neil morse

California "V for Victory" license plate tag

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I just bought this 1941 California plate on ebay, and I have a question for all the professors.  As you can see, the plate has a "topper" strip for 1942, but then also has a corner tag that simply has the letter "V" on it.  From the limited information I have been able to glean from ebay, these tags are referred to as "V for Victory" tags, and were issued in 1942 and 1943.  I figured I could find the whole story on the Internet, but so far I haven't found a thing about them.  Since the tags covered the year on the plate, I'm wondering whether they were issued during the war instead of new tags for each year, since no new cars were being registered.  Does anyone know anything about this?

 

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Thanks, Mark.  I located that site this morning, but it doesn't appear that they have a discussion forum like the one we have here, or that I could participate in their list serve without joining.  But I'm going to try to communicate with them.

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I got this answer from an outfit called "Dave's California License Plates"  https://www.davesclp.com/

 

Yes the V tab stands for Victory and was issued to vehicle owners who paid their registration for the vehicles in 1943. Just like a sticker today the V was validated to be used for 1943 vehicles. In 1944 when you paid for registration on your vehicle they sent you a 1944 window sticker and the 1943 V tabs would of still been affixed to the plate. 

 

So it looks like California had a plate for '41, a plate for new cars in '42, but a yellow "topper" that went across the top of your '41 plate for old cars, the "V for Victory" tag for '43, a window sticker for '44, and then they went back to issuing new plates starting in '45.  It's explained on this page:

 

https://www.davesclp.com/yominfo.html

 

So the plate I got would be the correct plate that my car would have had in 1943.  I'm going to stick it on the front and run my "official" vanity plate ("41SUPER") on the rear only.  It's not strictly kosher from a DMV standpoint, but I think my chances of getting in trouble are pretty remote.  This all started because I am trying to take some "faux-vintage" photos of my car, and the modern plate sticks out like a sore thumb.  This way the car will look authentic for the period.

 

 

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Here's the plate on the car.  I could just use the '41 plate by itself, but I think the "V for Victory" tag adds an extra coolness factor.

 

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Love that 1941 grill ,Pennsylvania also issued small tags that were attached to the 1943 tags due to the war effort.Don’t know how common that was then  in other states.There was a 1939 Buick that the owner had displayed as it may have looked during WW2 complete with a victory cook book ,ration stamps for meat , 1943 newspaper etc. Was quite a rolling history lesson.Some people are surprised when you tell them cars were not made during the war plus all the other sacrifices made then , including the ultimate ones.

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3 hours ago, gdmn852 said:

Love that 1941 grill ,Pennsylvania also issued small tags that were attached to the 1943 tags due to the war effort.Don’t know how common that was then  in other states.There was a 1939 Buick that the owner had displayed as it may have looked during WW2 complete with a victory cook book ,ration stamps for meat , 1943 newspaper etc. Was quite a rolling history lesson.Some people are surprised when you tell them cars were not made during the war plus all the other sacrifices made then , including the ultimate ones.

 

That's very interesting.  I wonder whether they needed the steel for the war, and that's why states like California stopped making new plates for every year and issued the topper strip for '42, the tag for '43, and the window sticker for '44.

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2 hours ago, DonMicheletti said:

Neil,

 

You'll probably play hell getting film for that camera and then getting it processed.

 

Now Don, don't underestimate me! ?  I'm already on it.  It's complicated, but doable.  They no longer make the 122 size film the old Kodak used, but I was able to find 3-D printed adapters that allow me to use 120 film, which is still readily available.  And it turns out that there's a place in my neighborhood for vintage camera enthusiasts that does film processing.  Since the 120 film is narrower, it makes it a little tricky to use the view finder because you only end up with the center portion of the image.  (It's 2-1/4 X 5-1/2 instead of 3-1/4 X 5-1/2.)  Also, since the little red window (remember those?) is in the wrong location with the narrower film, I had to "calibrate" the camera by running a dummy paper roll through and counting the turns on the take-up spool to get the film in the right position for each exposure.  So there's going to be some trial and error before I get it sorted out, but I'm really having fun (can you tell)?  ? 

 

No photos of the car yet, but here's an image from my first practice roll.  Stay tuned.

 

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5 hours ago, DonMicheletti said:

One of the good things about living in San Francisco! 

 

Neil, you didnt get the dog to smile.

 

Haha -- she was squinting in the sun, I'll do better next time, I promise! ?

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3 hours ago, gdmn852 said:

Hello again, this is Pennsylvania version of metal saving war tags .Good looking dog too.

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Thank you on the dog -- we love her.  Those tags are very interesting.  I'm learning some stuff I never knew.

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On 10/11/2018 at 8:59 PM, 414TATA said:

 

 

Looking good Neil.?   I'd like to see it in black and white for that "real vintage" look?

 

Okay, Wayne, this is still a manipulated image from my smart phone camera, but I think I'm getting closer to the "real vintage" look.  Stay tuned.

 

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You're right, but I swear I didn't wash it! 

 

One of my gripes about Hollywood films set in an earlier period is that all the cars, even though they are usually correct to the period, look shiny and new.  That's because they get the cars from collectors -- there just aren't a bunch of beat up cars from the 40's and '50's around that you can use making a film.  But I remember when the Francis Ford Coppola film "Tucker" was being made in San Francisco, they had to line both sides of Van Ness Avenue with cars to make it look like Chicago in the late '40's.  I had a '48 Chrysler at the time, and was asked if I would let them use my car.  I ended up declining the offer (they only paid $50 and you had to agree to be there with your car for an eight hour shift), but one of the things they told me was that I would have to agree to have them spray my car with some kind of fake dirt and grime that they said would wash right off.  They also said they would use water-based paint to temporarily get rid of the whitewalls.  I think Coppola (being a car guy himself) was a little more sensitive than other film makers to the problem of all the cars looking too new.

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Speaking of movies if you get a chance watch White Heat ,1949!release they use a 1941 Buick,Century or Special in it ,”Top of the world,ma” 

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Watch "All through the Night" (1942) with Humphrey Bogart, and Conrad Veidt and others from the Warner Brothers' group of character actors.  Bogart is a Broadway gambler.  He and his gang are chasing Nazis all night throughout New York City.  There are many late 1930s/early 1940s Buicks, including several large series cars, in the film.  Bogart's 1941 Limited looks a little worse for wear.  Namely, the paint on the doors is very worn.  Fun movie!

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New York also did the tab type thing for registration during WW2. I have a 1942 one. I’ve never seen another one. I know New York did it to save metal. Which is probably why most states did it too.  I really like the phaeton in the end of Casablanca. I’d like to get one of those one day. 

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On 10/18/2018 at 5:19 PM, gdmn852 said:

Speaking of movies if you get a chance watch White Heat ,1949!release they use a 1941 Buick,Century or Special in it ,”Top of the world,ma” 

 

Yeah, not only does James Cagny's mom (kind of a Ma Barker character) lead the cops on a chase in the Buick, but she cleverly evades them (in their Lincoln Cosmopolitan) when a beautiful '40 Woody wagon gets in the way!  There's also a Limited in the film.  All in all, a must-see for Buick fans!

 

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Oregon used windshield stickers for 1943-45.  Here's a photo of my 1939 Roadmaster from today with the YOM plate and functioning Senior Trippe lights! 

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