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One of the more common questions asked is “How do I mount the plate?” Since all cars are different, especially when there are so many original aftermarket options like Neverout brackets, etc. we do not pre-punch or pre-drill into the leather. However, it’s easy to drill or leather-punch holes to match your exact needs and dimensions. If drilling, using a Brad Point drill can result in a very clean cut. I suspect that many customers will have a gasket cutting set that includes many circular punches. These punches will cut thru the leather to make the necessary holes. Overall, I’d recommend using the brad point drill for the best results.
One customer uses large diameter flush-head bolts (aka “Elevator Bolts”) to mount his plates. McMaster-Carr offers an excellent variety with head diameters as small as ¾”. The trick is to paint the visible top of the bolt head a matte black finish to blend in with the leather. Ace Hardware reportedly stocks suitable-sized flush-head bolts and you can purchase onesies and twosies.
Another way to fasten the plate is to fabricate some loops from a scrap piece of 3-4oz. black leather (the plates themselves are made from two layers of thick 10-12+ oz. leather) and thru-bolt them to the plates after looping the hanger around the headlight bar or other mounting structure. The plate’s extra-thick leather is too stiff to use for making a loop.
One plate or two? Most states do NOT require both front and rear plates when displaying and/or registering your horseless carriage with YOM (Year of Manufacture) license plates. If in doubt, go to www.leatherplates.com and check the “Product Info” page and open the appropriate DMV INFO page for your state. In most cases, mention is made regarding the requirements for one or two plates.
Registering your plate? When registering your plate to your vehicle (YOM registration), we recommend using the term “restored” rather than “reproduction”. This seems to make it more acceptable to some officials not familiar with the role of their state’s “pre-state” license plates.
Care and Feeding of your new leather plate. The plates are fabricated from thick steer hide with a dyed black finish. However, it’s a natural product and should be cared for like leather upholstery. Keep it clean and dry as moisture can eventually be detrimental to its appearance.
Mounting a front plate? Front plates take the full force of the heat, wind, vibration, and moisture present. To keep your plate in top condition, consider adding a metal backing plate to firmly mount the plate. This keeps the leather stable and your plate looking great.
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