The vehicle identification number identifies more than just the vehicle. It also tells where the vehicle was made and when, the kind of engine and the weight, the model number and the assembly sequence. It was not until the early 1980s that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration required that all vehicles have a 17-digit VIN. The first known VIN was on the 1953 Chevrolet Corvette according to the Kerry Wilson website. The 1965 Ford 600 truck does not have a 17-digit standard VIN, but decoding is possible with the information available today.

Locate the VIN on the inside of the driver’s door. Write out the VIN from the vehicle so you can refer to it while decoding.

Confirm the VIN by checking for another VIN or warranty number, since replacement doors are common. Look for a number on the topside of the right frame rail–below the alternator on 2-wheel-drive pickups or behind the front axle on 4-wheel-drive pickups, according to the Fordification website. The same number is under the seat area and is more difficult to locate.