Chevorlet cowl and vin identification numbers

The first character classifies the division of General Motors the car was introduced by. In our case it is the number 1, which stands for Chevrolet. In our example the character is 1, which stands for Nova. The third digit represents what size motor the car was equipped with, in our case the number is 4 which is an even number making this cars original motor a V8.

Chevrolet Car Number Plates - The Filling Station

The fourth and fifth digits represent the series body style. The sixth digit represents the year the model was built. The next car would have been 12xx78N the xx would be dependent on whether it was a L6 or V8 and a coupe or convertible. The first Camaro off the Los Angeles line in would be 12xx78L In , the VIN plate is located on the driver-side A-pillar front pillar and is visible when the driver-side door is open.

Starting in , and continuing to the present time, the VIN plate was relocated to the upper dash panel, on the forward portion of the drivers side, and is viewable through the windshield glass when standing at the front edge of the driver's door. The location is shown in this photo. Starting in August , the complete VIN was also stamped on a conformance sticker that was placed on the driver's door, just above the door striker. The VIN does not provide any information other than what is listed in the box above.

On the firewall below the fan motor opening non-AC cars or below the heater opening AC cars.

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VIN Decoder

This requires the heater or air conditioning box removal, and therefore most car buyers will not have an opportunity to view this stamp. The photo below of the passenger side of the firewall shows the typical location on a car without air conditioning.


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Partial VINs were also stamped on most engines and transmissions from on. Not all engines and transmissions in were stamped with partial VINs. Details and examples are shown in the Drivetrain Decoding section. However, be aware that the partial VINs can be "restamped" on engines and transmissions by machining off the original stamp or finding one that is unstamped and then stamping the desired VIN. The cowl tags for Camaros were stamped with a style code of 12x37 or 12x67 , where the x was set to 4 for standard interior or 6 for custom interior.

All Camaros L6 or V8 had a style code of or on the cowl tag - the 3rd digit of the firewall style number for these two years was fixed to 4 and effectively had no meaning. For related information, see also the Cowl Tag and Numbers Trivia sections. These discussions apply only to U.

Note that Yenkos and non-Canadian export models, not requiring the statement of certification to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, were shipped with style Fisher Body tags that are absent the certification statement. And export tags are often blank on the bottom of the tag. For example, 11C means the body assembly was started during the third week of November of that model year. Based on data analysis there is no GM documentation that describes this code, but the data is consistent across thousands of datapoints , CRG believes the code was used by LOS Fisher Body and other plants that built multiple carlines to aid in scheduling the body build order.


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  • The letter indicates the approximate day of the month for the start of the assembly of the vehicle body. It is only an approximate date because it appears that the day on the tag was actually when the vehicle was being scheduled to be built. The actual start of production could vary by a few days. The code began with letter "A" on the first day of the month of the Fisher production calendar, incremented at the start of each additional production day to the next alphabetic letter, and was reset to letter "A" at the start of the next production month.

    Note that the Fisher production calendar is known to differ from the calendar month, and we also do not know exactly how the Fisher production calendar related to the Chevrolet monthly production reporting calendar. The one-to-three digit sequence number that follows the letter was reset to 1 at the start of each day and generally incremented serially with each body built by the factory as the day progressed. Due to scheduling requirements, this progression was not absolute and vehicles chould be built out of tag sequence.

    Data analysis indicates that the sequence number at the LOS plant was assigned regardless of model or body type. By this we mean that Camaros and full-size passenger cars both incremented the same sequence counter.

    How to Decode your Nova’s Vin Code

    The unit counter was reset to 1 the next day as the day-of-the-month code letter incremented to the next letter. In the example, F would indicate approximately the sixth day of production for a given month and about the rd body on that sixth day of production. See the POP decoding section for other details on the Norwood interior paint code. For cars without a vinyl or convertible top, the body paint color was stamped on the tag twice, e.

    E-E or The colors are presented in the same row as the two-letter RPO suffix that was added to the window sticker. Non-standard paint color and striping color could be ordered, and such cars were specially marked. See the Special Paint section for more details. Stripe colors white or black, with red added in , and pace cars being a special exception were selected based on body color. In , there were three color combination exceptions where top color overrode that selection. In , stripe color selection became more complicated as Chevy decided to make the stripe color vary depending on the top color.

    Stripe colors were painted as follows: White stripes were painted with Ermine White or Dover White, black stripes with a black that was different than Tuxedo Black, red stripes with Monza Red, and 69 pacer stripes with Hugger Orange.

    What 17 Numbers & Letters Can Tell You About Your Car

    The special order restriction was lifted circa January Note that "special order" is different from "special paint. Black or blue had to be specially designated. Special paint was any non-standard Camaro color; it could be a GM color or any other color. The Cadillac Firemist colors were the only colors not available. Since they had such a coarse metallic, the Firemist colors needed to be sprayed through a special paint gun.

    In , either deletion of a stripe or use of a non-standard stripe color was also considered to be special paint. In 68, if any of the four colors A, E, H, T that were deleted mid-year see note in the Exterior Color table were ordered in the latter part of the year, the cowl tag was coded as special paint on Norwood cars though Los Angeles cars normally used the cancelled color code. On the window sticker and on broadcast copy sheets, "AA" and "HA" have been observed as designating special paint cars. Note that all cars were painted, no Camaros were shipped from the assembly plant in primer.

    Cowl Tag Coding special paint cars used the letter "O" instead of the normal color code. For early model year , the designation for special paint cars changed to the letter "Z". However, new mid-year colors needed codes assigned to them, and starting January the letter "Z" paint code was used to denote the newly available Camaro color called British Green, and simultaneously the notation of special order paint was changed to a dash "-".

    1968 Camaro By The Numbers

    The "-" dash special paint code continued for the rest of the model year as well as for the entire model year. Due to changes and differences in how the factories marked the paint codes especially differences in factory formats , the special paint formats are easier to illustrate in the examples in the Special Paint Table below than to describe in words.

    For this reason, they are often missing. Now you can replace missing or damaged number plates with these show quality reproductions. The plates changed each year until From most trucks used the Master Car Number plate. Compare to your original plate if you have it to be sure.

    Decoding and Understanding Vehicle Identification Numbers / VIN's

    Using this example number, we will break down the code: 6BA 03 In the example above, the first number or numbers indicates the factory where the vehicle was manufactured. Referring to the table below, the number "6" indicates that the factory where this vehicle was manufactured was Oakland, California. The letters "BA" indicate that this was a series passenger vehicle and the model was called "Confederate". The second table lists the to series and model designations that were used on all passenger cars and most trucks: 6BA 03 The numbers "03" indicates the month that the vehicle was manufactured - March of If the number was "11", that would indicate that the vehicle was manufactured in November of This part of the serial number was not used until the production model year , therefore, and earlier models will not have these two numbers.