basscaster

1953 Chevrolet Belair Dealer showroom plates, or later?

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I have these nylon/plastic plates I recently acquired, and they appear to be for 53 model Chevrolets. Someone told me they didnt see them in the dealer catalog, and that they may possibly be later. Any thoughts?

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It does appear to be the same emblem used on 1953 Chevy cars s o Would say 53 is right.  The emblems were different the other years. 

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Pure speculation:

The typeset just strikes me as odd. It doesn't looks "right". It might simply be the fact that different sizes were used, but if set for a dealer, I would think they'd want the same size for a showroom lineup. I don't see the same font used in period brochures either, so I'd question the continuity. Further the boarder-less style and overall design seems more "modern" and done up on a computer, not carefully designed by hand. I'm not an art expert or 1953 Chevy expert, it just doesn't quite look right to me. I don't see any comparable examples either, and something as cool as these would have likely been saved in great number if they existed as such.

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I had a similar set of plates identifying all the different 1959 or 1960 Chevy station wagons.  I believe they were on Cardboard.  Others may be right that these are a later production collectable thing. Possibly fashioned after an original Cardboard set? 

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6 hours ago, Frantz said:

The typeset just strikes me as odd. It doesn't looks "right". ...

 

I agree.  I think they were made much later as

collectible souvenirs.  I agree that the style isn't quite right.

 

And in 1953, the size of a license plate had not been

standardized.  The size varied from state to state until

around 1957.  So if these are made to the modern size,

with holes in exactly the modern pattern, that's another

clue that they may be newer.

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I've studied a lot of script and typeset from various eras, and these could be consistent with the period. On closer inspection, they appear to be factory laminated cardboard.

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The 150 Club Coupe was a 53 and 54 model year only. There was no 150 or 210 series prior to 53

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2 hours ago, rwoods said:

the two ten convertible plate shows its either 53 or 54 as that's the only years they were made.

 

Now that I am thinking about it, I am pretty sure that in 1954 that the 210 Convertible as well as the Townsman Wagon were dropped from the 210 line. 

Edited by John348 (see edit history)

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18 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

I agree.  I think they were made much later as

collectible souvenirs.  I agree that the style isn't quite right.

 

And in 1953, the size of a license plate had not been

standardized.  The size varied from state to state until

around 1957.  So if these are made to the modern size,

with holes in exactly the modern pattern, that's another

clue that they may be newer.

 

License plate sizes were standardized early in 1955. 

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On 1/23/2018 at 1:44 PM, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

I agree.  I think they were made much later as

collectible souvenirs.  I agree that the style isn't quite right.

 

And in 1953, the size of a license plate had not been

standardized.  The size varied from state to state until

around 1957.  So if these are made to the modern size,

with holes in exactly the modern pattern, that's another

clue that they may be newer.

 

So if these were collectibles for 1953 models, wouldn't we likely see them for other 50s Chevrolet models as well? I can't find anything else like them. The closest thing I have come across are some metal dealer plates for 1958 and 1959 Chevys, like the Nomad.

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18 hours ago, basscaster said:

 

So if these were collectibles for 1953 models, wouldn't we likely see them for other 50s Chevrolet models as well? I can't find anything else like them. The closest thing I have come across are some metal dealer plates for 1958 and 1959 Chevys, like the Nomad.


They could be real, I personally don't see the evidence for it though. You can go to any print shop and have them made. The fact that you can't find anything else like them lends to the idea that someone had them made, maybe even a dealer. I could see them being used for some sort of parts company, or as demo pieces in hopes of getting orders. The 2-door especially strikes me as off. I can't find any marketing for Chevy where door isn't "Door" (most were all caps though). It's a small detail, but I feel like it would have been picked up on. Then I have to wonder "purpose". Why tell someone in huge letters that something is a convertible or coupe, and then in small, harder to read letters, state the series? That really doesn't make sense from a marketing campaign. I can see the darn thing is a convertible, what marketing would want to push is the trim level, that's where their profits were. You have them in person so you should be able to take a look at the material and get a feel for their age.

