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Specifications - Data Plates & Codes

Record Count: 17. Displaying: 1 - 17
DATA PLATE: ...... A special thanks goes out to "LOUIS CHAMPEAU" for furnishing the great Data Plate Information. He has a very large collection of info. Please take the time to add to his collection by sending your Data Plate Info. If you need a break down of code info on your 1952 to 1959 Fords, Mercurys, T-Birds, Edsels and yes Canadians built models too, email LOU at vehicleone@hotmail.com  
DATA PLATE (Early).... A special thanks goes out to "LOUIS CHAMPEAU" for furnishing the great Data Plate Information. He has a very large collection of info. Please take the time to add to his collection by sending your Data Plate Info. If you need a break down of code info on your 1952 to 1959 Fords, Mercurys, T-Birds, Edsels and yes Canadians built models too, email LOU at vehicleone@hotmail.com   PRODUCTION DATE CODES:

A ---January
B --- February
C --- March
D --- April
E --- May
F --- June
G --- July
H --- August
J --- September
K --- October
L --- November
M --- December

PRODUCTION DATE LONGER THAN 12 MONTHS:

W --- September
X ---  October
Y --- November
Z --- December

ENGINE CODE:

A
- 6Cyl. 223 C.I.D. OHV-1V Carb-144 HP
B - 8Cyl. 272 C.I.D. OHV-2V Carb-Std 190 HP
B - 8Cyl. 272 C.I.D. OHV-2V Carb -Auto 190 HP
C - 8Cyl. 292 C.I.D. OHV-2V Carb-Std 206 HP
C - 8Cyl. 292 C.I.D. OHV-2V Carb-Auto 212 HP
D - 8Cyl. 312 C.I.D. OHV-4V Carb-Std 245 HP
D - 8Cyl. 312 C.I.D. OHV-4V Carb-Auto 245 HP
E - 8Cyl. 312 C.I.D. OHV-8V Carb-(Hi-Po Special) 270 HP
E - 8Cyl. 312 C.I.D. OHV-8V Carb-(Racing) 285 HP
      2x4 V8 over 292 V8 - option $240.  285 HP
F - 8Cyl. 312 C.I.D. OHV-4V Carb-(Supercharger) Paxton
     Supercharge V8 over 292 V8 - option $340. 300 HP   

     8Cyl. 312 C.I.D. OHV-8V Carb-(Supercharger Racing) 
     345 HP est (Test unit, never for production

 


ASSEMBLY PLANT CODES:
A
--- Atlanta, GA
B --- Buffalo, NY (closed 1959)
C --- Chester, PA
D --- Dallas, TX (closed 1970)
E --- Mahwah, NJ (closed 1978)
F --- Dearborn, MI
G --- Chicago, IL
H --- Lorain, OH
J --- Los Angeles, CA
K --- Kansas City, MO
L --- Long Beach, CA 
M --- Memphis, TN
N --- Norfolk, VA
P --- Twin Cites, Minn
R --- San Jose, CA
S --- Somerville, MA (closed 1958)
T --- Metuchen, NJ (closed 1950's)
U --- Louisville, KY
W --- Wayne, Ind
Y --- Wixom, Mich
Z --- St Louis, MO





BODY STYLE CODES:

C - Convertible (Fairlane "500")
F - Ranchero
G - Tudor and Fordor (Custom and Custom "300")
R - Ranch Wagon
S - Sedan Delivery
T - Tudor and Fordor-Concealed Pillar (Fairlane &
     Fairlane "500")
V - Victoria Tudor and Fordor (Fairlane & Fairlane "500")
W - Retractable Hardtop (Fairlane"500")
X - Country Sedan
Y - Country Squire

TRANSMISSION CODES:

#1
  == 3 SPEED MANUAL
#2  == 3 SPEED MANUAL OVER DRIVE
#3  == FORD-O-MATIC (3 SPEED)
AXLE RATIOS: 

Conventional Drive---with V-8's, 3.56 standard, 3.70 optional; with Six 3.70 standard, 3.89 optional, 4.11 optional.
Overdrive---with V-8's, 3.70 standard, 3.56 optional; with Six, 3.89 standard, 3.70 optional. $108.00
Ford-o-Matic Drive---with V-8's or Six , 3.10 standard, 3.56 optional.
V8 - $188.00, V6 - $172.00

REAR AXLE RATIOS CODES:
1 = 3.10 TO 1
2 = 3.56 TO 1
3 = 3.70 TO 1
4 = 3.89 TO 1
5 = 4.11 TO 1 
5 = 2.91 TO 1 (1958)
6 = 2.69 TO 1 (1958)
Letter "O" = 4.11 TO 1 in 1960
(option if installed by factory: $4.00-$5.00)

EXTERIOR COLORS:
Colors available for '57; Single Color or Stunning Style Tone combinations.

