NOT to lose touch with reality - $2.45 million is a bonkers amount of money.
For that amount of cash, you could buy two Rolls-Royce Phantom Dropheads and still have enough left over to splurge on Mercedes-AMG C63 S and a HSV GTSR.
Or, you could buy a single-digit number plate at a public auction.
That was the case for Australian-Chinese billionaire wine collector and sex toy magnate Peter Tseng.
The businessman has added the NSW “4” number plate to his collection after buying it at the 2017 Shannons Sydney Winter Classic Auction earlier this week.
The $2.45 million selling price is believed to be the largest amount ever paid for a number plate in Australia. Plates also exchange hands privately, meaning someone out there could have paid more than this to join the single-digit club.
Tseng’s new single-digit plate will join the “2” NSW plate – which adorns his red Ferrari 458 Italia - along with the Hong Kong “1” plate, and a personalised NSW plate “ONE”, which is registered to a 2001 Mercedes-Benz convertible.
The $2.45 million plate was believed to be first registered in 1910, with Tseng acquiring it from its most recent owner, online entrepreneur Steve Shelly.
Shelly is reported to have bought the plate about 18 months ago for up to $900,000, and had it registered to his Toyota Tundra.
Bidding for the “4” plate started at a cool $1 million, with the price guide expected to land between the $1.2 and $1.4 million mark.
Domain reported that bidding rose by $100,000 increments, with Tseng and an anonymous party going back and forth until Tseng raised his hand at the $1.35 million mark, and didn’t put it down until he came out on top.
Tseng’s “2” plate was bought for $750,000 in 2008 – a record which was later surpassed when the “6” plate, which is not currently in use, sold for $800,000.
The coveted NSW “1” plate is owned by the family of Sir Frederick Stewart, a prominent politician and the founding chairman of Australian National Airways, since it was acquired in the 1920s. Shannons auction administrator John Manea estimated that if it ever came up for sale, the plate could be worth up to $5 million.
The NSW plate “3” is currently registered to a Porsche 911. Another desirable number, “10”, is believed to be owned by Fire and Rescue NSW, but is currently displayed on a two-year-old Holden Commodore.
The Victorian “1” plate is reportedly owned by former Foster’s Group chief Peter Bartels.
If you think $2.45 million for a number plate is excessive, it’s alleged a British businessman turned down $13.8 million for the plate "F1" in the UK.