Classic Mustang Vin & Door Decoder, Build Sheets


Updated 25th April 2017

Finding the VIN plate is the first step.  The 1964 1/2 – 1966 models had their VIN numbers stamped under the hood on the inner fenders 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.  There is also the “secret” VIN number which is actually hidden under the right hand fender towards the cowl area, again on the inner fender. This was a feature to stop the VIN numbers being ground of and re-stamped if stolen for example. When all the VIN numbers, and door tags match up with the engine block and transmission numbers this is what is known as the “Matching Numbers” car. If you have a matching numbers car then you have a rare beast indeed and increases the value significantly.

A typical VIN number

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 This is not intended to be a definitive list for your vehicle as there are many online decoders which will do that job for you and give you a more acurate decode. Hopefully this will cover the more common codes to give you an example of how it works.

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-170cu V6, F-260cu V8, D-289cu V8), (late 1965: A-289cu V8 4B, C-289cu V8 2B, K-289cu V8 4B HP, T-200cu V6)

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-289cu V8 4B, C-289cu V8 2B, K-289cu 4B HP, T-200cu V6)

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-289cu V8 4B, C-289 cu V8 2B, K-289cu 4B HP, S-390cu V8 4 B Big Block, T-200cu V6)

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 cu V8 2B, F-302cu V8 2B, J-302cu V8 4B, S-390cu V8 4B Big Block, R-428cu V8 4B Cobra Big Block, W-427cu V8 4B Big Block, T-200cu V6)

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-302cu V8 2B, G-302cu V8 4B Boss, H-351cu V8 2B, L-250cu V6, M-351cu V8 4B, Q-428cu V8 4B Cobra Jet Big Block, R-428cu V8 4B Cobra Jet Big Block Ram Air, T-200cu V6, Z-429cu 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-302cu V8 2B, G-302cu V8 2B Boss, H-351cu V8 2B, L-250cu V6, M-351cu V8 2B, Q-428cu V8 2B Cobra Jet Big Block, R-428cu V8 2B Cobra Jet Big Block Ram Air, T-200cu V6, Z-429cu 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-429cu V8 2B Cobra Jet, F-302cu V8 2B, H-351cu V8 2B, J-429cu V8 2B Cobra Jet Ram Air, L-250cu V6, M-351cu V8 2B, Q-428cu V8 2B Ram Air, R-351cu 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-302cu V8 2B, H-351cu V8 2B, L-250cu V6, Q-351cu V8 2B, R-351cu 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-302cu V8 2B, H-351cu V8 2B, L-250cu V6, Q-351cu V8 2B)

100005=Consecutive unit number

Door Tags

The Door Tags are usually located on the left hand door or drivers side. It’s important to check the authenticity as the door tag or warranty plate may not be the same one that originally came on the car. i.e. the door was changed after an accident. Compare the Door Tag to the vehicle VIN plate (and owner documents) to the one under the hood (65-67) or on the dash (68-73) to determine if the plate is indeed the original door tag.

The door tag contains lots of information around trim, colour, axle, transmission options at the time, but perhaps more importantly the actual date the vehicle was built. In fact all the information about your car can be derived from this plate as the vehicle VIN number should be match this tag. The door tags changed designs over the years, however the information contained on them was the same format.

I don’t need to explain too much about these tags as they speak for themselves, the only quick bit of information is around the DSO. DSO stands for “Domestic Special Order”, Units built on a “Domestic Special Order”, Foreign Special order, or other special orders will have the complete order number in this space. Also to appear in this space is the two-digit code number of the District which ordered the car. This DSO is often (incorrectly) refered to as the “District Sales Office” as well.

(DSO) Code District
11 Boston
12 Buffalo
13 New York
14 Pittsburgh
15 Newark
21 Atlanta
22 Charlotte
23 Philadelphia
24 Jacksonville
25 Richmond
26 Washington
31 Cincinnati
32 Cleveland
33 Detroit
34 Indianapolis
35 Lansing
36 Louisville
41 Chicago
42 Fargo
43 Rockford
44 Twin Cities
45 Davenport
51 Denver
52 Des Moines
53 Kansas City
54 Omaha
55 St. Louis
61 Dallas
62 Houston
63 Memphis
64 New Orleans
65 Oklahoma City
71 Los Angeles
72 San Jose
73 Salt Lake City
74 Seattle
81 Ford of Canada
83 Government
84 Home Office Reserve
85 American Red Cross
89 Transportation Services
90 Export
91 Export
92 Export
93 Export
94 Export
95 Export
96 Export
97 Export
98 Export
99 Export

Typical 1965 Door Tag

Typical 1966 Door Tag

Typical 1968 Door Tag

1968 Door Tag (Shelby)

Typical 1970 Door Tag

Since the Mustangs were first manufactured there were comprehensive records kept of each vehicle. Tragically there was a fire/flood at the storage location and the ALL records of the 1964 1/2 to 1966 Mustangs were destroyed. The good news is that there is something called the Marti Report where Mustangs from 1967 onwards can be tracked down with all the information you need. Click here for the link or cut and past the following into your browser.  http://www.martiauto.com/index.cfm

There is a charge for the service but it’s worth it. This website will also be able to supply you with exact replica Door Tags if you need to change the door or has become damaged.

The Build Sheets

There is a holy grail that a few Mustang owners have found when they picked their cars up from new but not realising it at the time; uknow as the “Build Sheet”. This single document followed the car around the various factory areas as a log if you like, on where the car has been and what options are required on that vehicle etc etc. These were removed from the cars prior to dispatch and thrown away, but sometimes they were stuffed in glove boxes, on top of glove boxes, under the dash, in the wire loom, under the seats front and back, under carpets, behind the firewall padding, down the “A” pillar voids, in fact it could be anywhere they could hide it. The sheets varied a little from plant to plant and years, but essentially hold they hold the same details or build requirements. These pieces of paper are rare and there are only a few pictures around, so thanks to Google (of course) here are some examples.

If you have an early mustang and you have the matching build sheet – you have just added a bag of money to that car as that is the only way to prove the exact provenance of the vehicle.

Taken from various sources and modified for my page.

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