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  • Cowl Tags, Serial Numbers, Interpretations, etc.

    In another thread (http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...TOPIC_ID=24387) Mr Bob Palma offered up this information :

    quote:Originally posted by BobPalma

    quote:Originally posted by laughinlark
    Like Bob mentioned it is a Custom model. It was originally a 6 cyl so its a F2. I don't have the production order yet but it is a radio delete car with the Custom trim.[?] Gordon
    [:0] Easy, Gordon; F2 would be a cheapie 1963 Lark Standard. Your 1963 Lark Custom is an F6 regardless of engine, because the digit 6 indicates trim level, not engine.

    Look at the stamped metal cowl tag under your car's hood, right above where the passenger's toes would be pointing when they were seated. If your car is a six cylinder, the top line of the tag should read 63S-F6.

    Below that will be the sequential body number of where your car's body was among all the 1963 six-cylinder Lark Custom 2-door bodies built, beginning with 101. For example, if the number below 63S-F6 is 286, it means your car's body was the 186th (starts at 101, remember) 1963 Lark Custom Six 2-door body built.

    However, it doesn't mean it was exactly the 186th 1963 Lark Custom 6 2-door to have been manufactured. Bodies were chosen at random for the production line, so it could have been used for the 173rd car built...or maybe the 188th. All you know is it's the 186th body built. It could be the 186th 1963 Lark Custom Six 2-door manufactured, but not necessarily. BP
    Now I am quite sure that this has been explained to death (and some are justifiably tired of the subject), but I'd like to ask a few more questions - and I may not be the only one who wants to learn all the gory details.

    I understand everything you have said, Bob, but let me see if I understnad the broader implications. My cowl tag says: 63V J8 175 and as I understand it it tells me the year, the engine (cylinders), the body style, the trim level and the sequenced body number (starting at 101). So my car is a 1963 (Lark) V8, Hardtop, Daytona, #75.

    My first inquiry is: this means it is the 75th of that engine/body/trim combo - so that means that in the back of the warehouse where the bodies were stored pre-production that they already had the engine and trim assigned? That seems a little strange to me - various pockets of body/engine/trim levels awaiting assembly - rather than body styles separated and then engines and trim assigned later.

    The second area of question is in regards to how to identify which number off the line a particular car is. My Serial Number is 63V 2096. Does this mean it is within the first 2,000 of all 63 (Lark) V8s? Is there any way to tell how a particular car fell within ALL models and engines - all Hawks, Larks, Avantis, trucks (were they built at the same plant?) V8s and straight 6s?

    Before some fall into the "geez, what does it matter!" frame of mind; I am a data geek - a few months ago, I asked Bob why no one had logged all build sheets into a database for ease of research!

    Lastly, I appreciate any time spent explaining and discussing.

    --george




    1963 Lark Daytona HT - 63V J8 175

  • #2
    Your car is the 75th J body built for 1963 V-8 production, George; it has nothing to do with the car's ultimate color. It does have to do with its trim level (8), but not the color of the trim, either.

    The choice of engine had not yet been determined when the body was built; only that it would be a V-8. It could have been a 180HP 259 or a 289 HP R2 or anything in between.

    Yes, your sequential serial number (door post tag) of 63V2096 indicates it was within the first 2,000 V-8 cars produced other than trucks and Avantis. 63V2097 could have been a Hawk or a Regal V-8 Wagonaire; there's no way of knowing without paying the fee and going through production records one by one.

    The very next car off the line after yours could have been a six, for that matter, but it might have been 63S3112!

    As for why they did it that way, I don't profess to know. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Since Avantis were built on a special line...did they have sequential numbers?

      63 Avanti R1 2788
      1914 Stutz Bearcat
      (George Barris replica)

      Washington State
      63 Avanti R1 2788
      1914 Stutz Bearcat
      (George Barris replica)

      Washington State

      Comment


      • #4
        Well George there IS the Line Number! On your Production order, you will find that. The only trouble there is, I am not sure if we fully know how that worked i.e. did it include all 6's and 8's? Did it include both lines? What about the Convertibles that were built over at the Truck Plant? I would think it would include ALL, but do not actually KNOW!
        By comparing Prod. Orders as we have done a few times here, much can be learned from the line number vs Serial # and build date. [:0]

        You do understand why they can not be put on line right? It's about the money! The SNM depends on that cash flow to help keep the place running, and last I heard the estate of the person who "donated" them must be paid a portion for each copy sold.

