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For '55 Buick Owners.....


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Hey Guys!<BR>(OK -- girls included too if there are any that own a '55)<BR>October 15 is a great day for us '55 owners!<BR>The brand new "Thrill of the Year" 1955 Buicks were officially introduced to the general public on October 15, 1954!!<BR>Break out the Dynaflow oil to celebrate!!<BR>AK Buickman, BCA #1955...............

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HMMMM....That would make our rigs what....46 years old or so....oops...2001 minus 54=47...if your car was built in 54...I still dunno, but I know my car is an early one...BTW, Sloan wasn't able to help me any further on the dilemma as to where my car was built...I also saw a 55 Press Release Kit go on ebay for 81.....Anyone out there have one????<P> Chhers to all and to all a sound 55!!!!<P><BR> don55 smile.gif" border="0

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Thanks for the info. My grandfather owns a 55 Buick Special Riviera 4-door hardtop and I am sure he did not know that. <P>Tony<BR>----<BR>72 Buick Electra 225 Custom 4-door hardtop sedan<BR>89 Pontiac Safari 4-door wagon<BR>91 Honda Accord LX 4-door sedan

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CORRECTION.........<BR>Holy Portholes, Batman!!<BR>After reading what I wrote in my original posting, I realized that I entered the wrong month of the introduction day. Instead of <BR>October 15, 1954, the correct day that the new '55 Buicks were introduced to the public was<BR> NOVEMBER 15, 1954. <BR>This date is from my 1955 Buick Press Release Kit, a "must get" for owners of '55 Buicks.<BR>This now means that us owners of 1955 Buicks have a full month of preparation to celebrate for this important date!!!!<BR>Please change your calendars..<BR>AK Buickman, BCA #1955.......

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Another 55-er, reporting in...<P>What would be a dead giveaway if my Super (Model 56R) is an early model or late? My fuel pump (assuming is orig.) is the early type with cast flathead instead of rounded head with hexbolt in middle. I know i know, I'm not resting on much.<P>Still would be curious to find out.<P>1955 - same yr that one of the finest alto sax players left us...

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Still another '55 owner reporting in. At least a half owner, my wife owns the other half bought and paid for with her own $$$. cool.gif" border="0 My half is the part that requires repair and that seems to move around. rolleyes.gif" border="0<P>Ours is a '55 Century 2dr HTP with AIR. I guess this is my opening to ask if anyone has or knows where to find the filter that mounts under the right rocker panel toward the rear and bears the markings ----<BR>Model # FD-310-F Device 70410-924 Air Conditioner Filter<P>The A/C appears to be in excellent condition and working except for the fact that nothing can get past that filter. Hence no cold air.<P>Can anyone out there help? Reply on here or to: HVScotyard@aol.com<P>Howard Scotland<P>I screwed up the part # earlier. What is given above is now correct. Sorry blush.gif" border="0<BR>7:30 PM MDT 10/11/01<p>[ 10-11-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

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It is great hearing from all of you '55 Buick owners. <BR>Scott; You mentioned that your '55 76C was assembled during the first two weeks of November, 1954, and that it is body #80. Please post your car's body number, taken from the Fisher Body cowl plate on the right side of the cowl. I would like to compare your body # with my car's number. My '55 76R is body number "G 191" (I need to double check that number later). According to my Buick Master Parts book, "G" code translates to the Flint, Michigan Fisher body plant. Please correct me if I am wrong. I interpret the "191" as the 191st GM body, or 191st Buick body to come out of the Flint Fisher plant. Does anyone know if the Flint Fisher Body plant made just Buick bodies during this timeframe? My car was assembled in the Flint plant according to the VIN, and it was delivered to the original owner on November 17, 1954. I have the original retail sales invoice for my car, dated 11/17/54. <BR>AK Buickman, BCA #1955.............

