In my “spare” time, I accumulated chassis VIN’s and engine S/N’s for ’55-’58 300’s. Mainly due to seeing if there was any correlation. Our own 1955 C-300 had an engine S/N 100 less than the chassis VIN.
A few things I found out:
· Hemi engines in the 1955-1958 300’s each had a unique serial number stamped onto the top of the block at the front and cleverly hidden by water pump plumbing. These unique S/N’s were recorded by hand on the IBM build cards.
· The 413 wedge engines had ID’s stamped on top of the block cleverly hidden near the distributor that identified the engine as a 300 engine and the date of finishing/assembly. There is no record of the engine date on the IBM card furnished by Gil. Presumably it was some date before the shipping date. Since our K came to us with a later 383, I ended up buying a rustbucket K for its engine which just happened to carry a date nine days before the shipping date, but 18 days after the SO date. Coulda happened.
· In 1955, there did not appear to be any concerted effort to make sure the engine with the lowest S/N went into the next 300 chassis.
· In 1956-1958, the correlation of engine S/N to chassis VIN was much stronger. I was able to develop equations for calculating the probable S/N given the VIN for these years.
· The format of the 1955-1957 engine S/N’s was 3N5X YYYY, with X=5, 6 or 7 and YYYY starting with 1001
· 1958 engines had the same data but in differing formats during the year. I did not get a clear picture of all the different formats or when the format changed, but I believe the formats may have been these at least: 3N58 YYYY 58N3 YYYY. Maybe others.
· The format of J & K engine ID’s was:
· Other years had different formats. All engines finished on a given date would have the same ID (It is not really a serial number).
· I was told INT club judging of hemi cars would not assign demerits to a replacement engine of the same year and marked as a 300 block. I never had this discussion on later-year wedge engine replacements but would hope this is the case, also.
Just my conclusions, all more enlightened and documented input welcomed.
C300K’ly, (In the mid 60’s)
Rich Barber (In the mid 70’s)
Brentwood, CA (In the mid 60’s)
Posted by: "Rich Barber" <c300@xxxxxxx>
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