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1959 El Camino Trim Tag Decoder?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Harrison, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. Can anyone help me decode my '59 El Camino trim tag?

    From the VIN I know it was a V/8 car built in LA/Van Nuys. The trim tag reads:

    Paint = 940A (Grecian Gray)
    Trim - 803
    ACC - EZI, IP, BD
    Body VIN - 6694
    Style - 59-1280

    This was all sent to me via text from a friend. Hopefully she got the numbers & letters right.

    Thanks, Jim

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  2. http://www.chevy59.com/engine.htm
    I looked here but didn't see trim.

    I'm pretty sure my El Camino store catalog has all this but I don't think I packed it when I moved.
     
  3. SledDriver
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 98

    SledDriver
    Member
    from California

    940A - 940 is Grecian Gray. 940A is probably Snowcrest White over Grecian Gray.
    803 - Gray interior
    59-1280 1959 V8 El Camino

    EZI is the tinted glass
    IP is the padded dash
    BD is unknown at this time. Does it have a posi rear end?

    Hope that helps.

    Travis
     
  4. Travis,

    Thanks man. Where did you get this info though? Mine had remnants of original red upholstery on the seat.

    I don't know about the rear end. The car is still in GA & I've not had time to mess with it yet.

    Jim
     

  5. Jim, the 940 A means it was Grecian Grey and a solid color. You cudn't get a two-tone in that color. The letter B designates a two-toned vehicle. The El Camino's predominate interior color was grey. Some green ones had a green interior and some blues had a blue interior, but there was never a red interior from the factory. Maybe someone along the way reupholstered it in red. You've got a real nice start by the looks of things. Kinda interesting to find an L.A. built EC in GA. Mine's also L.A. built, but I was the one who brought it to the East Coast.
     
  6. Thanks for the info. Not sure how much of a "nice start" it is but, at $150, I'm in it cheap.

    Someone must have swapped the interior (well, the seat at least). My VIN starts with the "H59L". It has one piece bumpers and the EZI glass makes sense as an option in California (or the deep south). I'd sure like to know how it ended up in the wooded lot behind a preacher's house in Alabama - in 1982.

    I could tell that it was either Inca Silver or Grecian Gray. If the red interior came from GM I was going to go with the original color. Guess I'm free to swap it up if I want now though.

    So..... what's "BP" mean?

    JH

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  7. Looks pretty complete and fairly solid. Even the glass looks good in the pix. To replace all the glass wud cost you about $1200 and what you'd get isn't as good as the original. So, that $150 investment seems like a real steal. You can't buy a tire today for that. The taillights are there as well as the trim and they look good in the photo. A complete set of repro lens is about $250. I see you have power brakes, but single speed wipers and standard two-lever heater. You've got a grille guard in front of a custom tube grille. That grille guard isn't cheap, either.

    It's definitely a V8 California car. Inca silver was only on the Vette's in 1959, but they looked awesome with a red interior so I think that wud be a great color scheme on your EC. Mine's Roman Red with a Snowcrest white top and wings. The interior is grey. It's all original except for a pair of West Coast type mirrors. I was hoping to find a blue one, but once I saw one at Hershey that was restored in that red & white color scheme, it just popped and I knew I was going to leave the exterior color alone. Gonna change the interior to red & white; red dash, red carpet, white rolled & pleated seats with red piping. FYI, a repro interior is available in red, but it's not the original EC pattern. It's in the Impala pattern including the door panels.

    Not sure right off the top of my head what BP equates to. GM plants didn't always put every accessory on the plate and some plants used different codes for the same accessory. Since yours and mine came from the same plant and are similarly equiped, it shud have similar codes. I'll go down the garage tomorrow and check my plate again to be sure what's on there.
     
  8. SledDriver
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 98

    SledDriver
    Member
    from California

    Bowtie... thanks for the clarification on the paint codes. I just looked up www.348-409.com since I was at work, and that was what I found. Now I am at home and going through my 59 stuff and yes... 940A is solid Grecian Gray. 988B would be Snowcrest White over Grecian Gray on a 1100 or 1200 series car. Interestingly enough, if my Impala was that color combo, it would be 988D? I'm getting this from the Late Great Chevy 1958-1964 Judging Manual. I've found this to be really helpful.

    The ACC codes are weird. My car only has the EZI on it, but I found factory AC in it. However, after taking it all apart it appears to have been installed at the dealership. There was an extra brace bolted to the firewall/cowl... and even better (NOT!) the holes for the AC were literally torched out with an acetylene torch. You'd find some of the ACC codes here and there, but you'll still find some weird ones that leave us clueless 50 years after they were built.

