Why Steve Jobs' Car Never Had a License Plate

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Why Steve Jobs' Car Never Had a License Plate

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The deceased CEO of Apple found a loophole in California state law.

Like any prominent figure, there have been a lot of stories tossed around about all the crazy things Steve Jobs did and the official biography by Walter Isaacson published this week is bringing even more to light. In the 80s, Jobs denied a longtime Apple employee stock options, just because he could. He once called all the executives of a chip supplier "fucking dickless assholes" and drove a tank to work. All right, it wasn't a tank, but it was a Mercedes that had no license plates which Jobs was observed by multiple sources parking in handicapped spaces.

How did Jobs get away with not having a license plate on his car? According to a former employee named Jon Callas who is now the chief technology officer at Entrust, Jobs realized that California law gave the owners of new cars six months to obtain a license plate. Armed with that knowledge, Jobs made a deal with his leasing company to get a new silver Mercedes SL55 AMG every six months, making sure that it was always legal for him to have an unmarked car.

"It's a little game I play," Jobs said to remain anonymous.

Of course, as biographer Isaacson pointed out to Jobs before his death, driving an unlicensed car is much more conspicuous than just putting a dang license plate on his car like everyone else.

In response, Steve Jobs just shrugged. Think Different.

Source: Edible Apple

(Image courtesy Roshan Baliga)

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He did always have a kind of trollish smile...Well, going mad with power is a lot better than going mad with no power...

So he was a genius, and an eccentric troll?

Am I missing something, or is Steve Jobs just being presented as even more of an uptight asshole than people thought he was?

I never understood the Apple fandom though, Scientology seems more reputable in comparison. At least they don't brainwash you...and you should all join the Cult and give your money to XENU!...because that would be illegal.

Go to the D.M.V. and spend less than 50 bucks on a new plate or have a system set-up to buy a new car every 6 months(With added bonus of Handicap parking.)... The man was a genius.

So, he prefered to buy a new car every 6 months than buying a simple, new plate for his car because...?

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Lucane:
Go to the D.M.V. and spend less than 50 bucks on a new plate or have a system set-up to buy a new car every 6 months(With added bonus of Handicap parking.)... The man was a genius.

nah... just a guy with a lot of money...

Did he buy the car every 6 months or get given it? And what was the point? He must have got pulled over a million times which would be inconvenient.

Adam Jensen:
So he was a genius, and an eccentric troll?

yes.

long answer: yes, and bill gates is a genius and the nicest bastard on the planet.
According to my information, Einstein was a genius and costumed vigilante

...Problem?

@SupahGamuh: He's rich.

So what was his excuse for parking in handicap spaces?
Seriously, what a dick, how did info like this not get spread like wild fire when he was still alive?

That's interesting. Even though it's a lot of money every 6 months, I suppose he had to find something to do with his fortune haha.

Greg Tito:
Of course, as biographer Isaacson pointed out to Jobs before his death, driving an unlicensed car is much more conspicuous than just putting a dang license plate on his car like everyone else.

After living in California for a few years, I disagree. I'd say at least 5% of cars here have no license plates, and the cops don't seem to care.

That... is a huge waste of money. I mean, sure, he had the money to waste, but still... Two top of the line Mercedes a year? That's some serious cash right there, even if he sells the "expired" models...

EDIT: Ah, I missed the part about leasing. I misread and thought he was actually buying them. Leasing makes more sense, financially.

How do the cops know if the car is older/younger than six months? Or can I just move to California and take off my plates and stay out of trouble and the law will just leave me alone?

I take it we're all done pretending to be sorry he died now?

So all you had to do was look for the car without a plate?

mysecondlife:

Lucane:
Go to the D.M.V. and spend less than 50 bucks on a new plate or have a system set-up to buy a new car every 6 months(With added bonus of Handicap parking.)... The man was a genius.

nah... just a guy with a lot of money...

But it can take a really long time to get anything done at the D.M.V. so he likely felt it was worth it.

... Plus yeah the tons of money thing too.

Jobs was observed ... parking in handicapped spaces.

What a hero!

But seriously, I'm beginning to admire the man less the more I know about him. The ultimate crime being the fact that he simply did not restore the philanthropic section of Apple, despite it being one of the world's most valued private companies with annual turnover of $20b+. That I'm afraid, when the world has so many problems, is simply unforgivable

Broken Orange:
How do the cops know if the car is older/younger than six months? Or can I just move to California and take off my plates and stay out of trouble and the law will just leave me alone?

That works until you get pulled over, in an accident, or a police officer just notices you have no plate.

Well you can't say he didn't think differently!

Rednog:
So what was his excuse for parking in handicap spaces?
Seriously, what a dick, how did info like this not get spread like wild fire when he was still alive?

Maybe it's hard to write a ticket for a car (when the owner isn't present)without a plate to uniquely identify the current owner of the vehicle. sense like the article said it's legal for the 1st 6 months.

I want to know where are those silver Mercedes SL55 AMG he had replaced?

Steve Jobs, head of Apple, didn't want people keeping track of his stuff?

Yeah, that one's too easy. I'll leave it for someone else.

This sometimes caused him trouble, since unknown parties would occasionally retaliate by scratching the car with their keys.

You know, when your car gets keyed multiple times there comes a point where you should start realizing that the problem might not lie with the key-er so much as the key-ee.

But then I remember Jobs as depicted (many say accurately) in Pirates of Silicon Valley, so it doesn't really surprise me.

So according to this article: Steve Jobs was a rich asshole who proved that if you have enough money, you can live above the Law.

And now he's a dead rich asshole (albeit, probably a lot less rich now).
*shrug*

Uh, cool?

Greg Tito:
In response, Steve Jobs just shrugged. Think Different.

With his money everyone could. :)

I'd be more amused by this if it wasn't for the handicapped space parking part. Exploiting a loophole like that is a bit funny (although probably impractical: having to swap cars every 6th months and probably getting pulled over by police on multiple occasions), but taking handicapped spaces? I think it's fair to say he is (or was, rather) an asshole over that.

Parking in handicap spaces, not cool man, not cool.....

putting a license plate on your car is too mainstream.

Jandau:
That... is a huge waste of money. I mean, sure, he had the money to waste, but still... Two top of the line Mercedes a year? That's some serious cash right there, even if he sells the "expired" models...

"Jobs made a deal with his LEASING company to get a new silver Mercedes SL55 AMG every six months"

Leasing is renting, so he wouldn't own them to sell, also he wouldn't be spending money to buy a new one they would probably just switch out the six month old car to some other client of the leasing company and give Jobs one of the new ones they had.

8-Bit_Jack:

Adam Jensen:
So he was a genius, and an eccentric troll?

yes.

long answer: yes, and bill gates is a genius and the nicest bastard on the planet.
According to my information, Einstein was a genius and costumed vigilante

....and here I thought Einstein couldn't get any cooler.

How is this news?

This just in!
Steve Jobs has always been an arse.

I'm not exactly surprised. He was probably buried in the handicapped slot.

So we're done with the blind praise of a man who probably had very little impact on the "revolutionary" products he's attributed to creating? Alright, fine, but it certainly seems rather schizophrenic when you then start digging up dirt on him.

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