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Locating the Elusive "Hidden" serial number

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  • Frame / Springs: Locating the Elusive "Hidden" serial number

    I know, it's been covered before but, I have the photo that a member had taken long ago. Nice photo but not descriptive. I have searched numerous posts on the forum. It would seem that there is no consensus on the location. I have spent hours cleaning and inspecting the Rear frame cross-member. Yet, no joy. I made a drawing in MS Paint and I'll try to attach it.
    It is not a critical issue but, you know how it is. If it is there, I want to see it. I have cleaned the inside of the "U" channel / bottom of flange (rear) / rear face. Where is it?
    Car is 1956 Power Hawk. Any assistance is appreciated. Thanks. Bill G.

  • #2
    It's on the bottom of the flange, usually toward the center. I use sandpaper to lightly sand the flange surface till the VIN begins to appear, then lick my thumb and wipe it more. It usually becomes clear enough to read. I have never had a Stude I could not find the VIN on, though the stamping is often very light. Is your car extremely rusted there or something?

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    • #3
      Over the last 50 years I've owned dozens of Studebakers and presently have 3 and 2 Packards. I have never seen this mystical 'hidden serial no.'

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      • #4
        On my 52 Commander, it's on the front flange of the rear crossmember, pretty much in the middle, facing the ground. It's an Arizona car so I'm sure it was easier to find than most.

        Click image for larger version

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        3H-C5 "The Blue Goose"

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        • #5
          My 53 coupe is off center to drivers side on the bottom side of the rear flange. I find most by brushing with a hand held steel brush and then wiping down and rubbing on soapstone and then wiping down withhand

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          • #6
            Thanks to all respondents. I'll give it another go!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by gjamesk View Post
              On my 52 Commander, it's on the front flange of the rear crossmember, pretty much in the middle, facing the ground. It's an Arizona car so I'm sure it was easier to find than most.

              Click image for larger version

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              That is a Vernon (LA) assembled 1952 Commander.
              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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              • #8
                On a semi-unrelated topic, I know the location was changed from time to time. For instance, the hidden Serial Number in 1933 was on the right frame rail under the passenger door.
                It would be nice if there was a technical resource on the web site "Tech Tips" page that could reveal when and where these numbers were located, along with a couple photo examples. I would think the archives at the Museum could source this, unless it's information Mr. Quinn could easily roll straight from his mental hard drive.
                This subject comes up often enough it would be easy to simply reference that link, much as we do when we get inquiries about engine numbers and identification.
                "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                '33 Rockne 10,
                '51 Commander Starlight,
                '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                '56 Sky Hawk

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                • #9
                  On all three of my Studebakers ('53 Commander Starliner, '56 Golden Hawk, '62 GT Hawk) the number IS on the rearmost cross member. On all it is on the lower flange. Exactly where varies; some have it on the front flange, some on the rear, some to the left, some to the right (all Vernon cars except the GT Hawk), but in ALL cases it IS there. Hope this helps some.
                  Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
                  '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
                  '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
                  '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

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                  • #10
                    Didn't want to hijack the original thread, but since there is suggestion of a resource page with this data, I will ask here. Does anybody know if the trucks had a hidden number, and where they may be found? I have a new to me, 3E13, and it was vandalized while sitting at a shop. Emblems, trim pieces, and other parts were "borrowed", along with the serial number tag inside the door step. I have the original registration slip, but need to verify with the sheriff with a serial number. Thanks

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tsenecal View Post
                      Didn't want to hijack the original thread, but since there is suggestion of a resource page with this data, I will ask here. Does anybody know if the trucks had a hidden number, and where they may be found? I have a new to me, 3E13, and it was vandalized while sitting at a shop. Emblems, trim pieces, and other parts were "borrowed", along with the serial number tag inside the door step. I have the original registration slip, but need to verify with the sheriff with a serial number. Thanks
                      If you can get a production order for it, you can tie the Serial Number to the truck's engine number. This, with the registration slip, should give the proof that you need.
                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                      • #12
                        For lack of any documentation I can only say it's been pretty well established that Stude trucks at least from 2R on up do not have a hidden serial number.

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                        • #13
                          In the 90's while a member of the National guard i was tasked with converting 2 1/2 ton M35 gas burners to "Multi Fuel", M35A2. in the process the ID plate was changed. i did several Studebaker built trucks and all had a hidden SN on the rear frame rail past the bogie for the dual rear axles. easy to find, large no's and no rust! just for fun i saved several Stude ID plates. so some trucks did get a "Secret" SN stamping on left rear frame rail. Luck Doofus

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dwain G. View Post
                            For lack of any documentation I can only say it's been pretty well established that Stude trucks at least from 2R on up do not have a hidden serial number.
                            Agree with Dwain -- to date AFAIK, no one has produced documentation of a secret serial number on a post-War Stude civilian truck. But we have plenty of examples where none could be found. I did a frame-off of my 54 3R6, and sand blasted, wire brushed, sanded, and painted its rust-free frame. No secret serial number, but the frame cross members had clearly visible Budd part numbers stamped in them.
                            Skip Lackie

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                            • #15
                              On the Speedster frame I recently blasted, I could find no trace of a serial number. The frame was not that rusty, so I do not know why it did not show.
                              78 Avanti RQB 2792
                              64 Avanti R1 R5408
                              63 Avanti R1 R4551
                              63 Avanti R1 R2281
                              62 GT Hawk V15949
                              56 GH 6032504
                              56 GH 6032588
                              55 Speedster 7160047
                              55 Speedster 7165279

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