It was my bid that tipped it over the monkey...and that was me being generous!
I can't see plates becoming available for transfer without an MoT myself, too much potential revenue for DVLA to lose; I think they'll still stipulate a test for purposes of transfer even if the car is exempt. Also, is not the current revised proposal that exemption has to be applied for? We've yet to learn the process involved in that.
Whatever, the winning bid was 4 seconds before the close and was the bidders first foray; they certainly intended to win the car and highly unlikely to have been shill bidding...unless they are completely inept!
Also, the 'value' placed on plates by agencies are usually far higher than what they'll actually realise unless they actually spell something that someone wants to buy. The '£1900 value' of this plate is probably a blanket value applied to anything with a single number. At £1220 plus cost/effort of moving the car I doubt there's any margin in it at all.
DVLA don't earn anything from a plate being sold (unless THEY are selling it, but they only sell previously unissued plates) but they get the transfer fee from ALL sold plates, so this is just one more. I sold a single digit prefixed plate a little while ago (J3 xxx) it sold fairly quickly and netted me £475, so you may be right about "blanket" and real values.
This car won't even be tax exempt until April 1st this year at the earliest and that being the case it could have an MOT exemption in May. Or if the car was not built until 78 it will be April 2019 for both. But even in it's current state, there would be no way to now STOP someone insuring it, then getting the free tax and MOT exemption necessary for transfer of the plate off it. Who can say, but I have made a note of the reg and we shall see if it turns up for sale "restored" on ebay in 6 weeks time!