The Lotus Cars Community banner
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

Registered
Joined
301 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
NOTE: after the first few posts, I'm editing this posting. This post is really around airflow with a plate mounted on the grill. It is NOT about whether its legal or not to drive without a front plate. I live in Texas where they reinstated the fine structure on the front plate law. Because this was brought to the attention of many, including the State Police, they have begun enforcing this. I've driven cars that were aesthetically unpleasing with front plates for many years without the front plate. Between my wife and I, we have been pulled over 4 times I think (all in Corvettes) without a ticket. But, we take the Lotus out to dinner. We have a glass or two of wine. I drive a car that gets noticed and I give a Trooper having a bad day a valid reason to pull over some possibly rich white guy....not worth it.

So, can we get back to the mechanical affect this might have? Thanks!!


I know everyone is sick of this but as I was putting the finishing touches on the custom plate bracket I've been making, my wife asked "Why don't you just wire tie it to the front grill?". I gave her the look (we all know that look) and said "because it won't fit"....so she picked it up and showed me it does fit....ugh....

I'm almost positive that on my '07, it wouldn't fit. The opening wasn't tall enough. But it clearly does fit on the '11.

Has anyone done this? I know it will block more airflow being right up against the grill than extended out in front of the splitter but if it doesn't cut the flow down too much, it sure would look better.

As it's winter, I'll likely give it a try but curious if there's any experience out there.

(And yes, she didn't call them wire ties.... It was those plastics thingies.)


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

Premium Member
Joined
2,977 Posts
Have you been pulled over in the past for not having a front plate?
I live in Massachusetts where both plates are required. I had the front plate under my seat for two years just waiting to put it on the dash if I were pulled over. Never happened, so I put the front plate in the garage.
I think when people see the car, the last thing they're looking at are the plates, even cops.
You could also show them the NHITSA
exemption sticker on the drivers side jamb. It might work.


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

Registered
Joined
392 Posts
I live in SoCal which requires both plates, of the last 7 years of not having the front, I've only been cited once, while in downtown LA by a meter maid when I left the car on the street meter. I've been pulled over by CHPs and police, but they never bothered with the no front plate.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

Cyberdyne Model 101
Joined
347 Posts
I had the front plate under my seat for two years just waiting to put it on the dash if I were pulled over. Never happened, so I put the front plate in the garage.
Sent from AutoGuide.com App
Tossing the plate on your dash would have only changed to violation from no front plate to improperly mounted plate. Also depending on where you placed it on the dash could have bought you a second violation, obstructed windshield view. Better of just doing what you did, leave it home... If you get popped its only a small fine in most places.
 

Registered
Joined
712 Posts
You will get WILL get pulled over and ticketed in Virginia if your plate isn't mounted on the front of the car regardless if it's on the dash or not.
 

Gamera The Atomic Turtle
Joined
3,349 Posts
New Hampshire will lock you up and throw away the key, or $200 . Which ever comes first...
 

Registered
Joined
6,921 Posts
If you think a functional and aesthetically acceptable way to mount a plate on an Elige is tough, try doing it on a Europa.
 

Premium Member
Joined
545 Posts
I couldn't get a state inspection with the plate off, so they zip tied it onto the grille at the inspection station. It was fine all spring here in MA (except the Lotus with zip ties look..) but when we had a string of 90+ degree days it started getting way too hot for my liking. (over 200 at one point, maybe 210) I happened to be at the Lotus dealer, and borrowed a pair of cutters to cut it off. Didn't get nearly as hot driving home, so I ended up making a proper mount for it. I don't remember exact coolant temperatures before and after though.. :) 200 may be functionally OK but I wasn't liking it, especially with non-sprited driving..
 

Registered
Joined
712 Posts
I couldn't get a state inspection with the plate off, so they zip tied it onto the grille at the inspection station. It was fine all spring here in MA (except the Lotus with zip ties look..) but when we had a string of 90+ degree days it started getting way too hot for my liking. (over 200 at one point, maybe 210) I happened to be at the Lotus dealer, and borrowed a pair of cutters to cut it off. Didn't get nearly as hot driving home, so I ended up making a proper mount for it. I don't remember exact coolant temperatures before and after though.. :) 200 may be functionally OK but I wasn't liking it, especially with non-sprited driving..
I was wondering what most peoples running temperatures were like who didn't run a front plate because I was seeing the same behavior. How did you end up mounting your plate?
 

Registered
Joined
125 Posts

Attachments

Registered
Joined
301 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was wondering what most peoples running temperatures were like who didn't run a front plate because I was seeing the same behavior. How did you end up mounting your plate?
I can probably put together a quick description of how I made mine, with some pictures. It isn't beautiful because of what it is but it is functional.

I think I'll take the car out for a spin on the back roads today (70's temp) and see what the car runs at with and without the plate and post back later.
 

