Decode Your Chevrolet VIN Code

Decoding your Pre-1981 GM VIN

Decoding a VIN tag can seem like quite the daunting task. Even amongst modern automobiles, the endless strings of alpha-numeric codes form a never-ending web of information. Finding manufacture recorded data on a pre-1981 model can be downright intimidating. Luckily, with a couple of simple breakdowns and a reference guide, you too can unearth the hidden history behind your beloved classic. GM VINs followed consistent formulas before the industry VIN shift in 1981.

Vehicles manufactured in 1960-1965:

First digit: Year of production (1960-1964). 0=1960, 1=1961, and so on.

Second and third digits: The second and third digits will be comprised of numbers 1-18. Each one represents a Chevy series.

01 = Chevy II 100 4

02 = Chevy II 100 6

03 = Chevy II 300 4 Cyl.

04 = Chevy II 300, Nova 400 6 Cyl.

05 = Corvair 500

07 = Corvair 700

09 = Corvair Monza

08 = Corvette

11 = Biscayne L6

12 = Biscayne V8

13 = Biscayne Fleetmaster L6 (1960-1961) or Impala SS L6 (1964)

14 = Biscayne Fleetmaster V8 (1960-1961) or Impala SS V8 (1964)

15 = Bel Air L6

16 = Bel Air V8

17 = Impala L6

18 = Impala V8

Fourth and fifth digits: The fourth and fifth digits will be one of twelve specific numbers (listed below). Each one of the numbers represents a body style which corresponds to the previous VIN codes for year and series.

11 = 2 door sedan

15 = 2 door station wagon, 2 seats

19 = 4 door sedan

21 = 2 door utility sedan

35 = 4 door station wagon, 2 seats – 6 passenger

37 = 2 door sport coupe (bubble top)

39 = 4 door sport sedan

45 = 4 door station wagon, 3 seats

47 = 2 door sport coupe

67 = 2 door convertible

69 = 4 door sedan

80 = 2 door sedan pickup (El Camino)

Sixth digit: The sixth digits shows at which GM plant the vehicles was manufactured.

A = Atlanta, GA

B = Baltimore, MD

C = Doarville, GA

F = Flint, MI

G = Farmingham, MA

J = Janesville, WI

K = Kansas City, MO

LA = Lansing, MI

L = Los Angeles, CA

N = Norwood, OH

O = Oakland, CA

R = Arlington, TX

U = Southgate, CA

S = Southgate, CA

T = Tarrytown, NY

W = Willowrun, MI

Y = Wilmington, DE

*Cleveland, OH was only represented using the COWL TAG code of EP or EUC, 1959-1964

Seventh through twelfth digits: The last six digits of the VIN represent the specific order of the given model, starting at 100001.

Example 1960-1964 VIN: 21811L100087

Using the above decoding reference, this sample VIN would belong to the 87th 2-door sedan, V8 Impala, built in Los Angeles, CA in 1962.

Vehicles manufactured in 1966-1968:

First digit: Division of GM

1 = Chevrolet

Second, third, fourth, and fifth digits: The second – fifth digits displays the Chevrolet series.

0000 = Corvair

1000 = Chevy II, Nova

3000 = Chevelle, Malibu

5000 = Biscayne, Bel Air

6000 = Impala

9000 = Corvette

Sixth Digit: The sixth digit shows the production year.

6 = 1966

7 = 1967

8 = 1968

Seventh Digit: The seventh digit shows at which GM plant the vehicles was manufactured.

1 = Oshawa, Ont., Canada

2 = St. Therese, Que., Canada

A = Atlanta, GA

B = Baltimore, MD

C = Southgate, CA

D = Doraville, GA

F = Flint, MI

G = Framingham, MA

J = Janesville, WI

K = Kansas, MO

L = Los Angeles, CA

N = Norwood, OH

P = Pontiac,MI

R = Arlington, TX

S = Louis, MO

T = Tarrytown, NY

U = Lordstown, OH

W = Willow Run, MI

Y = Wilmington, DE

Z = Fremont, CA

Eighth through thirteenth digits: The last six digits of the VIN represent the specific order of the given model, starting at 100001.

Example 1966-1967 VIN: 100007K105642

Using the above decoding reference, this sample VIN would belong to the 5,642nd Corvair, built in Kansas City, MO in 1967.

Vehicles manufactured in 1969:

First digit: Division of GM

1 = Chevrolet

Second, third, fourth, and fifth digits: The second – fifth digits displays the Chevrolet series.

