cmc-logo-smallThe origin of HCRS plates (as they are now known) dates back to 1958. The members of the Veteran Car Club of Australia (New South Wales region) were actively involved in the restoration and preservation of veteran vehicles and were often requested to attend various functions and public events including school fetes and parades such as the Waratah Festival, at the invitation of the NSW government. They were also invited to attend charity events in addition to normal club rallies and activities. In order to transport the vehicles to these various functions the owner was required to obtain an Unregistered Vehicle Permit (UVP) from the Department of Motor Transport at a cost, at that time, of £2 (two pounds), which was a reasonable amount in those days.

A member of the VCCA, Mr Victor Jacobs (owner of Broadway Motors) was actively involved in the Lions Club and was a well-known businessman who was approached by Anthony Horderns to arrange a display of veteran vehicles at Anthony Hordern’s department store in Pitt Street Sydney. The entry fee was a silver coin with the proceeds to go to charity. Anthony Horderns chose Legacy and the Limbless Soldiers Association as beneficiaries. The display was opened by a Mr. Enticknap, who was President of the Limbless Soldiers Association and also the Minister for Transport in New South Wales. During the process of the evening Mr Enticknap asked how the vehicles were brought to the venue and it was explained that an unregistered vehicle permit was required each time the cars were driven. Mr Enticknap was taken by the generosity of the VCCA in supplying the cars and on the basis of “you have done something for others so I will try and do something for you” he referred the matter to the Commissioner of Motor Transport.

The VCCA were invited to attend a meeting with the Commissioner with a view to looking for a better process to move the veteran cars to various events without the constant attendance at a registry office to obtain a ‘UVP’. The members of the VCCA who attended the meeting were George Roberts, George Green and Alan Rose-Bray. George Roberts suggested the possible issue of a “special plate” to be attached to veteran cars that would act as a ‘UVP’ for the movement of the cars. The Commissioner agreed to this proposal in the light of the credibility of the VCCA and its community activities.

A list of eleven guidelines were instituted by the VCCA and offered to the Commissioner and an agreement was struck on the 9th of April 1959 with Mr. Alan Rose-Bray of the VCCA and Mr. Sep Hall, VCCA’s legal advisor, and the Commissioner in attendance. An initial quantity of 100 sets of special Veteran Car Club plates coloured, red and white, were issued at an annual fee of £1/10/- (one pound, ten shillings), thereby commencing the “club plate” system. It was on this precedent that other clubs applied for their dispensation.

John Hewitt
Honorary Secretary
Veteran Car Club of Australia (NSW Region)