    Everything else Bowtie has said is pretty much spot on.

    Still no clue on the BP or BD or whatever that is. That's why I was suggesting looking to see if it has posi or some other type of option added to the car.

    Anyway... good luck with that.

    Travis
     
  9. Yes, those ACC codes can be weird. I looked at my plate again today. It's EZI IP BD FR. I'm sure my EC is bone stock, right down to the body color steel wheels and deluxe wheel covers, so I'm not too worried about decoding these. Yet, it's a challenge to try. I'm wondering if the BD equates to "Body Deluxe." That deluxe package in the EC has twin armrests, twin sunvisors, a cigarette lighter, and fender ornaments; all of which are on my EC. The FR code is also puzzling. Does that mean "frame" or "front and rear" like springs or shocks? I dunno.
     
  10. SledDriver
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 98

    SledDriver
    Member
    from California

    Bowtie-

    Now that you bring up the Body Deluxe idea... I do know that sometimes El Caminos received the Biscayne trim while others received the Bel Air trim. This includes side trim and the fender rockets (Biscaynes didn't have the rockets... Bel Airs did...) and on the inside, the thin aluminum trim across the dash, plus the steering wheel horn on the Bel Air, and all those little things that add up to a Bel Air interior. I've seen one 59 El Camino that had what looked like the Bel Air package on the outside (full body length side trim plus the fender rockets), but had a Biscayne interior. Weird. Perhaps that might be something to look at. As far as I know, there is no way to differentiate that on the Body Tag except perhaps in the ACC area? I also wonder if grille guards had their own ACC code? I know Positraction does, along with AC, Power Seats, Power Windows... and there is even an 'L' code listed for 4-speed cars.

    Anyway...

    Travis
     
  11. Hey guys, pardon me hijacking Jim's thread but wondering if I could get a decode of my two '59 El Caminos I bought in May. First is a California car with the following tag:

    STYLE 59-1280 BODY VN2003
    TRIM 803 PAINT 923A
    ACC.-FR

    The second car is not Cali built car and I've been told this tag is actually for an Impala with the following tag info:

    STYLE 59-1611 BODY NW4569
    TRIM 806 PAINT 940-A
    ACC.

    As somone has installed Impala dash bottom trim and Impala steering wheel, seems they may have switched the cowl tag as well.

    Jim, I'm also in TN-Nashville area. Kinda deja vue reading about your purchase this year too!

    Rick
     
  12. Pics of my two 59's. I used to say I wasn't afraid of a little rust but these are pushing my limits. Although partially disassembled I have enough to build. The red one has grille damage but the brown car has perfect grille. may try to build one outta the two.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. SledDriver
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 98

    SledDriver
    Member
    from California

    Rarerodder-

    STYLE 59-1280 BODY VN2003
    TRIM 803 PAINT 923A
    ACC.-FR

    This car is a 59 V8 El Camino, Roman Red with a gray interior. Interesting to note that the FR in the ACC code is the same as Bowtie's El Camino. So something is the same on both of your El Caminos...


    STYLE 59-1611 BODY NW4569
    TRIM 806 PAINT 940-A
    ACC.

    This is a 59 V8 Bel Air 2-door sedan, Grecian Gray with a gray interior.
     
  14. Travis has nailed it. It wud be interesting to compare some notes to see if we can figure out the FR code. Your second EC has obviously been messed with considering the BA trim tag. Does it still have a VIN tag on the driver's side door hinge pillar? I wonder if it matches that Norwood, OH built BA trim tag.

    The red EC appears to have 348 flags on the hood. Does it still have a 348 in it or do you know if it did?
     
  15. Yours look considerably nicer than mine. No worries at all Rick. Please discuss. I'll learn something in the process for sure.

    Speaking of..... on that second trim tag, what is it that lets you know it is a Bel Air? I'm guessing the Style #1611?

    JH
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  16. Yup, the 1600 series is a V8 BA and the 11 is the 2dr sedan, result is 1611.
     
  17. Yes, the red EC has the one piece bumpers and has the 348 still in it and complete. Just a four barrel not lucky enough to be 3X2. I do have a couple old Offy intakes for it already, not sure which one I want to use: one's a 2X4 the other is a 6X2.
     
  18. I just checked the tags in the door jamb area. There are two-ones screwed on top of the other. Guessing the bottom is probably original to the car and the top one will match that BA cowl tag.
     
  19. Hmmm, I think that one wud become my parts car!
     
  20. I know what your thinking and I'm thinking parts car myself.:cool:
     

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