        quote:Originally posted by ClaymoreWW

        /Cut/Is there any way to tell how a particular car fell within ALL models and engines - all Hawks, Larks, Avantis, trucks (were they built at the same plant?) V8s and straight 6s?/Cut/

        StudeRich at Studebakers Northwest -Ferndale,WA
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks, everyone - yes, I do understand (although I don't think I asked about color! )

          --george

          1963 Lark Daytona HT - 63V J8 175

          Comment


          • #6
            Since I collect body tags, I've seen a fair number of them thru the years. One that I would really like to have was one that John Myer showed me over 20 years ago. It was for a 63 Daytona hardtop and read:

            63V-J8
            1963

            1957 Transtar 1/2ton
            1963 Cruiser
            1960 Larkvertible V8
            1958 Provincial wagon
            1953 Commander coupe
            1957 President two door

            No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

            Comment


            • #7
              Wow, clear as mud.
              Let me get this a little clearer. Georges car is 63 V J8 175. Very early body,#175 which could have been 6 or 8 when made as a hard top? Were the sedans ect bodies also started at #101. Example 63 V F6 175 ?
              Then the vin# tells the rest of the story?

              Gordon

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by laughinlark Wow, clear as mud. Not to most of us!
                Let me get this a little clearer. Georges car is 63 V J8 175. Very early body,#175 which could have been 6 or 8 when made as a hard top?
                No it could not! It was assigned 63 "V", so no chance of a "6"!
                Were the sedans ect bodies also started at #101. Example 63 V F6 175 ? Yes, the body number is within the exact type of car: 2 Dr. Sedan 8 Cyl. and Trim level (Custom). Same simple system for all body types.
                Then the vin # tells the rest of the story? No, it tells ALL of the story, the body number means nothing as to the build sequence, mearly id's the type of body and sequence on the body line, not final line since they mixed the older ones with the newer ones!
                So when a V-8 Engine, Trans. Brakes and rear axle frame came down the line, the Production Order and other docs like the inspection record card. created from it, told them how the car should be, so they knew they needed to select a Red Daytona Hardtop Body for it, but if it had a 4 speed streamer on the body tag it would have a hole in the floor so it went on the frame with the 4 speed

                I hope this helps those of you who did not "grow up" with these cars to understand.

                StudeRich
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks, StudeRich; my fingers were getting tired! BP
                  We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                  Ayn Rand:
                  "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                  G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    quote:Originally posted by StudeRich

                    Well George there IS the Line Number! On your Production order, you will find that. The only trouble there is, I am not sure if we fully know how that worked i.e. did it include all 6's and 8's? Did it include both lines? <snip>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Uh.... just a minit.....I remember seeing a Hawk (year not remembered) at Winks a couple of years ago with the body tag no. 7. One digit. What happened with 'start at 101?'

                      [img=left]http://www.alink.com/personal/tbredehoft/Avatar1.jpg[/img=left]
                      Tom Bredehoft
                      '53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
                      '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
                      (Under Construction 564 hrs.)
                      '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
                      All Indiana built cars

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Body tag and serial number interpretation would make an ideal article (or series) for Turning Wheels.
                        Is "A1956GoldenHawk" interested in helping?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          BP, as per earlier discussion twixt you and me - I have been under the impression that it was 1964 that body numbers started at 101.
                          While I've not been able to RE-locate that nugget of info, it SEEMS like I read it in an article by Fred Fox.

                          BTW, I've got a photo of body tag #1 on a '41 Commander Land Cruiser. That car lives in the Los Angeles area.

                          1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                          1963 Cruiser
                          1960 Larkvertible V8
                          1958 Provincial wagon
                          1953 Commander coupe
                          1957 President two door

                          No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Biggs, you've seen many more cars than have I over the years, but I've never seen a one or two digit body tag on a '59 or up Lark & Hawk. Doesn't mean they don't exist, I just haven't seen a legit one.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I haven't seen a later tag of that sort myself. I DO have body tags for 64 Challengers wearing body # 102 and 104. I think maybe 107 too.
                              I pointed out to BP that the late parts catalogs use an example of a 64 body tag to explain the deciphering, only it's wrong![:0] The example uses the body number 150 and explains that such would indicate the 150th body of that style built. But 150 would actually be the 50th body built - given that the first would've been #101.[B)]

                              1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                              1963 Cruiser
                              1960 Larkvertible V8
                              1958 Provincial wagon
                              1953 Commander coupe
                              1957 President two door

                              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                              Comment

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