Specific Information, Notes for Casting Numbers, Locations and Other Notes.
Casting Numbers for the Engine
All V8 engine casting numbers are located on the top left flange at the rear of the block where the flywheel attachment is formed. The Casting dates can be found on the right side of the block opposite the casting number. Special note for 68 and early 69 427 dates; these are located on the lower right side near the freeze plug and engine mount in the front of the starter motor. Another special note is for the 65 Tonawanda 327 block cast number 3858180; this number is located adjacent to the block number ending in the two year numbers, 65.
Engine casting date codes start with the letter A through L corresponding with each month of the year January to December. Then followed by one or 2 numbers, 1 to 31, representing the day of the month. The ending number is for they year of production.
The engines came from 2 places and were then sent to St. Louis. The big block V 8's came from Tonawanda and the small block V 8's were from Flint. The castings for the small blocks, 265, 283, 327 and the 350 were done in the Saginaw Plant and then shipped to the Flint plant for assembly and machining. It seems the only exception was for the 65 small block, as noted above, that ended in a 2 year designation at the end of the casting date.
Engine Identification Code Location
Engine type identification and manufacturing code stamping was placed on a machined surface that is called a Boss. The location of the Boss is just to the rear of the ignition distributor opening for the 1953 to 1955 6 cylinder engines. For 1955 and later V8 engines the Boss is located at the right front top of the engine, on the pad just in front of the cylinder head. Take special note that the letter "I" is often the Roman numeral one when it is used for serial date coding.
The LAY prefix indicates the 1953 model year. The "A" is for the passenger engine type (not truck) and the Corvette 150 horsepower 235 cubic inch engine with Powerglide transmission. It is also indicative of being manufactured at the Tonawanda, New York, engine plant as shown by the Y. The last 6 digits are for the sequential production number.
1954 to 1956
1001 was the starting number used for the production numbers at the beginning of each production year. There is no correlation between the production numbers and the serial numbers other than higher serial numbered corvettes tend to have higher production numbers. A source identifier "F" for the Flint engine plant followed the serial numbers. Then the numbers 54, 55, 56 for the year of model and then the engine suffix code. Each year page in the Corvette Fact Section will have this information for each Corvette engine code. Chevrolet specified the model year in 1955 to be 255 for the 1955 Corvette with a 3-speed transmission. However, this has not been verified.
1957 and beyond
As of 1957 the use of continuous serial numbering of the engine was discontinued. Engines were prefixed with source designations instead. F for Flint for the 1955 to 1966 small blocks, V or Flint V8 Engine Plant for the 1967 and later small blocks and T for the Tonawanda Plant for the 1965 big blocks and later. The next 1 or 2 digits were for the month of manufacture and after 1959 the 01 style was used making the use of 2 digits as standard. The next 2 numbers were for the month of manufacture and then everything was followed by the suffix code. Sometime in 1960 a VIN derivative was added to the engine pad.
Casting Numbers for the Heads
Head casting numbers for the 6 cylinder can be viewed without removing the valve covers. The number is located between the number 2 and the number 3 cylinder between the valves, directly above their exhaust outlet port. The valve cover must be removed to view the date code. The date code is the same as for engine blocks.
The 8 cylinder head valve covers must be removed to view both the number and the date code. The number is in the rocker area. The date code is read the same as the engine block dates. Special note for aluminum heads; casting dates re usually mold dates and these may not be casting dates. Aluminum heads also have a W inside a snowflake design, which stands for the Winters Aluminum Foundry Company. It should also be noted that in 1960 aluminum heads were not available for retail sale.
Casting Numbers for the Exhaust Manifolds
The casting dates, when installed, may not be visible. Some manifolds do not have a casting date. The casting date is the same as for engine code dates except the code does not include a year. On the left manifold for a fuel injection 63 to 65, the manifolds do not have a machined hole for a heat tube. On the right exhaust manifold of the 57 to 65 there is no hole for the heat tube.
VIN Plate Locations
The Vehicle Identification Serial Number or VIN plate is attached to the top left hand door hinge pillar below the remote door switch of the courtesy lamp. Phillips head screws attach it and the plate has rounded corners. Very early plates were magnetic stainless steel. The attachment holes were hand drilled. Later the plates were made of aluminum and machine stamping made the holes. Resign overcoats were used to cover the VIN plate and the screw heads were also filled to make it more difficult to remove the plate.
1956 to Early 1960
Vin plate still has rounded corners and is attached to the door hinge pillar just below the top hinge and is still attached with Phillips screws.
