Signature Series Badges....knowledge needed - Chevy SSR Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Signature Series Badges....knowledge needed

Got these recently and was told they were on test vehicles. He is suppose to write story on these and send it thru email to me. I am curious if any of the SSR historian experts know what these are? They are metal....not the plastic badges. Seem to be rare....thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by lakecat View Post
Got these recently and was told they were on test vehicles. He is suppose to write story on these and send it thru email to me. I am curious if any of the SSR historian experts know what these are? They are metal....not the plastic badges. Seem to be rare....thanks for any help.
I suspect those were prototypes for the Signature Series waterfall badges. Possibly they were metal so they could be used to create the mould for the basic badge.

I look forward to reading the story when you get it.

I had two of the Signatures, and always assumed the badges were some kind of moulded plastic, but it's possible the Signature badges were made of metal. There was a lot of intriate engraving with at least two, sometimes four or in one case 5 signatures to deal with.

The "Signature Series" medallion at the bottom looks like what went on the tailgate of the Signature trucks.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 02:32 PM
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Get a hold of CASH as he would know for sure. I believe there were 25 I think that were signature series and they are the only ones that can display these badges. Some had special signed guitars with them. I will do some research. Found out #12 was the one with the SSR guitar. I am surprised there are badges floating around as Chevy was very protective of the special badging to discourage counterfeit trucks. Hope this helps you out.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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These were not part of the Signature Series badges per say so not floating around. This person worked at the plant and were on test vehicles for the Signature Series. You will see in top right corner of badges...the 1X and 2X stamps on them. I will wait for his story on them but please read carefully...not a Signature Badge on the 25 made.

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakecat View Post
These were not part of the Signature Series badges per say so not floating around. This person worked at the plant and were on test vehicles for the Signature Series. You will see in top right corner of badges...the 1X and 2X stamps on them. I will wait for his story on them but please read carefully...not a Signature Badge on the 25 made.

I think you might have identified much of the story in this statement. I agree with Flassh, the "1X of 1X" and "2X of 2X" plaques appear to be prototypes of the ones affixed to the waterfalls on each of the 25 Signature Series trucks, especially if your source says they were used on test vehicles that preceded manufacture of the Signature Series trucks. Tom Wallace, who at the time was an executive in GM's Truck line, was one of two whose name appeared on the waterfall plaque of Signature SSR Number 3. The "X" on the plaques would have been replaced with digits corresponding to the actual truck, e.g., 10 of 25 or 25 of 25. Neat find!
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakecat View Post
Got these recently and was told they were on test vehicles. He is suppose to write story on these and send it thru email to me. I am curious if any of the SSR historian experts know what these are? They are metal....not the plastic badges. Seem to be rare....thanks for any help.
I'd like to hear the story since I have Signature Series #20
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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I'd like to hear the story since I have Signature Series #20
Curious also.... By the way....the Signature badge on your SSR, is it metal?

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Feedback on badges....

Okay....got the email from the gentleman that I got these from. You guys are mostly right in that these two were the test badges for the Signature trucks...

-1X badge was the first prototype and notice the lettering had a gloss red and black paint.....and if you look closely, there is small X's scratched into paint. Black marking at top is results of testing as well as what is on back. They went thru humidity and salt testing as well as several other steps.
-2X was second prototype and notice the red and black paint in Signature was a flat paint. Black markings on back is codes for different testing that was done. This badge has the blue lettering on back also. Amazing all the testing done for an item that would be inside the truck! Great history showing the trouble GM took to make things right.

Never got an answer on whether the Signature badges are metal in the 25 Signature trucks but these would a great item to collect for their history. So glad he stored them instead of throwing them away!
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 12:31 PM
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It also appears that the badges on the Signature trucks my be attached to the waterfall with screws or pins where the replicas we were able to gt from Marc NY were sticky backs. I would pack those in plastic boxes with the information provided so they do not get damaged or separated.
Thanks for sharing what you have found.


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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 01:48 PM
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It also appears that the badges on the Signature trucks my be attached to the waterfall with screws or pins where the replicas we were able to gt from Marc NY were sticky backs. I would pack those in plastic boxes with the information provided so they do not get damaged or separated.
Thanks for sharing what you have found.
There were definitely no screws visible on the badges for Sigs 12 or 23. I never had either waterfall off, so can't say whether they might have been fastened from the back.

