Locations of VIN Plates and Stamps on Vintage Vehicles

Anyone who collects vintage cars and trucks will need to know where to find VIN locations on their vehicle. Finding classic car ID numbers is a must if you are considering buying any vehicle.

As most collector's and auto enthusiasts know, automobile manufacturers at one time had their own identification system. Nothing was standardized and what was put on the ID number and how many letters and numbers used varied from manufacturer to manufacturer. This of course makes it hard to both locate and decipher the VIN. Below we have compiled a list of vintage vehicles and where you might be able to find the ID number or VIN as it is now called.

Old VIN's didn't reflect what is given on today's VIN's. VIN's didn't even exist until about 1968. What you had prior to that could be called an Identification Number or Serial Number.

The old identification numbers, or serial numbers, used typically represented the build order from the factory. In some cases the car body was built by another company and had it's own set of numbers and characters.

States sometimes will differ on what they accept as valid VIN's. What one state might accept as a classic car identification number for registration purposes another state may not. Some might accept a straight engine number and others not.

The older the car or truck the more complicated it could be. Older vehicles often have had engines and other parts replaced over the years and as such it could make the process of registering a vintage or classic vehicle, in some cases, somewhat challenging because of multiple serial numbers. Some states at the time used frame numbers to register the vehicle and some used engine numbers. You can see the confusion caused when a vintage car needs to be registered today.

Your two concerns are to find the classic car identification number and to talk with your state's DMV.

You may also be interested in our article on Antique and Classic VIN's, What They Tell Us

Based on our research, the following information may help you in locating your vehicles ID number, Serial number or VIN.

Also, see our article on pre 1926 Ford vintage car serial numbers and information on registering an antique vehicle.

1938 Cadillac

Serial number should be located on the left frame side bar at the rear of the left front motor support.

1922 Ford

Cars this old often had a Serial Number and a Warranty Plate. The best place to look for the Serial Number or VIN is at the front or rear of the drivers door frame. Also look around the area of the cowl/underhood firewall.

1929 Ford

Look on top of the frame on the left side back from the front body bolt hole. This is where you would typically place your left foot. Many engines were replaced on these early Ford's so be sure to match up any number found with that on the engine block.

1935 Ford

You may find the ID number on the top frame rail on the drivers side right in front of the firewall. Also located on the right rear top frame rail over the tire. These were metal stamped with letters and numbers.

1939 Ford

Look on the left hand frame rail near the firewall. You may also see a star stamped before and after the numbers.

Another explanation we've learned regarding locating 1939 Ford serial numbers is as follows...Ford Motor Company stamped the serial number at three places. One is seen looking down into the engine compartment. You’ll only be able to view the two others when the body is removed from the frame. When you locate the Ford serial number on the frame in the engine compartment, the number format should look as follows…19 5258103

1947 Ford

Look inside the frame rail, driver's side.

1948 Ford

Left frame side rail ahead of cowl. Left frame rail ahead of front axle.

1949 Ford

The top of a diagonal brace on the passenger side near the radiator. Also stamped into one of the frame rails. Look for ten alphanumeric characters.

Ford Mustang

During the first few years of production, 1964 1/2 to 1967, look on the upper flange of the left front fender apron which is under the hood.

1949 Dodge

Look for a plate attached to one of the "A" pillars. The number should also be stamped on the engine block.

1929 Chevrolet

Check on the floor around the passenger seat and also on the cowl on the passenger side. The engine number may be stamped near the distributor.

1935 Chevrolet

Serial number should be found on the engine block. Also look on the floor inside the passenger door. Look to see that the number on the engine block is the same as the one under the passenger seat. This will keep you from getting the frame number mixed up with the actual VIN.

1948 Chevrolet Panel Delivery

Drivers side door hinge pillar will have the ID number. Also you should find it under the truck's hood on the right side cowl.

1949 Chevrolet

VIN should be on the right front door hinge on a plate. The engine number may be on the crankcase to the rear of the distributor.

1954 Chevrolet

Look for a tag on the left A-pillar or driver's side pillar.

1957 Chevrolet

Look on the door jamb into the top of the frame rail on the driver's side. Also on the cowl just above the firewall. The Serial number of the vehicle should be ten characters with both numerals and letter with the word Chevrolet on top of the plate. This body number which is not the car's serial number will have an entirely different format and will include Fisher Body.

Diamond T Truck

You should be able to find the Diamond T serial number under the hood on the drivers side of the cab. Also a Diamond T serial number should also be stamped on the passenger side frame.

1939 Buick

Look on the frame near the starter. Look for a total of eight digits.

How to Find Vintage and Antique Car Parts

 

1950 Buick

The VIN should be stamped on a plate attached to the left front door pillar. The number should also be stamped near the front of the left frame side rail.

1938 Pontiac

The Serial Number should be on top of frame just ahead of steering gear bracket. Also. look on top of the frame right next to the front body mount on the drivers side

1949 Pontiac

VIN should be found on the drivers side door pillar about half way up. There may also be a tag found on the cowl.

1957 Pontiac

You should find the car's Serial Number on the firewall. Should have nine characters, numbers and letters with the word Pontiac on top of the plate.

1939 Oldsmobile

Look on the left frame side bar opposite the steering unit. It should also be stamped on the left frame rail over the rear axle.

1946 Oldsmobile

You should find the ID plate on the left fringe door pillar.

