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Unravel the mysteries of your classic Ford’s Vehicle Identification Plate with our handy Ford VIN plate decoder!

classic ford vin plate decoder

The identity of your classic Ford can be important if you are keen to restore to original factory condition, or if you just want the gen on your paperwork-free new purchase. But you don’t need the Enigma machine to decipher the codes on the VIN plate, just our easy guide.

We are going to concentrate on the two main plates found between 1965 and 1980, which takes in the Cortina Mk1 and Mk2, the Escort Mk1 and Mk2 and the Capri Mk1, Mk2 and Mk3. To go into any further depth on the subject would mean turning this issue into a completely VIN stats-based manual over hundreds of pages, but we want to find room in the rest of the mag to feature some top classic Fords, too!

Anyway, the basics provided here will give you a good starting point, and if you are keen to fill in the blanks then there are many specialist websites, books, owners’ clubs and other sources that you can refer to.

These are the two post-1965 Ford Europe plates you’ll find in the Cortina Mk1/2, Escort Mk1/2 and Capri; the IYC1 and IYC2. The IYC1 style ran until September 1972 before it was superseded by the IYC2. In our guide, we focus on the main element of the plate, the vehicle number, but also give you the basics on the other information that you’ll find stamped on it.

To download the feature as a PDF, click here: Classic Ford VIN plate decoder

This tech guide first appeared in the May 2009 issue of Classic Ford

ford vin plate decoder

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