0000 = Corvair

1000 = Nova

2000 = Camaro

3000 = Chevelle

5000 = Biscayne, Bel Air

6000 = Impala, Caprice

9000 = Corvette

Sixth Digit: The sixth digit shows the production year.

9 = 1969

Seventh Digit: The seventh digit shows at which GM plant the vehicles was manufactured.

2 = St. Therese, Que., Canada

A = Atlanta, GA

B = Baltimore, MD

C = Southgate, CA

D = Doraville, GA

F = Flint, MI

G = Framingham, MA

J = Janesville, WI

K = Kansas, MO

L = Los Angeles, CA

N = Norwood, OH

R = Arlington, TX

S = Louis, MO

T = Tarrytown, NY

U = Lordstown, OH

W = Willow Run, MI

Y = Wilmington, DE

Z = Fremont, CA

Eighth through thirteenth digits: The last six digits of the VIN represent the specific order of the given model.

100001 = All others

300001 = Nova, Chevelle

700001 = Corvair, Corvette

Example 1969 VIN: 110009R301001

Using the above decoding reference, this sample VIN would belong to the very first Chevy Nova built in Arlington, TX in 1969

Vehicles manufactured in 1970-1971:

First digit: Division of GM

1 = Chevrolet

Second Digit: The second -digit displays the Chevrolet series.

1 = Nova

2 = Camaro

3 = Chevelle, Monte Carlo

4 = Vega

5 = Biscayne, Bel Air

6 = Impala, Caprice

9 Corvette

Third Digit: The third digit represents what size motor the car was equipped with

Even number = V8

Odd number = 4 Cylinder or 6 cylinder

Fourth and fifth Digits: The fourth and fifth digits represent the series body style.

1970

36 = 4 dr. Sta. Wagon (2 Seat Dual Acting Tail Gate)

37 = 2 dr. Notch Back Hardtop Coupe

39 = 4 dr. Notch Back Hardtop Sedan 4 window

46 = 4 dr. Sta. Wagon 3 Seat Dual Acting Tail Gate

47 = 2 dr. Notch Back Hardtop Coupe

57 = 2 dr. Notch Back Hardtop Coupe

67 = Convertible Coupe

69 = 4 dr. Notch Back Pillar Sedan 4 window

87 = 2 dr. Plain Back Hardtop Coupe

1971

11 = 2 dr. Notch Back Sedan

15 = 2 dr. Sta. Wagon 2 Seat

27 = 2 dr. Notch Back Pillar Coupe

36 = 4 dr. Sta. Wagon 2 Seat Dual Acting Tail Gate

37 = 2 dr. Notch Back Hardtop Coupe

39 = 4 dr. Notch Back Hardtop Sedan 4 window

46 = 4 dr. Sta. Wagon 3 Seat Dual Acting Tail Gate

57 = 2 dr. Notch Back Hardtop Coupe

67 = Convertible Coupe

69 = 4 dr. Notch Back Pillar Sedan 4 window

77 = 2 dr. Plain Back Pillar Coupe

80 = 2 dr. Pick-Up delivery

87 = 2 dr. Plain Back Hardtop Coupe

Sixth Digit: The sixth digit represents the year the model was built.

0 = 1970

1 = 1971

Seventh Digit: The seventh digits displays at which manufacture facility the model was built:

A = Atlanta, GA

B = Baltimore, MD

C = Southgate, CA

D = Doraville, GA

F = Flint, MI

G = Framingham, MA

I = Oshawa, Canada

J = Janesville, WI

K = Kansas City, MO

L = Los Angeles, CA

N = Norwood, OH

R = Arlington, TX

S = Louis, MO

T = Tarrytown, NY

U = Lordstown, OH

W = Willow Run, MI

Y = Wilmington, DE

Z = Fremont, CA

Eighth – Thirteenth digits: The last six digits display the production number, starting with 100001

Vehicles manufactured in 1972-1980:

First digit: Division of GM

1 = Chevrolet

Second Digit: The second -digit displays the Chevrolet series. *Certain models are reprinted by multiple letters, depending upon year)

B = Nomad

C = Chevelle, El Camino, Greenbrier

D = Malibu, Custom El Camino, Concours

E = Chevelle Laguna

G = Chevelle Malibu Estate

H = Monte Carlo, Concours Estate, Laguna Estate

K = Biscayne, Brookwood, Bel Air

L = Bel Air, Townsman, Imapala

M = Impala, Kingswood, Monza Coupe

N = Caprice, Kingswood Estate

Q = Camaro

R = Monza 2+2

S = Camaro LT

V = Vega

X = Nova

Y = Nova Custom

Z = Corvette

Third Digit and fourth digits: The third and fourth digits determine the body style series.

