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Canadian car identification here: Serial Numbers 1935-1964 | 1965-1966
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Thread: Decode cowl tag on 1964 skylark

  1. #1
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    Decode cowl tag on 1964 skylark

    I have a 1964 Skylark 4/sp convertible and need to see if it was born with a 4/sp
    Last edited by Doug396; 07-05-2018 at 07:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug396 View Post
    I have a 1964 Skylark 4/sp convertible and need to see if it was born with a 4/sp
    Doug, according to my parts book they did have a 4 speed tranny in that year. les

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    Doug,

    Can you post a picture of your cowl tag please?

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    Cowl tag

    Trying to post can you text me
    270 331-2740


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    Quote Originally Posted by cjp69 View Post
    Doug,

    Can you post a picture of your cowl tag please?

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    Doug sent me a picture of his cowl tag, the decode is shown below.

    04D
    STYLE 64-4367 KC 2172 BODY
    TRIM 141 F11
    E 2P 4F 5W

    04D = build date = April (04) 1964, fourth week (D)

    4367 = style number
    4 = Buick
    3 = series 4300/Skylark
    67 = 2-door convertible

    KC = built at Kansas City, MO
    2172 = 2172nd 4367 built at Kansas City

    Trim 141 = Blue Vinyl, available on style 4367

    Paint code F = solid Marlin Blue Metallic
    1 = white convertible top
    (not sure why there are two 1's stamped)

    Option codes
    Group 1
    E = Tinted glass (all windows)

    Group 2
    P = Back-up Lights

    Group 4
    F = Remote controlled outside driver's mirror

    Group 5
    W = Seat Belts With Retractor


    Group 2 option code L is 4-speed manual. Your car doesn't specify a code for the transmission type, either manual or automatic, so you can't tell what it came with from the trim tag. There were several option code schemes (at least four) in use in 1964 and different plants put different things on the cowl tag. I've even seen some tags that had "4-spd manual" stamped on them. So unfortunately I don't think the cowl tag is much help for you.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Sean Smith
    BCA# 42746
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    SAH# 4186
    Buickman Award 2015

    1957 Special 4-door Riviera (hardtop) model 43

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    There are some other items to look at which should help pin down an original 4-speed car. There were only 3 transmission choices on Skylarks that year: ST-300 Auto column shift, 3-speed manual column shift and 4-speed manual floor shift.

    The steering column would have had a backup light switch mounted on it if an auto or 3-speed were installed. There should be no evidence on the column where a backup switch or neutral safety switch had been installed. Likewise there should be no slot in the shifter bowl for a gear shift lever. Shouldn't be any shift arms present at the bottom of the column under the hood. There should be no Park RNDL indicator plate in the instrument cluster.

    The backup light switch wiring under the hood was run in a unique left side engine wiring harness used only on the 4-speed cars. See attached page from the shop manual for wire routing. Non- 4-speed cars had only 6-wires coming out of the left harness bulkhead connector under the hood. 4-speed cars had 8 wires.

    A couple of other items to look at, if original, are less definitive. The carb will have a different part number depending on whether transmission was Auto or manual. The standard rear axle ratio for V8 automatics was 2.78. 3-speed V8s used 3.08. 4-speeds used 3.23.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

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