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Hello all...checking in with my trio. The 66c was an early production from Flint; the two 63's were late production and built in Arlington Texas.<BR>Ken: Who was the saxophone player you mentioned? Does this mean you are a sax player also? If so...my condolences...I play flugelhorn...another instrument hard to play well and in tune!<BR>Howard: Is your AC factory air or an aftermarket unit? Some of the factory air cars used a filter/dryer in the liquid line at the location you mentioned (3/8 flare fitting) and are easily replaced with availabe replacement from auto parts suppliers or refrigeration suppliers. Both of my 63's have working factory air so if you or anyone needs help let me know.<BR>Willie

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old-tank ~ Thanks for your very valuable input. Mine is factory air, so I will remove the old filter and start looking.<BR>Unfortunately, Cheyenne is a small city with very limited resources. This might require a bunch of calls and a day in Denver. <BR>Thanks again for you help.<P>Still, if anyone knows where to get this part, please add your input. Thanks.<P>hvs

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Hi Gary,<P>My '55's Body # from the cowl plate is "G 80".<P>I am assuming too that that is the 80th body to come off the line. Your's must be the 191th.<P>The part I am unclear on is this... There are 8 assembly plants, were all the bodys made in the same place and shipped to the assembly different assembly plants?<P>Here is the codes for the assembly plants:<P>1= Flint<BR>2= Southgate<BR>3=Linden<BR>4=Kansas<BR>5=Wilmington (where mine was assembled)<BR>6=Atlanta<BR>7=Framingham<BR>8=Arlington<P>This number code is pluued form the engine serial number. The first number in the engine serial number is the model series, i.e. 4-40, 5=50, 6=60, 7=70. The second number is the assembly plant code. The rest of the numbers are the production number on the engine. The first engine number is V-720080, the last was V-1460022. Those numbers start after the series and assemble plant numbers.<P>According to that, my engine is the 4157th off the line that year.<P>P.S. In preparation of the chapter's 30th anniversary celebration Gary, I found pictures of YOUR car from the 1978 National at Flint!!<P>Scott

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One more checking in. Our car is leaving us for some time-out on wed.(patron saint of the Dynaflow visit us now...) 55 Roadmaster , 4 dr. Maybe we'll have her back by the big celebration on the 15th of NEXT month. <P>John & Lee

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Scott;<BR>So I do not have to retype a long explanation, click on the discussion about Block or Script Nameplates on '66 Wildcats on this website. Greg (70 Electra) posted some extremely useful info about Fisher body plants and BMD assembly plants that should be accurate for 1955's.<BR>By the way Scott, did anyone ever take a photo of the guys climbing the lightpoles in the BMD Administration Building parking lot at the end of Flint '78???<BR>AK Buickman...............

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According to the starting engine serial number for the 1955 model year, shown in my BMD Master parts book, my early production '55 is thousands of numbers higher than the first number, just like Scott explained about his early production '55 76C engine number. It sounds like BMD could have been cranking out engines continuously between the '54 and '55 production, in anticipation for another banner sales year in '55 (?). I'll look up my exact engine serial number and post it here. Where were early Buick V-8 engines assembled at??<BR>AK Buickman..............

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The engine number on my '55 76R is:<BR>V7264397<BR>The very last digit indicates what series the engine was put into at the factory. My car is a 70 Series, so the last digit is 7. The last digit must be either a 4, 5, 6, or 7. The starting engine number for all 1955 Buicks is V720080, plus the last digit that would have been added when it was known which series the engine was installed into. <BR>It is interesting, just like Scott's car, that the engine number is about the 6,000 engine produced, yet, both of our cars have low Fisher body numbers (G-80 and G-191). <BR>In my factory literature, code letters are shown next to the assembly plant codes and locations that Scott previously posted. It makes sense that these codes are for the Fisher body plant locations. My '55 was assembled in Flint, and my Fisher Body code is G-191. In my BMD documents, a "G" is shown on the same line as the Flint assembly plant code (1).<BR>The other codes are as follows:<BR>Flint----G<BR>Southgate----BC<BR>Linden----BL<BR>Kansas City----BK<BR>Wilmington----BW<BR>Atlanta------BA<BR>Framingham----BF<BR>Arlington----BT<BR>Note the second letter of each code matches the first letter of the city. <BR> <BR>Scott, what is the assembly plant code for your '55? I thought you had previously posted that the car was assembled in Wilmington. If it was, it seems odd that your car's body was built in Flint (G code), then shipped to Wilmington to be dropped onto a frame. This is all assuming that this code system is correct.<P>AK Buickman, BCA #1955............