Registered
Joined
712 Posts
Picked up my car in MI and got pulled over by the good old "MN nice" trooper before I even got the car home for no front plate. Just to avoid future donations to the policeman's ball I used this one. No difference in temps.
That's the same bracket that I have. So I guess there's nothing to worry about.
 

Registered
Joined
301 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Picked up my car in MI and got pulled over by the good old "MN nice" trooper before I even got the car home for no front plate. Just to avoid future donations to the policeman's ball I used this one. No difference in temps.

FTP Lotus Elise & Exige No Drill License Plate Mount :: Exterior Body Panels :: Interior/Exterior :: Lotus Elise & Exige :: Fast Toys Performance
I looked at that one but thought I had heard it didn't work on a 2011 Exige. Not sure why. What I did pushes the plate actually out so that it sits in front of the splitter but its lower - the bottom of the plate sits at the bottom of the splitter. And glad to hear confirmation that it didn't raise temp but wouldn't expect it to....it's far enough out front that airflow would go around it it and hey, you're in MN....your summers aren't exactly like mine!
 

Less is Better
Joined
2,879 Posts
Yes, a license plate in front of the grille does serve to restrict some of the airflow to the radiator and it does minutely effect the car's drag coefficient. But since there is a good deal of space between the plate and the radiator (we call it a 'plenum") the plate will not create a dead spot in the flow through the radiator. It just reduces overall flow. It would be a problem if the design was marginal to begin with, but it's not. So the plate won't create any measureable cooling problems.
 

Registered
Joined
481 Posts
Have you been pulled over in the past for not having a front plate?
I live in Massachusetts where both plates are required. I had the front plate under my seat for two years just waiting to put it on the dash if I were pulled over. Never happened, so I put the front plate in the garage.
I think when people see the car, the last thing they're looking at are the plates, even cops.

I couldn't get a state inspection with the plate off, so they zip tied it onto the grille at the inspection station. It was fine all spring here in MA (except the Lotus with zip ties look..) but when we had a string of 90+ degree days it started getting way too hot for my liking. (over 200 at one point, maybe 210) I happened to be at the Lotus dealer, and borrowed a pair of cutters to cut it off. Didn't get nearly as hot driving home, so I ended up making a proper mount for it. I don't remember exact coolant temperatures before and after though.. :) 200 may be functionally OK but I wasn't liking it, especially with non-sprited driving..
Doesnt it feel great to NOT have a front plate. I mean Red plates in MA are required by law to have two plates in front and back. I have the plate in the trunk just in case, but have not been pulled over since the car was first bought in 05 with no front plate 'knock on wood' :D Also, i still have the 'green' license plate on the DD and haven't been hassled by or pulled over :D Doesn't it feel great to NOT abide the law when it comes to 'license plate' ownership ;)
 

Registered
Joined
130 Posts
Recommendation for one plate mounting option

I live in Virginia. Pretty clear guidance that troopers here (and a number of other states reporting here), are more than happy to use lack of front plate as excuse to pull you. Then who knows what happens, maybe they just want to talk cars, but more likely you get a ticket (or 2 or 3).

Some decide they don't care, are willing to risk it, a valid personal decision. For those who don't want to worry about it or create a reason to be pulled over, I'm amazed at the collective creativity of folks here for solutions. I've heard of wire/zip ties, 2-sided tape, Velcro, high powered magnets, drill bolt holes in plinth, James Bond-like motorized retractable contraptions. All valid options, it's your car.

But for those who feel compelled to mount it, and are worried about air flow and aesthetics, the mount from British Racing Group works extremely well, is a sturdy, unobtrusive mount (mount is effectively invisible), and it allows variation in height of plate to minimize/avoid air flow concerns. It attaches easily/cleanly to the tow ring mount and still allows use of tow ring, so absolutely no mod required to car, totally removeable. Mine is mounted pretty low, reduces negative aesthetics and flow concerns. As an added benefit, the plate extends below the clam (and my "Viper" clam protector), serves as a "feeler", I can hear the plate scrape on angled entrance approaches and departures before my clam hits. I recall it's about $80, decide whether it's worth it to you for a custom, well functioning mount vs. other options. I thought it worth it for what I wanted and valued, YMMV. (I have absolutely no connection or interest in BRG, just my recommendation on one option.)
 

Gamera The Atomic Turtle
Joined
3,349 Posts
^yup - i have that mount too.
It turns out that God's intended use for the front license plates on our cars is not to serve our respective DMVs...no ...instead they are here to serve us as "early warning curb pre-feelers". This has saved my butt at least once.
 

Gamera The Atomic Turtle
Joined
3,349 Posts
If you think a functional and aesthetically acceptable way to mount a plate on an Elige is tough, try doing it on a Europa.
i saw a nice Europa with the plate mounted all the way over on the pass side of the bumper, not in the middle. Looked pretty cool - that whole "off to the side" thing.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top