2012 Jeep Wrangler: That Pesky Front License Plate
August 23, 2012
California is one of 33 states that requires front license plates. This statistic predates the invention of red light and speed cameras, which seem to work quite well anyway in states that don't hand out front plates. Arizona, for example, seems to very proficient at issuing camera-based tickets without issuing residents a front plate.
But I digress. California persists with the requirement. Folks who park on nearby streets in Santa Monica and the West Side -- places where meter maids patrol ad naseum -- must live with the fact that going without is an easy way to get an inconvenient, expensive and pretty much meaningless ticket.
Thing is, our 2012 Jeep Wrangler hasn't had a permanently mounted front plate since we installed our Expedition One front bumper and our Superwich. Since then the it has been riding inside the windshield, held upright and visible by the protruding passenger side tweeter. When driving it only rattled...a lot.
I finally decided to do something about it, but the spot I was eyeing had no place for me to drill holes. Enter the Velcro.
Yep, the front face of our Superwinch got drafted. It's flat, it's vertical and there's a decent amount of surface area for the Velcro tape strips. Better yet, the span is almost exactly the same as the width of the plate.
There, that should keep us on good terms with the parking zealots that ride around in their Cushmann 3-wheelers. When I need the winch it'll pop off easily to give me a good view of the rope windings on the drum. Until then I suppose it'll keep the bugs off the works.
Sure, it's a caveman stopgap solution, but it should suffice until I find or fabricate a bracket that's a bit more secure than Velcro.
On the other hand I have a lot of respect for Velcro. Maybe someday I'll tell you the story of the balled-up GTI racecar and it's two underseat stereo amplifiers, one held down by grade 8 bolts, the other by Velcro strips. I'll let you decide which one came loose when the car barrel rolled 6 times.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 19,415 miles