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Henk
07-27-2006, 05:40 PM
We recently obtained a 1952 Commander and are having trouble locating the VIN number. It is not on the door posts, fire wall or wheel wells. Any suggestions where to look on the frame or any other area? We need VIN number in order to register car in state of CT. We know the VIN number as listed on Bill of Sale, but needs to be verified on the body. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

mbstude
07-27-2006, 06:06 PM
Have you looked right up under the top driver side door hinge? It could be there. But I think that on 52 Commanders, they were riveted on the driver door post.
What body style is your Commander? If it's a HT, I have a parts car... (Well, grandad also has 2 other 52 HT's and one Convertible parts car as well).

Matthew Burnette, the 16 year old Stude nut. Hazlehurst, Georgia
63 Daytona HT
51 2R16 dump truck
52 Commander Starliner (will trade for another Stude <g>)

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j209/mbstude/avatar.jpg

StudeRich
07-27-2006, 07:50 PM
The "secret" car Serial number is supposed to be on the rear flange of the rear frame crossmember near the center(may be on front flange)Of course after 50 years of rust, good luck reading it. Try wire brushing the bottom side of flanges. That is the only other serial number on the car, besides the one on the body, forward side of driver's door latch post(it was riveted on with 2 rivets 1 in. from floor), which apparently has been removed from your car. However, prior to 1955 most states used the engine numbers for a "VIN. NUMBER". And that could be a problem if you no longer have the original or any engine!:( If you let us know what the "VIN" # is, we can tell you if it is a car Serial,or Eng.# !:D Hope this helps, Rich. :)


quote:Originally posted by Henk

We recently obtained a 1952 Commander and are having trouble locating the VIN number. It is not on the door posts, fire wall or wheel wells. Any suggestions where to look on the frame or any other area? We need VIN number in order to register car in state of CT. We know the VIN number as listed on Bill of Sale, but needs to be verified on the body. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


StudeRich
Studebakers Northwest
Ferndale, WA

Roscomacaw
07-27-2006, 08:35 PM
As Rich says, tell us what numbers on the paperwork and we can tell you if it's the engine number or the serial number.
For '52, there was a little plate held to the door jamb, up about 3 inches from the sill plate and well below the striker. That serial# is what passes for a VIN nowdays.
BUT - as Rich pointed out, they used the engine number to register cars thru the early 50s. A Commander engine number should start with a "V" followed by some numerals. That number would be STAMPED (not embossed) into the metal of the block - back near the hole where the distributor mount fits into the block.

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

mbstude
07-27-2006, 09:09 PM
If the engine is still in the car, here's where to find it. Note: The number is Stamped, not raised.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j209/mbstude/engine.jpg

Matthew Burnette, the 16 year old Stude nut. Hazlehurst, Georgia
63 Daytona HT
51 2R16 dump truck
52 Commander Starliner (will trade for another Stude <g>)

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j209/mbstude/avatar.jpg

Alan
07-27-2006, 09:14 PM
52's should be in the back by the dist. But he should tell us at least the first few numbers of the VIN so we know where to go. It would start with a V123001 to V207000. If it used the Tag on the door frame it would be 8217001 to 829000 for SB or 8816001 to 8826800 for LA or 8954001 to 8955400 for Canada

mbstude
07-27-2006, 09:16 PM
Really? Didn't know that. Obviously, the pic is of a later engine, hence the fual pump. I thought all Stude V8's had the # up front. [?]

Matthew Burnette, the 16 year old Stude nut. Hazlehurst, Georgia
63 Daytona HT
51 2R16 dump truck
52 Commander Starliner (will trade for another Stude <g>)

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j209/mbstude/avatar.jpg

studegary
07-27-2006, 09:52 PM
quote:Originally posted by mbstude

Really? Didn't know that. Obviously, the pic is of a later engine, hence the fual pump. I thought all Stude V8's had the # up front. [?]

