Sadly, even in the hobby of license plate collecting, fake plates have
surfaced. The clipping below taken from a 1966 issue of the
Phoenix Gazette, shows what most would believe to be a complete
legitimate run made up of mostly repaints and commercial plates.
However, at least one and most likely 3 of the plates shown are fakes.
Need a 1915 to fill in that empty space in your collection? No
problem, just hammer one out of a 1918 plate. This must have been
the thinking of a overzealous collector a couple of generations ago.
The first digit, #1, needed to be eliminated since 5-digit 1915s don't
exist so it was hammered down. Also, the 8 in the year
was also partially flattened and reconfigured into a 5.
A 4 digit 1918 would've been too short to match the length of a true 1915.
Also, genuine 1915s have the date under the ARIZ not above it
as this one shows. ( All plates shown are in private hands ).
These 2 plates made of thick leather are also shown in the clipping.
For them to be 3 plates shy of being consecutive raised some suspicion.
Perhaps passed down from a family with multiple vehicles? But records reveal
#78 and #82 registered to two different families living in different parts of the state
with both of the numbers being registered to MOTORCYCLES. Cycle plates 13" long?
Exact hole spacing for two different brand motorcycles?
No prestate MC plates are known. The fact that these were found along with
the obvious fake 1915 also contributes to their lack of credibility.
It appears at least a couple hundred each of these 4 plates were made in France by some idiot.
Each type all have the same number of that type as shown.
They look to have window wells for the stickers which the real plates don't have.
And of course the stickers are different from real ones. Note the 04 sticker on the Apache. That plate didn't come out till 2007.