Car license plate collectors amass thousands of rare tags

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Car license plate collectors amass thousands of rare tags

A group of collectors have carved out an impressive niche, by collecting car’s license plates.

CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

Car license plate collectors amass thousands of rare tags

A group of collectors have carved out an impressive niche, by collecting car's license plates. CGTN's Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

The garage is often the place we stash things we can’t put anywhere else. But the garage is where Jim Gummoe keeps his valuables.

Jim collects automobile license plates, by the thousands.

“I would say more than five and less than 10, but I’ve never counted, so I don’t really know,” Gummoe said.

His friend, George Sammeth, has roughly 3,000 plates to his name.

“I’m a history buff, and I enjoy the ones that are older. If it’s not older than me, I’m not sure I like it, ” Sammeth said.

The two men from Colorado have a special affinity for these vehicle tags, which for more than a century now have identified cars and their owners. Why collect license plates

George, a geography buff, got hooked 40 years ago and specializes in plates that look brand new. “Personally I’m what they call a condition freak.”

Their four children and grandchildren each have birth state and birth year plates of their own.

They’re both members of the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association which holds an international convention each year. George has co-written a book on his hobby.

Jim, who finds his plates on eBay and at swap events, admits he’s run into some people who question his passion for collecting.

“They come down to the garage all excited to see and after about five minutes in the garage, they start thinking this guy’s got it bad. They start inching towards the door.”

But Jim isn’t about to put his hobby in reverse. “I don’t see any signs of slowing down yet. In some ways it escalates.”

With so many license plates out there, he says there are many different ways you can go.