Unlike most of y’all, I think dealer badges and plate frames are cool. It’s late and I need to wind down, so let’s talk about them.

I have a closeup screenshot of the dealer sticker for Marietta Toyota on my 2012 Toyota RAV4 Limited. After six years, including two years of parking outside, the sticker still looks good. It’s simple, well-made, and it’s also in an excellent spot. This has also been Marietta Toyota’s logo my entire life, and the old-school Toyota font just adds some retro charm. The spot the sticker is located, which is above an indentation above the Toyota logo, just screams “Dealer, please put your name here!” Add the white, easy-to-read font, and I think the car would look bad without the sticker.

I can’t find a photo or a clip from one of my YouTube videos, but my mom’s 2016 Honda CR-V is how NOT to place a dealer badge. Most CR-V’s are front wheel drive, so dealers such as Hennessy and Ed Voyles placed their simple stickers where the AWD badge would be on the other side. This looks neat and symmetrical. My mom’s CR-V, from AutoNation, has AWD, but the dealer sticker is right below the CR-V badge. Yeah... To my dismay, my mom threw the pink Drive Pink plate frame in recycling because she thought it was stupid, on the day recycling ran. I was at school. Two years later and I’m still upset. However, the sticker is on the back, and this is special for two reasons: one, most AutoNation cars don’t have gel stickers anymore, just plate frames. And two, this sticker says “AutoNation Honda Thornton Road” instead of a generic AutoNation. We could’ve bought it used from a Toyota dealer in Texas if it just said “AutoNation”, but I’ve seen very few other cars with an AutoNation badge that also has the specific dealer. That’s pretty cool, I think.

The other two cars in my family are special for other reasons. They aren’t badges, but plate frames. My dad has a frame for Marietta Scion on his xB; with Scion gone, this is pretty unique. It’s like plate frames for Saturn dealers and other defunct names. My sister’s Rogue (purchased 10 years ago yesterday, by the way) has the very faded Team frame on the back. Team is what AutoNation was called in Atlanta until 2013 or so, so with many cars of that era likely traded in or debadged, Team frames are a rare sight today. Because it’s so faded, I’m tempted to take it off and keep it around for myself.

I love badges for dealer chains that don’t exist anymore, like Bill Heard and the AutoNation subsidiaries. Even chains like CarMax do a good job of dealer badging; the logo is simple and so is the plate frame. They aren’t like cars from California and Ontario, which seem to have giant plate frames that cover the whole license plates. That’s NOT how to do branding.

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I could go on a long time with this, but I just needed to get this out there. Please have a good night, y’all.