VIN # Question
I had something strange come up when I ordered a new convertible top for my '60.
Using the "Corvette Buyer's Guide 1953-1967" by Richard Prince as a reference I find the following.
ALL 1953 VINS start with "E53F"
ALL 1954 VINS start with "E54F" but a few oddballs that start with "E53F"
ALL 1955 VINS start with "VE55S" (don't ask me how the V got in there)
ALL 1956 VINS start with "E56S"
ALL 1957 VINS start with "E57S"
ALL 1958 VINs start with "J58S".
ALL 1959 VINs start with "J59S"
ALL 1960 VINS start with "00867S"
ALL 1961 VINS start with "10867S"
ALL 1962 VINS start with "20867S"
ALL 1963 VINS start with "30867S"
ALL 1964 VINS start with "40867S"
ALL 1965 VINS start with "194675S"
ALL 1966 VINS start with "194676S"
ALL 1967 VINS start with "194677S"
The F in the '53 & '54 VINs indicates that they were built in Flint Michigan. Actually on a makeshift assembly line in an old truck plant. The S indicates that the rest of the Vettes through 1967 were built in St. Louis.
As for my car, the VIN is 00867S100731. Using the same reference book, I find that the FINAL 1960 Corvette made in October of 1959, the first month of production for the 1960 version, was VIN 00867S101168. This tells us that 1168 Vettes were made that month and mine was the 731st. The final month of production for the 1960 version was August of 1960. The final VIN # was 10867S110261. So the total production of 1960 Vettes was 10,261.
Here's the confusion. The vendor wrote me an e-mail and said the VIN I had provided was NOT a 1960 VIN. I called and said the car was built in October 1959 and was indeed a 1960 model and they said "OK, we'll date stamp your top August 1959". I said OK and hung up. I sent them the above information as a courtesy and they replied that they had no reference material for VINs. Well that certainly begged the question as to what they were basing their initial statement on when they told me that my car's VIN was not that of a 1960 so I wrote back and asked why they had called me in the first place saying the VIN or the year was bogus. They replied "We use the Corvette Black Book". Hmmmm, so they do have a reference. I told you all of that to ask you this, does anybody have a Corvette Black book they can check for me and see if there is indeed a discrepancy here. Is the reference book I have inaccurate? Is the black book inaccurate? Did the vendor just simply make a mistake? Thanks.
My Black Book (Feb '92 edition) shows vin#'s for 1960's from 100001 thru 110261. Quite possibly they do use the Black Book as a reference, but someone may have misread it. Also possible that in their edition a misprint happened, they occasionally occur.
Your 731 VIN is definitely a 1960 VIN; the car was built on October 8, 1959 (give or take a day or two). 1959 Corvette production ended on August 10, 1959 (#9670), and 1960 Corvette production started on September 2, 1959.
BTW, Prince's reference on '54 VIN format is incorrect - all 54's had an "S", not an "F" in the VIN, and all 54's were built in St. Louis; only the 300 53's were built in Flint.
The "V" prefix on '55 VINs is there to signify that they had V-8 engines.
Thanks guys. The VIN on this car has been problematic from the day I bought it. Motor Vehicle records had a 5 on the title instead of the S that should have been there causing me some grief trying to get Delaware to issue a new title for the one I had from NJ. The other question I meant to ask, even though it's too likely to change at this point, relates to the date stamp. Is August 1959 realistic for a car born in early October 1959??
Yup, August '59 is fine - NCRS allows full credit for any dated component up to six months prior to the car's final assembly date.
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