Techin' In With Fletch - March 2014

Dan Fletcher Feb 14, 2014 0 Comment(s)
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Got a restoration question that's been puzzling you? Send it to:
[ m ] Super Chevy, Fletch, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619.
[ e ] questions4fletch@yahoo.com [ f ] 813-675-3557


VIN Follow Up

I really enjoy Super Chevy magazine and reading your Techin' in with Fletch column. I recently read your response to a VIN question and have a follow up question.

I've attached a picture of the VIN from my 1956 Bel Air. It only has nine characters, but also has a stamp “C” on it. I believe the “B” is for Baltimore. Did they put the “C” on for extra identification? Can you shed any light on this VIN, which has one less numerical character, but yet one extra letter? For what it's worth, I bought the car on eBay in 2008, and it came from the Philadelphia area. Thank you for any help you can provide.

1956 Chevy Bel Air 2/2

Denny Jones
Grand Blanc, MI

That is actually a 10 digit VIN, with the “C” acting as the first character, so it reads C56B052506. Apparently the person running the stamp machine was having a bad day, lol. If it were an 11 digit number, it would therefore have to start with a “V,” which in turn denotes that it was a V8 car. Your VIN, with no “V” and at 10 digits, dictates that it was a six-cylinder car. The “C” speaks to the model series of the car, which in your case decodes as a 2400. The next two digits are obvious, 56 indicating 1956. The next letter is the assembly plant code, and you are correct, the “B” stands for Baltimore, Maryland. The last sequence of numbers is the serial number of the car. In 1956, each assembly plant started with 1001.


Crate Expectations

I have a 1971 SS Chevelle that I've owned since I was 17. I am 54 and in the process of getting it restored, as it has been sitting in a barn for 34 years. Originally it had a stock 454 engine, but it had been removed and replaced with a 402. I want to go with a new GM crate engine and I'm looking at the ZZ 502/502 hp or the ZZ 572/620 hp. The car has a four-speed M22 transmission from the factory. Can you give me advice on which direction I should go with between these two engines?

Richard Nice
Charles City, Va

That's pretty awesome that you never sold it over such a long period of time. I bet you've had many, many offers. I just hope the years didn't take too much of a toll on the old girl. As for the motor transplant, clearly, this is a question of personal preference if you don't have some specific goal in mind that I'm not aware of. There is not a wrong choice or a bad answer involved; both engines are bad-ass! Here is a link to each from the Summit website Summit Racing - Chevrolet Performance ZZ502 C.I.D. 502 HP Engine Assemblies and Summit Racing - Chevrolet Performance ZZ572 C.I.D. 620 HP Engine Assemblies

If I can read into your situation a little bit, I'm going to guess that this just going to be a fun, street-type cruiser that you simply want to sound and perform well. It's not like it's an all-out racecar that needs every hundredth of a second we can find. So with that said, I would recommend the 502. It's got plenty of snot for what you're doing, and it comes in almost $4k cheaper than the 572, which is huge difference in my book. And as this writing, Summit is currently offering free shipping (though that could change by our publication date). All in all, I'm more than confident that you'll be totally content with the 502 package.


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