Early 1960 to 1962
The placement has been moved to the top of the steering column mast jacket. It is about 13 inches towards the rear of the steering gear housing. The plate is attached by spot welding. The corners are still rounded
1963 to 1964
VIN plate has been moved to the body hinge pillar and is spot-welded. It is below the glove compartment. On June 15, 1963, a new design that still kept the rounded corners was placed in production. The letters DD were added for Delivery Date and a blank space provided so the dealer to stamp the delivery date of the vehicle to the purchaser. Many of the plates do not contain a delivery date due to the dealer breaking the weld when a stamp was applied to the plate.
1965 to 1967
Another new design started in 1965. The plate had square corners and was riveted to the body hinge pillar brace below the glove compartment. The dealers broke many of the welds when they stamped the plates, hence the change in design to the use of rivets. Early 1965 rivets are circular and the later rivets are rosette shaped. There were still many dealers that did not stamp them with the delivery date.
1968 to 1972
One more change to the placement happened in 1968. The plate was still attached by the rosette rivets and was now under the front window glass on the left hand windshield pillar. This made it more difficult to remove the plate, as it would now require the removal of the windshield.
Additional notes on the VIN
1953 to 1959: "E"(53 to 57) or "J" (58 to 59) prefix indicates Corvette model. The "V" was used in 1955 to reference the V-8 engine. The prefix was followed by a 2 digit model year. The word "Flint" (in 1953), the "F" for Flint and the "S" for St. Louis came next and then a 6 digit sequential production number was last.
1960 to 1964: The first place of the VIN number was for they last digit of the model year. In 1963 and 1964 the 4th digit a 6 was used to indicate Coupe or a 3 to indicate a Convertible. The S was the code for the St. Louis plant and was followed by a 6 digit sequential production number.
1965 to 1971: All Corvettes in this time frame start with 19467 or 19437. The 1 shows it is from the Chevrolet Motor division. The 9 shows that it is a Corvette model. The 4 is for the V-8 engine. The 67 is for Convertible and the 37 is for Coupe. The sixth place is for the last digit of the model year. The S is for the St. Louis plant. In addition, the last 6 numbers are the production sequence numbers.
1972: The meaning of the numbers change again. Another space has been added. The 1Z is for the Chevrolet Corvette model. The next 2 are 67 for convertible and the 37 for coupe. The next place is a single letter, which is for the engine type and will be a K for the base V8, L for LT1 or W for the 454 engine. The next number is for the last digit of the model year, which is followed by the S for the St. Louis plant. Than the last 6 numbers are the production sequence numbers.
The Carter carburetor number will appear on a metal triangle shaped tag attached to the bowl on YH models or the air horn of WFBC and AFB models. The throttle body base of the AFB models are stamped with the identification numbers and may not have a tag affixed. The tag also has a date code. The code was just the Letter A to M, not including the I to represent each month from January to December.
The identification number and the date of manufacture for the Holly are stamped into the forward vertical surface of the air horn. The code is broken down as follows. The first place is the last digit of the manufacture year. The second place is used for the month. The month was coded as a number 1 through 0 for January to October and then the letters A and B for November and December. The 3rd digit in the code is used to indicate the week of the month. There is a variation of the numbering system used for the Holley. This code was 4 digits and the first 3 are used to designate the day of the year and the last one was used for the year of manufacture.
The Rochester Quadrajet has the Identification numbers stamped into the vertical boss on the driver's side secondary throttle shaft. The code of manufacture is also at this location. Rochester had some carburetors that were made by Carter and show the Carter designation.
For the Fuel Injection identification there is a metal tag riveted to the plenum on the left side. The model number and a serial number started with 1001 for each series. About 100 that were used on the 1957 Corvette had no tags and has instead a number that has been hand stamped into the plenum. The fuel meters have a triangle inspection tag mounted at the 10 o'clock screw position on the power enrichment diaphragm cover. The tag contains the model number and the manufacture date code standard.
The air and fuel meter part numbers and the serial numbers were all hand stamped.
Rear Axle Identification
1953 to 1962
The serial code is stamped on the front right side of the differential housing. The prefix code is followed by 1 or 2 numbers for the month of manufacture followed by the day of the month. Standard rules apply.
1963 and Beyond
The codes for the Axle are stamped just forward of the cover on the bottom of the differential housing. The standard code of dating is used that indicates the manufacture date, the plant and the type of the axle.
Starter Motor Information
1953 to 1956
The serial number is the date of manufacture and is stamped onto a Delco-Remy tag that has been riveted to the starter housing.
1957 to 1972
The date code serial number is stamped directly on to housing. The standard date code rules apply. No I was used for the month code.
Distributor number and the date coding
The distributor cap must be removed to view the code number, as it is visible on the contact point plate. For the Carbureted unit a black metal Delco tag is riveted to the housing up to 1962. After 1962 their number is located on an aluminum band that is wrapped around the neck of the distributor shaft. For the fuel injection unit the date information is on a plate that attaches to the body starting with the 1110914 model. Earlier fuel injection models have the black Delco tag. The standard date code rules apply where "I" is not used.