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New member from northern Michigan

 
Old 04-13-2019, 10:56 PM
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Tom Winter
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Default New member from northern Michigan

Owner of a 1956 Corvette. This is my 4th Corvette.
This car is heavily optioned car with a S.O. Plate under the hood. Iíve joined to see what kind of information I can obtain concerning this S.O. tag before I begin restoration. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:03 PM
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Moved over to C1/C2 Corvettes for some assistance.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:23 AM
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Rumblegutz
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The NCRS Discussion Board will likely give you the best information yield. There is at least one member there that is a retired GM employee. He has Chevy blueprints and knowledge in your year range.

The Michigan Chapter of the NCRS also has a number of GM employees and engineers. One has owned a number of Styling and S.O. cars.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:38 AM
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856666
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What is an SO plate?
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:56 AM
  #5  
vetintheblood
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SO = Special Order
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:29 AM
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Todd H.
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Welcome, Tom!

Will you please tell us more about your '56? Would you be willing to post some pictures?
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:48 AM
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Welcome to the forum. There's a wealth of information here.
As stated above feel free to post some pictures and description.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:54 AM
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Hi Tom Welcome to the forum

I have never seen a Special Order vehicle (as far as I know) so please post some pictures and tell us about the car's history.

Phil
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:24 PM
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Tom Winter
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Default S.O. 1956 Corvette

I apologize for the lack of response. Iím learning how to navigate in this forum.
I will post some pictures as soon as I figure out how to do that. I bought the car from a lady whoís husband had purchased the car for her. They had owned the car for 30 years. It was parked after a accident. She took the car out to go visit her husband on his lunch break. On the way she noticed the car cover coming out from behind the seat. My assumption was she had the top down. She stopped the car to tuck the cover back in, it was on an incline and as she got out it rolled into the ditch and hit a small tree between the left headlight and the grille. She had it towed home, and put the cover on it and didnít tell him for some time. They never drove it again, (30 years), he has since passed. I purchased the car and upon inspection found a S.O. plate with the following info;
S.O. 90146
8-22-56
As much as I search and talk to individuals, I hear lots of different opinions.
1. S.O. Tag indicates a ďshop order numberĒ, which was designated for a multitude of reasons, racing, car display, corporate compensation to a manager, car show, special project. (What I believe it to mean)
2. Styling Order- had nothing to do with performance aspects of the car only styling. Could have been a non-offered color, interior etc....
3. Special Order- although I donít believe this is what it means.
I have been trying to back track ownership for over a year, with all dead ends. (However lots of interesting stories). The only individual who knows who he purchased it from is now deceased and his wife is up in years and has no recall of where it was purchased. I believe it was purchased in lower Michigan from the Detroit area. The woman and her husband were into racing, and participated in racing with a late 50ís MGA, older formula v car, and a type 2 VW. Iíve advertised on Craigslist, and have had a few leads. All however have been dead ends. I am not on Facebook, but Iím sure someone out there would remember the car.





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Old 04-14-2019, 02:26 PM
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Beautiful car, even with the damage, and a very interesting story.
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:28 PM
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Wow

Really cool story

Keep us updated on progress

Phil
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:38 PM
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:41 PM
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Tom Winter
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Default 1956 s.o.

Thanks for the kind replyís. Iíve felt pretty isolated trying to figure out the history of this car and the importance of the S.O. Tag, but the response Iíve received has been very nice. Thank you!!!
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:32 PM
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Todd H.
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Very interesting and special car. I know I've read articles about Shop Order cars, but the only one I've found so far today is this one about a '62:

https://www.corvetteblogger.com/2012...amelia-island/

Have you noticed anything unusual about your car other than the tag? I assume it was repainted before the woman you bought it from got it all of those years ago. Maybe if you remove the windshield you'll see evidence of some unusual color. Also, some '56 & '57's had their color written in grease pencil in the trunk on the upright surface by the deck lid hinges. Usually on the right side, but not always. You have to scrape away a little paint with something (some use a quarter). Not every car has this writing, especially if they were restored long ago.

As was suggested some of the NCRS guys like Gary Chestnut and others probably have access to a lot more information on Shop Order cars. You're sure doing it right by trying to learn before you do anything to that car.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:56 PM
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Tom Winter
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Default S.O. 1956 Corvette

Thank you for the advice and link. I am anxious to begin, but Iíve been working on a possible history of ownership for over a year. I believe that will help tremendously and provide answers to the importance of the tag, why it was issued, and to whom. Unfortunately the lady I purchased it from has no paper work concerning whom they purchased it from only the date and mileage.
In Michigan records back 30 years donít exist with DMV. Time is not on my side. The individual who purchased this car very well may no longer be living, but a son, grand son, neighbor....etc may. I am hesitant about joining Facebook as an avenue to possibly find a history, but it may be my last resort. The car was sold in 1988. Restoration had to have taken place before or around that date.
I will look for the areas you suggested.
Again thank you for your reply.
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:09 PM
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Tom,
welcome to the CF, and neat car you have. You keep mentioning FB, and talk of your frustration finding information, but you neglected to respond to the first response you got here, which was the best response if you want answers to your mystery. Join NCRS, and the MI chapter. There are people in that chapter, and others who know what that plate means, and very likely also know the car. NCRS has a technical discussion board (TDB) that you should be a part of. The story of that car would make a very interesting read in the NCRS Restorer magazine if you ever decided to share it there.
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:16 PM
  #17  
Tom Winter
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Default S.o. 1956

Thank you. I will definitely join. I apologize for not replying to the first post. I was learning my way around the forum I appreciate your help and advice.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:07 PM
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Was there any chance the car spent some time in the Grand Rapids area? I casually knew a guy named Rick (who was quite a large fellow- I always wondered how he fit in it) back in the early 80's who had a '56 with the same color combo. I can't remember his last name right now, but it will come to me. I want to say he might have had it in Traverse City during the summer.

Rich
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:17 PM
  #19  
Tom Winter
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Default S.O. Corvette

It very well could be that car. I have no way of knowing. I have traveled 8 hours to speak to possible owners. I chased down a few other leads, to no avail. As I was advised soon after joining this forum yesterday, Iíve joined NCRS and NCRS Michigan Chapter as of today. Hopefully the organization or people within it can aide me in finding out about this car. I imagine there is a very interesting story......one more interesting than the small part of the story Iíve tried to tell in this forum, and that one is interesting on its own and I only included a very small portion of it. The story as much as the car now drives me to investigate this car and restore it if possible. Thanks reply.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:30 PM
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Todd H.
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Great to hear that you joined NCRS. Post the same pictures and story about the car on the NCRS Technical Discussion Board that Don (65hihp) mentioned and you'll get some great input.
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