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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When I acquired my '67 Duetto back in the 80's it had some rear body damage and was disassembled. One of the parts that came with it was a slightly mangled rear license plate bracket (see first photo).

I never straightened or mounted that bracket - just bolted the plate to the body using the two holes originally intended to mount the bracket. It works fine that way and I'm not sure what the purpose of the bracket is. But I came across it recently in a box-of-spares and thought I should straighten it out and figure it out.

Two questions:

- The bracket has a hole at the bottom that seems like it should attach somewhere to the car's lower/rear bodywork. But where? There are no obvious holes in my rear sheetmetal. The lack of a hole isn't surprising; as I said earlier, the car had been rear-ended, so the original hole was probably filled during the repairs.

- The vertical spacing of the four mounting holes in a US-style plate is 4-3/4". However, the vertical hole spacing on the bracket is 4-1/2 (see second photo). So it appears that the two upper holes in the bracket just secure the bracket to the car's body, while the license plate is only bolted to the bracket through the two lower holes. I guess the two upper hooks on the bracket serve to retain the upper part of the plate. Do I have this right?
 

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You are correct. The lower hole is just a sheetmetal screw. The two lower holes hold the plate to the bracket and the two upper holes attach to the body. The two " fingers" are slightly curled to hold the upper license plate in position.
Cheers, Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Jon:

Thank you for answering my questions and posting those photos. The one showing the sheet metal screw at the bottom solved my biggest mystery. I've already looked down there, but will have to probe that area more thoroughly to locate the hole.
 

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Jay, I just want to note, this piece is universal for all market Roundtails except the 1750 US Spec car. The 1600 Spider parts manual lists a USA license plate holder, but it is not pictured. It mounts to the bracket in your pictures. The parts manual lists and shows the European license plate holder.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The 1600 Spider parts manual lists a USA license plate holder, but it is not pictured. It mounts to the bracket in your pictures. The parts manual lists and shows the European license plate holder.
Got it. So you're saying the part that I have - the 105.03.59.038.00/02 - is universal for both the North American and European markets. But Alfa added a second bracket to adapt the wider, European-sized plates to that part. Seems like it would have been simpler for Alfa to have made two versions of the 105.03.59.038.00/xx bracket: one for North American and one for European -width plates. But I guess that wasn't how their thinking worked!

Perhaps the parts book doesn't picture the USA license plate holder because in practice they weren't needed; the horizontal hole spacing in the 105.03.59.038.00/02 bracket already fits North American plates. Have you got an example or seen one of the 105.00.59.035.00/01 adapters? Know if they're steel or aluminum? I don't think my car came with one.

Heck, I've had my plate bolted directly to the body for the past 35 years, so just adding the 105.03.59.038.00/02 bracket will be a big step toward originality!
 

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Got it. So you're saying the part that I have - the 105.03.59.038.00/02 - is universal for both the North American and European markets. But Alfa added a second bracket to adapt the wider, European-sized plates to that part. Seems like it would have been simpler for Alfa to have made two versions of the 105.03.59.038.00/xx bracket: one for North American and one for European -width plates. But I guess that wasn't how their thinking worked!
Italian plates from that period were made of plastic and quite flimsy. The plate and frame helped to add some rigidity.

Perhaps the parts book doesn't picture the USA license plate holder because in practice they weren't needed; the horizontal hole spacing in the 105.03.59.038.00/02 bracket already fits North American plates. Have you got an example or seen one of the 105.00.59.035.00/01 adapters? Know if they're steel or aluminum? I don't think my car came with one.
I guess anything is possible. American plates back then were pretty robust. Who knows if Alfa ever supplied one for the US market cars.

You're right, the American plates seem to fit perfectly on the frame. I can't find my Road & Track book that had all of those old road tests. I suspect there might be a picture in there somewhere showing the rear of the car.

I have an original Italian license plate plus the steel plate and frame. The holes in the steel plate line up perfectly with the bottom two holes on the bracket. Sorry for the upside down pictures.
 

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Jay,
If you are asking if there was a backing plate between the license and the bracket....I don't believe so. None on my 67 which I bought used off the dealer lot 50 years ago. Also I have had 4 others under short stewardship that did not have a backing plate.
Cheers, Jon
 

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Here's my license plate bracket.

We've always uses 2 small bolts on the top to hold the plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We've always uses 2 small bolts on the top to hold the plate.
Well, I guess I do it that way too; just without the bracket.

But as not2old4toys shows us in post #2, the correct way is to use the 2 larger holes on the bottom of the bracket to hold the plate, with the two hooks at the top of the bracket gripping the the top of the plate. The two small holes at the top of the bracket are just to secure it to the body.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The 1600 Spider parts manual lists a USA license plate holder, but it is not pictured. It mounts to the bracket in your pictures. The parts manual lists and shows the European license plate holder.
Hey, I may have a US (and Canada and Mexico) license plate holder. When I took my rear plate off to trial fit the bracket, I noticed that it was backed up by the part shown below. Made from aluminum, with a couple of "hooks" at the bottom, similar to the hooks on the mounting bracket. Mine is pretty ugly with that red & black overspray, but it isn't visible once the plate is in place.

Will post more photos once I have my newly straightened bracket painted and mounted on the car.
1603570
1603581
 
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