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Discussion Starter #1
Yes, I know many of you live in states where you don't need the front plate, and others simply choose to ignore state law requiring it. But for those of us who are required to have it, and who choose NOT to be scofflaws like the rest of you miscreants :D , the Lotus-supplied bracket seems a logical solution. Unfortunately, it's NOT!

The bracket, when screwed in place, actually hangs down much lower than the front skirt. It's the lowest thing on the car. So, in just 2 weeks of driving, mine got whacked a few times, causing it to bend all out of shape. I was lucky it didn't crack the fiberglass where it's mounted. What a stinkin design.

I got a piece of lexan (very strong), and cut a square, then used that as kind of an extension, to let me mount the license bracket an inch or 2 higher. Hopefully, it's high enough. If not, I can raise it some more (cause I made the lexan an inch or 2 longer than I needed).

I noticed that, when I went to re-mount it, one of the original screw holes had already stripped. Not sure if the fiberglass is that weak, or if it was weakened when the bracket bottomed out. I used some slightly larger screws to re-mount it. I hope keeping this plate in place isn't gonna be a full-time job.:rolleyes:
 

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Bing too low is a bummer, but is there any possibility that raising it up might impede the airflow to the radiators too much? Maybe that is why Lotus put it where it is.

--Josh
 

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I would just pre-bend the plate when you mount it. That way you aren't stressing the fiberglass by bending it between the clam and a speed-bump. I know you are probably destroying government property or something, but you can just claim its lotus' fault. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
JWA said:
Bing too low is a bummer, but is there any possibility that raising it up might impede the airflow to the radiators too much? Maybe that is why Lotus put it where it is.

--Josh
Thought of that, but it really doesn't block much. Only moved it up an inch or 2, and it stands out away from the radiator opening, so it's not blocking much.
 

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I'm leaving the front plate off my Elise. I'm planning to explain to the friendly police officer that the car has a Federal Exemption for the bumper standard, and as a result, has no place to mount a front license plate. I'll also show the officer the sticker on the driver's door jamb that shows that it has an exemption for the bumper standard.

I hope the story works...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ooooooh! I like that! Not sure I would have had the cojones to try it, but more power to you.
 

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The only problem with that story is that there's a fairly obvious place to mount the plate. I wish they would have left that off. It would have looked nicer, too.

I'll just keep breaking the law. I haven't had a front plate on my car for over a year, and the friendly law enforcement officers don't seem to care.
 

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ConeFusion said:
The only problem with that story is that there's a fairly obvious place to mount the plate. I wish they would have left that off. It would have looked nicer, too.
I'm prepared for that... European plates are wide and short. I some countries, you just use stick on letters that fit on that place. That's not available here...

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it...

It's worth a try. The worst that will happen is that I'll get a ticket.

Actually, I have a similar situation with my Elan. The one time I was pulled over in it, the State Trooper pointed out that I didn't have a front plate. I explained that there was no place to attached one to the fiberglass bumper, and he said: "Okay - I hope you don't have any trouble from other officers". Then he kind of winked and went on with the rest of the stuff...

By the way, I was pulled over because of expired tags - the registration was up to date, it was just that the DMV hadn't sent the stupid stickers...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
TimMullen said:
Then he kind of winked and went on with the rest of the stuff...
Maybe he winked at you because he "liked" you. ;)
 

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pinmagic said:
Maybe he winked at you because he "liked" you. ;)
No. He was actually just a very professional officer.

I ended up writing a letter of commendation to his commander about him. He handled an irate citizen (me), calmed the situation, and resolved things in a very professional manner.

Basically, I had had the same "tag" problem with my daily driver Honda for about four months, and no one noticed. I drove the Elan two miles and was pulled over. I was a bit ticked off at being "harassed". But he handled me very nicely, checked things out, and even tried to get me the information as to who to contact to straighten out the situation with the DMV. The we talked about cars for about 20 minutes. The world need more cops like him.
 

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In my (fortunately very limited) experience with police officers, I have found that most of them were quite nice. I try to be friendly to them, and treat them with respect. People probably give them crap all day, so I think they really appreciate that. One time I was stopped for speeding a couple of miles into Arkansas, I missed the change in speed limits at the state border, and was going a bit too fast before that. The officer checked my paperwork and gave me a warning. We chatted for a few minutes, and he almost apologized for stopping me. :cool:

I would be surprised to get more than a warning for a missing front license plate. And if I ever get a ticket, I can handle that.
 

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TimMullen said:
I'm leaving the front plate off my Elise. I'm planning to explain to the friendly police officer that the car has a Federal Exemption for the bumper standard, and as a result, has no place to mount a front license plate. I'll also show the officer the sticker on the driver's door jamb that shows that it has an exemption for the bumper standard.

I hope the story works...
:clap:
I'm definitely going to try that if an officer tries to give me a fix-it ticket for that. It can't hurt. I'm also probably going to buy that small silver Elise plate. I'll say something like you wouldn't be able to buy these if there wasn't an exemption.
 

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Dan said:
:you wouldn't be able to buy these if there wasn't an exemption.
How would he know that they weren't standard?
 

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TimMullen said:
How would he know that they weren't standard?
He wouldn't. But if he thought they were, how many cars do you know of that has a metal decorative plate in front that was meant to be covered by a license plate?

I suppose if you really wanted to prove the other point, you could have a copy of the Lotus accessories catolog on hand. :p
 

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I just hope that all of the dealers are reading this thread and putting the front plate kits in the trunk instead of on the car.
 

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Robert Puertas said:
I just hope that all of the dealers are reading this thread and putting the front plate kits in the trunk instead of on the car.
I asked them (Criswell) not to, and they didn't. They didn't even add any dealership stickers to the car, although I did allow them to put on the license plate frame in the rear - doesn't look bad actually. It's black plastic, and says "LOTUS" across the top, and has "Criswell Performance Cars" on the bottom flanked by Lotus emblems on both sides...
 

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...also keep the front tag in the trunk, that may help with the explanations that the plates and tags are legal, then its just the display fight. - my plan was similar to tims... if worse comes. i'll go with arno's recomendation of velco attaching it so it won't crack the clam if it get hit.

anyway, i cut my tvr's tag all up and tucked way under the bumber with zip ties - never saw it except when i washed the car! and never had any problems with the police about it.
 

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If I have to mount the front plate I will use velcro, it will allow the plate to scrape but not harm the shell. I just saw that someone else here had the same idea :)
 

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YOu could also use clear fishing line to keep the plate from being lost if the plate gets knocked loose. A bit tacky but probably cheaper than replacing license plates. If it were me, I'd stick it in the trunk until the cops stopped me. As I said before, never had a front plate on my europa the whole 3 years I lived in CA.

Chris
 
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