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Vehicle Identification
How to read your M-Code and Chassis plates

Beginning in October, 1958 a vehicle id plate was placed behind the right-hand front seat.  This plate can tell you the exact date of manufacture of your vehicle, factory options, export destination, paint and upholstery colors, and model number and layout.

Location examples

Bench seat model

Walk-thru model

Single Cab

Before October, 1958, there was no M-code plate but a body number was stamped behind the front seat.  Although the body numbers are sequential, it is basically useless.  To find out more information on your early Bus, you need to request a VW Birth Certificate

Chassis plates
The Chassis plate is located in the engine compartment, on the right side.

Beginning in November, 1963, the Chassis plate was located on the right side of the overhead air vent

VIN stamping locations
The VIN number was also stamped into the body. First, in the area over the transmission cradle, then underneath the VIN tag in the engine compartment and finally, in May 1959 at VIN 469447, the VIN stamping was moved to the area beside the battery tray.  See below for stamped in VIN locations over the years

1954

1957

1963

1967

M-code Plates
The M-Code plate is most commonly in this format:

DD M Y
Date of manufacture in day/month/year format - year was removed in mid-1963 and placed as the first digit of the VIN # beginning for the 1965 model year.*
Month is 1-9 for Jan. - Sept., then O, N, D for Oct, Nov., and Dec. respectively.
XXX XXX XXX XXX
M-Codes - optional extras
XX
Export Destination
(missing for German-delivered vehicles)
XXXY
Model Number/Paint finish
XXYYZZ
Lower Color/Upper Color/Upholstery
XXXXXXX
VIN Number **

 

Example
07 2
Bus manufactured February 7th
425 002 025 114
425 = Seat belts and mounting points
002 = Unknown
025 = 6 pop-outs and US bumpers
114 = 6 opening side windows
UA
Los Angeles, CA
2412
241 = Deluxe Bus, 9-seats, Left-hand drive
2 = Paint finish - Nitro-lacquer finish
424271
42 = Lotus White lower paint
42 = Lotus White upper paint
71 = Aero Baltic
6101003
6 = 1966
101003 = VIN #

 

Chassis plates

VOLKSWAGENWERK AG
MADE IN GERMANY
Typ: XX
2-digit model type
Heizg. Typ 2/255A Pruiz ~~~S45
This line refers to the heating system and its conformance with German laws
Heizg. is the German abbreviation for Heizgeršt (Heating Device)
Type 2/255A is the heater system type
The ~~~ symbols are the German equivalent of the road certification test
Pruiz, an abbreviation for Prufzeichen, refers to the certificate type.
S45 is the certificate number.
Fahrgest.-Nr. XXXXXXXXX
is the chassis or VIN Number
Zul. Gesamtgew. kg. 2070
Maximum gross weight of the vehicle
Baujahr
Build year (does not commonly appear after 1954)
Zul. Achslast vorn kg. 950
Maximum axle weight - front
hinten kg 1150
Maximum axle weight - rear
* Meaning some Buses in 1963 and 1964 have no year on the M-code plate
** VIN #: Beginning for the 1965 model year the VIN #s are prefixed by the model and year (Example 215 for a '65 Panel) but the VIN # on the M-code plate only includes the year and production number (Example: 5045066).  To get the full VIN #, you must add the 2-character model prefix.
Full example: A '65 Panel might have a VIN of 215045066 while the M-code plate only states 5045066.
Refer to other VIN locations mentioned above for the full VIN #.

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