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We are all familiar with the VIN decoder from the Ford parts book. Has anyone figured-out how to decode 74 and newer car VINs



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Last edited by George P
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Ok received the Candini DeTomaso book today, and Voila what do I find, year decoder for newer Pantera. Enjoy

Newer VINs apparently do not have a 'month' digit, as that position becomes the mistery 'check' digit



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Last edited by George P

Below has been edited:

I replied last night without doing any research. Bad decision.

According to the document in the book 1980 is the first year for the new 17 digit VINs (previous VINs had 11 digits). As of 1980 the 10th digit became the year code. But that is wrong. The last GT5-S, 9562, built in 90, still had an 11 digit VIN.

I've never paid attention, or put my mind to the task of understanding the later date codes. It should be easy to do if a list of the known complete VINs were strung down a column, because a pattern of years and months will appear.  I took a quick random look at some of the VINs in the 9000 series registry. Here they are.

THPN ?? 09001 … Born on 6/13/76 as per Van Ness.

THPN SJ 09016 … earliest whole 9000 series VIN in ProvaMo.
THPN SM 09047
THPN SP 09048
THPN SM 09050
THPN SB 09056
THPN SG 09070
(This year has the same month code sequence as either 1973 or 1974)

THPN TU 09094
THPN TU 09098
THPN TM 09101 ... approximately the first Embo coach (1978)
THPN TD 09103

THPN UJ 09127
THPN UP 09136
THPN UD 09137
THPN UD 09138
THPN UR 09142

THPN ?? 09150 … first GT5 as per Van Ness.
THPN VT 09159 … GT5 Turin show car, assembled 5/13/80 as per Olczyk.
THPN VU 09164
THPN VD 09173
THPN VR 09175
(Possibly the same month code sequence as 1974, where T = April ???)

THPN ZU 09203

THPN CA 09375 … first GT5-S assembled in 1984.

THPN FY 09495

THPN IU 09562 … last GT5-S assembled in 1990.

And here's a table with my assumptions about year codes, filling in the gaps.  The month codes aren't complete … yet. This needs a bunch more complete VINs in the list in order to sort it out.

Pantera VIN


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Last edited by George P


All of the later cars had both vin numbers on them---the THPN and ZDT 17 digit number which was stamped on the right front inner wheel well in the front trunk area. It was required by some euro countries, not all though. The ZDT number would not work in the US because it requires a check digit to be inserted into the series which tells the registration authorities in each state that the car is a properly homoligated to US specks and is not stolen. You can have any 13 letters or numbers added after the ZDT which would be for Detomaso only except for the check digit making 14 total plus the 3 (ZDT). If it is coming into the US from Italy with all of the epa and dot specks finished, you must have a properly calculated check number in the 17 series, which would have never happened in those days.  I believe the check digit  should be in the 9th position but all ZDT Italian numbers had a 0 in that position.

It could be possible to have a 0 check digit but that would be a one time fluke.

Thank you Kirk, your explanation is another step in understanding the VINs. Your input is always spot on, and appreciated. Thank You.

Based on that information I have edited my little table to include all years for the 17 digit year code. We're making progress!

Pantera VIN

Denis' goal is to understand the year codes, I'd like to take that one step further and make the information available to all De Tomaso owners & enthusiasts.  Complete disclosure, which is something we've lacked. I'm not afraid to be wrong publicly, and I'm not insulted by the "informed" folks who inform me when I'm wrong. I like to throw ideas against the wall and see what sticks. Its a process.

One piece in the puzzle that is missing is the year information built into the Amerisport VIN … would you be willing to share that?

I don't have time to work on the month codes for 1976 to 1990 … anybody else willing to work on them?

The last loose end is the VIN codes for Australian Panteras, which like the Amerisports where assembled in the destination country (Australia), and have VINs provided by the assembler (De Tomaso Australia).


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Last edited by George P

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