Quarter Mile Magazine

The Myth of the Japanese Tilting number plate.


So….tiltable number plate holders.

You have seen them on JDM styled cars. But how did they originate and what do they actually do? Is it to help with aerodynamics as the tilted number plate allows better flow? Was it to make access for something say, an intercooler? Or was it just because they looked wicked and cool, it got copied for no real reason?


This may not work. Why?


Well, it originated as a simple means to hide the number plate from speed cameras. Allow me to explain.

When parked and driving in town, the number plate remains visible just as in any other car. As the car gains speed, air pushes on the plate causing it to tilt backwards. The plate must be loosely swivelled to do that and there should be sufficient space behind it, to serve the purpose. When driving at high speeds, the plate will be tilted so much that the speed cameras (front facing in Japan) cannot capture the details of the speeding car. Get it?

Half the people who have them don’t know what they are for and fit them just for looks. Now that you know, you’ll look at it in a different angle, won’t you?


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