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So the owners of V-8 1953, 1954 and 1956 Buicks do not feel left out, here are the starting engine numbers for your cars:<P>1953: V-2415-5 (50 Series)<BR>1953 V-2001-7 (70 Series)<BR>1954 V-273956 <BR>1956 V-1460023<P>While my BMD document does not state so, I am sure that the number 4, 5, 6, or 7 must be added to the end of these'54 & '56 serial numbers as in 1955, to indicate what series the engine was installed into.<BR>AK Buickman

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Brace yourselves guys...this will be long as I have been working on this as to my own car for a while now....<BR> Scott...as to your VIN, Is the number you posted from the door jamb tag or your title???<BR> According to my BMD master parts book as to the VIN breakdown, it say the numbers start at B1-001001...or B2, thru 8, depending on the assembly plant of the CAR as a unit.<BR> My VIN is 6B4010047, this is on both my title and door jamb tag...Read your Shop manual...on page 0-3 in the lower LH portion it says "The first digit of serial number indicates where CAR was built ...it then breaks down codes as above with the EXCEPTION that there is NO mention of Arlington as an assy. plant period. My master parts books has Arlington(B8, BT)<BR> In this same area of shop manual on opposite side of page on lower part it states " The last digit of engine serial number is 4 for 40 series,5 for 50 series 6 for 60 series and 7 for 70 series. A stamped 1/4" long dash denotes a .010" O.S. production engine"<BR> If I go by what the shop manual saysas to my car, its a 60 series(it is), its obviously a Buick, it was assembled in K.c.and is the 10,046th car assembled there.<BR> Using the VIN Scott gave us on his, there is no mention of the car series mentioned, but car was Built in Wilmington...his car was the 3031st car assembled in Wilmington(code 5) <BR> The shop manual is vague on the cowl tag breakdown. Reference pg. 13-1 of shop manual for info on it. According to my BMD parts book, The frame and/or serial number for EACH plant starts at 001001. Using again Scotts VIN his car would have been the 3031st car assembled at Wilmington.<BR> Mine would have been the 10046th built at K.C.<BR> However, according to the shop manual as to my car using my number, mine would have been assembled at Atlanta as it states on pg 0-3 "The first digit of serial number indicates where car was built....6 is Atlanta. <BR> Question I have for Scott is this...the number you posted up here, is that taken directly from the door jamb tag itself or ???<BR> If that is the case, then according to the shop manual there is no way of telling where your car was assembled. The shop manual says "digit"; I take this to mean a number. <BR> I have been through umpteen 55's in wrecking yards and the VIN is the first thing I look at and every one i have ever laid eyes upon has a numeral in the 1st position. <BR> In looking at my BMD parts book and my shop manual side by side as I am now, there is a major discrepancy as to the first character in the VIN and its meaning...In the BMD parts book, the first character is a letter....B and then a number which it says is for the various plants where car was assembled at...1 thru 8, again, shop manual has no mention of an 8 as a assy. plant<BR> Cowl tags...body # to be specific...comparing mine and Scotts and using the shop manual on pg 13-2, there is no code breakdown as to plants, it just says G, which is what was used in their example before the numeral is the plant where the body was built, in my BMD book it gives the codes as have been previously stated above which would mean my body was the 1045th body built at Kansas City as its code is BK1045 from the cowl tag. Scotts would indeed be the 80th built at Flint(G)...Lucky fella indeed he is smile.gif" border="0<BR> I have one heckuva twist to all this mass confusion...This applies to ALL P/B cars....there was a recall...campaign as they called it... This campaign is listed in great detail in the 1955 Product Service Bulliten book covering bullitens from 11/15/54 to 10/10/55....considering 11/15 was our intro date, I'd assume 10/10 was last day of 55 production.On page one of the brake section, pg. 63 of book it say the following is a reprint of specialservice letter dealer no.151 dated Jan 4,1955,revised. Thats at the top of the section...These cars were easily identifiable due to a green "X" on the LH defroster duct cover under hood...where washer brkt bolts to.It gives serial number cutoff for the recall and notes ASSEMBLY plant. Heres the breakdown...<P> B1041182--Flint<BR> B2010618--South Gate<BR> B3012527--Linden<BR> B4012829--Kansas City<BR> B5009423--Wilmington<BR> B6010043--Atlanta<BR> B7005824--Framingham<BR> B8007133--Arlington<P> All P/B cars with lower numbered or the same VIN as these were affected by this campaign...Mine was as there is a green X where it should be...K.C. number is 12829, mine is 10047, Atlanta's is 10043...hmmmm...weird indeed...These cars were also given the green X on the booster can as mine had it on it although very faded from dirt and stuff.<BR> So, How many of you guys cars with P/B have this green X there???? These P/B units have unique parts as there was a special kit put out with this modified parts list...The book has a blowup of both versions with notes around parts being deleted or added. <P> So, Either the shop manual is a liar as to the VIN breakdown, or my car was added as part of the Atlanta run even though it fell 4 cars out of the range.<BR> I would LOVE to get some hardcore feedback on this one!!!!<P> Recently there was a question as to Assy. plants and what was built there as to makes...I found a page in my BMD book breaking it down...here it is...<BR> <BR> BOP Plants:<P> Z, Fremont,Ca.<BR> X, Kansas City,Ks.<BR> D, Atlanta<BR> C, South Gate, Ca.<BR> Y, Wilmington<P> Chevrolet Only plants<P> K, Kansas City, MISSOURI<BR> B, Baltimore<BR> V, Bloomfield, N.J.(CKD)<BR> H, Buick Home Plant Code<P> As to GM Make codes, we all know 1 thru 5 as Chev. thru Cad, but this mentions 6...Canada<P> My BMD book is circa 11/67, My shop manual reprint is only noted at the lower LH corner of pg. 1 as B.P.S. 1.38<P><BR> Sloan couldnt tell me where my car was built or give me any info other than basicly saying that Buick issued mat'l would be most likely accurate, but my BMD parts book and shop manual don't concur with each other as to the VIN issue...<BR> Last point, referring to Scotts 76C and the shop manual as to the cowl tag....according to pg 13-1 it says that the 76C should have an X after it denoting the body has the Hydo-Lecrtic power Sys. A TX after the style no. is a power top only car<P><BR> I'm done...so, what do you guys think???<BR> Remember....go take a gander at your cars tags and write down what it says....and compare notes as to what we have on our own cars/books. <BR> Does anyone know what the small hole in the cowl tag below the rivet is supposed to mean??? I got a smaller hole also on my VIN plate before first character...a teeny hole whereas the cowl tags hole is about 1/4"....suggestions????<P> Scott, I'm certainly not picking on you, but by comparing our two cars, there is indeed some discrepancies in the various forms of literature that many of us have. <P> Isn't this so much fun!!!! <P> Drop me an E guys if you wish... dlw29@hotmail.com<P> Thanks for reading my novel on 55 VIN info!!!!<P><BR> don55

