What's That Spell? 1953 - 1971 Chevrolet VIN Decoding

It's not uncommon to begin a conversation with another Classic car owner and be told very little, if anything, is known about their car. Where it was built, the date it was produced, the correct model along with other details are available...if you know where to look.

Depending on the year, make and model of your Classic this information is readily available on-line as either a freely distributed source or from various organizations that can provide these details for a small fee. Our goal over the next few weeks is to assemble a series of articles to assist your efforts.

Today's post covers "decoding" your Chevrolet Vehicle ID Number (VIN) for the years between 1953 and 1971. To get started, copy the VIN located on the factory applied tag located under the hood, at the base of the windshield or on the drivers door post, according to year. Then refer to the following details to learn more about your car.

1953-1954
FIRST DIGIT
V= V8
NO DIGIT FOR 6 CYLINDER

SECOND DIGIT MODEL
A=Passenger 150
B=Passenger 210
C=Passenger Bel Air
D=Sedan Delivery
E=Corvette
H=1/2 Ton Truck
J=3/4 Ton Truck
L=1 Ton Truck
Z=School Bus

THIRD & FORTH DIGIT
53=1953
54=1954

FIFTH DIGIT ASSEMBLY PLANT
A=ATLANTA, GA.
K=KANSAS CITY, MO
B=BALTIMORE, MD
L=LOS ANGELES, CA
F=FLINT, MI
O=OAKLAND, CA
J=JANESVILLE, WI
S=ST. LOUIS, MO
T=TARRYTOWN, NY

DIGIT SIX-ELEVEN CAR SERIAL NUMBER
STARTED WITH NUMBER 001001

1955-1957
FIRST DIGIT
V= V8 (Corvette used a hand stamped "V")
NO DIGIT FOR 6 CYLINDER

SECOND DIGIT
A=150
B=210
C=Bel Air
D=Sedan Delivery
E=Corvette

THIRD & FORTH DIGIT
55=1955 
56=1956 
57=1957

FIFTH DIGIT ASSEMBLY PLANT
A=ATLANTA, GA.
K=KANSAS CITY, MO
B=BALTIMORE, MD
L=LOS ANGELES, CA
F=FLINT, MI
O=OAKLAND, CA
J=JANESVILLE, WI
S=ST. LOUIS, MO
T=TARRYTOWN, NY

DIGIT SIX-ELEVEN CAR SERIAL NUMBER
1955&1956 STARTED WITH NUMBER 001001
1957 STARTED WITH 100001 (Some plants stayed with 001001 for their 1957 production)

1958-1959
FIRST DIGIT
A=Biscayne/Bookwood w/6 Cylinder
B=Biscayne/Bookwood w/8 Cylinder
C=Bel Air/Parkwood/Kingswood w/6 Cylinder
D=Bel Air/Parkwood/Kingswood w/8 Cylinder
E=Impala/Nomad/ w/6 Cylinder
F=Impala/Nomad/ w/8 Cylinder
G=Biscayne Sedan Delivery/El Camino w/6 Cylinder
H=Biscayne Sedan Delivery/El Camino w/8 Cylinder
J=Corvette w/8 Cylinder

SECOND & THIRD DIGIT
58=1958
59=1959

FORTH DIGIT ASSEMBLY PLANT
A=ATLANTA, GA. K=KANSAS CITY, MO
B=BALTIMORE, MD
L=LOS ANGELES, CA
F=FLINT, MI
O=OAKLAND, CA
J=JANESVILLE, WI
S=ST. LOUIS, MO
T=TARRYTOWN, NY

DIGIT FIVE-TEN CAR SERIAL NUMBER
STARTED WITH 100001 AT ALL PLANTS

1960-1964
FIRST DIGIT
0=1960
1=1961 
2=1962
3=1963
4=1964

SECOND & THIRD DIGIT (ODD NUMBER = L6, EVEN NUMBER =V8)
04=Nova/Chevy II
06=Corvair Spyder
08=Corvette
09=Corvair
11 OR 12=Biscayne (1960 El Camino)
13 OR 14=Biscayne Fleetmaster
15 OR 16=Bel Air
17 OR 18=Impala
53 OR 54=Chevelle 300 (Also 1964 El Camino)
55 OR 56=Malibu
57 OR 58=Malibu SS

FORTH & FIFTH DIGIT BODY STYLE
11=2 Door Sedan
15=2 Door Station Wagon
19=4 Door Sedan
21=2 Door Utility Sedan
35=4 Door Station Wagon 6-Passenger
37=2 Door Sport Coupe (AKA-Bubble Top)
39=4 Door Sports Sedan
45=4 Door Station Wagon
47=2 Door Sport Coupe (Standard Roof)
67=3 Door Convertible
69=4 Door Sedan
80=2 Door El Camino

SIXTH DIGIT ASSEMBLY PLANT
A=ATLANTA, GA. ALSO LAKEWOOD, GA.
K=KANSAS CITY, MO ALSO LEEDS, MI.
B=BALTIMORE, MD
H=FREMONT, CA.
L=LOS ANGELES, CA ALSO VAN NUYS, CA.
F=FLINT, MI
O=OAKLAND, CA
J=JANESVILLE, WI
S=ST. LOUIS, MO
T=TARRYTOWN, NY
W=WILLOW RUN, MI.

SEVENTH-TWELFTH DIGIT CAR SERIAL NUMBER
STARTS WITH 100001

1965-1971
FIRST DIGIT MAKE
1=CHEVROLET (Just an FYI - 2=PONTIAC, 3=OLDSMOBILE)

SECOND DIGIT MODEL
0=Corvair
1=Nova/ Chevy II
2=Camaro
3=Chevelle / El Camino / Monte Carlo
4=Vega
5=Biscayne / Bel AirI
6=Impala / Caprice
9=Corvette

THIRD DIGIT ENGINE
1=4 OR 6 CYLINDER
3, 5 & 7=6 CYLINDER
2, 4, 6 & 8=V8

FORTH-FIFTH DIGIT BODY STYLE
11=2 Door Sedan
35 & 36=4 Door Station Wagon w/2 Seats
37=2 Door Sport Coupe
39=4 Door Sports Sedan
45&46=4 Door Station Wagon w/3 Seats
47&57=2 Door Sports Coupe
67=2 Door Convertible
69=4 Door Sedan
80=El Camino
87=2 Door Sports Coupe

SIXTH DIGIT YEAR
5=1965
6=1966 
7=1967 
8=1968
9=1969
0=1970
1=1971

SEVENTH DIGIT ASSEMBLY PLANT
A=ATLANTA, GA.
B=BALTIMORE, MD.
F=FLINT, M.I
G=FRAMINGHAM, MA.
J=JANESVILLE, WI.
K=KANSAS CITY, MO.
L=VAN NUYS, CA.
N=NORWOOD, OH.
O=OAKLAND, CA.
P=PONTIAC, MI.
R=ARLINGTON, TX.
S=ST. LOUIS, MO.
T=TARRYTOWN, NY.
U=LORDSTOWN, OH.
W=WILLOW RUN, MI.
Y=WILMINGTON, DE.
Z=FREMONT, CA.
1=OSHAWA,ON. CANADA
2=ST. THERESE, QC. CANADA

8TH-13TH DIGIT CAR SERIAL
STARTS WITH 100001

Next, well look into other similar decoders available online along with several additional resources. Remember, Preserving Automotive History...One Car At a Time® is not just a slogan. It's what we do. Select this link to learn more.

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