Jump to content

1953 Dodge Documentation


Guest CaptainGTX

Recommended Posts

Guest CaptainGTX

I'm very familiar with Mopar muscle cars with their fender tags & build sheets that document how such a car left the factory, but am wondering what similar identifying marks I should look for on my newly acquired 53 Coronet convertible. So far all I've found are the VIN tag and another tag indicating it was made in Detroit. Is there any reliable way to determine exactly how the car was equipped from the factory? It appears quite original, so I'm not without clues. Were there such things as dealer window stickers back then?

Also, does anyone have a good picture of the exterior side mirrors that would have originally been on such a car?

Rich

69 Plymouth GTX

53 Dodge Coronet Convertible

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm very familiar with Mopar muscle cars with their fender tags & build sheets that document how such a car left the factory, but am wondering what similar identifying marks I should look for on my newly acquired 53 Coronet convertible. So far all I've found are the VIN tag and another tag indicating it was made in Detroit. Is there any reliable way to determine exactly how the car was equipped from the factory? It appears quite original, so I'm not without clues. Were there such things as dealer window stickers back then?

Also, does anyone have a good picture of the exterior side mirrors that would have originally been on such a car?

Rich

69 Plymouth GTX

53 Dodge Coronet Convertible

There were no standard rear view mirrors on the outside of the 1953 Dodges. I have the issue of the WPC News and it shows none on any of the factory photos. As far as what YOUR car came with, I believe that if you go to the W P Chrysler Museum site, you can send $45.00 in and get the copy of the original build sheet/order form for your car.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Backyardmechanic

If your car has orginial interior I belive there should be a built sheet under the rear seat staple to the springs

Vern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sincerely doubt you would find any build sheet anywhere on the car. Computers were just becoming in use in the mid-1950's and Chrysler was one of the first. I have not seend or heard of a build sheet before 1957.

The best bet would be to acquire a copy of the build record from Chrysler Historical, as already suggested.

The two tags found on the car would be it for that era. Outside rearview mirrors, radios, heaters, backup lights, wheel covers, and the like were all optional back then, with outside mirrors usually installed by the dealer or owner.

The 1953 Coronet convertible was a nice little car. Unlike the sedans and club coupes on a 119" wheelbase, the convertibles, hardtops and 2-door wagons were all mounted on Plymouth's 114" wheelbase chassis. So outside of the front clip, instrument panel and rear fenders, it is close to a Plymouth convertible.

Bill

Vancouver, BC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Guest CaptainGTX

Thanks for the responses. Was finally able to find on W P Chrysler Museum website where to order a build sheet & have done so. Also joined the W P Chrysler Club & checked their roster only to find among the 4,000 members & possibly 15-20,000 cars there are no other 53 Coronet convertibles registered. Seven 1954 convertibles, including pace cars, but no 53's. Can they be that rare, given 4,100 were supposedly built?

Also located a body tag, No. 1049CV, which I assume means it was the 49th convertible body built that model year. The engine number indicates it was just the 2,363rd Red Ram hemi built by Dodge in its introductory year.

You're right about it being a nice little car. It gets a lot of positive comments at the shop where we're currently trying to get it running after 44 years in storage. No one that's seen it has said they'd seen another before.

It would be great to find (or found, as in start) a website that focuses on pre-finned Mopars, but the early 50's seem to be the forgotten years.

Rich

1953 Dodge Coronet Convertible

1969 Plymouth GTX

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Guest CaptainGTX

I contacted Chrysler Historical and was told they have the IBM build card for my 53 Dodge convert, but they don't have the decode sheet for that year. I asked them for a sample card so I could see if they mean anything without the codes, but they don't give out samples. Has anyone had any luck deciphering these cards? Does someone have a sample they don't mind posting?

Rich

1953 Dodge Coronet Convertible

1969 Plymouth GTX

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I contacted Chrysler Historical and was told they have the IBM build card for my 53 Dodge convert, but they don't have the decode sheet for that year. I asked them for a sample card so I could see if they mean anything without the codes, but they don't give out samples. Has anyone had any luck deciphering these cards? Does someone have a sample they don't mind posting?

Rich

1953 Dodge Coronet Convertible

1969 Plymouth GTX

You might want to seach for a Saleman's Data Book for the 53 Dodge lineup. Check with the major literature dealer's like Walter Miller. The Data Book if it exists for the Mopars often has the ordering codes for the options. Those same codes may appear on the build sheet (IBM card) you ordered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

You're right about it being a nice little car. It gets a lot of positive comments at the shop where we're currently trying to get it running after 44 years in storage. No one that's seen it has said they'd seen another before.

Rich -

I have a 1953 Dodge Coronet Convertible that has been in my family since it was new. My Dad got it for my Mom for a birthday present. It was my car when I was in high school. After he retired, Dad restored it and won quite a few awards at car shows and the car was featured in several collector magazine articles. He had long been searching for appropriate side mirrors, and it was the one thing he never could find, so your post caught my eye! The car now belongs to me, my Dad passed away in 2005. It is really a beautiful and unique automobile. It never fails to get comments whenever I drive it -- and that's in Los Angeles where there are more than a few cool cars.

This webpage shows a picture of my car, after my Dad finished restoring it. I wish this website would have given credit, rather than just stealing the photo. HowStuffWorks "1953 Dodge Coronet Eight Convertible"

Regards,

Bruce

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest CaptainGTX

Hi, Bruce,

That's the picture I have as one of my screen savers. I'm really glad to find out who owns it. I't only one of two restored ones I know of.

The story of your car parallels mine, except that mine has now escaped the family of the original owners & is still in unrestored condition.

If you don't mind, I'd like to see more pictures of your car. You can contact me directly at CptGTX@msn.com.

Rich

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...
Guest CaptainGTX

I did obtain a copy of the build card from Chrysler Historical some time ago. Like I said in an earlier post, they don't have the decode sheet for 1953, so it's left me guessing at a few things. The car still has not been restored and I have no plans to do so.

The most puzzling issue is the top color, and I'm hoping someone might have a decode sheet for an early to mid 50's Mopar that would give me a lead. The convertible top color is coded "1", which I would have guessed is black. The color of the top 60 years later is kind of a gray, as seen in an earlier photo. The same grayish color exists down into the rear quarters, where it wouldn't have been exposed to the sun. It does have an innerliner (headliner) which is tan. The car itself it Shoreham Ivory (code 565) and the interior is black vinyl with gray & white stripped cloth inserts - and as with the top, all is original. The original convertible cover (boot) is black vinyl. So far as I know, Dodge didn;t offer a gray convertible top. Can anyone definitively tell me the top color?

The card also has a column labeled "Airfoam", which i presume has to do with the seating. It's coded "3". Anyone know exactly what this refers too?

Any replies appreciated. Rich

post-64478-143141808633_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...