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1949 Oldsmobile

Look on the left pillar post. The ID number may also be stamped somewhere on the frame.

1953 Oldsmobile

You should find the Serial Number on the frame at the top of the side rail. Look on the driver's side just under the front seat.

1939 Chrysler

Look on the front passenger door hinge post. The plate you find will likely have a numbers with no letters.

1949 Chrysler Windsor

VIN plate will be found on the front door hinge post.This will be a eight digits, all numbers.

1949 DeSoto

The DeSoto engine serial number on the 1949 models is stamped on the engine block on the left side above the generator and below the cylinder head. The body serial number should be found on the left front door post.

1940 LaSalle

Look for the serial numbers on the left frame side bar opposite the steering gear. Engine numbers were same as serial numbers and found on the crankcase.

1953 Studebaker

Best places to look for this car's VIN on the driver's  is on the firewall inside the engine compartment and on the driver's door post.

1957 Studebaker

Serial number location depends on engine. For the 6 and straight 8 it should be found on the upper left side of cylinder block. For the V-8 it should be on the top side front of cylinder block.

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1948 Plymouth

Best location to look for 1946-48 Plymouth VIN's are on the drivers side door posts. Should be an eight digit series of numbers.

54 thoughts on “Locations of VIN Plates and Stamps on Vintage Vehicles

  1. Please advise where I can locate a blank pillar door post i.d. plate for a 1957 Chev Bel Air convertible. Mine is missing and I would like to replace it with the correct vin# on a blank plate.

  2. i have never seen a blank VIN plate. In 1957 they were called serial numbers or identification numbers. If you know the vehicles complete serial number I would suggest you consult with your DMV to find out what can be done.

  3. is there a website that will show a cars history if it is older than a 1981?

  4. What type of history are you referring to? For a specific vehicle’s serial number?

  5. Where can I find the serial number plate for a 1951 Hudson Hornet? It has a 308 engine.

  6. Where can I find the serial number plate for a 1957 Studebaker Silver Hawk? (There is no plate on the driver door.)

  7. 1970 ford f250 4 wheel drive id stamp on frame no plate on door where do I look?

  8. That’s somewhat strange because Ford riveted a small aluminum ID tag to the driver’s door on all their pickups during 1970 and before.

  9. The 1957 Studebakers should have serial numbers for the 6 and straight 8 – Upper left side of cylinder block. For the V8 – Top side front of cylinder block.

  10. On most older Desotos the engine has been changed. The DMV, in many cases, will not verify the door panel VIN as being the accurate year. In California they’ll send you to the California Highway Patrol for further verification. There is another place to look. On the outside of the frame, almost directly beneath the drivers seat, there is a painted on ID number that is in bright red letters. It’s between the 2nd and 3rd bolts that hold the body on the frame. Clean off all the gunk residue and you’ll find it there.

  11. Your are looking for a Vin or serial number for a 1929 WhAT? The make of vehicle would help a lot.

  12. I believe that Cadillac used the engine number as the serial number or VIN. The first two characters should be the year “59”.
    You might want to look at the top left frame support next to the radiator support. If that doesn’t help you might want to pull up a classic Cadillac forum such as

  13. Hi, i have Mercury Monterey 1954 and Ford Thunderbird 1955. I need location of plates serial number. Please contact me. My email of contact:

  14. I have a Chevrolet custom deluxe not sure on year but the service part identification list right under handle of hood it is rusted up and I can see some parts of it also I need help finding all of the other stuff that was on it thx. if you’d like to help out or see a pic of it here is my email and ill send one right away ( ) but without the curved lines thx and don’t leave a comment plz email thx

  15. For the 47 Lincoln 76H I would look at the top of the transmission case clutch housing and the left side of front frame cross member. Serial number should begin with 7H. Hope this helps.

  16. Hi there
    I am trying to find a serial number on a 1934 International truck.
    I don’t see any number plates anywhere ???
    This is a project truck that came with no drive train ???
    Thanks for your help

  17. where can I find a vin number on a 1927 graham truck it does not have a org frame

  18. Trying to find a number on a 59 willys jeep, there is no plate that I can find

  19. I have a very rare 1936 Packard 120B 2dr. Touring Coupe. Packard only has three in there registry including mine. I have the original plate on the firewall that gives the model number 994 and another four digit number I am told is the production number. Where do I find the vin number on this car, as I have not been under it yet. Thanks Ted

  20. I believe the numbers you have found are the serial numbers for such a rare vehicle. VIN’s weren’t in existence at that time so you would be looking for a serial number. The model number and production sequence should be what you’re looking for.

  21. The best information I can find is that it’s inside the drivers door on the side.

  22. I have a 1957 Chevrolet Bel air , on the cowl there is a ” 6″ beside the acc what does this code mean?

  23. I am looking for a Vin chassis location for a 42 Willys 1/2 ton pick up. Any help would be greatly appreciated….Thanks Ted

  24. where can I find an identification or serial number on an old fire truck? I believe it’s a 1971, and I have no idea of the make and model

  25. Can you send photo(s) of the fire truck. Especially need photo of grille ad front end

  26. Where can I find the serial number for a 1950 Plymouth Special Deluxe P20 built in Ontario (Canada) ?

  27. Should be on the drivers door frame.There is also an engine number. I have heard that some 1950 Plymouths were registered with the engine number.

  28. I purchase a 1950 Plymouth with ID number 25108986. Where can I get information on this. Thank You

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