How to Decode Serial Numbers on 1953 Chevy Trucks

by Dakota Wright
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In 1953 Chevrolet produced trucks at fifteen different factories. These vehicles, including those built in '54 and '55, were the first series vehicles and the last of the "Advance Design.” To find out additional information about your particular truck, you will need to decode the serial number.

The serial number for classic Chevrolet trucks is on the back of the distributor, stamped in. Decoding each serial number will let you find out where the truck was made, and how far into the year.

Step 1

Look at the first letter in the serial number. This letter classifies each truck according to the series it belongs to. Chevrolet trucks built from 1953 to 1955 were the first series in their class, meaning these trucks were the first trucks built according to Chevrolet's specifications. The first series class designated weight and chassis with the single letters “H, J, K, l, M, N, P, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.” The letter “O” was omitted for the sake of clarity. Any serial numbers beginning with two letters signify a truck that was built before 1953.

Step 2

Examine the two-digit number following the series letter. For 1953 model Chevrolet trucks, this number will always be “53,” which signifies the model year. Trucks whose serial numbers are missing a two-digit number following the series letter and instead go straight to another letter were built before 1953.

Step 3

Find the single letter after the two-digit year. This letter signifies the factory code for each vehicle. A serial number starting with “A” means the truck was built in Atlanta, Georgia, while a serial number beginning with “B” represents the Baltimore, MD factory. The remaining letters represent other factories across the country; “F”, “P” and “W” for factories in Flint, Pontiac and Willow Run, Michigan; “H”, “O” and “V” for plants in Fremont, Oakland, and Southgate, CA; as well as “K” and “S,” representing the factories in Kansas City and St Louis, MO. Additionally, Chevrolet had five other operational plants depicted as “G” for Framingham, Massachusetts; “J” for Janesville, Wisconsin; “N” for Norwood, Ohio; “T” for Tarrytown, New York, and finally “Y” representing Wilmington, DE.

Step 4

Locate the series of numbers directly following the factory code. These numbers represent the production order of each truck. The production numbers for 1953 started with “001001,” and every truck built after this added a number to the sequence. A truck with a production order number of “001901” would signify the 900th truck built in 1953.

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