Project Nine Gets A Name

Following in the footsteps of our glorious ancestors, it’s time to bestow an official name on one of my most prized possessions, my Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.

I can’t speak for other regions, but in Australia at least, this sacred naming ritual requires the successful completion of one critical ceremony: The customary ‘fitting’ of the personalized number plates.


Customised number plates have been adding the finish touch to Australian vehicles for almost as long as the good people of this fine nation have used petrol power to navigate our vast continent.

My first contact with custom plates came at a young age. I’d successfully managed to convince my father at a garage sale that 50 pre-loved Street Machine magazines from the early ’80s wouldn’t cause a potential fire hazard, or be strewn around my room. They weren’t junk, they were an investment.


To me at least, a local car doesn’t look finished without a set of plates that make a statement about either the build, or the person behind the steering wheel.

It’s a funny thing, because I’m traditionally more of a follower of the function over form philosophy when pushed to take sides. It’s not lost on me that vanity plates are a completely useless addition to a car, but perhaps instead of trying to explain myself further I’ll simply blame my petrol-inspired upbringing.


So without any further ado, I proudly present to you THE-009, or The Nine. Sure, it’s not a very creative name, but does it really have to be?

I spent weeks deliberating and annoying close friends and family with at least 100 alternatives. The Nine actually ranked quite low amongst them, but I kept coming back to it.


Ultimately, my car is being built to please one person: Me. I’ve been affectionately referring to my Evolution IX as The Nine since taking ownership. It’s a simple title but it feels right; what could be more important than that?

Matthew Everingham
Instagram: matthew_everingham



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Yea end of the day, the car, is your own gratification, you are quite free to do whatever what pleases you. There will always be people who will have no-so-nice things to say; you can't please everyone.

Interestingly, your plate reminds me of Cyborg 009.


Damn right


hübsch. und auch noch aus der Gegend


Danke. :) Woher kommst du denn und was fährst du? ^_^

Matthew Everingham

Very clean!


Same to you, Sir :)

If you mind, some more of my S13:


I'll be honest. I don't care that it's not a creative name. I'm just concerned that this was deemed worthy of a dedicated article on SH.

This would have been fine as a side note in a bigger story. I'd rather have the less frequent but quality content that sets SH apart imo.

Matthew Everingham

It's a mini article at best. What can I say, I was excited to share something that was important to me.


Agent 009. Welcome Aboard.


It's definitely double oh nine, isn't it..

Chris Colouryum

What an odd speedhunters post. Missed an opportunity to do some journalist research and look at vanity plates around the world and all the different laws surrounding them, that would have made for an interesting read.


Not really an "odd speedhunters post" when its about the latest update on Project Nine.


No offense, I always thought naming the car is corny. I am around people who name their computer builds cringeworthy titles lol, and so now when I see people naming stuff I kinda chuckle.

Matthew Everingham

No offence taken, not even if you chuckle at me.

If I had grown up anywhere else I would probably do the same. :p


But we got kick-ass pictures of a great car, and that's SH's best features too!




Tough crowd, I think its a worthy article! Vanity plates are something personal and important to a car. It may not be the most creative, but I does stick in my head, I like it! THE 9.

I got my plate because I wanted something different for the car, random numbers and letters are boring. While thinking of ideas a friend came up with a suggestion that I thought was funny and couldn't get out of my head. I ended up buying it just for fun, even the grumpy registry lady laughed.
I didn't realize it would have such an impact... it's weird how many people know it. People started calling my car by the plate, I made it the name I do photography under. Sometimes people even refer to me by the plate if they're unsure of my name lol.

Matthew Everingham

It all sounds similar to Australia. Many cars here, and even drivers are known by their plates rather than their real names. It's pretty funny when you think about it.




Cool insight to some Australian car culture customs! Here in the states we (well me) HATE front plates. Everyone else I know that has a cool car doesn't use a front plate either. In Texas, it is law to have one and I've been without one since 2001 LOL. Never been sited for it either on all of the cars I've had. Thanks for sharing!


Matthew Everingham

I'd prefer the cleaner look of no plate on the front too. If I drove around without a front plate I'd get pulled over and given a hefty fine within a week, possibly two if I'm very lucky. In New South Wales the police and road tolling use number plates to check up on everyone. If you commute to work on the freeways you'll almost always see a cop car scanning traffic. They scan for cars that out of registration, attached to unlicensed drivers and people with warrents. Big Brother is here.


