Fisher Body Number Plate - 1971

[ Preface ] | [ 1964 ] | [ 1965 ] | [ 1966 ] | [ 1967 ] | [ 1968 ] | [ 1969 ] | [ 1970 ] | [ 1971 ] | [ 1972 ]

[ Arlington ] | [ Baltimore ] | [ Kansas City ] | [ Van Nuys/Los Angeles ]  [ Oshawa ]

Introduction: For quite some time Ive had an intense interest in Fisher Body Number plates, a.k.a. trim tag, cowl tag, firewall tag, etc. for 1964 through 1972 Chevelles - hereafter referred to as trim tag since that seems to be most common moniker for these little jewels. Their diversity, not only between the different years but between the different plants in a given year, has always fascinated me. This page deals only with 1971 Chevelle trim tags.

The eighth model year of the Chevelle, 1971, saw its final assembly production occur at 4 plants in the U.S. -  Arlington, Texas - Baltimore, Maryland - Kansas City, Missouri - and Van Nuys (or Los Angeles as some prefer) - plus Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. The 1971 model year saw the demise of the Atlanta, Georgia plant that had been assembling Chevelles since 1964.

Ill not attempt to decode what each trim code, paint code, and where applicable, group option codes in this series represent. Click on any year's link in the navigation menu at the top of the page and choose the appropriate link on that year's home page where youll find links for detailed information for interior, paint, and group option codes.

All research to date indicates that each Fisher Body plant assigned body numbers in sequential order regardless of Fisher Body style numbers as they did in previous years. However, body numbers did not run sequentially from 000001 through some final production as they tended to do in earlier years. Whatever numbering system was used (and each plant's numbering system was unique to that plant), the reasoning is probably a result of the essential demise of Fisher Body as a separate entity within General Motors in 1968 when they were reorganized into the General Motors Assembly Division (GMAD) and many Fisher Body plant operations were absorbed.

The Fisher Body unit number has nothing to do with the vehicle identification number (VIN) assigned by GM at final assembly and if any were to match, itd be a coincidence.

 With that, let's begin 1971.


Arlington, Texas

The 1971 Fisher Body Number plate for Arlington, contained only basic information and no frills. Arlington had no production reported in September, October, or November of 1969. According to GM News, the Monte Carlo was not built at the Arlington plant until 1972.

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The first information line contains the abbreviation ST (for Style) followed by the model year (71), a hyphen, and the Fisher Body style number. Next is the designation for the plant location, R for Arlington, and the Fisher Body unit number followed by BDY. Generally, the Fisher Body unit number, 53032 and 53542 in these cases, was sequential by body style number although it's not known what numbers were used to begin the sequencing.

Note the 13337 style number on the bottom tag. This indicates that Arlington did use the same style number on the trim tag that would appear on the VIN; that is, this particular Chevelle 2-door sport coupe is an L6-engined Chevelle.

The second information line contains the abbreviation TR (for Trim) followed by a 3-digit number indicating the seat type (bucket or bench), color and material. Next is a pair of 2-digit numbers indicating the exterior paint color with the lower body color represented by the first pair and the upper body color represented by the second pair, and finally the word PNT. When the second pair is replaced by a single letter, this single letter indicates a vinyl or convertible top color.

Special order paint Chevelle from Arlington showed a blank space in the lower or upper positions as required. If a vinyl or convertible top was appropriate, a letter would be shown in the upper color position.

The third information line contains the body assembly date consisting of the month as a 2-digit number and a single letter (AE) designating the week. When the month is a single digit month (January through September) the month number is padded with a leading zero (0) such as 01, 02, 03, etc. In the examples 05D is the 5th month (May) and D represents the 4th week and 06A is the 6th month (June) and "A" represents the 1st week.

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Following the body assembly date is a 3-digit number that corresponds to the last 3 digits of the data processing number found in block #10 of the build sheet. If the Chevelle was ordered with special paint, no 3-digit processing code is found.

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore differed from every other plant in 1971 in the respect they did not use the body number from the build sheet but rather a data processing number from block #24. Baltimore used a Fisher Body style that corresponded with the GM VIN series/model identification.

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CHEVELLESTUFF  All Rights Reserved

To the right of the embossed BODY BY FISHER is a 1- or 2-digit number but its meaning is unknown at this time.

The first information line contains the abbreviation ST (for Style) followed by the model year (71) and the Fisher Body style number. Next is the designation for the plant location, B for Baltimore, and the data processing number from block #24 of the build sheet followed by BDY. This data processing number does not appear to be sequential or follow any logical pattern.

Note the 13569 style number on the bottom tag. This indicates that Baltimore did use the same style number on the trim tag that would appear on the VIN; that is, this particular Malibu 4-door sedan is an L6-engined Chevelle.

The second information line contains the abbreviation TR (for Trim) followed by a 3-digit number indicating the seat type (bucket or bench), color and material. Next is a pair of 2-digit numbers indicating the exterior paint color with the lower body color represented by the first pair and the upper body color represented by the second pair, and finally the word PNT.

To date, no special order paint trim tag has been found for 1971 so how this is depicted is not known.

The third information line contains the body assembly date consisting of the month as a 2-digit number and a single letter (AE) designating the week. When the month is a single digit month (January through September) the month number is padded with a leading zero (0) such as 01, 02, 03, etc. Often the leading zero is obscured by the rivet on January through September trim tags.

Following the body assembly date are some letters (from none to 2) that are under research as to their meanings. The following are only conclusions drawn to date and not backed by any documented facts. These are believed to pertain to either interior or exterior (or maybe both) trim brightwork based on the body style by Fisher.

