Mason Dixon NCRS
Spring 2003 Judging School on Horns 

Lecturer:  Ron Goralski
22 March, 2003, Glen Burnie, Maryland

Ron Goralski gave a comprehensive lecture on Corvette horns at our recent Chapter NCRS Judging School.  He covered 1953 to 1972 Corvette Horns and showed examples of the many different configurations and brackets.  Several disassembled horns were also displayed.  Ron described the horn commonalities with the other General Motors (and Ford!) passenger car applications.  He also gave many tips and tricks for horn restoration.  The charts included below was a handout at the judging school.  The annotated photographs cover some of the information presented at the judging school.


Year Horn Part Numbers
1953 681 & 682  6V
1954 687 & 688  6V - white
1955 759 & 760  12V - red
1956 -1957 339 & 340
1958 - 1960 351 & 352
1961 - 1962 441 & 442
1963 455 & 456
1964 - 1967 487 & 488
1968 - 1970 245 & 246
(1 horn only, 2nd horn was an option)
(1 horn only, larger style)

Horn Dating began in January, 1962 and is in the format YEAR / MONTH / WEEK OF MONTH.  Week of Months range from 1 to 5.  The Month codes are listed below.  Note that the letter I was not used.

Code Month
A January
B February
C March
D April
E May
F June
G July
H August
J September
K October
L November
M December

General Horn Information:

  • 1953 - 1963 horns were painted gloss black.
  • 1964 - 1973 horns were painted semi-glass black.
  • Horns were originally dipped rather than spray painted.  This is the reason for the little loop on the horn with a small hole in it.
  • 1953 - 1954 horns (6 volt) have a white insulator on the dome portion of the horn.  1955 horns (12 volt) have a red insulator horn.  
  • All even horns (352, 442, 456, 488) are high note horns and are mounted on the right side of the car (passenger side).
  • High note horns have fewer curls on the trumpet of the horn than the low note.
  • Corvette and passenger car horns themselves are identical both outwardly and internally.  The differences are in the horn brackets and part numbers ONLY.  Some are almost a perfect match except for the orientation of the trumpet on the horn back.  For example the 1957 Chevrolet horn #325 and 326 can be used on the 1958 - 1960 corvette.

A set of random photographs follows:

Incase you were wondering, here's what the inside of a horn looks like.  

The current flowing through the coil in the center induces vibration in the diaphragm.  High note diaphragms have a notch in the outer perimeter to facilitate identification.

The diaphragm is usually what fails first and bits of metal can often be heard rattling around inside the horn when this deteriorates.  The high and low note horns differ in the configuration of the horn coils and in the thickness of the diaphragm.

If you look up the open end of the horn, you will be able to see the 'water line' of the paint from when it was originally dip painted.  There are numerous versions of the 'tuning screw' seen just under the edge of the bracket.  It operates by changing the voltage in the coil, NOT by changing the tension in the diaphragm (a common misnomer).

This is a beautiful example of a horn restored by Ron.

As in many other corvette applications, specialized rivets are required.  The rivets with the collar are used on **AA** to **BB** corvettes and the rivets without the collar are used on **CC** to **DD** corvettes.

The cross hatching on the rivets was created by a special setting tool.  This photograph shows the date code on a mid-year horn.   The date code below "7F4" indicates 1967, June, 4th week.

The painting hang tab is evident in the lower right of the photograph below.  These are often broken off the horn due to mis-handling.

The two photographs below show the horn used in the UA6 Alarm option on early sharks.  The plastic horn part is screwed into the horn base.  Be careful to not cross thread the soft plastic.

Photographs by Juliet Page