For many years now, Mid America Motorworks (MAM) has been the go-to source when it comes to finding reliable, high-quality parts and accessories for your Corvette. Additionally, MAM can often be a terrific source of information when it comes to the details and knowledge of the various Corvette generations. When shopping for your next Corvette, specifically C1- C3, it may be helpful to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

You’ll see that while the earlier models have relatively simple and short VIN codes, they grow with complexity as the years went on. Luckily, this means more concrete knowledge for the vehicle owners. It can be a pretty fascinating thing to learn where about your car’s origins if you’re currently unaware.

We thought we should share this great Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) decoder with you that MAM has carefully put together. You may even learn a thing or two about your own Vette!

Understanding Your Corvette's Assembly Manual
1953 – 1959: VINs contained this same information, with digits changing to signify the year or changes made at Chevrolet.
1953 VIN Includes:
1st Digit: Identifies Series and Model (E for Corvette)
2nd & 3rd Digits: Identify Model Year (53)
4th Digit: Identifies Assembly Plant (F for Flint, Michigan)
Last 6 Digits: Identify production number, starting with 001001.
1954: The 4th Digit changed to S for St. Louis.
1957: The production number changed to begin at 100001
1958: The Series and Model digit changed from E to J
VIN Decoding C1-C3
Understanding Your Corvette's Assembly Manual
1960 – 1964: VINs changed layout of information.
1960 VIN Includes:
1st Digit: Identifies Model Year (0 for 1960)
2nd & 3rd Digits: Identify Series (08 for Corvette)
4th & 5th Digits: Identify Body Style (67 for 2-Door Convertible)
6th Digit: Identifies Assembly Plant (S for St. Louis, Missouri)
Last 6 Digits: Identify production number, starting with 100001
VIN Decoding C1-C3
Understanding Your Corvette's Assembly Manual
1965 – 1971: VINs once again changed the order of information.
1965 VIN Includes:
1st Digit: Identifies Chevrolet Division (1 for Chevrolet)
2nd & 3rd Digits: Identify Series (94 for Corvette)
4th & 5th Digits: Identify Body Style (37 for 2-door Coupe, 67 for 2-door Convertible)
6th Digit: Identifies Model Year (5 for 1965)
7th Digit: Identifies Assembly Plant (S for St. Louis, Missouri)
Last 6 Digits: Identify production number, starting with 100001
1968: Production number began with 4 (400001)
1969: Production number began with 7 (700001)
1970: Production number began with 4 (400001)
1971: Production number began with 1 (100001)
VIN Decoding C1-C3
Understanding Your Corvette's Assembly Manual
1972 VIN Includes: 
1st Digit: Identifies Chevrolet Division (1 for Chevrolet)
2nd Digit: Identify Series (Z for Corvette)
3rd & 4th Digits: Identify Body Style (37 for 2-door Coupe, 67 for 2-door Convertible)
5th Digit: Identifies Engine Code (K for 350ci, 225hp, 185hp; L for 350ci, 255hp; W for 454ci, 270hp)
6th Digit: Identifies Model Year (2 for 1972)
7th Digit: Identifies Assembly Plant (S for St. Louis, Missouri)
Last 6 Digits: Identify production number, starting with 500001
1973: Production number began with 4 (400001)
1973-1977: VINs contained the same information and same number sequencing.
1974: 5th Digit Options were J for 350ci, 195hp; T for 350ci, 250hp; Z for 454ci, 270hp
1975: 5th Digit Options were J for 350ci, 165hp; T for 350ci, 205hp
1976-1977: 5th Digit Options were L for 350ci, 180hp; X for 350ci, 210hp
Note that for 1976-1982 Corvettes, the 3rd digit is a 3 or 8 because there were no convertibles made.
VIN Decoding C1-C3
Understanding Your Corvette's Assembly Manual
1978 VINs included a Corvette first: special identification for Special Edition Models. It was also the first time Chevrolet used a number instead of a letter to identify the engine in the VIN.
1st Digit: Identifies Chevrolet Division (1 for Chevrolet)
2nd Digit: Identify Series (Z for Corvette)
3rd & 4th Digits: Identify Body Style (87 for 2-door Coupe)
5th Digit: Identifies Engine Code (L for 350ci, 175hp; 4 for 350ci, 220hp)
6th Digit: Identifies Model Year (8 for 1978)
7th Digit: Identifies Assembly Plant (S for St. Louis, Missouri)
Last 6 Digits: Identify production number, starting with 400001. Pace Car production numbers began with 9 (900001)
1979: 5th Digit Options were 8 for 350ci, 195hp; 4 for 350ci, 225hp
1980: 5th Digit Options were 8 for 350ci, 190hp; H for 305ci, 180hp; 6 for 350ci, 230hp
6th Digit changes to a letter to indicate model year
VIN Decoding C1-C3
Understanding Your Corvette's Assembly Manual
1981 VIN Includes: 
1st Digit: Identifies Country of Origin (1 for United States)
2nd Digit: Identifies Manufacturer (G for General Motors)
3rd Digit: Identifies Division (1 for Chevrolet)
4th Digit: Identifies Restraint System (A for Non-Passive/Manual Belts, B for Automatic Belts, C for Air Bags)
5th Digit: Identifies Carline/Series (Y for Corvette)
6th & 7th Digits: Identify Body Type (87 for Coupe)
8th Digit: Identifies Engine Code (6 for 350ci, 190hp)
9th Digit: Security Code added to VIN; varies
10th Digit: Identifies Model Year (B for 1981)
11th Digit: Identifies Assembly Plant (S for St. Louis, 5 for Bowling Green)
Last 6 Digits: Identify production number (400001 for St. Louis, 100001 for Bowling Green)
1982: 6th & 7th Digits are 07 for Special Edition Anniversary Corvettes.
VIN tag 100017 was lost during 1982 production and that vehicle was never built.
VIN Decoding C1-C3