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Vintage Car Restorer seeks Help with Number Plate

A car restorer is looking for help with a number plate issue on a 1953 Rover P4 he’s working on. Bob Hale has been restoring the 70-year-old classic car for the last six months after finding it in a barn on a farm in Queen Adelaide, near Ely in Cambridgeshire. The Rover hadn’t been driven for many years and the barn had been damaged in the 1986 hurricane, leaving the car exposed to the elements.

After months of dedicated toil, Bob has got the car up and running again and it now has an MOT certificate. However, he can’t register the Rover with its original registration number, ‘DEB 261’, because its original registration records can’t be accessed as the DVLA has lost them.

Along with his YouTube video of the restoration, Bob says, “Swansea needs proof that the reg belongs to this Rover or they are taking it off the car and giving another horrible one to put on her. This is an important part of English vehicle history and [the registration] BELONGS to this car, and I do not intend to let this happen.”

Sadly, Bob doesn’t have the logbook or any of the car’s old tax discs. He’s contacted the previous owner, but they don’t know what happened to the documentation. The CarReg Number Plate Checker shows that ‘DEB 261’ was first issued in 1953 by, what was then, the Isle of Ely County Council, but there is no record of the vehicle it was assigned to.

What Bob knows is that the Rover was bought new in 1953 from T.H. Nice of Ely by Mr Ben Lee. It only had one previous registered keeper and stayed in the same family and was sometimes used as a wedding car.

Bob is hoping that someone from the Ely area of Cambridgeshire may have a photo of the car, or an old wedding picture tucked away in a family album. If you think you can help with his emotive quest, contact Bob by phone on 17747 102305 or by email at [email protected].

Registration ‘DEB 261’ Would Be a Sad Loss

The original DEB 261 registration on Bob’s Rover P4 would be a valuable asset in its own right. If he can’t prove the plate belongs to the car, the DVLA will not allow it to be retained and it would be lost forever. Personalised number plates with a name and with no age identifier are among the most sought after plates.

Our database offers a number of classic ‘DEB’ registrations for the Deborah or Debbie in your life, including ‘260 DEB’, ‘886 DEB’, ‘999 DEB’, ‘5 DEB’ and ’83 DEB’. Adding an age identifier gives you many more options. Of course, other names are available among our millions of personalised number plates.