From:Dave Hennessey
Subject:RE: Virginia 1955 HummerTag Date:Sat Jun 9 11:35:32 2012
Response to:534

I never really paid much attention to license plates until recently. Virginia cycle plates of the period had the mounting holes 7-1/16 center-center. I don't think they will fit on most bikes, so fastidious owners made a custom bracket while lazy owners just punched extra holes in the plate.

At the time, they were just license plates, and you would get a new one next year. No one considered they would someday become priceless antiques.

In the 1920's and 1930's, Harleys and Indians and Hendersons had a taillight / license tag bracket, where the taillight was on top, and the license plate hung below, so the top holes of the license plate were used.

Indian (1936) and Harley (1939) introduced much larger taillights which mounted directly on the fenders, the license plate then moved above the taillight, so the plate's bottom holes were used. Note: Indian verticals and Harley Hummer-series kept the 1920/30's hang-down style.

Both my Henderson and Hummer tag brackets have slots which will accommodate about 3-1/4" to 6" center-center. I'll bet your 1957 FL is about the same - can you measure it? A 1946 Chief would accommodate 4" to 6". These VA tags just don't fit on anything - what was our government thinking? Apparently, they weren't thinking at all.

So your tags belonged to fastidious owners, while mine belonged to a lazy one. It appears that my tag could have been originally been on either a 1940/50's Indian or Harley.

For some reason, 1955 is a tough year to get. Wayne had nice tags from all the 1950's years, but no 1955 at all. Eventually he came up with this one. It's not as nice as I would have liked, but it will have to do until I find a better one.



I have about 15 different vintage Virginia Motorcycle tags ranging from 1937 - 1969 and have never seen a tag with the holes where yours are located. My best guess is the tag was originally either on a piece of farm equipment or maybe a 1955 Hummer Chopper with a custom taillight/tag bracket assembly.