Tales from the Back Bumper:
A Century of BC Licence Plates

Book Details
168 Pages  |  8 inches by 8 inches  |  Over 250 photos  |  Foreword by former Premier Gordon Campbell
Signed, numbered and inscribed copies available for order from:
Christopher Garrish
$6.00 in Canada
$14.00 to US
All prices quoted in CDN funds
Regular copies from:

Buckle up your seatbelt and prepare for a ride on the history highway! Christopher Garrish has collected hundreds of facts and photos (not to mention licence plates) in this astonishing assembly of motoring madness. Discover what the earliest motorists in the province used to build their own licence plates; why some licence plate numbers are worth waiting in line overnight for; which offensive acronym slipped under the radar and found its way onto a licence plate before authorities recalled it; and dozens of other entertaining anecdotes.

Whether you’re a car connoisseur or a tailgating trucker, you’ll find that Tales from the Back Bumper is more than just an ABC-123 account of licence plates. This book is not only the definitive guide to everything from plate prefixes and decals to provincial slogans and vanity plates, but also a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at how cars—and by extension licence plates—have played a part in our exploration and navigation of “Beautiful British Columbia” for the past hundred years.

Previews of the book are now available through Google:

Kelowna Daily Courier
- April 14, 2013

Global BC Morning News - May 3, 2013

BCAA WestWorld
- Summer 2013

TB Vets
- Summer 2013 Newsletter

ICBC "Vehicle"
- Volume 35, Number 7, July 2013

Penticton Western News
- September 5, 2013

BC Studies
- Spring 2014
Previous Events
2013-09-12 Book / Exhibit Luanch: Penticton Museum and Archives (Penticton) - 5-8pm
2013-07-21 Book Signing: Munro's Books / Northwest Deuce Days (Victoria) - 2-3pm
2013-07-06 Book Signing: Mosaic Books (Kelowna) - 1-3pm
2013-06-22 Book Signing: Farmer's Market / Peach City Beach Cruise (Penticton)
2013-06-21 Book Signing: Hooked on Books / Peach City Beach Cruise (Penticton) - 7-9pm
2013-05-24/25 Book Signing: 44th Annual Coastal Swap Meet - Tradex Convention Centre (Abbotsford)
Presentation: 2013 BC Studies Conference (Douglas College) - "Tales from the Back Bumper: Insights into British Columbia’s Past and Future Through Its License Plates"
2013-05-03 Interview: Global BC Morning News
2013-04-20 Book Signing: South Okanagan and Okanagan chapters of the Vintage Car Club of Canada - Swap Meet (Penticton)
Comments on "Tales from the Back Bumper"
This is the finest book about license plates I have ever seen ... Much more than a list of colors, photos, and tables of types, this book sets a new level for a history book around a jurisdiction. It’s a small coffee-table book in its scope and article readability. Complete with glossary, 15 pages of footnotes and extensive credits and bibliography, this is a must-have for every collector.
Jeff Minard, Automobile License Plate Collector's Association (ALPCA)
What a treat! Who knew our humble licence plates were once made of leather - even porcelain? Who knew a handful of letters and digits could tell so many stories? From WE-LOG to MY-XTC - a century's worth of wacky licence plates from Canada's wackiest province.
Arthur Black (author and broadcaster)
Our licence plates are touchstones for our memories and reflections of who we are. They say something about us, sometimes without our knowing it. Tales from the Back Bumper is fun, and it's nostalgic. I hope you enjoy the ride.
Gordon Campbell (former Premier of British Columbia)
"Tales from the Back Bumper" the Exhibit & Book Launch!

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