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Discussion Starter #1
Guys I'm looking at a 1981 Vette that is silver over charcoal two tone with a red leather interior. The car has a red and orange stripe that runs around the midsection that divides the silver and charcoal. The stripe is also on the center of the hood of course.

I have never seen this color combo (red/orange on silver and charcoal) before and cannot find another like it on the internet. Is this an original factory combo? The trim tag has the following numbers:

74I 33L 33U 39M E

One site I visited said that the two tone silver over charcol exterior should be 33/39, that would explain one of the 33's and the 39 but what about the other 33 and the 74? The interior numbers that I found for 1981 Vettes do not list a 74 or a 33 for any of the late model C-3's.

Also what do the letters mean after the numbers? Is there any way to tell from the trim code if this car in fact came with the red and orange trim?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

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Guys I'm looking at a 1981 Vette that is silver over charcoal two tone with a red leather interior. The car has a red and orange stripe that runs around the midsection that divides the silver and charcoal. The stripe is also on the center of the hood of course.

I have never seen this color combo (red/orange on silver and charcoal) before and cannot find another like it on the internet. Is this an original factory combo? The trim tag has the following numbers:

74I 33L 33U 39M E

One site I visited said that the two tone silver over charcol exterior should be 33/39, that would explain one of the 33's and the 39 but what about the other 33 and the 74? The interior numbers that I found for 1981 Vettes do not list a 74 or a 33 for any of the late model C-3's.

Also what do the letters mean after the numbers? Is there any way to tell from the trim code if this car in fact came with the red and orange trim?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
All two tones ,81, were produced at Bowling Green.
http://www.l81vetteregistry.com/
 

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74I 33L 33U 39M E

Maybe I can answer some of your questions.

L and U are for Lower and Upper in regards to two tone paint.
Appears your car was one solid color originally with both numbers being the same.
The two-tone and stripe could have be easily added.

My car also has the two tone stripe you speak of but mine is the 80/98 combo.
If you can get to the build sheet the code for two tone is D84 and the code for
the stripe also starts with a D but I can't make out the rest of the number on
my particular sheet. It is right below the color combo.

The codes for the interior Red colors are 74C "cloth" and 742 "leather" 752
Medium Red Leather so it would be safe to say the 74I is NOT an interior code.

Can't speak for the other numbers.

I have heard reports that "all 2-tones were built in BG" is not accurate but
have not come across HARD proof Ya' or Na'. My car just happens to be a BG car.

Take a look to see if the two tone on the car in question runs all the way
inside the car on the jams and inside the doors. It does on my car.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks

Thanks for the reply, I was starting to wonder if anyone was going to chime in on the subject lol.

By the way the trim code on this vette does have the two different numbers for the two tone with the 33 being for the silver metallic and the 39M being for the charcoal bottem half. But I see what you are saying about the U being for upper and L being for lower. I just do not see why they would use that if the car was all silver metallic. Then the tag would only have one code and that should be the traditional code for silver "13."

Does anyone else have a different opinion? Thank you again for your response. ;o)
 

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I could be wrong on this one :surprised but don't think so.
If I am........well I learned something new.:D

I don't believe the 39M is a color code since the L and U numbers
are both present. Even though the 2 digits match in this case.

It is not uncommon to have an L and U number match and both
be present. Just means the car is not two tone.

Code 13 silver is a different silver than code 33 and my references
show they were both used in non two-tone all over color options.
 

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I could be wrong on this one :surprised but don't think so.
If I am........well I learned something new.:D
I checked some more and..........I'll be damed :spanked:
The 39M on your car is a paint code. :D
I have not run across an upper body color listed under the L and U number
then having the Lower color listed separately like that.
Guess cause 99% of the cars I work on are less then 10 yrs. old.
What that "M" means I don't know but I intend to find out. ;)


Also according to the Eckler's web site.
The Two-Tone Red and Orange stripe were:
# Used With 1981 GM Paint Code 80/98 Autumn Red/Dark Claret
# Used With 1982 GM Paint Code 13/99 Silver/Dark Claret

While Two-Tone Gray was:
# Use With 1981 GM Paint Code 33/39 Silver/Charcoal
# Use With 1982 GM Paint Code 13/39 Silver/Charcoal

So whether the "stripes" are original will be interesting to find out.


Hope this helps you.............It helped me. :thumbsup: ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry it took so long since my last reply, I went to play a softball game and then to dinner but thanks again. I knew I had seen the 39M on the L81 registry site as being the secondary code for the 33 silver and 39M Charcoal.

But I have been looking all day and I am yet to find another silver over charcoal with the red and orange trim. It is a good-looking color combo so I have no idea why Chevrolet would not have chose to use it on their silver Vettes.

