1966 Chevelle Protect-O-Plate Introduction
The Protect-O-Plate (P-O-P) was designed to be used by Chevrolet dealers to identify the owner and the vehicle. The owner's name, address and the vehicle's delivery date was embossed on a special tape affixed to the plate.
The P-O-P was glued to the inside rear cover of the "Chevrolet 1966 Owner Protection Plan and New Vehicle Warranty" booklet. When warranty service was performed on a customer's car the P-O-P was stamped on the work order.
The P-O-P was never meant to be used as documentation the way enthusiasts today use the card. Then again, the body broadcast sheets, trim build sheets, etc. weren't meant to be used either and were more often than not discarded at the assembly plant. Likewise, the P-O-P was usually discarded when the vehicle went out of warranty or when the car was sold as warranties usually did not go to the new owner.
Today, the P-O-P is one of the best pieces of documentation you can have as it not only identifies the VIN but also the correct engine ID code and date of the engine, the correct transmission number and date along with the rear end gear ratio and date. Some options were also coded on the P-O-P such as power steering, power brakes, radio, air conditioning, etc.
Below is a Protect-O-Plate and the inside rear cover of the warranty booklet. Note the reverse imprint of the plate. A mirrored image of this plate can be found in the El Camino specific section under Fremont.
Beware of reproduction (fake) Protect-O-Plates, they can make a put-together Chevelle appear to be authentic. Sellers will even put your name on authentic-looking GM tape. Apparently it's not illegal but any fake documentation is misleading to a potential buyer and, to many Chevelle owners, unethical as well.
Initial warranty period was 24 months or 24,000 miles. The Owner Protection Plan book measures 7 x 4 with the warranty plate attached to the last page and generally an imprint of the warranty plate on the next-to-last page.
Just for fun, here's a Protect-O-Plate from a 1966 full size Bel Air Chevrolet.
F = Interior Trim Color: Fawn
TT = Body Exterior Paint (lower-upper): Sandalwood Tan
156696Y166893 = VIN
15669 ~ Chevrolet (1) Bel Air V8 (56) 4-Door Sedan (69)
6 = Year of Production: 1966
Y = Final Assembly Plant: Wilmington, DE.
166893 = Sequence Assembly Number: 66,893rd Chevrolet at Wilmington
R = Carburetor Source: Rochester
T0125GF ~ Engine Code: Tonawanda Engine Plant (T), January 25 (0125), 283/195 horsepower (GF) w/Powerglide
DA0119B ~ Rear Axle Number: 3.08 ratio (DA), January 19 (0119), Buffalo, N.Y. (B)
B ~ Month of Vehicle Build: February, 1966
C0124D ~ Transmission Number: Powerglide, Cleveland (C), January 24 (0124) , day shift (D)
Want more in-depth information on 1966/1967 Chevelles? Take a test drive of my 1966/1967 Chevelle Reference CD.