Last Call: Dare to be stupid

To race the Dakar Rally is a daring feat. To affix a personalized plate to a vehicle is somewhat stupid. I like to live with a foot in both realms, which is why I ordered the plate DUHKAR for my Montero.

For those unaware, the Mitsubishi Montero (Pajero Evolution) is the most successful vehicle model raced in the Dakar Rally. A Montero has won the race 12 times. The first win came in 1985. Next, a few victories were sprinkled throughout the 1990s. Then, Mitsubishi’s racing team ripped off in 2001 all the way through 2007.

Now I’d like to count my plate as a victory… for those that dare to be stupid.

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.


  1. How long until someone asks if you meant “d’oh car”? Neat choice though. Here in Norway, a personalized plate costs the neat amount of 1,024$. The barrier of entry magnifies the message of stupid somewhat.

    1. They’re similarly stupid money here in Ireland – and it’s not like there’s much scope for creativity as the format will still be Year/halfyear-County-Number

      e.g. a car registered in the second half of Dublin would be something like 192-D-12345 …all you’re paying for is reserving which number you get rather than taking the next in sequence.

      1. Nothing for the custom letter combo? That’s leaving money on the table, it’s $500 (converted) here.

        At least it’s not South Australia where you’d even have to pay an annual fee high enough to dissuade the casual joke.

      2. Nothing for the custom letter combo? That’s leaving money on the table, it’s $500 (converted) here.

        At least it’s not South Australia where you’d even have to pay an annual fee high enough to dissuade the casual joke.

        1. Same price, personalized or random.
          The $50 Legacy Plate is actually the least expensive of the available California special interest plates. There’s another option at $50, one for $53 and then the rest are either $78 or $103 depending on which you choose.

          13 different types offered.

          1. Bargain! Not much more to get away from the basic plate here, unless you want change the actual number.

          2. So far only the yellow on black is available.
            There is a Year of Manufacture option, though. You have to find an antique pair of plates that are in servicable shape and correct for your car’s year of manufacture. I found a pair for my 1962 Scout (black digits on a yellow field for commercial vehicles that year) for sale for $800; same price I paid for the truck.

            EDIT: $550 for the plates

    2. In AZ, it’s $25 for the personal plate, and then $25/year. I have ‘BOWL ME’ on the M5. I bowl competitively along with the rest of life. Had it since 07 here, and prior to that, had it in Wisconsin. It gets odd looks now and then, and when you read it quickly…

    1. Eh, it’s an every car thing now. You see a ton of Legacy Plates. It’s just a great color scheme, so every one has jumped on it.

      1. I suspect that the original significance of a black plate car (indicating it had been registered in California forever and was therefore unlikely to have spent time in the Rust Belt) gave way to people who knew it was a good thing but had no idea why. The government cashed in on the nostalgia, and everyone wins except those people with now-diluted “real” black plates.

        1. Yeah, I think those OG plates are still considered valuable though – and you can tell it’s legit since it doesn’t have the reflective paint of the modern plate.

          I do wish some of the potential other styles had received enough votes though as well.

          1. I agree that the color scheme is nice, but it’s a shame that the original black plates have lost some of their significance, if not value.

    2. My Thunderbird was originally a California black plate car, my grandfather bought it in LA in 1978. That was before having CA black plates carried any significance and he didn’t keep them, unfortunately.

  2. You really don’t like your rear door hinges do you? Over sized spare and bike rack, hope you like lifting the door as you close it. I give the hinges about a year. (unless the pare is somehow attached to the bumper.)

    1. All the Montero guys are saying Gen 1 door hinges are incredibly beefy. But yeah, we’ll see what happens here. Prior owner had a full-size spare on there though too.

      1. Was it a full size stock or oversized tires, which is what it looks like you have? At least the tire is close to the hinges not creating a huge moment. Be interesting to see how much weight it is now vs. stock wheel and tire.

      2. I’ve had a door tear at the top hinge. It began with a flaw where the hinge bolted to the door stamping. For a couple years it was no big deal, but then the flaw turned into a small tear, which caused the door to start to sag. It was the driver’s door, so obviously got a lot of use. Within 3 weeks it had gotten so bad that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to shut it to drive to the body shop. The hinge itself was fine.

        1. Could be worth minimising opening the door with bikes mounted, agreed the sheetmetal is likely the weakest link.

          1. Jeep Grand Cherokee. I bought it after the first owner had taken it through some brush. One of the first things I did with it was have a body shop repair the front fender. It may or may not have started when they adjusted the panel gaps during the process.

          2. One of the softer car in existence is a 5-door Lada Samara. That was the car to have in then USSR and a sign that owner ‘had arrived’. So people put trailer hitches to these cars and used them to take their CZ motocross bikes to races (MX was also sport for people with a lot of money of course, everything crumbled in the beginning of nineties in society and few had money). After some trips with small trailers people were noticing that doors will not close properly anymore, and it got worse. So most of them stopped, let the shop straighten car up and sold on.

          3. That’s the kind of story I tend not to forget. Insane! Also a huge contrast to earlier GAZ, Lada and Moskoviches.

  3. It’s very rare that you’ll find as meaningful a vanity plate in the UK, unless the word can be made up of a series of letters and numbers in one of the various registration formats we’ve had over the years.

    These days, you see a lot of small SUVs and fashionable hatchbacks with plates like M155 AMY; second-owner luxobarges driven by small company owners with registrations like BO55 GAV, and pick-ups driven by diehard cholesterol and beer enthusiasts, like B16 JON.

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