If you are serious about restoring your 1955-1959 Chevy automobile, and want all casting numbers to match, Chevrolet by the Numbers: 1955-1959 is the guide you'll need at your fingertips.
This guide shows you how to properly identify all V8 drivetrain parts, for all Small- and W-Blocks on 1955-1959 Chevy passenger cars, including:
- Chevy Series 150
- Chevy Series 210
- Chevy Bel Air
- Chevy Impala
- Chevy El Camino
- Chevy Corvette
Engines covered include the 265, 283, and 348 c.i.
Information in this book was gathered by author Alan L. Colvin from previously-unreleased documents from the Chevrolet archives.
The casting numbers in this guide will help you avoid spending money on the wrong parts, or also help you purchase the right car when it comes to insuring that it has been properly and authentically restored.
Book Excerpt: Chevrolet By The Numbers 1955-1959: Chevy V8 Drivetrain Casting Part Numbers
TRIM TAG INFORMATION
CYLINDER HEAD IDENTIFICATION
In this section I will explain the information found on 1955 through 1959 Chevrolet firewall trim tags. It is imperative to know how to interpret this information on your own car or a car you intend to purchase, because it allows you to verify the model and the original paint and trim combinations for the car.
There were two basic trim tag designs used from 1955 through 1959. The first was used for 1955-58 cars excluding Corvette. The second was for 1959 cars excluding Corvette.
All trim tags were attached by special rivets. The position of the trim tag changed from year to year. See the headings below by year and model for individual trim tag locations and decoding of trim tag information.
1955 THROUGH 1958 TRIM TAGS
The 1955-58 trim tag is considered the "first design" trim tag. All 1955-56 Standard Chevrolet passenger cars without A/C have a 2 1/2" x 4" trim tag affixed to the right side of the cowl area below the windshield. See Fig. 1-31.
1955-56 cars with A/C have the tag affixed to the driver's side of the cowl. See earlier Fig. 1-2.
Most of the trim tags on 1955-56 factory air conditioned cars were attached by standard General Motors rivets. Other cars used special rivet-head bolts and nuts to attach the tag. See Fig. 1-32.
Also note that some cars with air conditioning had holes on the passenger side of the cowl with standard rivets in place. The reason for this is unknown.
There are a number of ways to identify cylinder heads. The primary one is the head casting number and date, but there are also other identifying features, including combustion chamber design, and external casting marks on the end of the head.
CYLINDER HEAD CASTING NUMBER
The cylinder head casting number is the single most important identifying feature on a head because it will probably be the last feature that could be altered or changed.
The casting number is usually found on the top of the head, in between two valves and the rocker arm studs. See Fig. 5-2.
If you absolutely want to know the original parts for your Chevrolet - not what parts interchange or fit, but the correct part that came with the vehicle when it rolled off the assembly line at the factory - Chevrolet by the Numbers: 1955-1959
has the answer.
Subject: 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959 Chevy Part Casting Numbers Reference Guide. ISBN-10: 0837608759 | ISBN-13: 9780837608754 | Bentley Part No. GC59 | GM Part No. 12366584