1957 Imperial Body-Plate Decoding Tips

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See also: 1958 Imperial Body-Plate Decoding Tips

From Philippe:


This plate is attached on the upper right hand radiator support. Sometimes removed or swapped by owners, body or paint shops or unscrupulous individuals!

I've picked the following info from the CHRYSLER 300C Handbook and also applies to the 1957 Imperial.

Example of data plate (prior to entry of production information):

Above the first line you'll read numbers or letters related to this line:

MDL = Model: I don't have the codes yet. I know only that 283 = Crown convertible and 289 = Crown Southampton four-door hardtop.

PNT = Paint code: A = Jet black etc.. (see below). Z or ZZ = special order paint (1 or 2 colors)

TRIM = Trim & upholstery, no info. 00 = special order interior

SCH = Schedule date: month / day. i.e 0403 = 3 April (57)

ITEM = no info

BODY= # body?

SO/FO= Special order/foreign order. If there's a number above you have a rare or foreign car!

Options codes explained:

The double rows of small numbers are to be read from top to bottom.  If a third and larger number is printed in a vertical column, the car was produced with that option code item. For example, the firsts of the lines are 3 & 5. If you've under the 5 the number 7, the code option is 357. This code applies to all 57 Chrysler products and some of them aren't used on Imperial because they are standard (i.e Torqueflite) or N/A.

Convertible top

221 Black
222 Ivory
223 Blue
224 Green

Options codes::

265 Route (unknown meaning)
311 Light package
312 Oil filter.
313 Custom steering wheel
314 Wheel covers
315 Antenna, twin rear manual
316 License plate frame - rear
317 Bumper guards, Front & rear.
318 Tires, white sidewall rayon tubeless
319 Radio - Music Master.
321 Radio - Electro Touch Tuner
322 Rear shelf speaker (N/A conv).
323 Heater - custom conditionaire
324 Defogger, rear window (N/A conv)
325 Power brakes
326 Power front seat, 6 way
327 Power steering.
328 Power window
329 Electric clock
330 Tires, white sidewall nylon tubeless
331 Vanity mirror
332 Solex glass
333 Safety Cushion Dash
334 Mirror, tilt type
335 Mirror, left outside
336 Windshield Washer
337 Torqueflite
338 Air Foam Seat Cushion,rear.
341 Undercoating
342 Hood Ornaments
343 Fender Ornaments
344 A/C unit (323 required)
345 Highway HI-FI 16-2/3 rpm record player (Electro-Touch Radio required)
346 Windshield Upper Moulding
347 Tires, black sidewall
348 Rear Window, Upper Portion Shaded (332 required), 2 dr H/T only
349 Dual Headlights
351 Power Antenna
352 Heater, Mopar Instant Heat (NA w/ AC)
353 Stone Shields (on rr quarter panel)
354 License Plate Frame, front
355 Extra Heavy Duty Generator
356 Electro-Touch Radio, Imperial
357 Flitesweep Decklid, Imperial
358 Hood Ornament, Imperial
361 Antenna, manual
541 Mirror, right outside
572 Tires, Captive Air (T&C station wagon only).

Example of my car (57 Crown convertible):

Options I have: 357, 344, 349, 224, 356, 345, 323, 265 (?), 358, 332. Schedule: 11 / 8 (56) or 1 / 18 (57) ? I think 1 / 18 because 57 Imperials were introduced 10/30/56 and my serial number is C57 9909. If it was built in Nov. 56, the number would be a C57 1... or 2....

Paint codes (1957 only):

A Jet Black
B Horizon Blue
C Regatta Blue
D Sovereign Blue Metallic
E Seafoam Aqua
F Parade Green Metallic
G Forest Green Metallic
H Mist Gray
J Gunmetal Gray Metallic
K Charcoal Grey Metallic
L Desert Beige
M Shell Pink
N Copper Brown Metallic
P Gauguin Red
R Regimental Red
S Sunset Rose
T Champagne Gold
U Deep Ruby Metallic
V Saturn Blue
W Indian Turquoise
X Cloud White

If you need PPG codes, see American Automobile Paint code manual from P. Sessler (Motorbooks Int).


Serial (VIN) number: In the usual location (left front door hinge pillar post): from 57 - 1001 to 57 - 36 890

Motor number: stamped on top of block behind water pump: from CE 57 1001 to... ?

Frame number: stamped usually on top or (and) on side of the right frame rail.

Location: On top of rail: Between the body mounts, approximate center of rear passenger door

Here is a drawing, showing where the numbers are found...

Here is what mine looks like...

On side of rail: Between body mounts, often hidden by the gas line, approx. center of rear passenger door. (on my car, 1 1/2 ft ahead of rear wheel wheel body mount)

This page was last updated November 20, 2002.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club