Looking at the prototypes, that would certainly be possible. There was quite a cost to doing the waterfall badges, scrapbooks and pewter models for the Signature Series. If I remember conversations I had with Bob Walczyk accurately, that cost was $3500-5000 per truck.

I never thought of checking whether they were metal or plastic when I had the trucks.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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It also appears that the badges on the Signature trucks my be attached to the waterfall with screws or pins where the replicas we were able to gt from Marc NY were sticky backs. I would pack those in plastic boxes with the information provided so they do not get damaged or separated.
Thanks for sharing what you have found.
I believe these are aluminum so not sure if original intent was to have them in metal. If the badges on the Signatures are not metal, then these are extremely rare prototypes.

Certainly going to box them and have the info with them.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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There were definitely no screws visible on the badges for Sigs 12 or 23. I never had either waterfall off, so can't say whether they might have been fastened from the back.

Looking at the prototypes, that would certainly be possible. There was quite a cost to doing the waterfall badges, scrapbooks and pewter models for the Signature Series. If I remember conversations I had with Bob Walczyk accurately, that cost was $3500-5000 per truck.

I never thought of checking whether they were metal or plastic when I had the trucks.
Thanks for input. I hope one of the Signature owners see this and checks to see if they are metal. My FPR badge certainly isn't.

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 10:27 AM
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Thanks for input. I hope one of the Signature owners see this and checks to see if they are metal. My FPR badge certainly isn't.
So glad this bit of history was saved rather than discarded. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the Signature Series.

For example, all 25 trucks had the auxiliary gauges in ultra violet in them when they were being shown, but the gauge sets were removed when the Signatures were refurbished before being auctioned. The gauge sets were never reinstalled, and seem to have disappeared forever. The only answer I ever got about the missing gauges when I had two of the Signatures was that they still had functionality issues when the trucks were being sold - that may account for why the gauges didn't show up as an option till sometime in 2004. Apparently the gauges were in place for show only, and were not hooked up.

The only one that for sure survived with the gauges still in place was Signature 2, which was auctioned on EBay. I saw the truck in Bob McDorman's collection in 2010, and have a photo of the gauges in place on the truck.

It's possible Sig 1 also has the gauges in it, but Sig 1 was not on display when we visited the Heritage Collection in 2007. I don't know if anyone on the forum saw it during later visits to the Heritage Collection, and whether they can confirm the gauges are still in place.


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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Flassh View Post
So glad this bit of history was saved rather than discarded. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the Signature Series.

For example, all 25 trucks had the auxiliary gauges in ultra violet in them when they were being shown, but the gauge sets were removed when the Signatures were refurbished before being auctioned. The gauge sets were never reinstalled, and seem to have disappeared forever. The only answer I ever got about the missing gauges when I had two of the Signatures was that they still had functionality issues when the trucks were being sold - that may account for why the gauges didn't show up as an option till sometime in 2004. Apparently the gauges were in place for show only, and were not hooked up.

The only one that for sure survived with the gauges still in place was Signature 2, which was auctioned on EBay. I saw the truck in Bob McDorman's collection in 2010, and have a photo of the gauges in place on the truck.

It's possible Sig 1 also has the gauges in it, but Sig 1 was not on display when we visited the Heritage Collection in 2007. I don't know if anyone on the forum saw it during later visits to the Heritage Collection, and whether they can confirm the gauges are still in place.
I found a Mecum auction for the Signature number 2 and yes it shows the gauge. It also shows a nice view of the waterfall badge and it seems to be not metal. Looks to have gloss paint in the lettering also. Wish we had a member here to confirm that has one but so far....nada....sigh. Wonder who has 2? 77miles?...wow!

