When it comes time to instally your plates, a little trip to Pep Boys can make it look nice and clean.
I don't like the look of exposed metal edges so I got some flexible rubber license plate frames. They are slim so they don't have any words, diamond plate, fake chain or cartoon characters.
The front license plate holder has a curve to it so I bent the plate gently over my knee. I made the bend tighter than the curve of the holder which then flattens out to match when the fasteners are tightened. The flexible frame works really well for this. The rear is flat, no bend required.
For fasteners I got a kit that has stainless security torx screws and also a set of screw cover caps. If you use the caps, make sure you remember the little plastic washers that retain the caps.
After a few $ and a few minutes I think I have my plates looking about as good as they can and the security fasteners protect the plates too.
I might spray paint the fastener caps white to match my plates but that's about the only thing left to do.
And the hardware was stainless with the security head. I bought the universal kit and only used 20% of it.
To make it easy, each plate needs two of the coarse thread large diameter fasteners that looks like a wood screw. It might be possible to use four fasteners and the small fine thread fasteners but it would take some work.
If you go that route, one package of four fastener caps will cover up everything.
I probably spent $35 on everything but from what I know now, I could do it for about $20.
This photo kind of shows the curve of the front plate holder. Its pretty gentle but a flat plate would highlight it.
The next photo shows the effect of the flexible plate frame, it is a snug fit in the clips at the bottom but it effectively covers the edge of the plate. I'm not quite as happy with the fastener caps, I think they need some white paint to blend in.
Yeah, I think Ford figures that dealers will throw in a license plate frame for advertising so there is no point to do more than the minimum of giving us a place to bolt a plate.
I cringe when I see some of the crap that people install on their cars. I just wanted a clean look that blends with the car and I think I got it in the front.
In the back, I'm starting to think a white frame would blend more since the paint is Oxford White. Any other color and I think the black is about as good as it gets (it would be perfect on a Tuxedo Black car).
I just saw the FSwerks SEMA show car and I really like the subtle treatment of their car, especially at the back:
They blacked out the license plate area, added Mountune winglets (in black) and the black sticker on the side of the wing.
I think a similar treatment on my car would look nice and minimize the appearance of the license plate because the black urethane rim would blend in with the black. The addition of black winglets would tie the look together with the black in the rear bumper area. I'm not 100% sure that the wing stickers are a good idea.
Any way, I think its a nice clean look without being over the top at all.