Like you mentioned above I have only seen the red and orange on the dark burgundy two tone cars:agree: . I have put some pictures in my photos so you can see the amazing color contrast of the red/orange/silver it is truly a thing of beauty. They are awaiting approval but as soon as they get approved I will post in a thread.
 

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See if you can remove 1/2" piece of the stripe in a Not-so-obvious place like
in one of the door jams. If it is a placement then the original may still be
present under it. If there is no sign of a previous stripe and the car still
has the original paint. Then it's one of two things.....their original.....or
someone did a really thorough job of replacing them.

My car had been repainted at one time in it's life and on the rear bumper they
just put the new stripe right on top of the old. On the rest of the body
the old ones were removed. The door jams were never touched.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Let me see if this works:



This is a front shot of the vette and as you can see the combo of the red/orange/black on the silver hood is quite pleasing to the eye.

I sent Eckler's an email this morning regarding the stripes so I will let you know what they say about them when they respond.

Here is another shot:

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bigbird, thanks for the link. However, I do not think the stripes on the hood of this one are the same as the stripes on my hood. Also this one has a dark blue interior not red. In my opinion, this color combo wouldn't look as good with the red and orange stripes.
 

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Follow the link to their personal website. E-mail them for their trim codes. Also, take note that their build sheet shows St. Louis.:thud:
 

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Also, take note that their build sheet shows St. Louis.:thud:
Hey man, Thanks for finding that...........that should confirm what I had heard. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Follow the link to their personal website. E-mail them for their trim codes. Also, take note that their build sheet shows St. Louis.:thud:

Yeah I did notice that the build sheet shows St. Louis and not Bowling Green. Thier web site only has the one picture of the vette and from the looks of it that stripe on the hood is not the same as what it on mine. I will try to send them an email to ask some Q's, thanks.


Email has been sent
 

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...74I 33L 33U 39M E...

74I might be 74L indicating red leather for '81. 33L and 33U indicate silver upper and lower. The 39M is the screwy code. 33/39 is a correct '81 color code for silver over charcoal two-tone. The tape stripe would have come with that color combination.

Go here http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/infosearch/index.php?cmd=area
Contact Allied-Vaughn and see if they have your VIN in their records. If your VIN is there, Allied-Vaughn can provide a copy of the dealer invoice for your '81. Your original color combination will be listed on the dealer invoice, along with a world of interesting information about your car.

:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
74I might be 74L indicating red leather for '81
Thanks, yeah I just got an email back from Ecklers and their tech said that 74L was for dark red interior so I may have looked at it wrong. I will be picking the car up on my next off day (Wednesday) so I can give her a real good look once I have her here in my driveway.

As far as CAC (Corvette Action Center) goes I have been there and posted the same information as here. So far the general thinking over there is that my car probably did not come with the red and orange stripes originally. However, no one has given me a deffinate no either. I will try to contact the fellow you mentioned to see if he can help.

I'm sure that once I get the car home I can do some more digging.
 

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...So far the general thinking over there is that my car probably did not come with the red and orange stripes originally...
Color coordinated tape stripes were part of the two-tone paint option. I've got an '81 dealer brochure at home which shows the stripe colors. I'll take a look at it tonight. If memory serves, the red and silver in the stripe are correct. Not sure whether the stock stripe included the orange.

:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks Mike. I was wondering, any chance the "M" in 39M stands for "Metallic" or "Middle" as in mid stripe?
 

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Thanks Mike. I was wondering, any chance the "M" in 39M stands for "Metallic" or "Middle" as in mid stripe?
Probably not metallic. Could be "middle," but that, too, is odd. Still '81 was the first year for two-tone paint on Sharks with the exception of '78, so out of the ordinary codes could be legit.

:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
See if you can remove 1/2" piece of the stripe in a Not-so-obvious place like
in one of the door jams. If it is a placement then the original may still be
present under it.

You are exactly right on the money with the stripes. I picked up the car today and just got her back home. I looked closely at the red and orange stripes in the door jam area and discovered that they indeed were covering the old light gray and dark gray striping. That mystery is solved.

I have to say that the drive back to my house was pretty nice. We only saw one Corvette on the trip back, an older gentleman in a C-4, and tried to get our first wave. He was too busy talking on the cell phone to notice I guess.

Oh well time to get out and do some preventative maintenance on the Vette such as change the oil and filter and add some gas treatment and high octane gas. The car was a little sluggish but the owner had it stored at a storage facility near his home and did not drive it much. I even have the original 8-track player if I ever wanted to go that direction. Thanks again for the help on this issue, I’m sure I will back with more questions soon.
 
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