51 VA or SIVA, as it will read on a plate, is a great number which, I understand, was originally issued in Worcester in the very late 1950’s or perhaps early 1960’s. It was on a Lotus 7 when found and the car had to be rebuilt and MOT’d over a number of years before the plate could be taken off.
One of the best features of this number is that it as well as a being a great looking short number plate it is a direct spelling of a relatively popular Asian name – Siva. Now I am no expert on the Asian number plate market but I do know it is a market that has been very bullish with some great direct spellings like 51 NGHand also S1 NGH fetching reportedly very high prices believed to be well into 6 figures.
Whilst there are some very creative uses of alternative letters and digits in the Asian plate market to create a look alike plate i.e. KUM 4R and other similar ones, the beauty of this one is that it is a direct spelling without having to squint. 51 VA (or Siva) in the main relates to a fairly well known Southern Indian or Tamil name, though I understand that there are many Muslims that have this as a given name too.
Apparently the name is associated with the Hindu God Lord Siva (or Lord Shiva in some spellings) who you may not have heard of. Siva (or Shiva) is the father of Lord Ganesh the Hindu Elephant God doubtless you will have seen statues of Him. The story goes that Lord Siva had been away fighting and when he returned from the wars found his now grown up son with his wife and in a fit of jealousy lopped off his head. Horrified at what he had done when he discovered the truth he promised to find him another head and the first one he came across was that of an elephant – hence Lord Ganesh the elephant god! ).
Because Lord Siva was a warlike God the name Siva can be given to mean ‘Avenger’ or even ‘Destroyer’, though my dealings with the various Hindu people I have met and spoken to with regard to the plate are some of the nicest, quiet and polite people you could ever wish to meet. Certainly the ‘mythology’ if you’ll forgive me for calling it that has similarities with the more well known Greek and Roman mythology and is actually quite fascinating.
The name Siva is often given on it’s own as a first name but is also commonly a second name (or forms part of a second name such as Sivakrishnan, Sivapalan or Sivakumar and many more. There do seem to many professional people i.e. lots of solicitors, doctors, surgeons and accountants with Siva as their name (obviously very studious people) so I guess it might attract a fair bit of interest.