Sticky #1: VIN Build Date Decoding

I've had my car for six months now getting it ready to comply with Australian registration compliance rulings.

I have my Engineers meeting tomorrow morning at 9.30 and I just know that he's going to ask for proof of when my car was built. It's a 1974 L model 06927 but it has no ID plates on it and only the long stamped number in the front compartment with a star at the start and finish of the number. As this isn't an actual 17 digit VIN number, is there any way for me to prove to the engineer that my car is a 1974 model.

Was there ever a documented list of serial numbers produced over certain years that I can print out to show him?
Original Post
The early Panteras didn't have a 17 digit VIN, just 11 digits. I don't know if there's an online copy, but the 1971/74 Pantera Chassis and Body Master Parts Catalog FP-8085 April, 1975" contains the information you're after. It can be purchased from Pantera International - the orange book 2/3 of the way down the website

I'm looking at my copy, and on page 6 it gives the following example:
THPNLS01859

T - DeTomaso
H - Assembled at Modena, Italy
PN - Pantera
L - 1971 (Calendar Year)
S - July
01859 - 1859th unit built

Page 9 covers the year codes...

L - 1971
M - 1972
N - 1973
P - 1974

The month codes for 1974 are:

C - September
D - November
E - December
H - June
J - May
K - October
L - January
M - July
P - August
S - March
T - April
Y - February

Hope this helps
Mike Drew recently posted some clarification on the month code as there has been conflicting information put out in the past;

"The month character seems rather random at first, until you really study it. For some unknown reason, De Tomaso chose to use a 16-character repeating cycle. There is a typo in the Ford shop manual (Group 10, Vehicle Identification Codes) for April of 1971. It shows the letter "S" when in fact it should be "E" (as confirmed in the other publications).

The 16-month repeating cycle is: C K D E L Y S T J U M P B R A G."

So the month is not always the same letter because it's 12 months over a 16 letter cycle. You need to work forwad from 'E' as April 1971 repetitively until you reach your year and letter.

Julian
Thanks guys, you are all legends.

Turns out my car was manufactured in Dec 1973 and first registered as a 1974 model in USA.

I made my appointment this morning and the car is now fully certified and compliant with Australian Design Rules for the year of build. The Engineer was really pleased with the way I had set the car up, seatbelts, lighting, emmisions etc.

Now just to book a registration appointment this week and I'm on the road.

Thanks for all the help.
quote:
Originally posted by Cyboman:
Did he want to see all the proof of build information?

Michael


Yes, it was actually quite important as Australian Design RUles regarding emissions for 1973 were different from 1974 so being a 12/73 manufacture actually gave me some leeway.
Thanks Chuck, I've contacted Provamo to register me as the new owner and allow me to update images of the car.

And to Mr. 8 cylinders in Holland, why did you edit your post? Your first effort was very descriptive:

"Wow! What idiot mounts a fire extinguisher on the a-pillar. You must really hate your girlfriend. Imagine what will happen during a collision. Wake-up!"

Your thoughts echoed my own when the car arrived with a nice big shiny fire extinguisher mounted to the A pillar and right in line with my wife's blonde head, so this has now been relocated. I'm sure this makes you happy.
Going thru the history it looks like you sent in some fresh photos, and are all set up.

If you have any problems, contact me, sometimes the automated process goes awry.

I checked the entry, and that looks like a great car... it seems you bought it for less than it sold previously (and not long ago).

Nice car and
Well done!

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