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Old 03-15-2020, 04:23 PM   #1
Robin 47 ford pickup
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Default Kansas plate toppers

Hi guys , could anyone explain how the number plate toppers worked in Kansas in and around 1947 , I am looking at putting one on my restored
1 ton truck . a friend gave me an 8M topper would this be correct ? just trying to create some interest and get the tongues wagging when I put the old girl out in pubic, even if it is here in Australia. Also does anyone know what EXPRESS means that is hand painted on the firewall under the hood of my truck?
cheers Robin
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Old 03-15-2020, 06:14 PM   #2
rotorwrench
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Default Re: Kansas plate toppers

8-mile farm or 8-miles from town. Kansas has always had farm tags for applicable pickups & trucks. My Pop's trucks always had the 24-mile marking since the farm was a good distance out of the local town. Kansas always had a two letter abbreviation for the name of the county it was registered in. This way a person could look at a strange car's tag and see what county it was from.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 03-16-2020 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 03-15-2020, 07:38 PM   #3
cadillac512
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Default Re: Kansas plate toppers

Since I was a wee lad here in KS (I"m 63 ) the 8M has always meant 8000 lbs. Larger trucks are rated higher with a more expensive tag.



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Old 03-15-2020, 07:51 PM   #4
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Old 03-15-2020, 11:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Kansas plate toppers

In late 1939 Ford introduced their HEAVY light truck line with a 122” WB 3/4 and 1 ton truck. As a sales pitch to the marketplace Ford called the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks with a pickup bed -EXPRESS. They were marketing these trucks to farmers, manufacturers and delivery companies to fill in the load carrying gap between a 1/2 ton pickup and the 1 1/2 ton truck.
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Old 03-16-2020, 11:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: Kansas plate toppers

Well that shows you what I know. Pop always handled the registrations on the trucks so I assumed the M was a distance thing. I learn something new every day. All of Pops were 24M but we had some pretty big trucks. Our farm was about 24 miles away too so that just added to that assumtion.
http://allaboutlicenseplates.com/truck.asp?State=Kansas

Truck tags started with T until they changed the design in 1951 and added TRUCK vertically next to the county abbreviation. I think 1951 was the first year they started making them with the state shape (Missouri river squiggle in the upper right corner). I think trailers had to have a weight rating too if they are of a certain size.

https://kansaslicenseplates.com/prod...t-tab-1-12-ton
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Old 03-16-2020, 12:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Kansas plate toppers

That seed was probably planted when you were a young whippersnapper.
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Old 03-16-2020, 05:23 PM   #8
Robin 47 ford pickup
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Default Re: Kansas plate toppers

Ok then what would the correct topper be for a 1 ton truck if is was applied to my pickup if they had them back then ? The number plate has a 8M red decal in one corner and the plate has TRUCK embossed into it as well . the previous owner before it came to Australia told me the plate is a rarity as they stopped using these plates in 1970 . All adds to the mystery and the romance of the past for me. the previous owners son from Augusta Kansas always took photos of this truck with a small teddy bear hidden in the back ground .
cheers Robin
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Old 03-17-2020, 05:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Kansas plate toppers

Augusta Kansas has a nice downtown car show every year. Still have brick streets if memory serves me correctly.
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Old 03-17-2020, 02:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Kansas plate toppers

In 1947 it would have been 1 Ton on the weight plate according to the Kansas information link I posted on #6. 1956 was the first year for the thousand pound single or double digit identifier with the "M" for standing for "maximum" gross vehicle weight. The 1-Ton plate would have been the same color as the tag for 1947.

8M or 8,000 lbs would be in the category of a 1-ton commercial vehicles. Ours had red decals with black characters due to them being for farm use. Plate colors changed every year from the 50s & till the early 70s. This changed when they started applying decals for the year change so they didn't have to stamp so many plates at the Lansing State Prison. 1951 was the first year they started embossing the plate with "TRUCK" in vertical fashion. Before that they all had a "T" followed by the county identifier number code and then the registration linear number for that county. Augusta, Kansas is in Butler county so the abbreviated identifier is BU. The old number code is No. 9 for Butler county.

I grew up in western Kansas but I haven't lived there for near 40 years. A friend of mine that I used to work with lived there near Augusta till he died.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:58 PM   #11
Robin 47 ford pickup
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Default Re: Kansas plate toppers

Kansas plate on my truck
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