Site hosted by Build your free website today!

How To De-Code Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

All VIN information provided by Dave Robson, Creator of "The Dodge Challenger Home Page".

Check out his site at:

The most important documentation to come with your Challenger is its VIN(vehicle identification number). You can use this number to check how rare or original your vehicle really is. It would be easy to take, say, a 1970 318 model worth a few thousand Dollars and drop in a Hemi engine and sell it for tens of thousands of Dollars if it were not for the VIN.

The VIN is a thirteen-digit number stamped in various places on the car making it very difficult for anyone to sell the car as something it is not.
The first and main place to find the VIN is on a plate attached to the edge of the dash pad on the driver's side and is visible through the windshield.
The second main place is on the metal tag attached to the top of the driver's side inner fender. This tag also has many of the codes that identify the options that originally came with the car.
The VIN can also be found on a label attached to the rear face of the driver's door that also has the date of manufacture and certifies that the car conforms to federal safety regulations.
Other more discrete places to look for the VIN are the radiator support, the cowl and on the left-hand trunk weather-stripping rail.
Chrysler also took the trouble to stamp the last eight digits of the VIN on the engine and transmission. A car that has the same number stamped in all of these places is referred to as a "numbers matching" car.

The location of the ID pads on the 6 cyl. (left) and V8 (right) engines

and on the auto transmission

To Decode your VIN just enter the 13 characters in the space and press the button:

Your decoded VIN is displayed below:

Car Line:
Price Class:
Body Type:
Model Year:
Assembly Plant:
Sequence Number:

Making sense of the numbers

First digit

The first digit in the VIN is the car line. For a Challenger this is the letter "J"

Second digit

This is the price class. The Challenger R/T and Rallye have the letter "S" (for Special). All others have the letter "H" (for High). The Challenger Deputy is reported to have been "L" (for Low) but examples seen seem to have the "H" instead.

Third and fourth digits

This tells us the body type.
23 = Two door hardtop
27 = Convertible
29 = Special Edition car (with the small rear window)
Again there is some confusion as to the Challenger Deputy. The 1971 ordering guide lists it as JL21 but they are known to be stamped JH23.

Fifth digit

This is the engine code:
B = 198 ci (1970-71 only)
C = 225 ci (1970-72 only)
G = 318 ci (All years)
H = 340 ci (1970-73 only)
J = 340 ci six pack (1970 only)
L = 360 ci (1974 only)
L = 383 ci (1970-71 only)
N = 383 ci High power (1970-71 only)
R = 426 ci Hemi (1970-71 only)
U = 440 ci (1970 only)
V = 440 ci six pack (1970-71 only)

Sixth digit

This is the last digit of the model year (Not necessarily the year of manufacture)
e.g. 0 = 1970, 1 = 1971, etc.

Seventh digit

This is the assembly plant code. Challengers were built at two plants in the U.S.
B = Dodge Main, Hamtramck, MI (all models)
E = Los Angeles, CA (no hemi cars or convertibles)

Hamtramck had two production lines (EN1 and EN2 on the fender tag). The R/T cars all seem to have been built on line #2 (EN2)

I don't know anything about the LA plant.

The last six digits

This is the plant sequential production number starting with the number 100001. It is NOT an indication of the number of Challengers built!

Back to Homepage
Back to Exterior Features
Back to Interior Features
Back to Engine Features
Back to Restoration Pics