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July 1st, 2011

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Vin Decoder for Classic Mustangs РA Key to Mustang Parts   by James RM Brent

You have decided to restore your classic Mustang, or research one to restore, but how do you find out what Mustang parts your particular pony car rolled off the line with? Knowing the vehicle identification number, the VIN, will guide you in discovering what was installed on your Mustang when it was brand new. Since we are only talking about restoring a classic Mustang, these codes will only cover what are considered the first generation Mustangs, 1965-1973.

Finding the VIN plate is the first step. The first two year models have the VIN under the hood on the edge of the driver side fender, 1968 models display the VIN at the base of the front windshield where it meets the dash on the passenger side while later models display the VIN on the driver side. The VIN plate may also be riveted to the jamb of the driver side door. Note that you may not find the original data plate, reasons for this could include cases where the door has been previously swapped out, the plate was removed or lost over the years.

The VIN decode follows a basic standard. From left to right the first digit is the last digit of the model year, the code for the assembly plant (1 digit), body style (2 digits), engine code (1 digit), followed by the consecutive unit number. Each model year has some variation on the Mustang parts; the model years are decoded below.

*Key

cu = Cubic Inch Displacement

2B or4B = 2 or 4 Barrel Carburetor

1965 (1964½ to enthusiasts, but no model year 64½ actually exists)

5=Last digit of Model Year (1965)

F=Assembly Plant (F-Dearborn, R-San Jose, T-Metuchen)

08=Body Code (07-hardtop, 08-convertible, 09-fastback)

U=Engine Code (early 1965 or1964½- U-170c I6, F-260c V8, D-289c V8), (late 1965: A-289c V8 4B, C-289c V8 2B, K-289c V8 4B HP, T-200c I6)

100005=Consecutive unit number – the order this Mustang was built in the factory.

1966

6=Last digit of Model Year (1966)

F=Assembly Plant (F-Dearborn, R-San Jose, T-Metuchen)

08=Body Code (07-hardtop, 08-convertible, 09-fastback)

A=Engine Code (A-289c V8 4B, C-289c V8 2B, K-289c 4B HP, T-200c I6)

100005=Consecutive unit number

1967

7=Last digit of Model Year (1967)

F=Assembly Plant (F-Dearborn, R-San Jose, T-Metuchen)

01=Body Code (01-hardtop, 02-fastback, 03-convertible)

C=Engine Code (A-289c V8 4B, C-289 c V8 2B, K-289c 4B HP, S-390c V8 4 B Big Block, T-200c I6)

100005=Consecutive unit number

1968

8=Last digit of Model Year (1968)

F=Assembly Plant (F-Dearborn, R-San Jose, T-Metuchen)

01=Body Code (01-hardtop, 02-fastback, 03-convertible)

C=Engine Code (C-289 c V8 2B, F-302c V8 2B, J-302c V8 4B, S-390c V8 4B Big Block, R-428c V8 4B Cobra Big Block, W-427c V8 4B Big Block, T-200c I6)

100005=Consecutive unit number

1969

9=Last digit of Model Year (1969)

F=Assembly Plant (F-Dearborn, R-San Jose, T-Metuchen)

01=Body Code (01-hardtop, 02-Sportsroof, 03-convertible)

F=Engine Code (F-302c V8 2B, G-302c V8 4B Boss, H-351c V8 2B, L-250c I6, M-351c V8 4B, Q-428c V8 4B Cobra Jet Big Block, R-428c V8 4B Cobra Jet Big Block Ram Air, T-200c I6, Z-429c V8 4B Boss)

100005=Consecutive unit number

1970

0=Last digit of Model Year (1970)

F=Assembly Plant (F-Dearborn, R-San Jose, T-Metuchen)

01=Body Code (01-hardtop, 02-Sportsroof, 03-convertible, 04-Grande, 05-Mach 1)

F=Engine Code (F-302c V8 2B, G-302c V8 2B Boss, H-351c V8 2B, L-250c I6, M-351c V8 2B, Q-428c V8 2B Cobra Jet Big Block, R-428c V8 2B Cobra Jet Big Block Ram Air, T-200c I6, Z-429c V8 2B Boss)

100005=Consecutive unit number

1971

1=Last digit of Model Year (1971)

F=Assembly Plant (F-Dearborn, R-San Jose, T-Metuchen)

01=Body Code (01-hardtop, 02-Sportsroof, 03-convertible, 04-Grande, 05-Mach 1)

F=Engine Code (C-429c V8 2B Cobra Jet, F-302c V8 2B, H-351c V8 2B, J-429c V8 2B Cobra Jet Ram Air, L-250c I6, M-351c V8 2B, Q-428c V8 2B Ram Air, R-351c V8 2B Boss)

100005=Consecutive unit number

1972

2=Last digit of Model Year (1972)

F=Assembly Plant (F-Dearborn, R-San Jose, T-Metuchen)

01=Body Code (01-hardtop, 02-Sportsroof, 03-convertible, 04-Grande, 05-Mach 1)

F=Engine Code (F-302c V8 2B, H-351c V8 2B, L-250c I6, Q-351c V8 2B, R-351c V8 2B High Output)

100005=Consecutive unit number

1973

3=Last digit of Model Year (1973)

F=Assembly Plant (F-Dearborn, R-San Jose, T-Metuchen)

01=Body Code (01-hardtop, 02-Sportsroof, 03-convertible, 04-Grande, 05-Mach 1)

F=Engine Code (F-302c V8 2B, H-351c V8 2B, L-250c I6, Q-351c V8 2B)

100005=Consecutive unit number

The data plate holds a plethora of information. If you can find the original one for your Mustang you can determine the original color, trim style, the date it was manufactured, District Sales Office number, rear axle identification, and transmission. If the data plate VIN info is different than the VIN plate on the fender or windshield, you’ll need to investigate further. Search online for Mustang VIN and data plate decoders to help you decipher the information for your classic Mustang.

Happy Hunting!

About the Author

James grew up coveting classic Mustangs with the idea that he would one day own one from each year. While that didn’t work out, James was able to assemble an online Mustang parts site to make sure that those who are restoring their Mustangs can find their parts and accessories. Find Mustang Parts at RestoreMustangs.com.

Mighty Atom model airplane engine 1934


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