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The 55 gauge is not the same. It has a capillary tube sensor that plugs into the engine. The 1956 temperature gauge is electric. Make sure that you also get the correct temperature sender or the gauge will not read correctly. Many senders that are sold are not calibrated correctly for the 1956 temperature gauge.

The best option is to buy a NOS or used gauge from someone on this site, or to get one from E-Bay. Here is a link to a correct used 1956 gauge. https://www.ebay.com/itm/1955-1956-CHEVY-ELECTRIC-TEMPERATURE-GAUGE-1-TESTED-WORKS/253822338931?hash=item3b18fd8773:g:rPwAAOSwYwhbW2Ji:sc:USPSPriority!54220!US!-1

The correct temperature sender is sold by Lectric Limited. Here is a link. https://www.lectriclimited.com/temperature-sending-unit-105969
Danchuck temperature gauge 15955, and temperature sender 093 will also work for you.
 

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I tried a few different '56 gauges in my 55 using the correct '56 sending unit. It was my experience the old gauges were inconsistent or just didn't work. I went with an aftermarket unit that looks like a stock '56 gauge (the pointer is slightly more sharp on the end) with modern electronics, again, using the correct '56 sending unit with great results. Here is a link to the same gauge I found https://www.ebay.com/itm/Chevy-Temperature-Gauge-1956-57-261276-1/183362959453?fits=Year:1956|Make:Chevrolet&hash=item2ab148b85d:g:u3oAAOSwqxZbZ62q
 
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