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Username Post: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!        (Topic#139462)
alexmr 
Member
Posts: 61

Loc: Mexico City
Reg: 09-02-06
09-02-06 05:00 PM - Post#995623    

Dear friends and colleagues,

I live in Mexico City at present, and I have been trying to break down the codes for Chevys 55 here, which are diferent in their nomenclature, to the american ones. It happens something similar to the chevys 55 made in Canada, but the nomenclature is not the same one.

I am seriously interested in this subject, so please, if you can help me in any way with your comments or recomendations, it will be sincerely appreciated..!

Thanks



 
Ecklers AutoMotive
Ronnie44 
Senior Member
Posts: 9046
Ronnie44
Loc: Tampa Bay, Florida
Reg: 12-23-03
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-03-06 02:47 AM - Post#995624    
    In response to alexmr

Welcome to ChevyTalk. I have been doing some online searching for Mexican Chevys and haven't turned up much. There seems to be quite a bit out there on canadian numbers but the Mexican numbers may take some digging. I'll keep trying and with any luck I can find some info for you. Post some pictures, if you can, that may show the VIN or cowl tags.

In memory of George K Fullam(Goodwrench) Died 31 Mar 2005

To view my '57 Bel Air, and my previous '55 & '56 hardtops and '56 Corvette: Click Here


 
beejay 
Deceased Member
Posts: 12605
beejay
Age: 83
Loc: Pflugerville, Texas
Reg: 06-01-04
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-03-06 08:22 AM - Post#995625    
    In response to alexmr

Welcome to CT. This is the place to USUALLY get answers fast, but yours is very unique. I can't help either, but did want to welcome a "neighbor" to the forums.

Bruce

Bruce

'56 4-door BelAir, 350, Holley 600, Eddie intake, TKO 600, CPP P/S and A arms, Sierra Gold & Adobe Beige
2010 VW Jetta S/W, 2.5, 5-cyl,6-spd auto.
'87 Elkie, 350 with 700r4 tranny B&M floor shift
http://www.picturetrail.com/beejay3/"


 
1957 FI Nomad 
Senior Member
Posts: 177
1957 FI Nomad
Loc: California
Reg: 01-19-03
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-03-06 12:53 PM - Post#995626    
    In response to beejay

Hi & welcome to the forum. I have similar interests and sent you an EMail with my information and suggestions.



 
alexmr 
Member
Posts: 61

Loc: Mexico City
Reg: 09-02-06
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-03-06 05:41 PM - Post#995627    
    In response to 1957 FI Nomad

Hi friends,

Thanks for the gentle welcome, and also for the opportunity to be in touch with the forum regarding this subject of our common interest.

The subject of the Mexican codes is really rare. I have been in touch during the last week with two GM historians, one in UK and the other one in US regarding the Mexican numbers, and both had explained to me that it is practically out of their knowledge.

Just in case, as a real example, I leave here some details I have found on a BelAir ‘55, 4-door sedan, in Monterrey, for any member who would like to try to analyze them.

An interesting fact is that the engine has the word CANADA stamped close to the engine number. At least, for sure, that engine is on the car since 1958, because of an old plate the car has signed that year by Mexican transportation authorities.


The VIN plate reads CHEVROLET
281-57951
C55-MX-234

The engine number: 0010307C55GH


Mexican plate (1958): Motor 0010307C55GH
No. Serie C55MX234NAL

Another rare fact is that the body number plate (the one in the fire wall close to the battery in 55’s models) has not information at all. The plate is in its correct place, but it has not numbers. At least I have seen two 55’s in the same condition here..!

Thank you very much again and take for sure that will be a pleasure to share my modest results regarding this topic with the forum.

(For any member interested, the subject is permanently open)



 
beejay 
Deceased Member
Posts: 12605
beejay
Age: 83
Loc: Pflugerville, Texas
Reg: 06-01-04
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-04-06 08:15 AM - Post#995628    
    In response to alexmr

Quote:

C55-MX-234




With that number, I would venture to say the car was originally a 6-cylinder and not a V-8. Also, it is a BelAir. The MX would indicate Mexico, and the 234 would PROBABLY indicate the 234th car built in the BelAir line in '55. Hope this helps some.

