How to Read the VIN on a 1956 Chevyby Joshua Duvauchelle
The vehicle identification number (VIN) on a 1956 Chevrolet automobile can tell you a lot about that specific automobile. The company stamped each of its cars with an array of numbers and letters--an alphanumeric code--that identified where and what year the car was made and what model it was. Decoding a Chevrolet VIN is one of the most common ways of determining the authenticity of a classic car.
Find the VIN tag. On most 1956 Chevrolets, the number is stamped on a metal plate located on the left door hinge pillar. This varies on some models. For example, the 1956 Corvette's VIN is stamped on the door post on the driver's side.
Look at the first section on the metal VIN tag. This describes the engine type, preceded by a "V." For example, it may read "V8."
Review the second section of the VIN tag. You will see a letter ranging between A and D. This describes the Chevrolet model. An "A" means it was a Chevrolet 150, "B" is a Chevrolet 210, "C" is a Chevrolet Bel Air, and "D" is a Chevrolet Sedan Delivery.
Note the third section, composed of two digits. This is the year the car was made. It will read "56," or your car is not a 1956 Chevrolet after all.
Check the fourth section. This letter denotes which one of 10 U.S. assembly plants constructed this specific car. For example, "A" is Atlanta, Georgia; "L" is Los Angeles, California, and "S" is St. Louis, Missouri. Hemmings Motor News has a complete list of assembly plants used in 1956.
Look at the last section, made up of four digits. This is the production sequence number. The number range started at "1001" in 1955 and works its way up with each batch of cars.
- "The Classic Chevy Truck Handbook: 1955-1960"; Jim Richardson; 2009
- "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Classic Cars: A Celebration of the Classic Car from 1945 to 1985"; Martin Buckley; 2009
Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.