11 = Panel Express Vega

15 = Kammback Wagon Vega

17 = Hatchback Coupe Nova

23 = 4 dr. Limo W/Aux. Seat

27 = 2 dr. Notch Back Pillar Coupe

33 = 4 dr. Limo W/Aux. Seat, center Partition Window

35 = 4 dr. Sta. Wagon 2 Seat

36 = 4 dr. Sta. Wagon 2 Seat Dual Acting Tail Gate

37 = 2 dr. Notch Back Hardtop Coupe

39 = 4 dr. Notch Back Hardtop Sedan 4 window

45 = 4 dr. Sta. Wagon 3 Seat

46 = 4 dr. Sta. Wagon 3 Seat Dual Acting Tail Gate

47 = 2 dr. Notch Back Hardtop Coupe

49 = 4 dr. Notch Back Hardtop Sedan 4 window

56 = 4 dr. Sta. Wagon 2 Seat Dual Acting Tail Gate

57 = 2 dr. Notch Back Hardtop Coupe

66 = 4 dr. Sta. Wagon 3 Seat Dual Acting Tail Gate

67 = Convertible Coupe

69 = 4 dr. Notch Back Pillar Sedan 4 window

77 = 2 dr. Plain Back Pillar Coupe

80 = 2 dr. Pick-Up delivery

87 = 2 dr. Plain Back Hardtop Coupe

35/AQ4 = 3-Seat Wagon Chevelle

57/Z03 = Landau CoupeMonte Carlo

57/Z76 = S CoupeMonte Carlo

Fifth Digit: The fifth digit represent the motor the car was equipped with.

1972

B = 4-140 1 & 2 Bar. Carb.

D = 6-250 1 Bar. Carb.

F = 8-307 2 Bar. Carb.

H = 8-350 2 Bar. Carb.

J = 8-350 4 Bar. Carb., RPO L48

K = 8-350 4 Bar. Carb. Base Corvette

39 = 8-350 4 Bar. Carb. RPO Z-28

R = 8-400 2 Bar. Carb., RPO LF6

S = 8-402 4 Bar. Carb., RPO LS3, Single Exhaust

U = 8-402 4 Bar. Carb., RPO LS3, Dual Exhaust

V = 8-454 4 Bar. Carb., RPO LS5, Single Exhaust

W = 8-454 4 Bar. Carb., RPO LS5, Dual Exhaust

1973-80

A = 4-140 1 Bar. Carb.

B = 4-140 2 Bar. Carb.

D = 6-250 1 Bar. Carb.

F = 8-307 2 Bar. Carb.

H = 8-350 2 Bar. Carb.

K = 8-350 4 Bar. Carb.

R = 8-400 2 Bar. Carb

T = 8-350 4 Bar. Carb., Z-28, L-82

X = 8-454 4 Bar. Carb., L54

Y = 8-454 4 Bar. Carb., L54

Sixth Digit: The sixth digit represents the year the model was built.

2 = 1972

3 = 1973

4 = 1974

5 = 1975

6 = 1976

7 = 1977

8 = 1978

9 = 1979

A = 1980

Seventh Digit: The seventh digits displays at which manufacture facility the model was built:

1 = Oshawa, ON Canada

1 = Wentzville Canada

2 = St. Therese, QC. CANADA

3 = St. Eustache

4 = Scarborough

5 = London

5 = Bowling Green,OH

8 = Shreveport

8 = Fujisawa (Japan) Luv

9 = Oshawa, CANADA

A = Lakewood, GA.

B = Baltimore, MD.

C = Lansing

D = Doraville

E = Linden

F = Flint, MI.

G = Framingham, MA

J = Janesville, WI

K = Leeds, MI

K = Kosai

L = Van Nuys, CA

M = Lansing

N = Norwood, OH

Q = Detriot, MI

R = Arlington,TX

S = St. Louis, MO

S = Ramos Arizpe

T = Tarrytown, NY

U = Hamtramck

W=Willow Run,MI

Z= Fremont CA.

Eighth – Thirteenth/Fourteenth digits: The last six digits display the production number, starting with 100001 or 5000000

Example 1973 VIN:  1V11B2Q103241

Using the above decoding reference, this sample VIN would belong to the 3,241st Vega Panel Express, equipped with a two barrel four cylinder motor, built in 1973 in Detroit, MI.

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