Mark Gilbert’s father has always been interested in cars and has owned some interesting and unusual ones. Before he married, he had a Messerschmitt KR 200 three-wheeler and, in the 1970s, bought a classic 1951 Bentley Mk VI. This had the registration 279 HRH, which has raised a few eyebrows over the years.
He also had a passing interest in registration numbers and would often point out interesting ones to his son. During the 1970s, while working in the exhibition industry, he saw a car with the number 1 EXH parked near one of the London exhibition halls. One day he approached the owner and asked if he would sell the number. A deal was agreed and the registration is still on another of Mark’s vehicles.
The boyhood interests have continued and, apart from his road cars, Mark has had some other interesting vehicles. His father sold the Bentley in the early 1980s and then purchased a 1961 Daimler SP 250 Dart for a bit of fun. Later on, Mark took it over and still has it to this day.
In 1992 he constructed a Caterham Super 7 from a kit. The Super 7 is an adaptation of the Lotus 7 design – a small, sporty model that provides the perfect context for a personal number plate. Mark still owns the Caterham and it currently bears the registration K17 MJG. He also has a TVR Griffith, a two-seater sports model produced by TVR between 1991 and 2002. The Griffith displays the registration PW52 TVR, which was already assigned to it when Mark bought the car.
Mark’s private number plates over the years have been chosen for a number of reasons. 1 EXH was simply a great looking plate, while others have been relevant to his name or to the cars to which they have been assigned. With Mark’s ultimate personal registration, however, the focus returned to his initials.
“Many years ago I remember seeing a car with a low single-digit MJG number on it, something like MJG 3 orMJG 7,” says Mark. “I thought it would be nice to have a number like that, but I didn’t actively seek one out.
“Earlier this year, I was talking to a colleague at work about registration numbers and, out of curiosity, thought I would look at the Regtransfers website to see what MJG numbers were for sale. You can imagine my surprise when I saw that MJG 1 was for sale. I thought about it for a few days before telephoning your salesman, Martin Wightwick, and I managed to secure the registration. Now that the plates have been fitted to my car, I consider myself very fortunate.”