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Miata Front License Plate Bracket

Here's a simple modification of the standard Miata front plate bracket that makes the front of the car look a bit better. This idea could probably be adapted to others cars. Of course the best thing to do would be to eliminate the plate altogether. For some of us, this means moving to another state or telling a big lie to the nice policeman that stops you ("Sorry officer, it must have just fallen off!"). Some of us also favor the "aerodynamic license plate mount" (put it on the dash behind the windshield). Again, the nice policeman might let you go on this.....but probably only once.

ABOVE: Standard "wart on nose" plate (left) compared to modified lower offset mount (right)


Fabrication of the new bracket involves obtaining two pieces of aluminum (T6 alloy or similar). The "clamp" part is made from a block measuring 1.5 X 1 X .5 

A 15/32" through hole, a 1/4" through hole and an 1/8" hole (.5 deep) should be drilled as shown. Some dimensions have been left out to give the builder some flexibility. Place them in the approximate positions shown in the sketch below. The 1/8" hole will have a steel pin pressed (or hammered) into it. If you cannot find a slightly oversize pin, use an exact 1/8" dowel pin and drill an undersize hole (a # 31 drill is .120" and would work well).


Cut the "clamp" part in half, as shown in the sketch below. This is a pretty easy job with a hack saw, if power tools are not available. Smooth the saw-cut surfaces with a file or belt sander.



The 12" long "back plate" is pinned to the "clamp" using the 1/8" pin (this should be a tight "press fit" through both aluminum pieces). A 2" long 1/4" bolt goes through the license plate (left hole), the back plate and the clamp. A shorter 1/4" bolt attaches the other side of the license plate to the back plate. The clamp is placed around the right side towing eye. Since the plate is only supported from one side, be sure the 2" clamp bolt is tight. The 15/32" hole in the clamp is smaller than the diameter of the towing eye material......this provides the clamping action. Snug up the 2" long bolt and stand back about 20 feet (to make sure it looks level). Adjust as needed and tighten up very firmly.

ABOVE: Here's a "close-up" of the clamp around the towing eye.



ABOVE: The "deleted" standard plate mount assembly.



ABOVE: Afterwards, you can show off your new "mod" to your other Miata friends. Here's my M2 with several M1s. ;-)

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