On this day in auto history - July 5th

Mon 5th Jul 2021

It was on this day in 2006 that Chelsea FC owner, Roman Abramovich, paid a then-world record £285,000 for the licence plate VIP 1.

The Russian billionaire - only 39 at the time - reportedly opted for the plate in preference to the equally prestigious 'X1' plate which was also offered to him by a registrations broker.

The VIP 1 plate was first registered in the Irish county of Kilkenny and was famously used - in replica at least - by the 'Popemobile' on John Paul II's tour of Ireland in 1979.

In the days after the sale, it emerged that plate had changed hands for a mere £5,000 in the early 1980's and had fetched just £62,000 only two years before Abramovich’s record-breaking purchase.