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 12:28 PM
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Signature Series Aux Gauges

I can confirm that Signature #25 still has its set of aux. gauges installed.
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 12:28 PM
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I found a Mecum auction for the Signature number 2 and yes it shows the gauge. It also shows a nice view of the waterfall badge and it seems to be not metal. Looks to have gloss paint in the lettering also. Wish we had a member here to confirm that has one but so far....nada....sigh. Wonder who has 2? 77miles?...wow!

https://www.mecum.com/lots/SC0517-28...nature-series/
Signature 2 is the most complete, most documented SSR in existence. All of the GM add-ons were with the truck when we saw it in 2010. All of the McDorman Signature SSRs still had the pewters, scrapbooks, cover, and various pieces of memorabilia. I still have a complete printout of the EBay auction bid sequence. I scanned and emailed Bob a copy, so hopefully it was with the truck when it sold. Mecum has no photos of any of the accessories, but they do have a list of what is included with the truck.

Signature Series Memorabilia includes SSR book and metal case, Limited Edition framed art print serial #2, Limited Edition marble base SSR models, autographed SSR model, SSR mirror with frame, Black leather SSR jacket, SSR pullover and new car welcome package

I spoke to Bob McDorman a few times long before he put most of his collection on the block in 2010.

I made an offer on Sig 2 before I purchased Sig 23, but he wasn't interested, said he was going to hang on to Sig 2 as long as he was alive. I also asked about Sig 4 at the time, but got a similar response, so purchased Sig 23, and later Sig 12.

In our phone conversations, it was obvious Bob was very bitter with GM for releasing the UV color for regular production in 2004. He had purchased 2, 3, 4 and 5, with the understanding that only 25 trucks would be available in the UV color. Signature 4 sold at his 2010 auction. Although this was a no reserve auction, Sigs 3 and 5 were bid up beyond where they could sell, and Mecum was caught with its fingers in the cookie jar. 3 and 5 showed up at multiple Mecum auctions, and never recovered what they would have sold for at the 2010 auction. Only Sig 4 reached 50% of McDorman's original purchase price. Mecum would have had to pay McDorman for the botched sales of 3 and 5, but his return was less than 50% of his original investment.

Sig 2 was auctioned at Mecum after Bob died. The selling price was a give away considering he originally purchased Sig 2 on EBay for $138000.

Assuming the $51000 includes the 10% buyers commission, the truck returned around $42000 to the McDorman estate - way less than I offered him back in 2006.

I hope it went to a serious collector, but it seemed to disappear after that auction.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 12:41 PM
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I can confirm that Signature #25 still has its set of aux. gauges installed.
That's very interesting. It was purchased for $120000 plus commission at the Adesa auction in Boston in October 2003, and went to East Providence Rhode Island.

Is it still owned by PM? I talked to him once, but don't remember discussing the auxiliary gauges.

The only way to track the trucks after they were auctioned originally was based on them coming back on the market, because the auctions at that time did not have a series of photos, just an exterior shot and occasionally a shot of the waterfall badge. None of the ones I've been able to document after they were refurbished had the auxiliary gauges, so this is a rare case.


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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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I can confirm that Signature #25 still has its set of aux. gauges installed.
What about the waterfall badge? Is it metal?

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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 03:31 PM
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What about the waterfall badge? Is it metal?
Here is the answer you're not going to like - I'm 51% sure it is metal
Actually I'm 85% sure it is metal, but I can't tell and I work with brass, aluminum and plastic all day long

I tapped it with a coin and still can't be certain it is metal

One thing I can tell you is it is not pewter

There are no holes from the front, so it is either on with adhesive or bolted in from the backside

I have #20 and it did not come with gauges
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 05:54 PM
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Waterfall Badge

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What about the waterfall badge? Is it metal?
I did not examine the waterfall badge so closely as to determine whether or not it was metal.
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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 06:22 PM
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Signature Series Badge Material

A non-invasive and nondestructive way of determining if lakecat's prototype badges and Jeff's (ssr ss 20) Signature Series #20 waterfall badge are metal is to test them using an electronic coating thickness gauge that uses both magnetic induction and eddy currents to determine the thickness of paint over ferrous (e.g., steel) and nonferrous (e.g., aluminum) base materials. If the gauge does not register any reading, it is likely that the badge is nonmetallic. With no coating, even bare steel and bare aluminum will register a zero thickness on the gauge.

