Ever done that thing where you sell something for pragmatic reasons but then really regret it? Peter Harrison certainly has.
Peter, from Wetherby in Yorkshire, sold his Porsche 911 because he decided he should get something more practical. It didn’t take long for him to decide he may have been a little hasty.
“I missed the roar of the Porsche turning over in the mornings,” he says. “So, I bought another.” Then, as if pleading mitigation, he adds “But I kept the sensible car as well.”
Peter had bought a private plate, 5940 PH, for the first Porsche so, when he sold the car, he transferred that registration to his sensible new car. Of course, that meant that the second Porsche 911 C4S needed a private plate too. Peter purchased 963 PJH (for Peter John Harrison) from Regtransfers.
When Peter checked out his copy of issue 55 of our magazine, The World of Personal Number Plates, he got a bit of a nostalgic surprise.“When I turned the magazine over I saw a very familiar plate, AP 1 featured on a white Porsche Taycan. I remember that plate from when I was a boy. At that time it was owned by a chap called Arthur Pownall. He had founded a very successful company in Stockport called Space Engineering. He made components for the NASA space missions in the 1960s and became very wealthy. He had the plate on various Rolls Royces over the years.
“My family met him in the 1960s through his visits to my parents’ business. I remember travelling in the Rolls and seeing electric windows for the first time, with Arthur having to stop me and my brother wearing the things out with continual pressing of the buttons.”
When Princess Anne was to marry Mark Phillips in 1973 and become Anne Phillips, Arthur wrote to the Palace to enquire if Anne would like to buy the plate. He got a reply advising that she would be prepared to accept it as a wedding gift. Arthur didn’t make his money by doing business on such terms so he politely declined! He did eventually sell the plate to one of his friends, Freddie Pye, who was another local businessman. Freddie bought it for his wife Alma Pye.
“Freddie was chairman of Stockport County FC, where Arthur also became a director. Arthur passed away in the 1980s.
“Thanks for giving me a flashback to my youth!”
And our thanks to Peter for filling us in on the history of AP 1.