Matching Numbers: Following Your Camaro Back To The Factory

From the moment Chevrolet introduced the all-new Camaro to the public on September 26, 1966, the little performance car took the world by storm. The oldest of these is almost fifty years old, and that gives a lot of opportunity for alterations from their factory configuration. But, the lineage can be traced.

In a previous article, we showed you how to read the VIN and cowl plates. In this article, we show how to trace all of the Vehicle Identification (VIN) numbers and their locations on the car – yes, there is more than one. On 1967 models, the VIN plate is fastened to the driver’s side door jamb. All other years have their VIN plate affixed to the driver’s side of the dash. Part of the fact-finding is not only knowing where to look, but also what details to look for when you do find the tag.

03

The VIN number contains information to determine if your car is factory original. (Photo:theCamaro.com)

All VIN plates were attached using special Rosette rivets. The rivets in 1968 and later cars are not visible from the top, as the dash pad covers them. But, they have a distinct appearance if viewed from the underside of the dash. You will notice that the rivets have a star pattern, like an asterisk. If the tag is attached to typical round-type rivets, you should find out why. There may be a viable reason, or they might be signs of a less than honorable history to a particular car.

There are two other places on the body, where the vehicle’s VIN was stamped, and these might merit a second glance to confirm, especially if viewing the rivets has raised questions. You will want to make sure that the two hidden VIN numbers match the last 8 digits of the VIN tag at the door pillar or on the dash.

Right is a 1967 Camaro VIN tag. Notice the Rosette rivets. In 1968, the VIN tag was moved to the dash, and the rivets are not readily visible.

One is found on the top of the cowl area, near the passenger’s side of the car. The other is more difficult to view or alter, as it is located under the hood, beneath the fan blower housing on the passenger’s side of the firewall. The upper hidden VIN is easy to view, but the lower hidden VIN typically requires removing the fender and blower housing to view.

08

The arrows show the two places where partial VIN numbers should match the last digits of the VIN tag. (Photo: Real Deal Steel)

Other areas to check would be various drivetrain locations. These are dependent on the year of manufacture, and the vehicle’s assembly plant. A great resource is Camaros.org. In most situations, partial VIN numbers were stamped onto the engine-block pad located immediately in front of the passenger’s side cylinder head gasket surface. These numbers should be visible unless the engine has been rebuilt and the block’s deck was resurfaced. Other areas to check are at the rearmost part of the block, just above the oil filter.

10

The number on the left is a partial VIN. It translates to 1=Chevrolet, 9=1969, N=Norwood Assembly, last 6 digits of the vehicle’s VIN. The number on the right is the engine code, translated as V=Flint engine assembly, 10=October, 12=twelfth day, FL= 327ci/210hp w/Turbo350 transmission. (Photo courtesy Camaros.org)

With some exceptions, the engine and transmission should both have matching numbers or part numbers to prove they are original to the car. The engine in this photo should be stamped on a pad just under the fuel line, in front of the right cylinder head. (Transmission photo courtesy of Camaros.org)

On automatic transmissions, the VIN should be stamped on the driver’s side edge of the bell housing, between the upper and second transmission-to-block bolt bosses, Saginaw transmissions had a padded case in the passenger’s side, and Muncie transmissions usually had the VIN stamped along with the transmission codes. Don’t be surprised to find differing numbers in these locations, as parts get replaced over the years. But, if you are searching for a pristine example, the utmost weight should be given to finding corresponding numbers in every location. Good luck, and let us know what you find!

Author: Andrew Bolig

Leave a Reply