The letter(s) are listed along with series and body styles on trim tags I currently have. If you have any 1970 Baltimore Chevelle trim tags of any series not listed or tags of any series listed but with different letters, please feel free to contact me with this information via the Contact link in the navigation bar.
B - 13569 Malibu 4-door sedan, 13667 Malibu convertible, 13857 Monte Carlo, (53680 GMC Sprint)
B D - 13637 Malibu sport coupe, 13667 Malibu convertible, 13680 Malibu El Camino

Kansas City, Missouri

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The first information line contains the abbreviation ST (for Style) followed by the model year (71) and the Fisher Body style number. Next is the designation for the plant location, K for Kansas City, a space, and the Fisher Body unit number followed by BDY. It should be noted that the Fisher Body style number (13637 for a Malibu sport coupe and 13380 for a Chevelle El Camino in the examples) does correspond with the GM VIN series/model designation as indicated by the last trim tag with a style number of 13380. The Fisher Body unit number, such as 285861 and 497471 in these cases, was not sequential regardless of body style number.

The second information line contains the abbreviation TR (for Trim) followed by a 3-digit number indicating the seat type (bucket or bench), color and material. Next is a pair of 2-digit numbers indicating the exterior paint color with the lower body color represented by the first pair and the upper body color represented by the second pair, and finally the word PNT. When the second pair is replaced by a single letter, this single letter indicates a vinyl or convertible top color.

To date, no special order paint trim tag has been found for 1971 so how this is depicted is not known.

The third information line contains the body assembly date consisting of the month as a 2-digit number and a single letter (AE) designating the week. When the month is a single digit month (January through September) the month number is padded with a leading zero (0) such as 01, 02, 03, etc.

Following the body assembly date is a 5-digit number that is a data processing tracking number and is of no consequence today.

Next are some letters (from none to 1) that are under research as to their meanings. The following are only conclusions drawn to date and not backed by any documented facts. These are believed to pertain to either interior or exterior (or maybe both) trim brightwork based on the body style by Fisher.

It has been reported that sometime during the 1970 model year Kansas City began coding the hood and deck stripe colors on their trim tags with "B" or "W" for black or white respectively.  This hasn't been confirmed with any GM documentation or enough examples to draw a concrete conclusion.

The letter(s) are listed along with series and body styles on trim tags I currently have. If you have any 1971 Kansas City Chevelle trim tags of any series not listed or tags of any series listed but with different letters, please feel free to contact me with this information via the Contact link in the navigation bar.
No letters - 13637 Malibu sport coupe, 13667 Malibu convertible,
Z - 13380 Malibu El Camino

Van Nuys/Los Angeles California

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The first information line contains the abbreviation ST (for Style) followed by the model year (71), a hyphen, and the Fisher Body style number. Next is the designation for the plant location, L for Van Nuys, a space, and the Fisher Body unit number.

The second information line contains the abbreviation TR (for Trim) followed by a 3-digit number indicating the seat type (bucket or bench), color and material. Next is a pair of 2-digit numbers indicating the exterior paint color with the lower body color represented by the first pair and the upper body color represented by the second pair, and finally the word PNT. When the second pair is replaced by a single letter, this single letter indicates a vinyl or convertible top color.

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Photo Adam Hebb

To date, this is the only special order paint trim tag that has been uncovered for the Van Nuys/Los Angeles assembly plant. This example being a 1971 El Camino. It is possible that the trim tag notation of SPL 2-TONE verbiage is becuase the El Camino body style was not available in any of the standard 2-tone paint combinations available to other body styles.

The third information line contains the body assembly date consisting of the month as a 2-digit number and a single letter (AE) designating the week. When the month is a single digit month (January through September) the month number is padded with a leading zero (0) such as 01, 02, 03, etc. In the examples 01B is the 1st month (January) and B represents the 2nd week and 08B is the 8th month (August) and "B" represents the 2nd week.

Next are two sets of 6-digit numbers. The first 6-digit number is a data processing number found in block #24 of the build sheet. The second 6-digit number is a concatenation of a 2-digit (from block #10) and a 4-digit (from block #24)data processing numbers also found on the build sheet. They do not depict option codes or the like so their significance today is of no consequence. They are handy to match a car's trim tag to any build sheet that may be found in the car as these numbers should appear in the respective blocks on the build sheet.  

Oshawa, Ontario

Several changes from 1970, the MADE IN CANADA text was removed from the top line of the trim tag and RPO codes were no longer embossed on the tag.

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The first information line contains the abbreviation ST (for Style) followed by the model year (71), a space,  and the Fisher Body style number. Next is the designation for the plant location, OS for Oshawa, and a data processing number that appears to be sequential regardless of the style number but these two tags constitute the total I have for Oshawa for 1971 so no conclusions can be drawn.

The second information line contains the abbreviation TR (for Trim) followed by a 3-digit number indicating the seat type (bucket or bench), color and material. Next is a pair of 2-digit numbers indicating the exterior paint color with the lower body color represented by the first pair and the upper body color represented by the second pair, and finally the word PNT. When the second pair is replaced by a single letter, this single letter indicates a vinyl or convertible top color.

The third (and fourth if applicable) information lines contain the body assembly date consisting of the month as a 1- or 2-digit number and a single letter (AE) designating the week. When the month is a single digit month (January through September) the month number is not padded with a leading zero (0) such as 1, 2, 3, etc. In the examples 5B is the 5th month (May) and B" represents the 2nd week and 6D is the 6th month (June) and "D" represents the 4th week.

The significance of the three ampersand symbols (&&&) on the first tag is not known.

It is unknown if Oshawa continued using RPO codes on a fourth information line as they had done in previous years. None have been found for 1972 so it is possible this practice was stopped in 1971.