Car News: Oversteer
Here Are the Cars With the Vanity License Plate "JUNK" Across the Country
It's been a while since we've written a story on the cars that have a certain vanity license plate across the country, largely because I've done most of the cool ones already -- like "FERRARI" and "FAST" and "SLOW." But a friend recently suggested I do a post with the license plate "JUNK." Curiosity got the better of me, so I ran "JUNK" in all 50 states.
Here's what I discovered: For one thing, the plate only actually returns to a vehicle in 20 states. This could be because "JUNK" is taken by older vehicles, since my tool only searches as far back as the beginning of the 17-digit VIN in 1981. Or it could be because nobody wants to get the vanity license plate "JUNK" for their cars.
Either way, many of the cars with the "JUNK" vanity plate are, in fact, a bit junky -- including several old pickups that may actually be junk haulers, which would justify the license plate. Examples include a 1986 Chevrolet C-10 pickup in Indiana, a 1997 Dodge Ram in Missouri, a 1994 Chevy pickup in Montana and a 1991 Ford Ranger in Washington. "JUNK" in Maine is on an International box truck, which may also serve its life as a junk hauler.
There were a few junky nontrucks, too. In Alaska, for instance, JUNK is on a 1983 Toyota Tercel SR5. How a 1980s Toyota manages to survive Alaskan winters is beyond me. JUNK is also on a 1988 Honda Accord in Connecticut, a 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse in West Virginia and a 1993 Honda Civic in Wisconsin. I personally won't call New Hampshire's 2014 Nissan Versa Note "junk," but it appears maybe the owner does.
Interestingly, it appears the "JUNK" vanity plate was used ironically only three times across the country. In Kentucky, it's on a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SL, which is decidedly not junk. Same story in New Jersey, where it's on a 1982 Porsche 911. But the best ironic use is in Iowa, where "JUNK" is on a 2015 Camaro ZL1. Maybe the owner bought it after years in the junk business.
Here's the full list of JUNK vanity plates. Feel free to submit your own vanity plate story suggestions if you'd like to know what cars have a certain interesting vanity plate across the country.