character of a ‘vette.”

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