If you are a vintage GM enthusiast, you have seen ads or public sale listings that tout the vehicle is accompanied by documentation which includes a Protect-O-Plate, or a P-O-P. Hardcore GM fans understand what this is, but the rest of all of us may need some enlightenment. What exactly is a Protect-O-Plate?
According to the National Corvette Restorers Society, beginning in 1965, General Motors automobiles included an Owners Protection Strategy warranty booklet that a new thin metal plate or even plastic card attached called the Protect-O-Plate. It was issued in order to new car owners once the vehicle was delivered, sellers used these to track guarantee work. A Pontiac Dealer Service Bulletin through September of 1966 says that owner plates known as Ident-O-Plates were issued through 1963 to 1965.
The particular Protect-O-Plate was embossed along with information specific to that particular vehicle. Some P-O-Ps were imprinted backwards, some in normal print (the Dymo Design M-14 Tapewriter printed reflect or reverse font, other people normally). The P-O-P appeared similar to a credit card. A series of amounts and letters included on the particular P-O-P would indicate the particular car’s serial number or even VIN, engine assembly day, type of engine and hp, transmission and assembly time, rear axle ratio plus date, exterior color, inside color and trim, 30 days the car was built, kind of carburetor, and any choices. When the car was marketed, the selling dealer might use a DYMO labeler (some would print in looking glass to match the plate) to include the original buyer’s (or following buyer, if the car has been resold while still below warranty) name, address, condition, and date of unique sale to the plate.
The objective of the embossing is so home plate could be used to imprint the info on service paperwork on the dealership. It was done with a good old-fashioned “click-clack” machine, just like what was once used for embossing credit card receipts.
If you find an automobile for sale with its Protect-O-Plate, there is a genetic code for that vehicle. With a little decoding, you can find away all the particulars of the vehicle when new. For those who are declaring original condition or parts, a P-O-P can be a benefit in backing up that state, possibly adding value towards the sale.