1971 Chevelle Vehicle Identification Number Plate

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United States

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1971 VIN Breakdown

Do not confuse the Vehicle Identification Number plate information with that found on the Fisher Body Number plate (trim tag). The series depiction on the VIN  plate does NOT have the meaning as the Fisher Body Number plate.

The Vehicle Identification Number plate (VIN) has similar information to the trim tag such as the model, year, and assembly plant. One difference is the last six numbers relating to the assembly plant sequence as opposed to the trim tag's Fisher Body sequence and the series will designate a 6-cyl (odd 3rd digit) or V8 (even 3rd digit) on the VIN plate where the 3rd digit on the trim tag does not.

A typical 1971 Chevelle VIN might read: 136671R173972 being a Malibu V8 2-door convertible assembled in Arlington, TX. and is the 73,972nd 1971 model year Chevelle sequenced at the Arlington, TX. assembly plant.

The VIN plate is located on the forward part of the dash so the VIN plate could easily been seen through the windshield of the car. The VIN plate was riveted to a special bracket with unique 'rosette' rivets.

See VIN plate examples here

First Character: Division of General Motors
1 ~ Chevrolet

Second and Third Character: Series Designation *
31 ~ Nomad station wagon, 6-cylinder
32 ~ Nomad station wagon, 8-cylinder
33 ~ Chevelle, 6-cylinder
34 ~ Chevelle and Greenbrier station wagon, 8-cylinder
35 ~ Malibu, 6-cylinder
36 ~ Malibu and Concours station wagon, 8-cylinder
38 ~ Concours Estate station wagon and Monte Carlo, 8-cylinder

Fourth and Fifth Character: Body Style/Model
36 ~ 4-door station wagon, 2-seat
37 ~ 2-door sport coupe
39 ~ 4-door sport sedan
46 ~ 4-door station wagon, 3-seat
57 ~ Monte Carlo 2-door sport coupe
67 ~ 2-door convertible
69 ~ 4-door sedan
80 ~ 2-door sedan pickup

Sixth Character: Year of Production
1 ~ 1971

Seventh Character:
Final Assembly Plant
R ~ Arlington, Texas
B ~ Baltimore, Maryland
K ~ Kansas City, Missouri
L ~ Van Nuys, California
1 ~ Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Eighth through Thirteenth Characters: Sequential Production Number

The sequential starting number for the 1971 Chevelle was 100001 at all Chevelle assembly plants except Oshawa, Ontario which started at 500001. Each assembly plant sequenced Chevelles of all series/models without regard to specific series/models. For example, if a series 13857 Monte Carlo followed a 13667 Malibu convertible, the sequence number would be one unit higher for the Monte Carlo. It's also entirely possible to have the same sequence number from all five 1971 U.S. assembly plants with the only difference between the VINs being the plant code. Oshawa, Ontario would not have a matching sequence number of a U.S. plant Chevelle due to the starting sequence of 500001. No 1971 Monte Carlos were built at Arlington.

Production at the Baltimore assembly plant in early May and the Kansas City plant exceeded 100,000 units sometime in late April, so the VIN sequence from those time frames to the end of production would be 2nnnnn for the Baltimore and Kansas City plants.

* The El Camino is not a separate series nameplate but rather a body style in both the base Standard (33/34) and Malibu (35/36) series although it's often listed as such. The base (33/34) El Camino is a 2-dr sedan pickup body style with standard trim where the (35/36) El Camino Custom is a 2-dr sedan pickup body style with Malibu trim.

VIN plate location

Although these photos are of 1970 Chevelles, the location is the same for 1968 through 1972 VIN plates; 1965 through 1972 VIN plates used special rivets. Note the two different styles of riveting done.

1968 to 1972 VIN plate location
1968 to 1972 VIN plate location

1971 VIN Assembly Plant Codes

Letter Code Assembly Plant Series *
B Baltimore, Maryland 4 **, 6, 7
C Southgate, California 1
D Atlanta, Georgia (Doraville) 1
J Janesville, Wisconsin 1
K Kansas City, Missouri 4 **, 6, 7
L Los Angeles, California (Van Nuys) 4 , 5, 6, 7
N Norwood, Ohio 5
R Arlington, Texas 4
S St. Louis, Missouri 1, 2
T Tarrytown, New York 1
Y Wilmington, Delaware 1
1 Oshawa, Canada 1, 4, 6
* 1-Passenger; 2-Corvette; 3-Chevy II; 4-Chevelle; 5-Camaro; 6-Monte Carlo; 7-GMC Sprint
** Included El Camino

1971 Chevrolet VIN Sequence Numbers

Series Begin Sequence Plant
Passenger 100001 All
Corvette 700001 St. Louis
Chevy II 100001 Willow Run
Monte Carlo
All except Oshawa
Camaro 500001 Los Angeles, Norwood