As the years pass, it’s becoming more difficult to find a true, two-door muscle car. What’s more, the ones that are available are outrageously overpriced (Thank Barrett-Jackson for that one) or so far rotten with cancer, the likely hood of restoring one would be like Rambo coming back for a fifth installment. Yeah, it could happen but it’s highly unlikely.
However, when you do find a solid candidate for purchase, the documents surrounding the sale can be thin, misplaced or in many cases, nowhere to be found. Whether you’re the buyer or seller, this can add a bit of frustration to any potential vehicle sale. If you’re one of the few who have access to the complete factory build sheet, you’re in luck. It’s considered one of the best means for vehicle documentation. Chances are though, a build sheet is not included and makes learning how to decipher the factory cowl tag that much more important.
Since it remains with the vehicle and relied on as proof of documentation, it’s beginning to become even more valuable than the build sheet itself. In an effort to school some of the newest members of the hobby, we’ve found this simple, easy-to-follow guide on how to diagnosis the factory cowl tags for both American and Canadian models. While this may be a refresher course for some, there may be some tips and tricks you didn’t realize. We picked up on this great tip though Muscle Car Report.
In our case, we’ll be looking at the cowl tags for ’62-67 Chevy II Novas. The cowl tag was created by Fisher Body Operations as a way of marking certain options to be installed on cars for assembly. Since Fisher dealt with bodies instead of complete cars with upholstery, drive trains, tires and paint, they didn’t use complete lists of options for their tags.
The top of the tag will state Body By Fisher on US built GM cars. Under the first line will be ‘ST’ and ‘BDY’ on the left side of tag while the right side will have ‘TR’ and ‘PNT’. (figure A) These are short hand for Style, Body, Trim and Paint respectively. The codes after these titles are the actual codes for your particular car. For ‘STYLE’ what follows is model year, expressed in two digits and body code expressed in two digits.
The BODY code is on the right hand side of the tag and it has a two letter code for assembly plant followed by a six digit sequence number. For more on how to decipher the cowl tag for your vintage Nova, be sure to check out the rest of this story over at Muscle Car Report.