The following correspondence was emailed to George Zapora on the evening of September 23, 2008 in hopes of clearing up some questions about Vintage Vehicle Services documentation. Mr. Zapora replied bright and early the following morning, September 24, 2008. His replies and preface are in red bold print. My thanks to George (as he prefers to be called) for his insight to these answers.
Dale, my father is Mr. Zapora, George is fine. Please see the area after your questions for answers. In general I try to pin point a rare option and high light that in the 'number produced' area. Unfortunately since Beaumonts and LeMans and Chevelles and Monte Carlos were built on the same assembly line in various years, the model numbers overlap, so as an example the numbers for M/20 may include Beaumont and Chevelle models, or Chevelle and Monte Carlo, so it is impossible to break them apart. If that is the case I will make a notation of that if a special option catches my eye, or if I cannot break it down it is not included as it only adds to confusion, and there is enough of that out there.
Dear Mr. Zapora,
I realize you are a busy man but I am hoping you or your office can clear up some confusion on Chevelle documentation supplied by Vintage Vehicle Services.
I have copies of several of these documents for numerous years of Chevelles but I’m primarily interested in those supplied for 1970. The concerns are about the production figure presented on a given series/model and the differences in some wording.
First the wording.
One document says, “NUMBER PRODUCED FOR SALE IN CANADA”. May I assume that means the car was built in Canada and delivered to and sold by a Canadian dealer? yes
Another document says, “NUMBER IMPORTED FOR SALE IN CANADA”. May I assume this means the car was built outside Canada, such as in Baltimore, Maryland, and imported into Canada for sale by a Canadian dealer? yes
Two other documents say, “NUMBER PRODUCED FOR U.S. SALE IN CANADA”, and “NUMBER EXPORTED FOR SALE IN THE U.S.”. Do both of these mean the same thing? The car was built in Canada but exported to the U.S. for sale by a U.S. dealer? both mean the same, we try to use the first version now.
Would GM of Canada ever export a car to another country and have different wording? we would sometimes use the phrase or some version of it 'left hand drive or right hand drive export sale' if for overseas
Next, the numbers reported.
Beside each of the above wording there is a notation in parenthesis saying, “(SAME MODEL NO. ONLY)” and then a figure. For example, the figure given for a 13437 300 Deluxe Coupe is 3,048 (“NUMBER PRODUCED FOR SALE IN CANADA”) and in parenthesis is the note, (approximately 20 cars with LS3). To me, this reads that there were 3,048 13437 Chevelles built in Canada for sale in Canada and, of those, approximately 20 were LS3 optioned. Am I correct? yes, note word approximately as it may fall into the area at the beginning of this email dealing with model overlap, that is when this phrase would be used
An example with “NUMBER EXPORTED FOR SALE IN U.S.” is of a 13637 Malibu sport coupe with the SAME MODEL NO. ONLY listed as 25,938 and then in parenthesis (3,036 with Z/25). Does this indicate that of the 25,938 13637 Malibus exported to the U.S. for sale in the U.S. 3,036 were Z/25 optioned? yes
A third example with “NUMBER PRODUCED FOR U.S. SALE IN CANADA” again shows a 13637 Malibu sport coupe and the same number, 25,938 for the SAME MODEL NO. ONLY. This is an LS5 optioned Chevelle and states in parenthesis (299 with Z/15; 222 with M22). Does this mean that of the 25,938 13637 Malibus imported into the U.S., 299 were Z/15 optioned – just like the 3,036 Z/25 optioned Chevelles above? Since there is a semicolon and not an ampersand separating the number of Z/15 options and number of M22 options, may I assume the M/22 number has no relevance to the Z/15 number and they are mutually exclusive of each other? Z/15 tied in with LS5 on Canadian cars, so numbers would be the same. Semi colon divides each listing, so M/22 would be separate.
If all of my assumptions above are true, my final question.
