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jayndar

Help decode 1956 Olds cowl tag

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I'm in the process of purchasing a 1956 Olds Super 88 and can't find any info on decoding the cowl tag.

Is there a website that lists the paint and trim codes for this car?

Here's what my tag has on it:

Style 3669D

from my understanding , that would make it a 4 door sedan Super 88.

Paint 3626

As much as the owner swears the color of this car was always red and white, I know it wasn't. I can see tell tale signs of a repaint. The original color looks to be blue-ish green.

The odd thing here is that the top color matches the trunk/lower color instead of the hood.

Trim 938

The current interior is red and white, but I can see where the door panels were dyed red, the dash pad painted , and the steering wheel.

here and there I can see a turquoise like color poking thru all the red.

The owner is also trying to convince me that the odometer that reads a little over 20,000 miles hasn't rolled over from 100,000. Not sure how I can prove that!

Any help would be greatly appreciated

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3669D is a Super 88 4-door sedan. A base 88 wouldn't have the D. A Holiday Sedan would be 39 instead of a 69.

I can't even find paint codes 36 and 26. Are you sure it's a '56? During these years there were three two-tone schemes available. One was just the roof a different color from the body, one was the nose one color with the tail another color and the roof matching the nose, the third one was the nose one color with the tail another color and the roof matching the tail. Some of those were only available on Holiday models, and I think they have an S in front of them.

I don't have my trim codes in front of me to tell you what 938 is for.

Here's a link to a thread about '56 body tag decoding:

http://forums.aaca.org/f138/decode-1956-olds-cowl-tag-251412.html

Paul

Edited by Oldsfan
link added (see edit history)

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Thanks for the quick reply.

I'm sure it's a 1956. I've got some pictures I can post later.

I'm almost 100% sure of the paint code. I'll check it again tomorrow to be sure. I was doubting myself when I couldn't find those codes!

There's also a weird code on the trim tag that is B5(maybe S) 303-372

I have no idea what that is.

Were these cars built in Canada as well, with possibly different cowl tag codes?

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I finally have some time to sit down with my '56 Dealer Data Book. Color codes 36 and 26 are not listed. 30, 31 and 32 are all some form of green, so I would think 36 would be, too. 20 is red, so I don't know what 26 would be. These two codes mean two tone, with the roof one color and the body the other color. The first color is the body color and the 2nd color is the roof. Special two tone paint would have an S in front of the first number. The deck and lower body would be the first number, the nose, upper body and roof would be the 2nd number.

Likewise, there is no trim #938. For any '56 Olds. Nothing even remotely close. Super 88 trim codes were 381 gray, 382 green, 383 blue and 384 beige. No turquoise, no red. Turquoise trims ended with 9, so if it were availabe in a S88 sedan, it would be 389. Red ended with 5, which would make it 385. Non-sedan blue interiors ended in 8, but I can't account for the first two digits.

For accessory codes, there was no B5 or BS. There was a B, which was the heater/defroster. That would be a Fisher body option. There was no 5. There was an S, which was dual exhaust, but that would not have been a Fisher option. Sometimes I think S stands for "sold order" but I have never been able to confirm that. And they should appear as BS. And in my experience the S always comes first. I can't explain the 303-372. In later Olds used IBM codes like this. I didn't think they used them in '56.

Your question regarding Canadian builds is valid. The body tag would say GM of Canada if this is the case.

There is one important piece of information that you have left out. You said that the body styly number was 3669D. There are two numbers in front of that. What are they? I'm starting to wonder if the tag wasn't switched for some reason.

Paul

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Thanks for the help and all the info.

I'll try to snap a picture of the tag today and post it.

This car is becoming quite a mystery mobile. I hope there's nothing fishy going on.

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Ok, here's some more weird news.

The car has 2 tags. 1 on the passenger side cowl, one on the driver's side.

The Passenger side says General Motors Canada

model # 63669D807157

and serial number N9139418

It says Paint but it's blank , same with Trim

The Drivers side is a smaller tag that doesn't say GM on it at all. It has:

Style 3669D

Body no. 2469

Paint 3626

B.S.O. 303-372

Trim 938

I'm even more confused now!

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Well, you're out of my territory now. GM of Canada was sort of its own division of GM, from what I understand. They probably had a totally different way of numbering things. It's possible they used different colors than we had here in the States. I don't know where you'd go to find that informtion, but I have heard that you can get a copy of the original invoice from GM Canada, for a fee. They were much better at retaining records than the US divisions were.

Paul

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I can provide you with the contact information for GM Canada Vintage Vehicle Services if you require. You can fax them your information, phone them or fax your credit card number and they may be able to provide you with some of the information you are seeking.

They will need the serial number for the car. From that number they generally provide the trim number and color, body paint code and color, production plant location, production date, shipping date, model number and body style, engine type, original engine serial number and sometimes the dealer or dealer zone that the car was shipped to. On some vehicles they are also able to provide the options that the car came with.

The cost for this service in March 2008 was $36.75 CDN

Lawrence Gluckie

Edmonton, Alberta

BCA 44046

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from my canadian service manual ,I quote:

each canadian built vehicle carries its own serial number plate fastened to the engine side of the cowl.This plate gives the serial number and engine identification.

The body serial,trim,piant numbers and body options will not be stamped on this plate.

Each Canadian-built car carries its own body number plate in addition to the car serial plate.Location of and information covering the body identification will be contained in the product service bullitin.

Cars equipped with an automatic transmission will have the digit "9" stamped preceeding the engine number.

In the picture of the example of a plate,they show the serial number 9N132001 .You must have made a mistake in the number you have as it is not in the proper sequence.

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also confirmed that 3669D is a super 88 4-dr sedan and serial numbers start with 63669D800001 .The car was built in Oshawa Ontario.

I used to have picture of different upholstry schemes with the proper numbers and also paint charts but they are on a computer that died,and I just realized I must get that info back somehow.

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I'm trying to find out trim, paint, and Accesory codes for my 1956 olds 88. here's what I know...

Style no. 56-3639 SD = 1956 "Super 88" Holiday Sedan

Body no. BW 2212 = body #2212 built in Wentzville, MO

Trim no. 371 =? (has black and white interior)

Paint no. 10 =?

Top (hardtop)

Acc D3 =?

Thanks for any help that anyone can give.

post-100178-143142462216_thumb.jpg

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From my Maintenance Manual.

CANADIAN SERIAL NUMBER LOCATION

Each Canadian-built vehicle carries its own serial number plate fastened to the engine side of the cowl. This plate gives the serial number and engine identification.

GENERAL MOTORS OF CANADA LIMITED

MODEL 36-69

SERIAL 6366900001

ENGINE 9N132001 TRIM

BODY SERIAL PAINT

The body serial, trim, paint numbers and body options will not be stamped on the plate

Each Canadian-built car carries its own body number plate in addition to the car serial plate. Location of and information covering the body identification will be contained in the Product Service Bulletin.

Cars equipped with an automatic transmission will have the digit "9" stamped preceding the engine number.

Not sure what is meant by "Product Service Bulletin"

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