Bruce

Bruce

'56 4-door BelAir, 350, Holley 600, Eddie intake, TKO 600, CPP P/S and A arms, Sierra Gold & Adobe Beige
2010 VW Jetta S/W, 2.5, 5-cyl,6-spd auto.
'87 Elkie, 350 with 700r4 tranny B&M floor shift
http://www.picturetrail.com/beejay3/"


 
alexmr 
Member
Posts: 61

Loc: Mexico City
Reg: 09-02-06
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-04-06 03:10 PM - Post#995629    
    In response to beejay

I agree Bruce… Actually my first thought was that the car originally had a 6-cyl instead of a V-8. The meaning of the “C” (according to the American codes) clearly indicates a 6-Cyl BelAir. It was funny, because after I saw the number for the first time, when I said to the owner “hey, this is not the original engine..” he became a little angry with me, and his main argument to refuse my observation was the Mexican plate the car has signed on Aug. 5, 1958 with the same number the engine block has stamped on. I don’t know how much sense has the possibility of someone changing the engine (here in Mexico…) only three years after the car was sold.

Regarding the numbers analysis:

I have not yet any bibliographic reference to break down the Mexican code, but for me –as probably for you, any eventual GM-Mexican code had to keep any structural relation with the American nomenclature. Also, the number of cars produced here in Mexico probably was not large enough to justify six digits for the Production Number field in the VIN code, as it was in Americans. It comes to reinforce the sense of your analysis…

But the fact that pushes me back again in the opposite direction is that the same set of characters “C55” is on the block of the V8 engine …! That is what disturbs my mind. If C55 is on a V8 engine, could it then means 6-Cyl..? It may be is a coincidence... I don’t know yet.

At present, I am trying to collect more detailed numbers from Chevys 55 here in Mexico, particularly those preserved as much as possible in original conditions. This is in order to have a “not contaminated” set of numbers and identify if they follow the same pattern.

Thanks for the comment Bruce. All the ideas are welcome and every of them put a piece of light on the subject for sure…!

Alex



 
Royer 
Needs to Get Out More Member
Posts: 11411
Royer
Loc: Bloomfield Hills, Michiga...
Reg: 09-25-01
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-05-06 03:37 AM - Post#995630    
    In response to alexmr

Just out of curiosity: does the car have those little "V8" emblems - or the mounting holes for them - on the rear quarters below the tail lamps? If the engine WAS switched early in the cars' life down in Mexico, I can't believ that someone would go to the trouble of sourcing and installing the emblems too. Also, recall that the radiator mounts in front of the rad support on a six, while it mounts behind it on the V8. Is the radiator in the conventional "V8" location (as many people leave it in the more forward mounting location if a six is switched to a V8).

Unless the answers to the above questions suggest otherwise, my inclination is to believe that the engine is original. Remember that engines are often switched here in the US because a replacement is readilly available - whereas this would not have been the case in Mexico in 1958.

Also, the implication that the engine was built in Canada makes sense. I'm sure that the GM engine plant down in Mexico City would NOT have been tooled up to build the new "265" in 1955 - as demand would not have been that high.

Royer



 
rj_ly 
Honored Member
Posts: 17575

Loc: Southwestern OH
Reg: 11-15-02
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-05-06 06:58 AM - Post#995631    
    In response to Royer

Has anyone mentioned the obvious here about what "C" may actually mean? (C = BelAir)

Sure this letter could denote a 6-cylinder but it could also mean the model.
A = 150
B = 210
C = BelAir.

With the information provided,
C55 could equal BelAir 55?



57 Hrdtp(mine for 40 YEARS JULY 12)
57 210 4-dr Sdn(37 yrs Aug 12)
57 Hrdtp(32 yrs Jan 12)
57(windowed)S. Delivery(31 yrs Oct 12)
57 150 Wgn(24 yrs Mar 12)
57 210 2-dr Sdn(8 yrs Oct 12)


 
David Hayward 
Deceased RIP David
Posts: 7051
David Hayward
Age: 63
Loc: New Forest, UK
Reg: 04-10-99
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-05-06 07:03 AM - Post#995632    
    In response to Royer

I have decided that the Engine Number is definitely not Canadian style! The ready-reckoner is what the casting number on the Block is....a 584XXX style would indicate Canadian. I am sure that I have seen "C56" or similar on a 1956 Tarrytown export car to Portugal.

