Inset License Plate
In 1936, the first inset license plate was supposedly performed by Frank Kurtis on an early Airflow DeSoto. This feature was widely copied later, becoming one of the most popular custom touches of the 1930s. According to Motor Life May 1955 this feature more than any other feature marked the "California Car" back in the early days of customizing.
This operation is not a simple matter. The size of the opening is determined by the size of the plate, after which a hole is cut into the metal allowing an inch or so additional material to be rolled inward giving the deck lid apparent thickness. A box must be fabricated to hold the plate, and its light, and the unit mounted to the inner side of the deck lid.
Cars Featuring Inset License Plates
George Barris' 1936 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Tommy Jamieson's 1936 Ford 5-Window Coupe
Neil Emory's 1937 Dodge Convertible
Dick Fowler's 1938 Ford Coupe
Norm Milne's 1938 Ford Convertible Sedan
Kenny Controtto's 1939 Ford Convertible
Mel Falconer's 1939 Ford
Eddie Dominguez' 1939 Mercury Convertible
Johnny Aguirre's 1940 Dodge Business Coupe
John Vara's 1941 Ford Convertible
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