Vehicle Identification Number Explanation
Position #1 is the Year Identification
0 = 1960, 1 = 1961, 2 = 1962, etc. continuing to 9 = 1969
0 = 1970, 1 = 1971, 2 = 1972, etc. continuing to 9 = 1979
0 = 1980
Position #2 is the Assembly Plant Identification
A = Atlanta, Georgia
B = Oakville, Ontario
C = Chester, Pennsylvania (through 1962)
D = Dallas, Texas
E = Mahwah, New Jersey
F = Dearborn, Michigan
G = Chicago, Illinois
H = Lorain, Ohio
J = Los Angeles, California
K = Kansas City, Missouri
N = Norfolk, Virginia
P = St. Paul, Minnesota
R = San Jose, California
S = Allen Park, Michigan
T = Metuchen, New Jersey
U = Louisville, Kentucky
W = Wayne, Michigan
X = St. Thomas, Ontario
Y = Wixom, Michigan
Z = St. Louis, Missouri
Positions #3 and #4 are the Body Series Code Identification
Position #5 is the Engine Identification
Positions #6 through #11 are the Consecutive Unit Number
Starting Consecutive Unit Numbers:
1960-1969 Ford: 100001. Ford, the most-produced make, often would use Consecutive Unit Numbers that reached into the 200000- and 300000- ranges. With the popularity of the 1965 Mustang, after 399999 at Dearborn, the next unit number was 600001 then to 700001 and finally to 800001, with the highest recorded unit being 806693.
1960-1966 Lincoln: 400001
1967 and 1968 Lincoln: 800001 (When the 1969 Continental Mark III went into production in April 1968, unit numbers were merged in with regular 1968 Lincoln sequences. A 1968 4-door sedan might have a VIN of 8Y82A841001 and a 1969 Mark III produced on the same day might be 9Y82A841002)
1969 Lincoln: full production starting in August, 1968: 848001
1964-1969 Lincoln Sedans for limousine conversion: Each year, a special block of unit numbers starting at 999001 were used for those Lincoln sedans designated to be sent to Lehmann-Petersen for limousine conversion.)
1960-1969 Mercury, except Comet: 500001
1960 and 1961 Comet: 800001 (It was technically a stand-alone make those two years...the word Mercury does not appear anywhere on those two years of the Comet.)
1962 - 1969 Comet: 500001, merged with other Mercury cars
This number represents the scheduled sequence order. When a car was ordered, it was immediately assigned a VIN with a Consecutive Unit Number. It was then assigned a scheduled production date based on availability of trim, parts, other components, and taking into account downtime and production workloads at the assembly plant.
A scheduled production date was very often out of sequence with the Consecutive Unit Number. And more often than not, the actual production date (the day the car rolled off the line) was earlier or later than what was originally planned. Therefore, a Thunderbird with a Consecutive Unit Number of 105678 may have actually been produced and ready for shipping before a Thunderbird with a Consecutive Unit Number of 105432. The Consecutive Unit Number should be considered to be a unique identification that shows when the order was received and when it was planned for production.
Location of the Data Plate which contains the Vehicle Identification Number:
1960 through 1963 cars: On the left front body pillar below the driver's door hinge opening
1964 through 1973 cars: On the driver's door lock face.
1974 through 1980 cars: On the driver's door lock pillar (body).
The Data Plate is also referred to as the "Patent Plate" and the "Warranty Plate"
1968 through 1980 cars also have the VIN on a metal tab that is attached to the left end of the top of the instrument panel. This tab is visible through the windshield.