This concerns the document I have that says ‘NUMBER IMPORTED FOR SALE IN CANADA”. Again this is for a 13637 Malibu sport coupe and gives a figure of 231 for SAME MODEL NO. ONLY. There is no notation about the number of this model dealing with any specific options. The car is an LS6 optioned Chevelle. Herein lays the heart of the questions. Does this 231 figure represent all LS6 Malibu sport coupes or merely represent the total number of 13637 Malibus imported for sale in Canada regardless of the reason it was imported? This particular car is also optioned with the M/22 but no special notation of this is made as it was on the Z/25 optioned car mentioned above. Unfortunately for cars imported into Canada from the U.S. we have no option breakdowns before 1972 model year, and they are limited at best for 1972. As years went on more option info became available, there are one or two years with minimal info because someone walked off with it, to be blunt. So to answer your question we have only the number of that model up to model year 1971 that were imported into Canada, no option penetration reports were generated before 1972 for imported models. Dale you must remember that low production models were not a high priority, high volume sales were. In the case of a Chevelle SS with an LS6, the LS6 was not installed in Canadian built cars, so they were all imported. But due to production constraints some Chevelles/Malibus/whatever could be sent from the U.S. to Canada if we were running short of a low volume option or at build out time to fill orders, so not all of those imported cars are necessarily LS6's.
I manage a couple of Chevelle-related websites and these questions come up often in Chevelle related forums I frequent and seem to cause much confusion. I hope I’ve made the examples clear and anxiously await any reply. You are doing a fine job, keep telling those Americans that we built thousands of Chevelles, Monte Carlo's, Cutlass/442's and full size Chev's for U.S. sale here in Canada. In general before 1971 our vin numbers do not include a letter in them for a plant code, we either left the plant code out or it was number 1 (Oshawa) or 2 (Ste-Therese), so each day we get calls from the U.S. as they are surprised info is available. We have started a $15.75 (now $16.95 as of 11/22/2011) minimum fee that is charged if we have no info, as in many cases someone can spend over an hour on the microfilm reader looking for that vin, but this is only charged if we have no info, and the microfilm reader is of the high maintenance variety to get the best copy quality. A service call on it is never less than $1200, so you can see that costs are there!
After reading through 4 pages of replies I am confused......I have tried recently to be more consistent but once in a while a typo slips through on what I refer to as the 'template' which is the main sheet without the 'blanks' or data filled in. i.e.
FOR SALE IN CANADA qqq
(SAME MODEL NO. ONLY) qqq
where I fill in the 'qqq' area with the required info from the microfilm. Now sometimes the phone rings, someone asks me a question, or Frank wakes me up when I try and take a nap, and then there are the guys that are in a hurry because they are standing in front of the seller trying to buy the car now and they phone me 4 times in 20 minutes asking if I have found the data yet, in the meantime I am just trying to find my reading glasses so I can see if I am on the correct microfilm and I don't want to spill my tea on my keyboard! So 'sometimes' I forget to modify that template to say
FOR U.S. SALE IN CANADA qqq
(SAME MODEL NO. ONLY) qqq
because I am more concerned with making sure I have the correct options picked, and I do not want to be mistaken there. Then the phone rings with some one that has a 1978 Olds Delta 88 (I am not picking on Delta 88 owners here) and is looking for the plastic trim that fits between his bumper and the body, because his old one has warped from sitting in the sun for 30 years, and someone at GM Customer Assistance told him to call me because I might have one under my desk. So I try and keep a straight face, and in the meantime the LS6 guy is on the phone again asking if I have found his car yet....So bottom line is if you are not sure what I have written on your copy, ask me. There is an email after my name, the new one is firstname.lastname@example.org or call, but email is easier to respond to. And whenever possible include your VIN so I do not have to ask you for that again. I am here to help you if I can, if I cannot I will tell you up front so no ones time is wasted. We all are looking for something we can have a little fun with and hide in the garage with the guys and just get oil on our hands to say we have done it, nothing more satisfying than having to use 'hand cleaner'. Parting words: take a kid on his first muscle car ride, as you have no idea what that may lead to except creating another gear head we hope. Let him feel what using a ratchet is like, or putting a bolt or nut on so he learns about threads. You can do the final tightening, but by letting the youngster experience something mechanical you will open up a whole new world to them, the one that you and I enjoy.