VIN reading

Note that this page is concerned with Monte Carlo VINs, though a lot of the info carries over to other GM platforms.

This page won't actually tell you HOW to decode the VIN, there are simply too many other sites out there that can already do it. This is simply an example...


  • 1st digit - Country code
  • 2nd digit - Producer code
  • 3rd digit - Division code
  • 4th digit - Car line code (83-84 different than 85-88)
  • 5th digit - Series code
  • 6th digit - Body style code (83-86 different than 87-88)
  • 7th digit - Restraint system code (83-86 different than 87-88)
  • 8th digit - Engine code
  • 9th digit - check digit (ignored)
  • 10th digit - Model year code
  • 11th digit - Manufacturing Plant Location code
  • 12th through 17th - Production sequence code (subtract 100,001)

    Example output: (I had written a program to do this for me in C... but I've long since lost it)

    VIN entered as: 1G1GZ11G8JP123456
    
    ------------------------------------------------
    1.              Manufactured in USA. [1]
    
    2.              Manufactured by GM. [G]
    
    3.              Chevrolet division. [1]
    
    4.              Car type: Monte Carlo. RWD Regal if Buick. [G]
    
    5.              Specific car type: Monte Carlo. [Z]
    
    6.              Two Door Coupe. [1]
    
    7.              Manual Safety Belts. [1]
    
    8.              L69 305ci (5.0L) 4bbl (chevy) [G]
    
    9.              Ignored - Check digit
    
    10.             1988 model year. [J]
    
    11.             Assembled in: Pontiac, MI [P]
    
    12-17.          Sequential build number: 123456
    ------------------------------------------------
    

    Some patterns I have noticed in my database of Monte VINs.

  • 1981-1984 all begin with "1G1AZ37"
  • 1981-1984 were all built in either Arlington, TX or Baltimore, MD
  • 1983-1984 all SS's appear to have been built in Texas
  • 1985-1986 all begin with "1G1GZ37"
  • 1985-1986 were all built in Arlington, TX with one exception being Oshawa, ONT.
  • 1987-1988 all begin with "1G1GZ11"
  • 1987-1988 were all built in either Arlington, TX or Pontiac, MI

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