Two Australian heritage number plates have sold for a huge combined price of $17 million at a historic auction, as a set of the rare plates was revealed to be owned by a famous hairdresser.
Queensland’s first ever issued number plate, Q1, sold at auction to an enthusiastic collector on Saturday for an astonishing $5.655 million.
The previous owner of the signs was Gold Coast hairdressing icon and businessman Stefan Ackerie who purchased the sign in 1985.
The plate was sold alongside the very first issued license plate in Australia, NSW 1, which fetched a whopping $11.505 million.
Mr Ackerie, who bought the Q1 board at the Great Plate auction 44 years ago for $100,000, said he had been approached in recent years by buyers wanting the historic item.
Queensland’s first ever license plate, Q1 (pictured), sold at auction on Saturday, with the item fetching $5.655 million
The heritage sign’s previous owner, hairdressing icon and businessman Stefan Ackerie (pictured), purchased the item in 1985 for $100,000
After finding out the NSW 1 record was going to be sold. Mr. Ackerie decided that he would turn over his prized possession for a combined sale of the collectibles.
‘There was a lot of interest from the start. It has never been without interest,” Mr Ackerie said The courier post.
‘I’ve had it for forty years. It is time for a new custodian for another 40 years,” he said.
Mr Ackerie, founder of the renowned Stefan salons, said the Q1 license plate is “very synonymous” and had been on his car for a long time.
The Q1 board attracted a lot of interest from online and telephone buyers until the bidding came down to a wire between two bidders.
The item sold in just over an hour and 15 minutes, for the highest price ever paid for a two-digit license plate.
NSW-based Lloyd’s Auctions sold both the Q1 and NSW 1 license plates, with the two items breaking the previous record for a publicly sold Australian license plate – the ‘NSW 4’ plate which fetched $2.45 million in 2017 .
Mr Ackerie had the license plate on his car (pictured) after purchasing the item over 40 years ago
The Q1 plate was also sold alongside the very first issued Australian license plate, NSW 1 (pictured), which sold for a whopping $11.505 million
The NSW 1 plate has become one of the world’s most valuable license plates following the sale of Dubai’s ‘P7’ license plate, which sold for a whopping $22.8 million last year.
Lloyd’s Auctions chief operating officer Lee Hames said it was very rare for two rare historic number plates to be sold together in one auction.
The Q1 board was first issued in 1921 and was purchased by James Thomas McGuire, founder of the McGurie’s hotel chains in Queensland, before Mr Ackerie went on to buy the boards 64 years later.
NSW 1 is believed to be the first set of registration plates fitted to a vehicle in Australia after it was issued to the NSW Police Commissioner, Inspector General Garvin Thomas, in 1910.
The sign was purchased in the 1930s by businessman and politician Sir Frederik Stewart, who placed it on his Oldsmobile.
The sign was believed to have been kept within the family, who opted to sell it through Lloyd’s last year.
The Q1 plate was first issued in 1921 and was purchased by James Thomas McGuire before being sold 64 years later (pictured) to Mr Ackerie