Leica1 and Leica2: Attached to Porsches, of course
Dentists of the world rejoice! John Shingleton over in Australia reports that he had lunch this week with an old friend who happens to be a regional manager for Leica on the West Coast of America. This is his Carrera S, LEICA2. His wife, who was not present at the table, sports LEICA1 on her Panamera. They aren't even tooth pullers, more's the pity for the purposes of this story.
Of course it is quite easy to dream up your own personal number in many US states. You can have anything as long as it is decent and no one else has pipped you to the post. I have friends in Washington DC who have a number even more impressive than this. Here in the UK it's a matter of buying up some old number that happens, more or less, to fit the bill. Prices can be hefty.
Yet it isn't always plain sailing even after you have paid the bill and screwed the plate on your car. I was once friendly with the sales manager of a large and old-established tyre company that had been in business from the dawn of motoring. As one of his perks he had the privilege of carrying A1, presumably the very first number issued, on his company car.
It was wonderful to see the disbelieving gazes of all and sundry. But such fame had a very big downside. He was constantly stopped by the police on one flimsy pretext or other. He could never drive down the road without being stopped. Heaven help him if he had actually been speeding. One office was honest, however: "I stopped you because the boys back at the Nick won't believe I've seen A1. I want it in my book."
Sometimes it pays to be anonymous.