Locations of Serial Numbers and Stamps on Classic and Vintage Vehicles

Anyone who collects classic and/  or vintage cars and trucks will need to know where to find serial number 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 or serial 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 Serial Numbers 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 serial number and to talk with your state’s DMV.

Automakers did not necessarily change locations of car serial numbers each model year so if your model is from a year close to those shown here yours may be in the same locations.

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.

1951 Cadillac

On right side of frame behind engine support bracket.

1955 Cadillac

On the frame, passenger’s side, just behind or near the A arm.

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.

1955 Ford

On an aluminum identification plate just below the “A” pillar when you open the driver side door.

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.

1947-54 Chevy and GMC Suburbans

The serial number is located on the left front body hinge pillar.

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.

1950 Chevrolet

On a plate on the right front door hinge pillar.

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.

1960 Chevrolet  (This should apply to 1960-64 models)

Look on the driver-side door hinge on the body.

1965 Chevrolet

Located on a steel plate riveted to the left door jamb on the hinge pillar.

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.

1948 Buick Super 8

Found attached to the right side of the firewall. Also found on the left front door pillar.

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.

1951 Buick

Located on a plate on the left front door pillar. The plate indicates the assembley plant and the production sequence number

1955 Buick

The serial number is located on a plate affixed to the left front pillar post below the belt molding line.

1960 Buick

Stamped on a plate attached to left front door hinge pillar.

1961 Willys Jeep Trucks

Plate on rear entry area of the step on drivers (left) side. Also check under by the glove box. Another possibility is under the hood, on the dash near the right hood hinge.

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.

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.

1957 Oldsmobile

Left front door pillar on right side of cowl.

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.

1955 Chrysler

The serial number for passenger cars is on a plate on the right or left front door front pillar post.

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.

1951 Studebaker 

On a small metal plate, just below the lower end of the seat – on the driver’s side

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.

1951 Plymouth

On left front door hinge post.

1955 Plymouth

On left front door hinge post.