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  View original topic: How is the year of manufacture determined?
4118thing Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:54 pm

I have a Thing with a 183 designation, but a 10/74 manufacture date. I know in the US as well as some German model cars, the plant shut down in the summer to re-tool, and began the new year production in September.

Porsche was renound for mixing parts between years, in the early years. For example, if they had left over 67 parts, they were known to use them on non-US cars, until the supply ran out, or it got too far in the production year. Did VW do the same thing in Mexico? And what was the beginning of a production year?

77kafer Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:06 pm

What you "know" about US cars (GM, Ford, MoPar) does not apply to German cars. They do not shut down in the summer and retool.

What is your car registered / titled as 73 or 74?

Does the VIN start with 183 or 184?

Does it have gas heater (standard on 73 or muffs on the rear fenders, normal on 74)

4118thing Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:20 pm

Yes, to basically all the questions, and I have no doubt of it being a late 73. But the production sticker indicates 10 73 as the build date.

Along the lines of production year start date, I had a ‘68 Porsche 912, that had a Porsche COA (Certificate of Authenticity), indicating it was built on 9/5/67. On the car were some 67 pieces. Porsche historians indicated that Porsche would use some leftover 67 parts, in this case, back then, if the effect was not noticeable, or had no effect on the car.

My point, if the VW beetle, changed model years in August, https://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/bugchassisdating.php
why did th 181 change on a calander year? If it did.

Deckard Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:51 am

>>
Yes, to basically all the questions, and I have no doubt of it being a late 73. But the production sticker indicates 10 73 as the build date
.
Manufacture date of October 1973 will make it a 1973 model, which should have the gasoline heater in the front trunk, 1600 dual-port engine AM code, smooth fan shroud (no pipes for hear exchangers)

Joe 20 Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:46 pm

I have a 12/73 sticker on a 183 vin. with all the 73 features. It is a 73 by title. Do you think they just kept making the 73 model until they ran out of 73 parts?

4118thing Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:52 pm

No, I’m learning that, unlike the Bug, that changed model years, the Things, apparently changed on calendar year basis. It’s interesting that the same company, VW, would have two different model year changes, but it may have been due to the Mexican plant.

vwwestyman Wed May 02, 2018 8:52 pm

Saw this thread a few weeks ago, and thought to look at the sticker in my '73. Manufactured November 1973.

Interesting indeed!

Wildthings Tue May 08, 2018 12:54 pm

I had a 183 built late in the year that got in a wreck, the insurance adjuster gave me credit for it being a 74 model because of the late build date.

I would not be surprised to find that the date of manufacture-model year cutoff varied state by state at the time these rigs were built.

Joe 20 Tue May 08, 2018 7:34 pm

I don't think any US state had anything to do with it. If it has a gas heater and no muffs, it is a 73 right? I think the insurance adjuster was just being nice or using the standard for American car builders. If someone has a 74 (184) with no muffs and gas heater that would be interesting.

Wildthings Wed May 09, 2018 6:45 am

Joe 20 wrote: I don't think any US state had anything to do with it. If it has a gas heater and no muffs, it is a 73 right? I think the insurance adjuster was just being nice or using the standard for American car builders. If someone has a 74 (184) with no muffs and gas heater that would be interesting.

I can almost guaranty you some state at some time passed a law defining what a "model year" is. :-( As for the Feds, any rig built in '73 could legally be called a '74 model, it just needs to pass the safety and pollution laws for its actually date of manufacture.

4118thing Wed May 09, 2018 7:07 pm

As far as I know, basically every company, after the mid-60’s, considered the end of the summer, to be the start of the next model year. I had a ‘68 Porsche, built 9/5/67, that was a ‘68 Model. VW also followed that timing.

America cars, converted in the Fall, and Europeans did not want to try to sell year old cars against the new American cars in the fall.

Now, as I understand, VW, shipped parts to Mexico, to avoid import tariffs. They were assembled in Mexico, and apparently Mexico did not follow the model year, but build with the parts sent.

Joe 20 Wed May 09, 2018 7:58 pm

Just because a state says it is a 73 for example does not change the vin# that the factory assigned. I agree that states surely have a definition of what a model year is (for example left over 74's being registered as 1975s) however that is not the question as I see it. As it stands now (unless there is further evidence to contradict this) a vehicle with a 183 Vin is a 73 and the build sticker will be no later than 12/73. So Mexico must have built all 1973 models by the end of the calendar year and assigned the vin to indicate this. The answer to the question in the case of the Thing is the year of manufacture is determined by the sticker on the door and the equipment on the vehicle. I bet those aforementioned, registered as 75's have a build sticker of no later than 12/74 and a 184 vin#

Keith Sun May 13, 2018 11:25 pm

Wildthings wrote: Joe 20 wrote: I don't think any US state had anything to do with it. If it has a gas heater and no muffs, it is a 73 right? I think the insurance adjuster was just being nice or using the standard for American car builders. If someone has a 74 (184) with no muffs and gas heater that would be interesting.

I can almost guaranty you some state at some time passed a law defining what a "model year" is. :-( As for the Feds, any rig built in '73 could legally be called a '74 model, it just needs to pass the safety and pollution laws for its actually date of manufacture.

Starting in Aug of ‘55 VW adopted the standard model year rules that were and are still used by auto manufacturers.

Aug 1st ‘55 to July 31st ‘56 is a ‘56 model year. That’s how it goes. Anything from Aug-Dec the previous year is the following years model year.

Before that it was Jan to Dec

Jan to July 31st is the ‘55 production year making those models 7 month only vehicles. I have an April ‘55 oval.

You can even go to the technical section here and see the notation of model years right there on the top for the VIN/Chassis Numbers section.

Joe 20 Mon May 14, 2018 7:42 pm

Yes Keith you are correct for Beetles but not Things. Read the whole post. My December 1973 built Thing is a 1973 by title and vin# as well as equipment. So far every other Thing built ANYTIME in 1973 is also titled as such.



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