The phrase "cost is no object" was redefined last week when an aftermarket tuner dropped close to a cool million on a license plate. Yes, a license plate. The "F1" plate was first registered in the UK 104 years ago, when it was more likely a two-digit coincidence than a vanity plate, and until recently was used on a Volvo S80 owned by the chairman of the Essex County Council. F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone and former F1 driver Eddie Irvine had tried to snatch it up in 2005 at Goodwood, but failed to meet the reserve.

Last week at auction, Afzal Kahn, head of the Kahn Design and Project Kahn aftermarket tuning house, placed the winning bid of £375k, which comes to more than £440k with tax (the equivalent of about $873,000). The price beat the previous record of £331k paid at a Bonhams auction in 2006 for the "M1" plate, but may yet be beat when the UK's oldest registration plate "A1" goes under the hammer in the near future. Kahn will reportedly (and fittingly) put the F1 plate on his custom Mercedes SLR McLaren. How does he feel about blowing that much cash on a license plate? "It's every man's dream to have his perfect car with a number plate like this." Uh, we'll keep dreaming, thanks.

[Source: The Daily Mail via Motor Authority]