$500,000 for a bit of tin? Or would you prefer a Ferrari?
A FOOL and his money are soon parted, says the old proverb.
Need an example? How about somebody dropping a cool half-a-mil on a black bit of tin with two white digits on it?
Tonight's Shannons Sydney Autumn Auction sees the NSW numerical number plate "29" go under the hammer, and it is expected to sell for between $490,000-$550,000.
Yep, that's the price of an ocean view unit on the Sunshine Coast, or the same money could have you in a brand new Ferrari 488 GTB.
But wait a minute. Should "29" sell for half a million, is the buyer really a fool? History suggests not.
It's not the actual bit of stamped tin you're paying for, rather the right to display the number on the car of your choice. Not only that, you get to sell it on whenever you choose.
The final part is key. These plates have always been, and probably always will be, pretty sound investments.
Two weeks ago, for example, Victorian numerical number plate "282" sold for $170,000 at Shannons Melbourne Autumn Auction.
It's very rare to see single-digit or two-digit plates come to auction, so investors may well be clamouring for NSW "29".
In fact, Michael Browning from Shannons said NSW "29" could go for an Australian auction record price.
To do that it would need to eclipse the $680,000 paid for NSW "2" in 2003.
"Other plates have sold for higher value than that but not at auction," Mr Browning said.
"The one that got closest was Victoria "21" which sold in July last year for $530,000. You could assume that NSW "29" would go for somewhat more, and could in fact eclipse that $680,000 record because we know a single digit plate in NSW changed hands privately for over a million (dollars).
"You could say the all-time (Australian auction) record was in real jeopardy based on the $530,000 result for "21" in Victoria as "29" would have similar relative value in NSW, but NSW plates generally go for somewhere between 10 and 20% more than Victoria plates."
The Shannons Sydney Autumn Auction is at 7pm tonight, with online bidding available at shannons.com.au.
Just make sure you want "29" more than a brand new Ferrari before you place your bids.