I would take them to an art director or someone who can identify the type of printing used. That would help narrow down an age, certainly if the technique is post 1953 then you know for sure they aren't original. Or do some google searching and get a loupe.

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I'll take a loupe to it. As a marketer myself, I can see a reason. If you are in the showroom and inspecting different parts of the car, it would reinforce the model in the customers mind. If not, you could make the same case for badging and signage altogether. Chevy? Of course we know it is a Chevy - we are standing in the dealership, and it has a big neon Chevy sign outside! 

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I think that they are real, As the owner of a 53 I can easily say that they are the least desirable of the post war Chevy's, and 54's run a close second  The emblem artwork is more of 1952 styling but I am sure this was out for production well before the release of the models. These plates make sense to me, because we need to remember that 1953 was the introductory year for the 210 and 150 models, so I feel the plates were part of the roll out.  

Besides I have not met many 53 Chevy owners that would go through the effort. Now if those plates were for 1957's I would be more skeptical of originality 

Edited by John348 (see edit history)

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My educated guess is that they came out of a 

souvenir catalogue, where a car fan can buy

mugs, imitation gas-pump globes, car-themed

T-shirts, model cars, and the like.

 

Is there any writing on the back, such as a date,

manufacturer, or trademark notice?

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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2 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

My educated guess is that they came out of a 

souvenir catalogue, where a car fan can buy

mugs, imitation gas-pump globes, car-themed

T-shirts, model cars, and the like.

 

Is there any writing on the back, such as a date,

manufacturer, or trademark notice?

 

If that were the case why would they choose such odd ball one year very low production models? 

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I wonder, too, John.  But if these plates were for an automobile show

or for showroom displays, who would be showing off a 150 business coupe?

When exhibit space is costly, I think that more glamorous, or popular, models 

would be shown.  In saying that they're souvenirs, I'm judging primarily

by the style and material.

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1 hour ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

I wonder, too, John.  But if these plates were for an automobile show

or for showroom displays, who would be showing off a 150 business coupe?

When exhibit space is costly, I think that more glamorous, or popular, models 

would be shown.  In saying that they're souvenirs, I'm judging primarily

by the style and material.

 

Very true, I think that's why these might have survived because they were the ones that were not used. 

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20 hours ago, basscaster said:

I'll take a loupe to it. As a marketer myself, I can see a reason. If you are in the showroom and inspecting different parts of the car, it would reinforce the model in the customers mind. If not, you could make the same case for badging and signage altogether. Chevy? Of course we know it is a Chevy - we are standing in the dealership, and it has a big neon Chevy sign outside! 

That's sorta the same thinking I have with a different conclusion though. First, no car says "2-door" or "convertible" in the badging that I know of. They didn't even say "One Fifty" or "Two Ten" either did they? I would see a reason to stress the trim levels in the show room in the show room as a talking point for the differences, but that's clearly not the focus on these pieces. The focus is the body type. Frankly that's a bigger concern to someone who already owns the car and is proud of it, which is why it feels like a souvenir. As a big fan of odd ball cars, I can assure you that if you make something for a car that "no one" caters too, everyone who is active and owns one will buy it up just to feel special too! If you make one up that says 239 Y Block, I'll probably buy it if I come across it. So few will buy them that not many will exist, or possibly only as samples. We live in a print and produce on demand age, so makings one off pieces is very affordable. I love seeing 4 doors restored... mostly because I own one and it helps justify my expenses in the project to see other people throw their money way. I've come up with all sorts of reasons my car is special.

Edited by Frantz (see edit history)

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I did some research on print ads for these models, and it is consistent to use two ten and similar, and even the same script fonts.

 

The lamination is fairly worn, and indicates decades of age to me.

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