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Hi everyone. I just picked up a 55 BelAir 2-door hardtop w/power pack last week and had a question about the VIN number. I believe that it is a very low number but was hopeing that some of you may inform me as to just how low it realy is. That is, does anyone out their have a number any lower, etc. The number is VC55S011872. Any additional information would be helpfull.
Thank You
David
 

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Welcome to the forum David. The VIN's began at 1001 at each assembly plant in '55. The St. Louis plant produced roughly 20,000 cars a month through-out the '55 model year. Others could probably narrow it down to a day or two, but my guess is your car would have been built about mid October. There are several differences in the early production cars. One would be a round snorkel on the power-pack air cleaners.
 

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I agree as to the approx. build date. Some of the early things to look for: radiator baffles had a notch in the upper inner corner to avoid the early style core support piece riveted there. The BA horn cap will not have a screw holding it on, just a clip. The dash inserts will have small tabs and consequently the dash itself will have small slots. There are some truck lid pieces different on the inside lip, but I've forgotten what they are.
 

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Followup on what Jalapeno said.

The trunk to tailpan bumpers are sheet metal pieces that are adjustable. They had a plastic covering on the end like the plastic handles on some pliers. The trunk lid had slots for the adjustment. There was no rubber bumper in the tail pan. They went through another design before they went to the design that 56-57 used, late in 55 production, which was a welded piece on the trunk lid and a rubber bumper in the channel above the tail pan.

Early 55s didn't have much bracing in the trunk floor to support the gas tank, so a lot of them have the floor drooped there. Or real trouble if rusted.

They also had about 3 different lower ball joints in 55, and the headlights had 3 designs (maybe 4). The early 55s had what's called a "steel back" headlight, and the steel rusted.

I think there were 3 differnet radiator support/filler panel designs. Diagonal braces and cutouts in the filler panels for them, or lack of them.

I don't think any production cars actually had those nubs on the Bel Air dash trim, but the holes in the dash were there. I think the nubs were going to be on a pot metal piece they never put in production.

The 55-56 Bel Air dash would have looked great with a chromed trim insert, expecially a 55 with the bowties - until it looked like crap after it pitted. I guess it was just too expensive - and maybe just as well.
 
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