I can imagine that the car was a 6-cylinder...but sold three years late? 1956 I can udnerstand.


This is the only Mexican car that I have any photo of...a 1960 Pontiac Laurentian, equivalent to the Chevy Bel Air, with I assume the 235 Chevy six not the 283 V-8.





 
Royer 
Needs to Get Out More Member
Posts: 11411
Royer
Loc: Bloomfield Hills, Michiga...
Reg: 09-25-01
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-05-06 07:14 AM - Post#995633    
    In response to David Hayward

I would think that a Canadian-built Pontiac of this vintage would be more likely to be equipped with the 261 cubic inch six (same as the "235" only with a larger bore).

Royer



 
Royer 
Needs to Get Out More Member
Posts: 11411
Royer
Loc: Bloomfield Hills, Michiga...
Reg: 09-25-01
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-05-06 07:21 AM - Post#995634    
    In response to alexmr

In the US, the Chevrolet Shop Manuals for any given year always provide information up front on decoding the buyild plate data - so one can figure out what assembly plant the car was built in, the exact model and body style, etc.

I've got to believe that there was a Spanish-language Mexican manual published as well. Probably hard to find, but there must be one still existant somewhere. If you can locate one, I'm just about positive that it would have info on decoding the numbers. Any Spanish language shop manual, even if for an earlier or later year, should be helpfull in that it should give you a pretty good clue as to the format.

Royer



 
beejay 
Deceased Member
Posts: 12605
beejay
Age: 83
Loc: Pflugerville, Texas
Reg: 06-01-04
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-05-06 08:42 AM - Post#995635    
    In response to rj_ly

rj,

Although I didn't specifically say so, (C=BelAir), I did indicate that the car was a BelAir. Ahead of ya, dude.

Bruce

Bruce

'56 4-door BelAir, 350, Holley 600, Eddie intake, TKO 600, CPP P/S and A arms, Sierra Gold & Adobe Beige
2010 VW Jetta S/W, 2.5, 5-cyl,6-spd auto.
'87 Elkie, 350 with 700r4 tranny B&M floor shift
http://www.picturetrail.com/beejay3/"


 
David Hayward 
Deceased RIP David
Posts: 7051
David Hayward
Age: 63
Loc: New Forest, UK
Reg: 04-10-99
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-05-06 11:43 AM - Post#995636    
    In response to David Hayward

Oh dear! What an error! Scratch 235..it was the 261 cu in six until 1962, produced in Windsor Transmission Plant, Walker Road, Windsor...the V-8s came out of McKinnon Industries Ltd, St Catherines, Ontario until 1962 when all engine production switched to St Catherines, and Powerglide assembly moved to Windsor alongside manual trans, ready for 1963 MY. Sorry about that!

I am trying to remember if GM de Mexico, Mexico City, had started assembling engines by 1955. It is possible.

Here is a serial number off of a Antwerp, Belgium-assembled 1954 Bel Air:

CHASSIS NO. C54TC48385 [NOTE THE MIDDLE "C" PLANT CODE]


Automotive Historian, Writer & Author

Avatar: sole surviving 1939 Chevrolet truck assembled in Southampton, England


 
alexmr 
Member
Posts: 61

Loc: Mexico City
Reg: 09-02-06
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-05-06 01:04 PM - Post#995637    
    In response to Royer

Hi,

I'am just trying to make available some pictures, but I don't have a web site.

If someone wants to make them available from his own web, please let me know an email address to send him the pictures. Thanks.




 
alexmr 
Member
Posts: 61

Loc: Mexico City
Reg: 09-02-06
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-05-06 02:03 PM - Post#995638    
    In response to Royer

Hi Royer and folks,

Yes, the car has the V8 emblems on the rear quarters below the tail lamps. BUT, apparently, the rear doors are not the original ones, because they have not the Chevrolet emblem and the word BelAir, nor the holes… They seem to be from a 210. Basically I agree with your observation regarding the possibility of someone switching the engine here in Mexico just after three years…

I have the 1955 Chevrolet passenger car shop manual and it talks about the location of the numbers on the car, but (at least the one I have) it doesn’t mention the way to break them down.

