Page last updated at 21:12 GMT, Friday, 19 September 2008 22:12 UK

Historic car reg fetches 400,000

Registration S1
There was a bidding war for the S1 registration plate

Edinburgh's first car number plate has fetched almost 400,000 at auction.

The registration "S1" was originally bought in 1903, the year registration numbers were introduced.

The number plate was first owned by Sir John H A MacDonald, a former Lord Justice Clerk of Scotland and motoring pioneer.

The winning bidder in Friday's auction said it would now be displayed on an old red Skoda which will be seen around the Midlands.

Sir John, also known as Lord Kingsburgh, was one of Scotland's first car owners.

He was a founding member of the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland, which later became the RAC. He was also the first president of the Scottish Automobile Club, founded in 1899.

The historic "S1" plate, which had not been offered for sale since 1903, was expected to fetch between 200,000 and 250,000.

I believe that number plates in general are a good investment, even at this price
Unnamed bidder
Bold Registrations

Josephine Olley, from auctioneers Bonhams, said: "There was a bidding battle between several people on the telephone and a bidder in the room.

"The bidder who was present eventually secured the lot to a round of applause."

The winning bidder from the company Bold Registrations, who declined to be named, agreed to pay 397,500, inclusive of buyer's premium.

He said: "I believe that number plates in general are a good investment, even at this price.

"The registration number will remain in the UK and will be going on an old red Skoda which will be seen around the Midlands."

The registration was sold by Bonhams at its Goodwood Revival Sale in Chichester, West Sussex.

In 2005, Bonhams sold registration "1F" for 144,500 and in 2006, it sold "M1" for a then world record auction price of 331,500.

In January this year, car design entrepreneur Afzal Kahn paid 440,625 for the Formula One initials "F1".

Capital's first car reg for sale
05 Sep 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Car reg plate sold for 154,000
11 Jul 07 |  Cumbria
Car plate sparks 100,000 bids
03 Jul 07 |  Cumbria

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