Better than an autograph

Hotter than Johnny Manziel? Texas A&M vanity license plate pulls in crazy, record cash

Hotter than Johnny Manziel? Texas A&M license plate sets cash record

12th Man vanity license plate
The specialty plate has reached a bid of $35,000.
12th Man statue of E. King Gill in front of Kyle Field at Texas a&m cropped
Honor the spirit of the 12th Man and E. King Gill with the ultimate Aggie vanity plate. Courtesy of
12th Man vanity license plate
12th Man statue of E. King Gill in front of Kyle Field at Texas a&m cropped

Update: Texas A&M mania reached new heights. The plate ended up selling for . . . $115,000. Yes, that's more than four times the previous record for a Texas vanity license plate.


The 12th Man is one of Texas A&M University’s most renowned traditions. The concept, which refers to the difference-making fans who pack the stadium and play a crucial role in football victories, is also one of its most treasured brands, as the Seattle Seahawks found out when the university successfully sued for a percentage of profits when the NFL team adopted and merchandised the concept a few years ago.

In Aggie numerology, it’s downright sacred — and one lucky and very generous (presumed) graduate will soon possess the talisman in the form of the ultimate tailgating conversation piece.

 What kind of car will end up on? At 35 grand, it doesn’t seem that your standard Benz or Beamer will cut it. 

When the auction for the prestigious 12THMAN plate on was first announced, there were high expectations that bids would top those garnered by the previous record-holder from January, which was emblazoned with the rather generic HOUSTON. That one sold for $25,000.

One faithful fan has bid $35,000 for bragging rights, shattering the previous record. But any remaining wealthy alumni still have some time to get their maroon checkbooks. Bidding will remain open until noon Thursday. Can this monstrous bid for a piece of aluminum be beat?

Aggies who don’t have the cash for a dream vanity plate can take solace in the fact that many of the proceeds will go toward their beloved alma mater, as well as the Texas General Revenue Fund. You might also get to see the lucky bidder during a special ceremony Saturday when Texas A&M takes on defending national champions Alabama at Kyle Field.

The winning recipient will own the rights to the plate for 10 years and get first dibs on renewing it. Unlike other Texas specialty plates, the 12THMAN plate is completely transferable by the owner, who can sell the rights to it or even hand it down to other family members or heirs, like any true college sports fan would.

The clock is ticking for affluent Aggies, but the real question is: What kind of car it will end up on? At 35 grand, it doesn’t seem that your standard Benz or Beamer will cut it for these plates. It might fit better on a maroon Maybach with a white leather interior.