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This is one really neat discussion going on here. It is rare to see so much interest in the numbers a Buick has to offer! I think I can be of assistance in answering many of the questions posed, but I need to have them presented one at a time so it doesn't get confusing. To start off, Fisher Body produced bodies for Buick at all the assembly plant locations, but the bodies were not necessairly built inside the Buick final assembly plant. For example, Flint built bodies on one side of town and then shipped them across town by transport to the final assembly plant for installation as the chassis went down the assembly line. It was extremely rare, but it IS possible to have a body produced in say Flint, on a vehicle that was built in say South Gate, California. In that case, the body would have been shipped across country by rail. Someone was asking about body numbers. A body number was assigned by the producing body plant, designating the number of bodies that had been produced by Fisher Body, ONLY at the body plant that had built that particular body. In other words, if a body number of 100 appears on a body plate stamped in Flint for a 76R, it means that the body was the 100th 76R body built at Flint. It does NOT mean that it was the 100th body of any kind produced there. ALL the body plants issued their own body numbers. That means that if 76R bodies were built at more than one location, then the number 100 would appear on the body plates from the other plants also, when they reached 100 76R bodies built. Terry Dunham

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Instead of starting a new post I will just post here about this. We drove my grandfathers 55 Buick Special Riviera 4dr down to the cruise tonight. It was getting a lot of complements. There was a Buick there I had never seen there before. A 1964 <BR>LeSabre 2-door hardtop coupe. Being the <BR>cheapest full-size Buick for 64, it was not a "loaded" model, but was all original and was in good original shape. Had a poor front driver seat, which was original, but the "foam" on the top of the drivers seat had been taped with clear mailing tape. Another nice car there tonight, never seen there before was a MINT 1964 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight 4-door hardtop. It was white with black interior. It was 100% original and in new shape. It was loaded with what looked to be every option available on a car in 1964. Had power windows, locks, seats, tilt, "autronic eye", sentinal lamps, maybe even am/fm... it was getting dark. Also a very a very nice 60 Oldsmobile Super 88 2dr hdtp mildly customized. Do not see too many Buicks there. Still a nice turnout every weekend. <P>Tony<BR>----<BR>72 Buick Electra<BR>89 Pontiac Safari <BR>91 Honda Accord

