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VIN Data Plate

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  • Body: VIN Data Plate

    Hi Everyone,

    I did an advanced search and went and looked at 400 posts on the subject of the VIN data plate attached to the left drivers door pillar. I could not find the answer I need.

    My car was originally coral tone but somewhere along the 60 years someone put a cheap maroon color that is peeling off. Under the trunk you can clearly see the original color but the door jambs have the maroon. Fortunately, the VIN data plate was not painted; it is original but the decal is worn.

    1. Is there a way to safely pry off the plate without damaging it?

    2. Once the car is painted how is the stainless steel VIN data plate welded on?

    i will be checking with the studebaker vendors to see about a fresh decal. The car was built in South Bend on April 22, 1955.

    I don't want to do anything that will destroy or harm this car. There have been plenty of other people that have already done that and I will do everything I can to bring this car back.

    Thanks
    Robert Miles
    Tucson AZ

  • #2
    Not quite on your subject, but here in California, ANY indication that the data plate has been reinstalled triggers a DMV inspection of the hidden VIN(s) when it comes time to transfer title of an out-of-state vehicle.

    Comment


    • #3
      Bob: there is no safe way to pry off the Serial Number plate, and it is not advisable to try to do it from a legal standpoint.

      That said, you raise a good question of how did it get welded on in the first place, if it was installed after the car was painted.

      The answer is that there was a blank Serial Number plate aligned in the ultimate location for the real one and temporarily held in place with two pins while the car was painted. That is why you always see one or more little alignment holes on either side of various Serial Number plates.

      For example, here is the plate from my 1964 Daytona Sedan:



      Note the small hole off to the right. That is where the "alignment plate" was affixed when the body was painted. Theoretically, nothing should be white between the hole and the right "notch" of the plate, but this car has been repainted and so they must have masked off the plate and painted part of the body that wasn't originally painted. The little notches were supposed to be used by the Serial Number Plate installer to align the plate perfectly over the unpainted area, but that was rarely accomplished.

      Other examples:



      The 'Canuks weren't any more accurate than the South Benders:



      You'll note that most Serial Number plates have rust appearing around them one way or another. That is the plain metal that was covered when the body was painted. Naturally, it will rust once the car is assembled, since the final Serial Number plates seemingly never got placed right smack dab on top of the bare area before being hastily spot-welded in place...and even if they did, it would still rust sooner or ater anyway. 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


      • #4
        You probably will get a post from our vendor in Australia who has repo decals for VIN plates. Sorry, I can't remember his forum name. He probably is listed on the vendor list at the Studebaker Drivers Club website. Hope this helps.
        Nick

        Comment


        • #5
          The Serial Number (not VIN) plate must have been masked off when the car was painted maroon (unless it appears to have been previously removed).
          I recommend masking the plate off for the next paint job and applying a new decal for that information/part of the plate.
          I normally walk away from a car with a Serial Number plate or a VIN plate that appears to have been tampered with.
          Gary L.
          Wappinger, NY

          SDC member since 1968
          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

          Comment


          • #6
            Here is the link to a source for new decals:
            http://www.studeparts.com.au/decals.pdf

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Bob and Gary. As it stands now, the car is getting inspected for a bonded Arizona Title before I do a single thing to the car to start the long process of restoration. I am sure that there will be an answer for me from a vendor. Bob , how did you get such great pictures? Any attempt to shoot a photo just bring back glare and you cannot see much.

              Bob Miles
              Tucson AZ

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 6hk71400 View Post
                Thanks Bob and Gary. As it stands now, the car is getting inspected for a bonded Arizona Title before I do a single thing to the car to start the long process of restoration. I am sure that there will be an answer for me from a vendor. Bob, how did you get such great pictures? Any attempt to shoot a photo just bring back glare and you cannot see much.

                Bob Miles Tucson AZ
                I'm hardly much of a photographer, Bob, but simply de-activating the flash and forcing the camera to use existing light is what does it. Unless it is really dark outside, most cameras nowadays (mine is a Fujifilm, at least 12 years old) can open their aperture enough to get a good natural-light photograph like that without having to hold it real steady for a second or so.

                (However, sometimes you must use flash, as I did when photographing the 1963 Heavy-Duty sedan Police Car for the report on it posted last week.) 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


                • #9
                  Got a picture sent to me after the inspector left. Now the problem/fun starts. Not to be racist but my friend who was there with the inspector mentioned that English was not her first language and he was trying to tell her it was a 1 on the plate. She insisted the second number on the data Vin plate was an I not a one. Gary tried to talk to her but she insisted on the inspection report the serial number was 7I65372 and not 7165372. My buddy Gary and I are going down to the title place (third party in AZ to apply for bonded title) to try to reason with the other personnel at the title service company. I am taking my copy of Bill Cannon/Fred Fox Studebaker: The Complete Story and show the serial number range in the back of the book and hope that will work.

                  Otherwise.....well I don't want to think about that.

                  Bob Miles
                  Tucson AZ

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Good for you I would do the same thing. Hopefully you can prove to anyone with a Studebaker Parts Catalog Serial Numbering breakdown Page, that Studebakers were NUMBERED!

                    There was no attempt to use modern coding using Alpha/Numerics at all on most Vintage Cars. This is the Part that the too young, "Foreigner" does not understand.
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Perhaps a few pictures of the plate and owners registration/pink slips (in the same picture) showing the NUMERICAL designation would be helpful to convince the naive. Frankly I was confused myself until those here informed me that I's were 1's and b's were 6's etc.
                      '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

                      Comment

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