I confirm that exists a Repairing Manual for 1955 Chevrolet passenger cars in Spanish (Manual de Reparaciones –Automóviles- 1955). I have it...! It was edited by General Motors Overseas Operations in 1955. Its content and pictures used are close similar to those in the 1955 Chevrolet Passenger Car Shop Manual (the English-language version). It has some differences: for instance, the Spanish version says nothing about the location of the Code Numbers. I could provide some images here to our group, but I have no way to do it…!

Alex



 
beejay 
Deceased Member
Posts: 12605
beejay
Age: 83
Loc: Pflugerville, Texas
Reg: 06-01-04
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-06-06 09:02 AM - Post#995639    
    In response to alexmr

Alex,

Do a search on your browser for "Picture Trails". You can post for free a certain amount of space. You take your pictures, post to Picture Trails in albums, then post to Chevy Talk. Posting to Chevy Talk is the hardest part, but there are instruction in a forum above this one to deal with that. Hope this helps some.

Bruce

Bruce

'56 4-door BelAir, 350, Holley 600, Eddie intake, TKO 600, CPP P/S and A arms, Sierra Gold & Adobe Beige
2010 VW Jetta S/W, 2.5, 5-cyl,6-spd auto.
'87 Elkie, 350 with 700r4 tranny B&M floor shift
http://www.picturetrail.com/beejay3/"


 
alexmr 
Member
Posts: 61

Loc: Mexico City
Reg: 09-02-06
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-06-06 05:11 PM - Post#995640    
    In response to beejay

Hi,

This a test to verify if I can post pictures of the mexican BelAir we have been talking about.














 
USMCVietVet 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 2369

Loc: Enterprise Oregon USA
Reg: 05-22-02
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-06-06 05:43 PM - Post#995641    
    In response to alexmr

Nice pic's Looks origional and i love the color plus the Costco battery and water temp sending unit in the heater hose outlet??--Wish i could be more help --We never see any 55's in Baja in the winter tho--Glenn

I was--glenn's 3rd 55 previously
55 chevy 210 2 door 350/4L60 RIP(gone)-and missed!!

-1967 CAMARO--red Z-28 /4speed

02 dodge diesel pickup chipped and no muff 6 speed
13 Honda Ridgeline
06 Honda Ridgeline
14 Honda CRF 250 L


 
David Hayward 
Deceased RIP David
Posts: 7051
David Hayward
Age: 63
Loc: New Forest, UK
Reg: 04-10-99
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-07-06 02:22 AM - Post#995642    
    In response to USMCVietVet

The Fisher Body plate suggests that Tarrytown, New York Plant shipped the body in white, i.e. unpainted, to Mexico City for assembly. I wonder what the casting number is on the cylinder block and the date code?

Automotive Historian, Writer & Author

Avatar: sole surviving 1939 Chevrolet truck assembled in Southampton, England


 
David Hayward 
Deceased RIP David
Posts: 7051
David Hayward
Age: 63
Loc: New Forest, UK
Reg: 04-10-99
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-09-06 11:58 AM - Post#995643    
    In response to David Hayward

I think that this is a General Motors do Argentina-assembled car, from the Buenos Aires plant.


Automotive Historian, Writer & Author

Avatar: sole surviving 1939 Chevrolet truck assembled in Southampton, England


 
Ronnie44 
Senior Member
Posts: 9046
Ronnie44
Loc: Tampa Bay, Florida
Reg: 12-23-03
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-10-06 03:10 AM - Post#995644    
    In response to alexmr

Here is a link to Canadian Tri-five info. It does say that they produced cars for export but it does not state that any were exported to Mexico. Perhaps there are some numbers here that will help.
http://www.classicbowtie.com/1955-1957%20Chevrolet%20Canadian%20Cowl%20Tag%20Information.htm

In memory of George K Fullam(Goodwrench) Died 31 Mar 2005

To view my '57 Bel Air, and my previous '55 & '56 hardtops and '56 Corvette: Click Here


 
alexmr 
Member
Posts: 61

Loc: Mexico City
Reg: 09-02-06
Re: Mexican-GM VIN codes for Chevy 55.... HELP.:!
09-10-06 06:57 AM - Post#995645    
    In response to Ronnie44

Thanks Ronnie and David for your posts,

I was in touch with that canadian club at the beginning and they tried the code unsuccessfully.