A - Raven Black
C - Dresden Blue
D - Silver Mocha Metallic #2
E - Colonial White
F - Starmist Blue
G - Cumberland Green
H - Gunmetal Gray Metallic #2
J - Willow Green
K - Silver Mocha Metallic
L - Doeskin Tan
N - Gunmental Gray Metallic (dark)
P - Primer
R - Torch Red
S - Special - Non-factory color
T - Woodsmoke Gray (light)
V - Flame Red
X - Dust Rose
Y - Inca Gold
Z - Coral Sand
Two-tone paint $35.00 option
Different color on roof only $25.00 option

Check out the "Exterior Color Section"  Button on Home Page

INTERIOR CODES:   listed in the "Interior Section"
"Production Code Information"

One of the mysteries of the 1957 Ford data plate is just what exactly is the "Production Code" entry on the early plates. After years of studying these entries I have come up with a couple of theories, but to date nothing concrete.

It is very clear that the first entry of one or two numbers and a letter, are the "scheduled" production date. This was the day that if everything went right, the car would be built. However, we have found from other documentation that more often than not, this date was anywhere from one or two days off up to two weeks off from the day the car actually rolled off the assembly line. But for the sake of simplicity, I would say that if an owner is into celebrating birthdays for their car, that date on the plate is close enough.

But what do the other numbers represent?  It appears that they mean different things from defferent plants.  With all 1957 Ford Thunderbirds production taking place at Dearborn Assembly Plant, it would appear that the Production Code from this facility is keeping track of the number of units being produced for specific DSO's or District Sales Offices.  On occasion there are exceptions to this scheme, such as a special order, but this appears to be the general rule and a good way to tell the heritage of these cars. However, on non-Thunderbird models produced at Dearborn, there isn't a DSO prefix so these numbers remain a mystery.

Another plant where we have a large number of samples is San Jose (Milpitas), California, plant code R.  Here again it appears that the Production Code is keeping track of the number of units sent to each DSO, but on a monthly basis. Numbers behind the DSO code seem to grow up to the end of each month, and then appear to go back to 0001. One example is a Country Sedan built on November 29, 1956, (29L) with a code of 724547 and then a Ranch Wagon built on December 1, 1956 (1M) with a code of 720054. After than through the month of December, the numbers grow behind the 72 (San Jose) DSO code and then dropping back down after January 1, 1957. The same also applied to cars built for the Los Angeles district, code 71.

One may ask, that if the Long Beach plant was producing cars, why did that DSO need cars from San Jose? There were two basic reasons, first, Long Beach did not build all models, such as Ranchero, Courier or Skyliner. Also, Long Beach had some production problems limited to about 10,000 unit per month, so if there was a stronger demand for 1957 Fords in the S. Calif area, San Jose production was called on. (It should be noted that San Jose production was about the same as Long Beach, about 10,000 cars a month. With about 25 working days a month, this averages out to around 400 cars per day, or about 50 per hour on an 8-hour day.)

Phil Skinner
Collector Car Market Editor
Kelly Blue Book

We want to welcome Phil Skinner to www.1957 ford.com as a member of our in house staff researchers. 

Production Units Information

At the end of many of the plant listings is a number like (205938). This is the production of passenger cars recorded at that plant for the model year. However, a couple of plants have high unit sequence numbers. While there are always a few numbers that are not issued, scrapped, etc, the main reason here is that commercial vehicles built on passenger car lines, ie Ranchero and Courier, were not included in the totals although their unit sequencing was included with passenger cars.

Phil Skinner
Collector Car Market Editor
Kelly Blue Book

Units Produced per plant

Plant              Code        Units     

Atlanta                       A             190887
Buffalo                        B             180549
Chester                      C             174076
Chicago                     G              203529
Dallas                        D              245491
Mahwah                     E              314602
Dearborn                    F              393687*
Kansas City               K              180620
Long Beach                L              200815
Louisville                    U              205598
Memphis                   M              185303
Norfolk                       N              175779
St. Paul                     P              192280
San Jose                    R              218006
Somerville                  S              148434**

·   This figure for Dearborn was recorded at the end of the 1957 model year when 1958 Fords went into production in October 1957. However, 1957 Thunderbird production continued until December 13, 1957, and unit sequence numbers above this one were as high as 395***. Also, Thunderbird built after the start of 1958 Ford production often have 1958 colors and trim deviations from earlier models.

** Part of the reason for the low build number at the Somerville plant is that they had an early build-out for the 1957 Ford passenger car, ending in late April 1957 so as to prepare the plant for up coming 1958 Edsel Corsair and Citation series production.

Phil Skinner
Collector Car Market Editor
Kelly Blue Book

 

 

 

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