Matthew Burnette, the 16 year old Stude nut. Hazlehurst, Georgia




Matthew - At 16 it is good to realize that you are still learning and that there is a lot to learn, even just about Studebakers <G,G>. I am older than your grandfather and I am still learning.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY
1954 Commander Starliner (restomod)
1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)

Dwain G.
07-28-2006, 12:37 AM
The serial number plate could be on the door lock post (B pillar) or on the door hinge post (A pillar). It was moved late in the 1952 model year.
http://home.comcast.net/~jdwain/serial.plate.jpg

Dwain G.

52hawk
07-28-2006, 09:18 AM
54 and still learning-or,trying to!!
Come to think of it,the 2 52's I've owned had the serial # plate in different spots.
[one on the hinge pillar,the other was on the latch pillar]Now I know why.
MB -keep that picture handy,you know this comes up often. I tried to take the same pic,but it didn't come out well.Yours will make it easy for people to find the engine # on the later v-8s!!
LaSalle,Il
61Hawk
60Lark

Henk
07-28-2006, 09:55 AM
Reference: Location of VIN #

Thanks to all who responded. My VIN # is V167703. Body style is 3HC52030. The previous owner had owned the car since 1983. He indicated to me that the engine is a 1953 rather than a 1952. I don't know if that makes a difference.

Henk

Alan
07-28-2006, 10:22 AM
Hank, The VIN number is the engine number and if he changed the engine to a 53 the number is in the front like Matt's pic. and will not be the same unless they ground off the 53 number and stamped the old number in. You are going to have fun, going to the DMV is more fun than a root cannal unless you are in to B&D S&M.

Henk
07-28-2006, 12:02 PM
Thanks Allan for the encouraging words.

52hawk
07-28-2006, 01:16 PM
Henk,let us know what state you live in,maybe someone can come up with some knowledge of your states DMV habits or rules.

LaSalle,Il
61Hawk
60Lark

mbstude
07-28-2006, 02:27 PM
quote:Matthew - At 16 it is good to realize that you are still learning and that there is a lot to learn, even just about Studebakers <G,G>.
:D;)


quote:MB -keep that picture handy,you know this comes up often. I tried to take the same pic,but it didn't come out well.Yours will make it easy for people to find the engine # on the later v-8s!!


I'm gonna keep it on file. Google is your friend...

Matthew Burnette, the 16 year old Stude nut. Hazlehurst, Georgia
63 Daytona HT
51 2R16 dump truck
52 Commander Starliner (will trade for another Stude <g>)

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j209/mbstude/avatar.jpg

Henk
07-28-2006, 03:46 PM
I live in CT. Have been told by DMV that I must have proof of the VIN number on the car itself, not just on the paper work.

KGlowacky
07-28-2006, 03:57 PM
How about getting a repo plate and stamping whatever number that appears on the title? If need be throw the new plate around in a bucket of bolts to make it look old before you install it. Good Luck. I can't believe the DMV is going to know enough about a 52 stude to call you on this.

Guido
07-28-2006, 04:46 PM
quote:Originally posted by KGlowacky

I can't believe the DMV is going to know enough about a 52 stude to call you on this.
If I was cheap and living dangerously, I would just license one of my trucks and interchange the data plate and tags depending on what I was driving. How is some 25 year old state trooper going to know the difference between a '55, '57, '61 or '62 Stude "C" cab truck anyway? (Kinda sounds like a Johnny Cash song, doesn't it)?

Guido Salvage - "Where rust is beautiful"

1946 M-16 fire truck
1948 M-16 grain truck
1949 2R16A grain truck
1949 2R17A fire truck
1955 E-38 grain truck
1957 3E-40 flatbed
1961 6E-28 grain truck
1962 7E-13D 4x4 rack truck
1962 7E-7 Champ pickup
1962 GT Hawk 4 speed
1964 Avanti R2 4 speed
1964 Cruiser
And various other "treasures"
Hiding and preserving Studebakers in Richmond & Louisa, Va.

mbstude
07-28-2006, 05:08 PM
quote:(Kinda sounds like a Johnny Cash song, doesn't it)?


