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.
Serial number should be located on the left frame side bar at the rear of the left front motor support.
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.
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.
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.
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
Look inside the frame rail, driver's side.
Left frame side rail ahead of cowl. Left frame rail ahead of front axle.
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.
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.
Look for a plate attached to one of the "A" pillars. The number should also be stamped on the engine block.
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.
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.
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.
Look for a tag on the left A-pillar or driver's side pillar.
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.
Look on the frame near the starter. Look for a total of eight digits.
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.
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
VIN should be found on the drivers side door pillar about half way up. There may also be a tag found on the cowl.
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.
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.
You should find the ID plate on the left fringe door pillar.
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Look on the left pillar post. The ID number may also be stamped somewhere on the frame.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.