The attached photo shows the gauge I use.
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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by snomuncher View Post
A non-invasive and nondestructive way of determining if lakecat's prototype badges and Jeff's (ssr ss 20) Signature Series #20 waterfall badge are metal is to test them using an electronic coating thickness gauge that uses both magnetic induction and eddy currents to determine the thickness of paint over ferrous (e.g., steel) and nonferrous (e.g., aluminum) base materials. If the gauge does not register any reading, it is likely that the badge is nonmetallic. With no coating, even bare steel and bare aluminum will register a zero thickness on the gauge.

The attached photo shows the gauge I use.
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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My badges are certainly metal. I am pretty sure it is aluminum.

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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Flassh View Post
So glad this bit of history was saved rather than discarded. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the Signature Series..... that may account for why the gauges didn't show up as an option till sometime in 2004. Apparently the gauges were in place for show only, and were not hooked up.
Ray, yes the Auxiliary gauges first became available for normal production in May 2004 which was the week that my SSR was being built.

I had just went on line to see what might have be new to order and to my surprise I saw that option on the Chevrolet website was just made available for the dealers to order. I quickly contacted the Plant scheduler to see if it was possible to have her it added onto my SSR order. She checked for me and to my surprise she was able to update my manifest to have the gauges added to my order. She was also able to add it onto the window sticker. That is the reason why my SSR was able to be the first regular production SSR to have the auxiliary gauge package on it
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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by snomuncher View Post
I can confirm that Signature #25 still has its set of aux. gauges installed.
Is it possible to find out whether the auxiliary gauges are functional, or just for display. It would be surprising if they didn't work, especially on Sigs 19 - 25, which were the media review trucks. Something not working on those would likely have been broadcast, unless GM was proactive in letting media know they were not operational.

If they were operational, why did GM remove them from the Signature trucks before they were auctioned.


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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 10:10 PM
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Signature Series Aux. Gauges

Is it possible to find out whether the auxiliary gauges are functional, or just for display.

I had the same thought but when I had access to the truck the battery was dead so I was unable to confirm if they were operational. The best I could do was take a photo of the gauges in place.
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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 10:02 AM
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Waterfall Badges

For what it's worth, I used an electronic coating thickness gauge on both a Final Production Run Waterfall Badge (GM Part No. 15904062) and the limited edition SSR Waterfall badge that was available from Marc NY in the 2006 timeframe. Neither one is metallic.
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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 04:04 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Orange Park. FL
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My SSR:
Black 03 #100333 Born 28 Joly 03.
SIGNATURE SERIES AUXILIARY GAUGES (ULTRA VIOLET) --- As a GM retiree, I was able to tag and buy an early GM PEP vehicle #1GCES14P23B100333. The born on date was 7/29/2003. On 4/27/2004, I got a call that the vehicle was available in Pontiac ,MI with 6752 miles. I flew into Flint, MI on 5/4/2004 and saw that the mileage was actually 9893. Paperwork in the vehicle indicated that it was used as a "pool" vehicle in Arlington, TX and checked out for a recruiting trip to UT in Austin on 9/17/2003. There was no other information available on when the car was returned to michigan or why an additional 3000 miles added. The funny thing is that under the seat of my new black truck, I found a nice auxiliary gauge set in the ultra violet color. This may account for what happened to some of these U/V gauges. Later, I had them painted black & installed. They light & move about 1/4 right . The dealer found document ID:170910 which states they are not compatible with Vin prior to 3B101362 & with certain 2005 models. Makes me wonder if some of the boys in Lansing were doing some more Quality Control. I am still enjoying my first day truck which looks & drives like new with 54,000 miles. GM JIM
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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: ohio
Posts: 1,861


My SSR:
2006 red FPR w/ chrome...Wildthing
Great story on the pool vehicle. The gentleman I acquired these SSR items from said he got to drive a red pool SSR for about a month or so. He had driven it to Oklahoma and back and said how people stopped him everywhere asking about this "custom" truck....lol.
Thanks for sharing.

The years teach much which the days never knew.
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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 08:28 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: St. Louis MO
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My SSR:
2004 in Black and now 2005 in Black, what a pair
This is all really cool history on the trucks. Thanks to everyone for sharing this with us.
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