You got tail fins on one side of it? :D

Matthew Burnette, the 16 year old Stude nut. Hazlehurst, Georgia
63 Daytona HT
51 2R16 dump truck
52 Commander Starliner (will trade for another Stude <g>)

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j209/mbstude/avatar.jpg

Roscomacaw
07-28-2006, 05:15 PM
Henk writes: "Reference: Location of VIN #

Thanks to all who responded. My VIN # is V167703. Body style is 3HC52030. The previous owner had owned the car since 1983. He indicated to me that the engine is a 1953 rather than a 1952. I don't know if that makes a difference. "

Henk,
Your VIN# proves this car was registered using the engine number. That V prefix is the proof of that. Sadly, for you, if the previous owner DID swap in a '53 vintage engine, the number will fall in the sequence of numbers acknowledged as assigned to '53s. Accordingly, the engine number WILL be located where Matt's picture indicates. Of course, it won't do you much good since it won't match the VIN # on your car's registration. IF you're willing, you could use a letter-number set of stamps to carefully stamp that VIN # at the back of your Commander's engine block - back where it SHOULD be on a 52 model. It would take one DAMNED savvy DMV veteran to know better as the '53 V8 is virtually the exact same as a '52 V8. [}:)]
We could provide you with a scan of the front page from a parts book that describes the location of the engine number on a '52.
You might wanna grind away the '53 number just to be on the safe side, but if your engine's kinda grimy (a trait not unfamiliar with Stude V8s:(), it might be noticable to a DMV doo-bie when you pointed to THE right number at the rear of the block.;)

Another route to take would be to get a proper serial # plate as would be found on the door jamb. Devise a number from the run of '52 Commander serial numbers and mark the plate accordingly. Then pay the $140 bucks to one of the title services to get a clear title for the number you've chosen. You can then take THAT title to your DMV and have the car registered to you all right 'n proper.:D

What's the chances you'd devise a number of a '52 Commander that still exists? I'd think pretty darned slim. If it REALLY worried you, you might find a Commander hulk someplace and scavenge it's ID.[:I]

You know - it just occurred to me that this should be on the shoulders of the seller. He sold you a car under the pretense of it having clear paperwork (I assume[B)]) IF that's the case, he ought to be the one running interfereance on this matter. - Just something else to consider.[:I]

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

KGlowacky
07-28-2006, 05:27 PM
Mr. Biggs, wouldn't the easiest be just to stamp the motor number on a new plate and go with it. As the current title paperwork would support this. And everyone but us Stude nuts would not know the diff. or I am missing something?? Just asking.

Michidan
07-28-2006, 05:30 PM
I'll chime in, sure seems along the lines of my recent experience.

I got my 52 (late model with door jamb plate) from auction at Studebaker national museum. Becuase the vehicle was donated sometime in the 80's - without title - the SNM titled it in Indiana with their own invented number!
They just stamped a number on a cheapie plate and glued it right over the original door jamb plate. It looked like a tag on a bowling trophy, really cheezy. The new "invented" VIM even had the leters IND in it for Indiana. After purchased I titled in Michigan with this bogus number.

Well of course in the 9 years that my car has been coming back alive that stupid plate has fallen off and been lost. Michigan DMV does have a process to correct title mistakes. And I just used this to get my 52 re-titled with the proper VIN, which has been on the door this whole time.
A trooper has to stop by and check the car, run the VIN, and fill out the form. Sure enough a young guy who was more than happy to do it. He ran the VIN through MI and IN to check while right in the cruiser. It came back clean, so now after a 20 year hiatus my car has the proper title once again.

Moral of the story, you should be able to get the DMV to recognize whatever VIN you want if you show them the plate, either a repo or a scavenged one.

Don't pick my VIN - still using it!

Dan
52 hardtop

Roscomacaw
07-28-2006, 05:47 PM
KGlowacky writes: "Mr. Biggs, wouldn't the easiest be just to stamp the motor number on a new plate and go with it. As the current title paperwork would support this. And everyone but us Stude nuts would not know the diff. or I am missing something?? Just asking."