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Gents:<P>My info if directly from my cowl and door jam<BR>tags. I'm looking at pencil rubbings at them right now. <P>There is an "X" on my cowl tag, however it is in the Style Number. "Style No. 55-4767X"<P>I also did notice the inconsistency with the serial number and the starting number as well. I thought maybe that the protocal may not yet established on the numbering system when mine was built, since it was so early, as it may have been an exception.<P>As I had mentioned before, I do have a factory data sheet authored by Terry Dunhan, the gentleman who posted just above.<P>That is were I got the 2nd week of Nov 1954 production info from.<P>On that same sheet, it also states " first serial number "B001001". But according to that, it leaves off the first digit, the one Don is talking about being the plant number.<P>Since the first serial number is 1001, and mine is 3032, that is the 3031th serial number.<P>But is that not just the 3031th engine produced, not the 3031th car?<P>Terry feel free to jump in here also.<P>Scott<P> P.S. Did anybody notice the way Don was quoting all the Buick books was just like he was quoting the bible?<p>[ 10-20-2001: Message edited by: scott mich bca # 6619 ]

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Scott-<BR>The "X" at the end of your body style number means the body was produced with provision for power equipment, usually power windows power seat and power antenna. When the first frame or serial number is listed for a beginning model year or assembly plant, there are several ways of doing it. The important thing to establish is what the actual beginning serial number is, in other words, 001001. By 1955 every assembly plant producing for Buick started at 001001. Model year, model series and plant coding may or may not be listed along with the beginning serial number, it all depends on who is doing the listing. And it really doesn't matter. What is important is knowing what the beginning serial number was for the assembly plant. The model year, series of vehicle, and plant codes all preceed the sequential frame number and supply additiomal information about the car the serial number was assigned to. But it is really not important to know that information as long as you know 001001. Terry Dunham

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As I think I mentioned up above, I did contact Sloan regarding my car and the books with their different interpretations of the cowl tags and VIN deciphering...they said that BMD lit. would be what to go by, but which book??? If you look at one book it interprets one way, and another a different way. The reason I quoted the books in my library is so folks will know where this info. is pulled from and can possibly add some greater insight as to which to believe. I have a small collection of numbers from the numerous cars I have gotten parts from as it is kinda nice to know if a certain car you got your stuff from was unique as to an early or late car. Buick made a ton of changes in mid stream in 55...I played hell getting rear end parts beacause of it, if it were not for the books I have talking about these things i would have crushed the car when my engine problems were making me insanely p.o.ed. <BR> The P/B thing is one fairly easy way of determining an early car...assuming you got P/B.<BR> As to early cars...I had a super low prod. 61 Flint car...like 1500 or so...sure wish I had it still, but such is life. <BR> So, now you know why the books were quoted.<P> Which would you go off of????

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I wasn't and am not nor ever trying to ruffle peoples feathers, so to speak and i appologize if I have now or ever. <BR> just for the heck of it, I took a look at my Cars & Parts ID books for the 50's and 60's and according to them the VIN plates from 54 to 64 were pretty much read the same way with a number for the car model, letter for the yr. and the 3rd number for the assy. plant and so on...Not saying anything here, just noting what is in the books.

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For a long time, I thought that my '55 76R was assembled in Framingham. I opened my Factory 1955 Buick Shop Manual to one of the first pages which explained how to determine what plant a '55 was assembled in, using a car's "serial number." The Manual was very clear--the FIRST digit of the serial number of a car matches up to a number designation for each assembly plant, which is listed in the next paragraph of the manual. My "serial number" has a "7" as the first digit. Easy. <BR>Wrong... <BR>It wasn't until looking in my copy of the 1955 Buick Product Service Bulletins that listed serial numbers of affected Buicks for an update on brakes (see Don 55's posting on this) that I found out that my car was assembled in factory "1", or Flint.<BR>My Buick Master Parts book confirms this procedure for assembly plant identification.<BR>In the Product Service Manual, serial numbers were listed with the respective assembly plants immediately next to the numbers. I noticed a pattern that the second digit shown, the digit immediately after the "B", which indicates the 1955 model year, matched up to the assembly plants shown. The numbers used match up with the designations as shown in the'55 Shop Manual, but in a different location in the serial number--not the first digit as described in the manual. When I looked at the serial number of my '55, it had a "1" immediately after the common-to-all-'55's "B" <BR>So now, according to the Shop Manual, my car was assembled at Framingham.<BR>According to the '55 Product Service Bulletin manual and the Parts Book, my car was assembled in Flint. I agree with Don 55 that the information is contradictory.<BR>I feel that the factory '55 Shop Manual is not accurate in their description of serial numbers/assembly plants.<BR>By the way, the Master Parts Book describes the last six digits of the whole serial number as the "frame or serial" number".<BR>So, what is the complete number & letter combination found in the plate on the left door pillar actually called in 1955???<BR>Is it a serial number??<BR>Not according to the Shop Manual.<BR>AK Buickman