I never ran front plates here in Colorado til I got pulled over for it a couple of times. It hurt to put them on and admit defeat.


I feel you. I just run it offset now bolted straight to the bumper. At the time i was getting pulled over for exhaust noise (blown muffler), colored lights (borderline blue but more violet), and the plate. One of the cops that pulled me over said if I had my front plate I wouldn't get stopped as much and so far the advice held up.


I'm in CO as well. Been pulled over twice with no ticket, and neither cop could give me a good reason for the law. I just say I don't have a bracket. It's not going on.


Ouch, sorry to hear that!



That first picture of the reflection is easily 11/10

Matthew Everingham

Thank you :)


Can't argue with the name, yours is simple and effective :) Love it!
Mine speaks about the best place on earth to thrash a car for me, and a place where I've been so many times with my other track toy! And it also is a very easy way to "select" people in conversations, if they "get it", then I know I'm gonna like them lol


Know the feeling about vanity plates. Most of my friends give me such a hard time about having JZX100 as my plate on my chaser but hey at least its honest i suppose!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I will call you double-O-9 from now on

Matthew Everingham

I'm ok with this.
My previous car was an Evo 7 with the plates EVL-007.
"U WOT M8, You some kinda evil James Bond?" Again, I was ok with this. :p


To quote Slipknot, "the time of the nine has begun."


Coincidentally there's also a song by rapper Tech N9ne called "00N9na".


yes! that plate reminds me of james bond. cant wait to see whats going to go into this build, and so true, build for yourself.
my plates got the InitialD reference.

Matthew Everingham

That's one mighty fine lookin' automobile!
Well played. Very cool, Emperor!


Customization is not about pleasing others, nor is it about following what other people's list of modification. It's about expressing oneself with what you like. People may hate what you did *cough cough* eye lashes on headlights *cough cough*, but you're not spending their money and it's not their car.

"THE 009" isn't so appealing at first, but it sounds "The One (and Only)", which isn't a bad name at all.


I'm going to call it Double Oh Nine. Also, you kind of have to wear a suit while driving the car now. And you also have to carry some weird pen-gun, along with some other cool secret agent gadgets when you're in the car. Also, your next mission is to eliminate Ethan Hunt.


The phrase that always sticks out in my mind hearing that is attributed to "to be dressed to the nines". So that certainly strikes a pretty good chord with me.


Seriously? Stock car and this deserves and article? what a cheap way to boost your ego.... but what ego? a stock evo 9? Seriously? Whats happened to SH?


Are you serious? First you delete my posts because you can't hack a few comments? Why did you even post this article if all you will do is filter out comments that you want to see?

The article is ridiculous, a stock evo 9 with "JDM" plates, you should have stuck to JDMST kiddo.

Grow up, if you can't handle comments maybe you shouldn't post publicly

Matthew Everingham

I can see your other post below. :) Nothing's been deleted to my knowledge. Sometimes comments take a while to appear to help us block spam.

The point of my documenting my build isn't to show off how awesome my car is, nor how cool I am. It's to share the adventure of modifying what's currently a fairly stock Evo (220kwaw) and finding a balance between a reliable daily and a capable weekend track hack. If the story started with a monster it'd be a short journey.

If you're more interested in the bigger,wilder builds there's still plenty of those on Speedhunters. If you're not interested in what Project Nine is about, that's cool, just click the following story.


I really want a set of those for my EP3R but just can't justify the initial cost (I think was $300 all up for the first year) and then yearly cost on top of $1000 registration and 3rd party insurance each year, add $700 for comprehensive insurance and it's a lot of money just to be on the road, and other states are much cheaper for plates, New South Wales is the worst. Years ago it was just a once off fee for most plates and no yearly cost. But I do like your choice, and yes, Agent 009 springs to mind first! A story about the costs and process of plates around the world would make for a good post too.


US does it too. I could never wait until it's done though. It's Never done.


Noticed a neat looking evo parked among a see of cars out at the plaza a while ago. It was sporting THE009 plates, that week I had glanced over this article and instantly recognised it. Sticks in your mind, reads well I'd say it was a good choice.