Decoding Corvette VINs - It's Old VIN Time Again

Decoding your Corvette's Vehicle Identification Number

Christopher R. Phillip Aug 1, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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This month, we conclude our four-part feature on VIN decoding for '72 through '11 Corvettes. Throughout this series we've briefed you on the background, purpose, and history of the original car-ID system that was introduced in the U.S. in 1954, explained how the VIN system is used today, and shared some interesting facts about its data formatting.

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Looking forward, there are some brand-new and exciting developments in VIN technology that will be of interest to Corvette owners. Very recently, Chevrolet announced the Customer's Selectable VIN Ending Option (RPO PIN), which will allow new-car buyers to select their own unique VIN ending numbers on '11-forward Corvettes. For example, a '67 Vette owner might specify that the same VIN ending numbers from his classic Sting Ray roadster appear on the VIN of his new Corvette convertible.

What else can we expect from VINs of the future? They will likely transform from a passive method of car identification, accident prevention, and theft recovery into a sophisticated system that utilizes RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags to accomplish these purposes, and more. One use of this not-that-far-in-the-future feature would allow a federally mandated, factory-installed RFID reader in your Corvette to record the VIN of a vehicle that collides with your car. This data would then be uploaded through the OnStar system to both owners' insurance companies, as well as to law-enforcement and emergency-services agencies. It could even let the police know if either car involved in the accident is registered as stolen, before they ever get to the scene.

Now that we've looked into the VIN's fantastic future, come along as we show you how to decode them on '05-'11 models.

As we mentioned in previous installments, 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.)

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

2005
Example: 1G1YY24U855123456
1-3 - World Make Identifier (1G1=Chevrolet)
4/5 - Carline/Series (YY=Corvette)
6 - Body Style (2=Two-door, 3=Two-door convertible)
7 - Restraint Code (2=Active [manual] belts with Driver and Passenger Inflatable Restraint System [frontal], 4=Active [manual] belts with Driver and Passenger Inflatable Restraint System [frontal and side])
8 - Engine Type (U=364 ci/400 hp)
9 - Check Digit (Varies by VIN)
10 - Model Year (5=2005)
11 - Plant (5=Bowling Green, Kentucky)
12-17 - Production Sequence Number (100001 through 137341)

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2006
Example: 1G1YY26UX65123456
1-3 - World Make Identifier (1G1=Chevrolet)
4/5 - Carline/Series (YY=Corvette)
6 - Body Style (2=Two-door, 3=Two-door convertible)
7 - Restraint Code (4=Active [manual] belts with Driver and Passenger Inflatable Restraint—Front and Roof, 6=Active [manual] belts with Driver and Passenger Inflatable Restraint—Front and Side and Occupant Sensor)
8 - Engine Type (U=364 ci/400 hp, E=427 ci/505 hp, Y=427 ci/505 hp)
9 - Check Digit (Varies by VIN)
10 - Model Year (6=2006)
11 - Plant (5=Bowling Green, Kentucky)
12-17 - Production Sequence Number (100001 through 133992)

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2007
Example: 1G1YY25E575123456
1-3 - World Make Identifier (1G1=Chevrolet)
4/5 - Carline/Series (YY=Corvette)
6 - Body Style (2=Two-door, 3=Two-door convertible)
7 - Restraint Code (5=Active [manual] belts with Driver and Passenger Inflatable Restraint—Front with Occupant Sensor, 6=Active [manual] belts with Driver and Passenger Inflatable Restraint—Front and Side and Occupant Sensor)
8 - Engine Type (U=364 ci/400 hp, E=427 ci/505 hp, Y=427 ci/505 hp)
9 - Check Digit (Varies by VIN)
10 - Model Year (7=2007)
11 - Plant (5=Bowling Green, Kentucky)
12-17 - Production Sequence Number (100001 through 140559)

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