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I inspected a BCA member's '56 Special convertible Fisher body data plate and serial number last weekend. The body plant code was "G" or Flint, and the assembly plant code was either 3 or 4<BR> (I forgot which number). <BR>The main point is that the car was not assembled in Flint, just like Scott Mich's convertible, yet the body was built in Flint. <BR>Is it possible that only certain Fisher Body Plants, such as Flint, produced convertible bodies, then shipped them to another out of state assembly plant?? <BR>Two cars is not sufficient data to base anything on, maybe it is pure coincidence that Scott's convertible and this particular '56 Special Convertible were assembled in this manner.<BR>AK Buickman, BCA #1955

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I have a 55 Special for sale if anyone is interested. It has a 65 Nailhead in it. Factory AC and power windows. Lots of extra parts, gold plated emblems. You can E-mail me for more info. p_prom@msn.com I have an old picture if anyone wants.<P>-Pat Prom<P>Eden Prarie, MN

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The first instances I am aware of where a Buick was assembeled in one plant location and the body was produced in another location, occurred just after WWII. The occurances, while somewhat unique, are not rare. They usually but not always, involve convertibles. Sometimes another hard to build body, like the 1958 Roadmaster 75 and the Limited, were done like this. These bodies were extremely hard to build and quality control on them was a big problem. To get around this problem, the bodies were built all in one place (Flint) and were then shipped to assembly plants all around the country. That way the body build stayed in one location and it was easier to control body production quality.<BR>The serial number questions and issues posed here are not unique to 1955. They have occurred a number of times over the years and can indeed be confusing. It seems strange, but different departments within Buick apparently looked at serial and frame numbers differently. It leads to a lot of confusion. The question about the last six digits of the number being the "serial number" is a good one. If that's the serial number, what's everything else? The last six digits of a 1955 serial number, ie 001001 is the actual serial number of the vehicle in sequence. I like to call this the "sequence number." It is the only part of the serial number that can be used to determine exactly in what order the car came off the assembly line. The rest of the number (and surely it is indeed confusing to not call the whole number the serial number too) contains additional information about the vehicle that expands on the information contained in the sequential number. In other words, the whole number is saying something like "this is a 1955 car, it was built at X assembly plant." The last six digits, the sequence number if you will, places the car exactly in its build sequence off the assembly line. Terry Dunham

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Terry- Thank you for your input on this very confusing issue.<BR>As Terry mentioned, BMD refers to the "last six" of the complete serial number as the serial number, at least in the 1955 Buick Shop Manual. In the Buick Parts Manual, that six number assembly sequence is referred to as the serial number AND "frame number". <P>AK Buickman, BCA #1955<P>I don't believe that the term "Vehicle Identification Number (V.I.N) was used yet in 1955. This was first used during the mid-1960's, and is still in use today.

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AK-<BR>I enjoy doing this, there are some extremely good questions and issues being raised here!<P>Your point about the term "Vehicle Identification Number" being a more recent happening is very good. The terms serial number, frame number and frame serial number are more closely asociated with the earlier years. For reasons that are not clear to me, Buick went from using the term "frame number" in 1954 to calling the number a "Vehicle Identification Number" in 1955. There was a mid year change in the way Buick stamped its serial numbers during the 1954 model year. Before April 1, 1954 there was no series designator used in the number, ie A1001001. Cars built after April 1, 1954 and continuing for the next several model years, had a series designatior was added, ie 4A1001001. I am unable to determine why, but at least in internal tracking documents, the term "vehicle identification number" was used for the very first time in 1955. It was not used earlier, even after the change in how the numbers were stamped in mid 1954. Terry Dunham

