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Decoding 1950 data plate

Guest Irv D

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I would like some help in decoding the data plate on my 1950 DeSoto Custom 4-door sedan. The data plate is attached to the cowl firewall above the voltage regulator. All information is clearly stamped and readable.

Here is the data on the plate, as clearly as I can replicate it:

At the top is stamped: DESOTO DIVISION

Below that is the following data stamps (appearing left-to-right and separated by vertical division lines) with their corresponding code numbers below them:

MODEL| 142

BODY | 5

PAINT | 306

TRIM | 936

To the right of this data and their corresponding code numbers is a series of two-letter data stamps (the first letter above the other), arranged from left-to-right, with vertical division lines between them. All of the two-letter data divisions are blank, with only the AN having the number 2 below it, as shown here: (RD| KI| TR|RA|/U]AN|[


Below all of the foregoing information is another series of two- letter data stamps, the first letter above the other, from left-to-right, with vertical lines between them. Only the MR has a lnumber 7 above it. The rest are blank, as seen be seen below:



The following data appears, (left-to-right) with corresponding numbers above them . The SPEC. NO. is blank, SCHED. is 062, and ITEM NO. IS 3451.

062 3451


The final data below this is: BODY NUMEBER : 16936

The VEHICLE NUMBER (on the driver side front door jamb) is: 50080828

The car appears to be almost completely original, with just the seats reupholstered and possibly one repaint in Regal Blue Metallic. It is possible that the original exterior paint color could have been Pacific Blue, but I am just not certain. I believe the original seat colors were medium blue, with the interior door panels a bluish/gray fabric at top and the bottom a sort of "medium blue "oil cloth" type material (vinyl looking material) , separated by a stainless moulding about 34-1/2" long and 7/8" wide. The headliner was also a medium gray of some sort, the arm rests were probably blue. The carpet appeared to be a darker blue "hogs hair"vertical pattern. The car is equipped with an AM radio, heater/defrost, clock, front and rear ash receiers, self-canceling signal lights, panel lights, head lights, dome light, wipers, and gauges (fuel, oil, amps, and temp) and, of course, the speedomoter/odomoter, which shows just over 76K miles. I do not believe the engine or Fluid Drive trans has been rebuilt and both seem to perform well, but have a slight seepage from either the transmission seal or pan, not sure which. Tranny uses 10w hydraulic fluid (anti-foaming) and engine uses 30w non-detergent oil.

Any assistance in helping me to correctly decode and understand the above information would be most appreciated.

Best Regards............Merry Christmas to all.....................Irv and Linda:confused:


Edited by Irv D
a few mistakes (see edit history)
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I don't know beans about a '50 DeSoto but your serial number implies the following:

Serial Number 50080828

Found in range 50062001 to 50148412

Serial 18828 of 86412

Year 1950

Make DeSoto

Model Name Custom

Model Code S14-C

Plant Detroit

Engine 6 cylinder 236.7 cu.in. L-head

Wheelbase 125 1/2 inches

You can send the serial number off the door jam plate, along with some money, to Chrysler Historical for the build card and they send you a copy and attempt to decode the paint and trim for you.

Since you apparently already have the paint and trim information on that data plate, it might be cheaper and easier to get it from a period manual. For Plymouth the parts books seem to be more likely to have paint and trim information than the service manuals.

But if you wait a little while, there are more knowledgeable people than I on this forum that might have those books and can look it up for you.

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Plymouth: I pretty much had the vehicle serial number figured out previously. It coincides with that which you provided. Just included it here to see if I would get any corraborating nformation from other members.

The main thing I am interested in is verifying the paint code/color, interior trim materials/colors/style, etc. as well as options such as radio, heater, clock, carpet, etc. I am trying to do these over as close as possible to the original paint and materials - keeping the entire car as original as I am able to.

Thanks again foe your response. I hope others may provide additional information.

Irv D

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