By the way: they have a production figures table for 1955-56-57 which is not coincident with the picture in http://clubs.hemmings.com/frameset.cfm?club=chevytalk
I was trying to match the numbers, but I wasn't able...

Folks, I need your help with the technical English language regarding the following (don't forget that English is not my first language):

In the suffix list for 1955 engine numbers (americans)appears one reference to "Aluminum Cam Gear" for ZH suffix. What is that? Could it apply for V8 engines? I was speculating with the possibility of a GH combination. If we isolate "G" from the combinations, it clearly refers to 265" V8 (with no powerglide), and "H" seems to be "Aluminum Cam Gear", but, does the combination have sense with a V8?

Sorry guys, probably the question is an absurd but you are the best reference for me, technically and also regarding the language.

Thanks,
Alex



 
REMBO 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 1

Age: 50
Loc: CONNECTICUT
Reg: 01-10-16
01-10-16 04:11 PM - Post#2601190    
    In response to alexmr

I ALSO HAVE A MEXICAN BELAIR!! IT HAS A FACTORY HEATER DELETE!!

THE SERIAL NUMBER IS:

C55-MX-155

I WILL POST PICTURES AS SOON AS I CAN

DO YOU HAVE ANY PICTURES OF YOUR CAR?




 
Jalapeno 
Senior Member
Posts: 9793
Jalapeno
Loc: The Republic of Texas
Reg: 04-30-00
01-10-16 09:10 PM - Post#2601259    
    In response to REMBO

Welcome REMBO. Post pics of your car, we all want to see them.

As for your question to the original poster, this thread is almost 10 years old and alexmr hasn't posted here in over 2 years, so I doubt you will get a reply.


Jalapeno


 
angelo 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 1

Reg: 08-17-17
08-18-17 07:25 PM - Post#2704746    
    In response to alexmr

Hello, i own one of the first mexican build chevrolets (actualy number 37 build)
It is a 54 belair , they started building chevrolets in mexico in 1954
These cars have for example speedometers in kilometers , mexican glass , and a blank firewall tag (who knows why)
Vin number is c54mx37




 
Jalapeno 
Senior Member
Posts: 9793
Jalapeno
Loc: The Republic of Texas
Reg: 04-30-00
08-19-17 09:18 PM - Post#2704862    
    In response to angelo

Bienvenidos! What a unique piece of Chevy history you have!

Jalapeno


 
alexmr 
Member
Posts: 61

Loc: Mexico City
Reg: 09-02-06
01-26-19 09:48 PM - Post#2758248    
    In response to Jalapeno

Dear all,

I started this thread 13 years ago and never thought it had recently caught the interest of others until now. Sorry for that missing. Life had pushed me apart of the hobby for many years and apart of this forum also.

In case the owner of the C55-MX-155 comes back and see this, or for other's reference:

1- Yours is a Bel Air assembled by GM Mexico during the first days of the second week of February 1955 (let's say 7-9).

2- Unfortunately, no engine information was included in the mexican serial numbers codification. Some models were equipped with both 6 cyl and V8 engines. Others were only equipped with 6 cyl or V8 engines. If you let us know the model code of your car and the other numbers contained in the vin plate, I could dig deeper and let you know more about it. The cowl tag should be blank, and be aware that colors combinations did not necessarily followed the US made units' convention. Also, be aware that mexican assembled units were equipped with engines which codes are (or could be) different of those found in american units, so if you are concerned about the original condition of your car and you came across with an engine code that not entirely match what the experts' books say it should be, do not enter in panic so quick. The explanation coul be beyond the scope of the book...

3- In case you still have the original mexican title: according to the information I have collected, correlated and derived duing years, that mexican title could include a mention to some GM Custom Service (some titles had it, others not) and of course, it contains the date the car was sold.

That GM Custom Service is the one GM had in Mexico in charge of receiving and clearing the imported CKD kits. The date is usually about 15 days or so before the assembly date. So yours should be somewhere in January 1955, or even before, if you consider that between December 12 to January 6 national life enters into "Holyday mode" (at least in modern days).

The date it was sold, if it was sold in Mexico City (Mexico DF), used to be 6-8 days in average after the assembly date.

Hope this helps you, or someone else out there, to know more and enjoy your car.

Thank you all for keeping this place alive..!!

Alex





Edited by alexmr on 01-27-19 11:52 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
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