I guess that would be easiest. And you might be right about it never being caught by anyone but us Stude nuts. Maybe....
Further, if as Michidan says, CT's DMV is that accomodating - then going about it the right way would make sense too.
But SOME states AREN'T as easy to work with. And even at that, some that should be easy to work with cqan be taciturn given whichever office you walk into! I hear about horror stories all the time as relates to cars here in California, yet our local DMV (no one-horse operation either) has always worked with me and even bent the rules a bit when I whined with respect.:D
Yeah - sure - get a plate, bang a number on it and walk in like you don't know no better. STILL, IF they wanna verify or make a stink, you could be in for a passle of trouble up to and including criminal charges.
I seriously doubt Henk is trying to pull a fast one for the purpose of profit or gain. (If he is, he's chosen the wrong make to pull such a stunt on![8])
A set of number/letter stamps is cheap from Harbor Freight. Even if you only used them ONCE, you'd be ahead. And it's probably easier to stamp that VIN number into the block, back by the distributor than finding some phony plate and stamping a bogus Serial number onto it and glueing it to the door jamb.[}:)]

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

KGlowacky
07-28-2006, 07:02 PM
OK,OK,OK, I am NOT suggesting to do something illegal. I base my answer on the fact the title and car are legal and stamping the incorrect block or a incorrect plate is equal. I believe the title is the key to this discussion. Again the title is legal therefor there really is no problem. The data plate's are being repo'd so that can't be a illegal act. The only draw back to the plate is it is suppose to have the serial number on it instead of the title number. But I will bet that most states DMV will raise their eyebrows a great deal more on a car that comes in with a title # that matches motor and not the data serial number. I know it can be all explained in about more time then most people have. Again I think stamping the motor is a great solution but I also think stamping a repo plate also will be acceptable. I have read on this form that in the 50's some cars where titled under the serial number and some under the motor number, mine happens to be under the serial number. Mr. Biggs I hope we can agree that this is an owners decision and what ever way they choose is best for them.

Alan
07-28-2006, 07:11 PM
Or Hank can go back to the frame clean off the rust and undercoat and get the numbers off the frame and get the paperwork from the Studebaker archives which would have the motor number too. Then get a state trooper to verify the numbers. Some people at the DMV are nice and then there are the ones I run into.

Dwain G.
07-28-2006, 07:21 PM
I think I would two things as a first step. Find the number on the present engine and confirm whether it matches the title or not. Maybe, just maybe, it will have a blank machined area. Also, a copy of the build order might be good ammo to take to the DMV with you, because at least the car serial number will match. It will won't it? Did you find the serial number plate? Build orders can only be ordered by car serial number.

Dwain G.

KGlowacky
07-28-2006, 07:35 PM
Ok, my last post. My understanding is there is no serial data plate. Therefor at this point he does not know the serial number. To do this 100% correct I suggest the following. Go to back of the frame and hopefully obtain the correct serial number, then go get the build order sheet fron SDC, Then get a repo plate and stamp the SERIAL Number on it and install it. Now go stamp the engine with the correct title/Engine number. Now you are 100% factory correct. I'll still bet the DMV will question the motor number matching the title instead of the serial number. Any takers?????

Henk
07-31-2006, 11:20 AM
Thanks to all of you who relied to my delemma. You are correct...there's no serial plate on the body. I will look in the "secret" location on the rear cross member. If I can't find it, I will go with the engine number. I've since found out that the engine # on the paper work is the engine # stamped on the engine. I'm sure that the CT DMV and I will work through this process. Again, I tthank you all for your suggestions and responses. I'm very pleased with all the responses I've gotten and hope to continue corresponding with you all.

KGlowacky
07-31-2006, 03:38 PM
Ok , One more reponse. Since your engine number matches your title you should be good to go. Now you can get a repo plate and stamp the serial number (the one you find on the frame) on it and attach it to the door and your orig. correct. Good Luck and let us know how it goes with the DMV.