Decoding The Chevrolet Truck VIN

                     **Model years- 1947-1955**

  Serial Number Location

"Truck serial number is located on the left front body hinge pillar, except on models with cowl less windshield where the serial plate is located on the left hand cowl side inner panel except forward control chassis serial number plates installed by the body builder".

Serial Number Composition

The serial numbers on 47-55 U.S. made Chevrolet Advance Design trucks are 8-12 digits long*.  They are comprised of two sections.  The first section ends with the last alpha character.  It is arranged in one of two distinct formats, depending on the year the truck was built, as explained below.  The second section, all numeric, is the Plant Production Number, with the first truck built at a given plant receiving the number 001001.

First Section Order 47-52 53-55
First Assembly Plant * Series
Second Year  (E, F, G, H, J, K) ** Year  (Decade, always 5)
Third Series * Year  (3, 4 or 5)
Fourth Month  (A - L  for  Jan - Dec) Assembly Plant
Assembly Plant 47-52 Code 53-55 Code   Series *** 47-52 Code 53-55 Code
Atlanta, GA 8 A   1508 J D
Baltimore, MD 14 B   3100 P H
Flint, MI 1 F   3600 R J
Janesville, WI 21 J   3800 S L
Kansas City, MO 5 K   4100 J N
Los Angeles, CA 20 **** L   4400 K P
Norwood, OH 9 N   6100,  6100S * V, VS V,   SV
Oakland, CA 6 O   6400,  6400S * W, WS W,  SW
St. Louis, MO 3 S   6500,  6500S * Y, YS X,  SX
Tarrytown, NY 2 T        


* 47-52 serial numbers on 1-1/2 and 2 Ton Heavy Duty Specials may contain an extra S character as part of the Series code.  47-52 Assembly Plant codes  may be 1 or 2 characters.  47-52 Plant Production Numbers did not include leading zeros.

**  Except 47-52  1-1/2 and 2 Ton Heavy Duty Trucks, which used Q, R, S, T, U, V to designate Year.

*** Partial List.  It does not include C.O.E., Forward Control, or School Bus.   47-48 used Thriftmaster or Loadmaster rather than this Series designation or it was not well known, as indicated by a cross reference chart in the 48-51 Chevrolet Truck Shop Manual.  The 6500 and 6500S were first listed in 51.

**** At least one document for 47 specifically lists Van Nuys, CA and not Los Angeles as Assembly Plant location 20.

The format, and possibly the content of this article has been modified.

Special Thanks to Don Moen for this article.

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Copyright September, 2019
San Jose Classic Chevys