Decoding Corvette VINs - It's Old VIN Time Again

Decoding your Corvette's Vehicle Identification Number. Part 2: '84-'96

Christopher R. Phillip May 1, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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Last month, we began our series on Corvette Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) decoding by briefly reviewing the history of the original car-ID system that was introduced in the U.S. in 1954. We further described how today's VINs have come to serve a much wider purpose than was originally intended, and how they now populate the databases of nearly every organization that earns its revenue from the automobile business. Finally, we showed you how easy it is to decode the VIN on your '72-'82 Corvette.

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Federal law established a 17-digit VIN system, which took effect in model year 1981 and is scheduled to remain in effect until at least 2040. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for the program's regulations, some of which are listed below:

&bull The VIN of each vehicle must appear clearly and indelibly upon either a part of the vehicle, other than the glazing, that is not designed to be removed except for repair or upon a separate plate or label that is permanently affixed to such a part
&bull The VIN must be correctly formatted and include a check digit in Position 9 that is mathematically correct under a formula that is included in the regulation
&bull The VIN cannot include the letters I, O, or Q
&bull Beginning with the 1980 model year, the VINs of any two vehicles manufactured within a 60-year period must not be identical
&bull The typeface used for each VIN must be in capital [letters] and use san-serif characters

As we mentioned last month, GM keeps VIN Data cards from model year '72 through '11 in a database system, as a way of helping dealers' service departments decode VIN-plate data. (Our research shows that '72 is the first year of the VIN Data cards.) This month, we'll help you decode Corvette VINs from 1984 through 1996. Over the next two issues, we'll show you how to decode the VINs found on the '98-'11 models.

Note: Corvette owners who are interested in deciphering '53-'71 model-year VINs may find decoders on the Internet or in myriad books dedicated to the subject.

1984
Example: 1G1AY0782E5123456
1 - Country of Origin (1=U.S.)
2 - Manufacturer (G=General Motors)
3 - Make (1=Chevrolet)
4 - Restraint System (A=Nonpassive/manual belts)
5 - Series (Y=Corvette)
6-7 - Body Type (07=Coupe, two-door hatchback)
8 - Engine Type (8=350ci/205hp)
9 - Check digit (Varies by VIN)
10 - Model Year (E=1984)
11 - Plant (5=Bowling Green, Kentucky)
12-17 - Production Sequence Number (100001 through 151547)

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1985
Example: 1G1YY0787F5123456
1 - Country of Origin (1=U.S.)
2 - Manufacturer (G=General Motors)
3 - Make (1=Chevrolet)
4-5 - Carline/Series (YY=Corvette)
6-7 - Body Type/Restraint System (07=Coupe, two-door plain back [hatchback])
8 - Engine Type (8=350ci/230hp)
9 - Check digit (Varies by VIN)
10 - Model Year (F=1985)
11 - Plant (5=Bowling Green, Kentucky)
12-17 - Production Sequence Number (100001 through 139729)

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1986
Example: 1G1YY0789G5123456
1 - Country of Origin (1=U.S.)
2 - Manufacturer (G=General Motors)
3 - Make (1=Chevrolet)
4-5 - Carline/Series (YY=Corvette)
6-7 - Body Type/Restraint System (07=Coupe, two-door plain back [hatchback], 67=Coupe, two-door convertible)
8 - Engine Type (8=350ci/230hp or 350/235hp)
9 - Check digit (Varies by VIN)
10 - Model Year (G=1986)
11 - Plant (5=Bowling Green, Kentucky)
12-17 - Production Sequence Number (Coupes 100001 through 127794, convertibles 900001 through 907315)

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