Discussion in 'The Bench' started by JoeT, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. JoeT

    JoeT Member

    My 63 Wildcat has a GM of Canada plated on the driver door. The number does not match the number on the plate on the cowl. Can anyone help explain the Canadian code?
  2. gstewart

    gstewart Well-Known Member

    the Buick Wildcat as far as I can determine was never built in Canada. U would have to contact gm vintage services.
    try this , eventhough it says chevelle, the info u require is in the document. I think the price for the research is upwards of $100 now.
    Perhaps, the door on your car was replaced at one time. Good luck.
  3. JoeT

    JoeT Member

    Researching further... the 63 Wildcat for the Canadian market was built in Canada as the door plate on my car indicates. Canadian car and engine numbers apply and are different from U.S. built models. Once I decipher the engine/block code I should be able to determine if I have a #'s matching car. Thanks for your reply.
  4. buford27

    buford27 '57 Special

    GM of Canada used different engine serial number and car serial numbers, so the numbers will not "match". I can decode most of them for you, but if you want to find out if the engine is the original engine, you will need to get the original engine number from Vintage Vehicle Services and compare it to the engine in the car.*
  5. All Canadian built 63 Wildcats came with a Buick green 401. A special order 425 was available. The engine came from the USA and was silver. I have a 63 Wildcat with a silver 425. Other than the JW code on the block there are no other numbers. I haven’t been able to get anymore information than that. The Canadian system is very difficult to decipher. I’d be interested in seeing how you make out.

    Here’s some info I posted on another forum. Canadian built engines did not use a production code, so this area will be blank
    -Only the 401 was built in Canada, the 425 was imported from the US
    -All 425's imported to Canada from the US will have a production code but no engine serial number
    -The engine serial number scheme used in Canada was different than in the US, but the engine serial number was stamped in the same location as US engines (opposite side of the engine from the production code). The Canadian engine serial number scheme includes the engine size and year.

    Eventually I'll be pulling and stripping the 425 for rebuild. Maybe I'll find the engine serial number in another spot.
    Something else I've noticed is that the power steering pump mounts differently on the 401 and the alternator brackets are different between the 2 engines.
    The cars are both 63's coupes. The 425 car has a lot more options than the 401 car. Neither have AC.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
  6. buford27

    buford27 '57 Special

    Canadian numbers aren't that difficult to decode. For 1963 the engine number will consist of the following:

    1) Prefix indicating type of engine:
    B = 401 with 2-bbl carb
    C = 401 with 4-bbl carb

    2) Six digit sequential number, range for 1963 was 248977 to 263360

    3) Suffix (if any)
    L = low compression engine

    The car serial number will decode as follows (GM of Canada used a similar format for all of its divisions for 1935-1964):

    1st digit is the last digit of the model year
    2nd digit is the car make (GM division number)
    3rd digit is the car series
    4th and 5th digits are the car body style
    Last four to six digits are the sequential production number unique to that particular car

    Here is an example for a Canadian 1963 Wildcat convertible:
    3 = 1963 model year
    4 = Buick
    6 = Series 4600 (Wildcat)
    67 = two-door convertible
    03727 = sequential number, starting at 00001
  7. Yes, you are right with your information. But how do you tell if it’s a number matching car? I have 2 63 Wildcats. The parts car has a 401 C255521 is the engine and the vin is 3464705290. From the info you’ve given I can tell the engine is correct for that year. The second car has the 425 engine. The engine code for it is JW389. I’m not at home until tomorrow so I can’t provide the car vin until then. How can I tell what engine came with the second car and is it original? Although I’m not the original poster I appreciate any and all help with this
  8. buford27

    buford27 '57 Special

    For Canadian built Buicks prior to the 1967 model year there is no such thing as "numbers matching", only whether the engine is original or not. To tell if the engine is original you must buy the information packet from Vintage Vehicle Services.

    For cars with the 401 it will be easy. If the engine serial number listed in the information packet from Vintage Vehicle Services is the same as the engine serial number on the engine in the car, then it is the original engine.

    For cars with the 425 you will have to rely on several facts:

    1. 425 engines imported from the US had an engine production code but no engine serial number.
    2. The engine in your car is a 425 with an engine production code (JW) but no engine serial number.
    3. The engine build date code (three numbers following the production code, 389 in your case). Most paperwork I've seen from Vintage Vehicle Services also list the build date code. So if the build date code in the information packet from Vintage Vehicle Services is the same as the build date code stamped on the engine, then it is most likely the original engine. This is the best you can do for a car with the 425.
  9. Thanks for clearing that up buford 27. A lot of what you said is available online but your last post was the missing information I could never find. It doesn’t matter to me if my car is numbers matching. I did wonder if the 425 was original. Either way I love my Wildcat and am enjoying rebuilding it. Thanks again. Mark

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