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Terry,<BR>What 1955 Buick documents have you seen the term Vehicle Identification Number used?? I have never seen the term used in any sales, parts, or service literature. In this literature that I own, "serial number" or "frame number" are the only terms that have seen. I need to look at the original invoice for my 1955 76R when it was sold new, and see what term individual Buick dealers were using for the serial number/VIN when they sold a new Buick. I know that dealer terminology may not match that of the factory, but I will check anyway. <BR>The change in the numbering sequence during the 1954 model year is interesting. I will check my 1954 Product Service Manual to see if it is mentioned. <BR>AK Buickman, BCA #1955

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Hi AK-<P>The data comes from vehicle registration information the Motor Vehicle Departments in all the states used in 1954 & 1955 to register cars. The more I think about it, with the addition of the "series digit" to the frame numbers in mid 1954, that's probably the point that someone said "let's now call these frame numbers vehicle identification numbers instead, since there is more unique descriptive information about the vehicle contained in the number than there has ever been before." But if that's so, then why not start using the term in mid 1954 when the change first happened? Darned if I know! Terry Dunham

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The dealer invoice that I got from the original owner for my '55 76R uses this terminology:<BR>"serial number"<BR>"motor number"<BR>"key number"<BR>There is a reminder on the lower part of this invoice that reads, "Always show serial, motor and key number"<BR>The invoice is Reynolds & Reynolds form "DSA 501". Reynolds & Reynolds Company supplied Buick and GM dealers with many different types of forms in the service and sales department. I am not certain about factory business forms. I used to see the name Reynolds & Reynolds on many forms when I worked in Buick dealers. It has been a few years since I worked in a Buick dealer, but I would guess that R & R is still supplying GM dealers with some business forms. <BR>My '55 new car purchase invoice is pre-printed using black, blue, and red ink. The specific information about the purchase of my '55 was typed in the appropriate boxes on the invoice(name/address of buyer, base price of car, option list with cost, serial/motor/key numbers, amount of money put down on new car, etc).<BR>Getting back to serial numbers, going by this invoice, Buick Motor Division still used the term "serial number" to describe the entire number and letter sequence that is called the Vehicle Identification Number today. Or, the dealers were using up outdated invoices.<BR>AK Buickman...................

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Hi AK!<P>Confusing isn't it?! A lot of this stuff is. It almost sounds just like the beginning serial numbers by assembly plant problem someone talked about earlier! I think it might well be one more case of which department was looking at the number as to what it happened to get called when it got printed. Reynolds & Reynolds has supplied business forms to GM dealers for decades, I think maybe clear back into the 1930s, maybe even earlier. The form you were able to get with your car doesn't necessairly have to be outdated. It could well have been printed up for the 1955 Model year. Remember the change came in 1955 (at least in so far as Buick's internal documents were concerned)so that it might well have taken a year or so for things to catch up. Maybe even much more than a year. Even today I have seen new automotive stuff printed with "serial number" on it instead of "Vehicle Identification Number." I don't know if we will ever be able to figure out from an historical stand point when the autombile industry made the change, but that would be really interesting to work on too. It might have happened around the same time period we are now discussing,if it was a federal mandate that caused the change to take place after 4/1/54. If it was just Buick changing then it won't help us much. I have had a couple of e mails from a good friend of mine who is faxing some information that might throw some light on the subject. If its really good stuff, maybe we can scan it and set up a link or something to the information so everyone can see for themselves what happened. Could you maybe scan your form too so we could set up a comparison?? Terry Dunham

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Terry;<BR>I am not a computer whiz, but I will work on trying to get a system of scanning documents to post here. I think a website needs to be created (?)<BR>I found an interesting documentation in my 1954 Buick Product Service Bulletin Manual.<BR>It states that ALL Buick convertible bodies are produced in Flint ("G" code on Fisher cowl plate), then shipped to the various Buick assembly plants in the U.S. The next thing would be, for how long did Buick do this?<BR>AK Buickman, BCA #1955....................<P>w

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Hi AK-<P>I am not certain as to when Buick stopped producing all the convertible bodies in Flint and quit shipping them around the country. It would have been extremely expensive to do in the long run.<P>I have just had a photo copy of two pages in the "symbol and identification section" of an insurance rating book faxed to me by a friend in the insurance business. The book was issued by the National Automobile Underwriters Asociation. One page is for Buick in 1954, the other is for Buick in 1955. The 1954 page calls out the term "serial number," the 1955 page uses the term "vehicle identification number." <P>Interestingly enough it appears that both Chevrolet and Cadillac continued to use the term "serial number" in 1955. So it may turn out that Buick was somewhat unique in its use of the term "vehicle identification number" in 1955. Terry Dunham

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