How Do I Decode My Classic Chevy Trucks Number?
Each digit on a Serial ID number or VIN stands for something.
1947 - 55 Chevy Trucks
The Serial ID Number for the US-built Chevrolet trucks for 1947 - 1955 is 8 to 12 digits long and is recorded in two sections.
For 1947 - 52, the first four-six letters/numbers will reveal the 1- Assembly plant, 2 - the year of production, 3 - the series model, and 4 - the month of production. The second sequence (all numbers) is the production number assigned to the truck at a specific plant.
For 1953 - 55, the first section of the id number is 1 - series, 2- decade (always a 5), 3 - the year of production (3,4 o4 5), and 4 - Assembly plant. The second section is the production number. The serial id number is usually on a steel plate on the front driver's side door post.
Please refer to the tables below to find the specific information on the first sequence.
Assembly Plant (in some cases first and second)
Year of Production
Month of Production
The month of production only appeared on the 1947 - 52 model trucks.
1956 - 59 Chevy Trucks
These trucks have similar serial numbers as the 53 - 55, some models have a V prefix to indicate a V-8 engine, and they stopped stamping the decade. The decoding is as listed below.
The first character has a D, H, M, J, or L, depending on the series. (D-1500, H-3100, M-3200, J-3600, L-3800) The second character (depending on the V prefix) might be a “2” - meaning the Second Series
Year of Production.
These are the last two digits of the model year (55, 56, 57, 58, 59).
The assembly plant is the same as listed above in the table for 1953 - 55.
The second sequence refers to the production numbers at the plant.
1960 - 66 Chevy Trucks
Decoding the Serial ID numbers gets a bit more challenging regarding these model year trucks. They could have 11 or 12 digits making up the Vin. A helpful identification chart can be found at media.lmctruck.com.
Year of Production
On a few models, the Serial numbers begin with the last digit of the model year
- 0 = 1960
- 1 = 1961
- 2 = 1962
- 3 = 1963
- 4 = 1964).
However, if your truck begins with a C or a K, that is a Chassis designation (C = 2WD, K = 4WD).
The next numbers refer to the Series, with the numbers 14, 15, or 25.
- 14 = 1/2 ton Shortbed 115" Wheelbase,
- 15 = 1/2 ton Longbed 127" Wheelbase
- 25 = 3/4 ton Longbed 127" Wheelbase)
(4 = Pickup)
The addition of three other production plants. (Oshawa, Canada, Fremont, CA, and Pontiac, MI.)
- A = Atlanta 1 = Oshawa
- J = Janesville F = Flint
- P = Pontiac N = Norwood
- H = Fremont T = Tarrytown
- B = Baltimore K = Kansas City
- S = St. Louis
The last six digits of the Serial ID number are the production number for the plant.
1967 - 72 Chevy Trucks
The VIN is as follows -
Chassis Designation (1st Digit)
C = 4x2 or K = 4X4
Engine Designation (2nd Digit)
E = V8 or S = V6
Size of Truck (3rd)
1 = ½ ton - 2 = ¾ ton - 3 = 1 ton
Model of Truck (4th)
Always 4 for pickup truck
Year of Production (5th)
(Last digit of the year made - 67 - 72)
Assembly Plant (6th)
(See chart above for locations)
The last six digits are the production numbers.
1973 - 1981 Trucks
C = Chevy or T = GMC
Chassis Designation (2nd)
C = 4x2 - K = 4x4 - L = Light Duty
Engine Designation (3rd)
(Specific V8 or V6 engines depending on size)
1 = ½ ton, 2 = ¾ ton, 3 = 1 ton
Body Style (5th)
2 = Chassis only - 3 = Cab and Chassis - 4 = Pickup or Van - 5 = Panel - 6 = Suburban - 7 = motorhome - 8 = Utility
Production Year (6th)
A 3 - 8 depending on the year.
Assembly Plant (7th) - (See Chart above)
The last six are production numbers from the factory
1981 To Today.
Beginning with the 1981 model year, the NHTSA required all vehicles made in the United States to have a standardized format for VINs.
Country of Origin (1st three digits)
The numbers 1, 4, and 5 usually begin the VIN and indicate that the truck was made in the US, while a 2 = Canada - 3 = Mexico. GC indicates Chevy.
A is for 0-3000 pounds, B for 3001-4000, C for 4001-5000, D for 5001-6000, E for 6001-7000, F for 7001-8000.
C = 4x2, E = 4x2 compact pickup, H = cutaway chassis, J = 4x4 compact pickup, K = 4x4 full-size pickup, R = 4x2 full-size pickup,
Type of Truck (6th)
1 = 1500, 2 = 2500, 3 = 3500, 4 = ½ ton heavy duty, 5 = 3 ton GMC, 6 = ½ ton Luxury 1500, 7 = ¾ ton Luxury 2500, and 8 = 1 ton Luxury 3500.
Body Type (7th)
3 = four-door cab, 4 = two-door cab, 6 = a Suburban, 7 = Motor Home chassis, 8 = two-door sport utility, 9 = extended cab.
Engine codes vary from year to year.
Model Year (10th)
- L = 1990, M = 1991, 1 = 2001 2 = 2002
- N = 1992. P = 1993 3 = 2003 4 = 2004
- R = 1994 S = 1995 5 = 2005 6 = 2006
- T = 1996 V = 1997 7 = 2007 8 = 2008
- W = 1998 X = 1999 9 = 2009
- Y = 2000
Assembly Plant - (11th)
- B = Baltimore E = Pontiac East
- F = Flint J for Janesville
- K for Linden R for Arlington
- V for Pontiac Z for Fort Wayne
- 1 is for Wentzville 2 for Moraine
- 3 for St-Eustache 5 for London
- 8 for Shreveport 9 for Oshawa
The last six digits refer to the production number assigned at the plant.
Vehicle Serial Number100001 = 1st Unit Built
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My name is Matt and I've been around cars all my life! I have owned and worked on many different classic vehicles, so I started this site to share my experiences. If you're new to classic cars, then this website is for you.Read More About Matt Lane