1955: A new car is born...THUNDERBIRD. This car, and the Thunderbirds that followed, are classics and set the styling trend for an entire generation of cars.

1955-1959 VINs

1960-1980 VINs

1981-2005 VINs

Location of the Data Plate the Vehicle Identification Number:

1981 and newer Thunderbirds: On the driver's door lock pillar (body) or door lock face. (body)

1981 and newer Thunderbirds also have the VIN on a metal tab that is attached to the left end of the top of the instrument panel. This tab is visible through the windshield.

Information about the Check Digit

The letters I, O, Q, and U are not used in the year ID position.

Position #1 is the Country of Manufacture Identification

1 = United States           2 = Canada

Positions #2-3 are the Manufacturer's Identification (passenger car types_

FA = Ford Motor Company, Ford Division

LN = Ford Motor Company, Lincoln-Mercury Division (three 1999 Concept Cars only)

Position #4 is the Vehicle Restraint System Identification

B = Active Belts

C  = Driver Airbag and Active Belts     F = Driver and Passenger Airbags and Active Belts

H = Driver and Passenger Front and Side Airbags and Active Belts

L = Passenger and Driver Airbags     P = Passive Belts


Position #5  is the Vehicle Type Identification

M = Lincoln passenger car (three 1999 concept cars only)     P = Ford passenger car


Positions #6 and #7 are the Body Serial Code Identification

42 = Thunderbird 2-door sedan (1981 and 1982)

46 = Thunderbird 2-door sedan (1983 through 1986)

60 = Thunderbird 2-door sedan (1987 through 1992)

60 = Thunderbird 2-door convertible (2002 through 2005)

61 = Thunderbird Sport 2-door sedan (1987 through 1989)

62 = Thunderbird LX 2-door sedan (1987 through 1997)

62 = Thunderbird 007 Limited Edition 2-door convertible (2003)

 

63 = Thunderbird Pacific Coast Roadster 2-door convertible (2004)

 

64 = Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 2-door sedan (1987 and 1988)

64 = Thunderbird Super Coupe 2-door sedan (1989 through 1995)

64 = Thunderbird Neiman Marcus 2-door convertible (2002)

 

69 = Thunderbird 50th Anniversary Special Edition  (2005)

 

91 = three only Concept Cars (1999)


Position #8 is the Engine Identification

3 = 232 cubic inch, 2V, 6-cylinder 

4 = 3.8L, MFI, 6-cylinder 

 A = 3.9L, MFI, V-8

B = 200 cubic inch, 1V, 6-cylinder

D = 255 cubic inch, 2V, V-8 (1981 and 1982)

F = 302 cubic inch, 2V, V-8 (1981 through 1983)

F = 5.0L,  V-8  (1984 through 1988)

R = 3.8L, Super Charged, 6-cylinder 

T = 2.3L, Turbo Charged, 4-cylinder  (1988)

W = 2.3L, Turbo Charged, 4 cylinder (1983 -1987)

W = 4.6 Liter, 8-cylinder


Position #9 is the Check Digit

The Check Digit is used by governmental agencies (DMV, law enforcement) and insurance companies to ensure that the VIN has been recorded properly. The Check Digit is derived from a formula that takes into account all of the other characters in the VIN. The Check Digit takes the form of the numerals 0 through 9 and the letter X.

More information on the Check Digit is here.


Position #10 is the Year Identification

1981 through 1997 Thunderbirds use a letter to identify the year.

B = 1981 C = 1982 D = 1983 E = 1984 F = 1985 G = 1986
H = 1987 J = 1988 K = 1989 L = 1990 M = 1991 N = 1992
P = 1993 R = 1994 S = 1995 T = 1996 V = 1997 X = 1999
2002 and newer Thunderbirds use a number to identify the year.
2 = 2002 3 = 2003 4 = 2004 5 = 2005

Position #11 is the Assembly Plant Identification

A = Atlanta, Georgia       G = Chicago, Illinois       H = Lorain, Ohio

S = Ford Motor Company Research Center at Allen Park, Michigan (1999 concept cars only)

Y = Wixom, Michigan


Positions #12 through #17 make up the Consecutive Unit Number

Consecutive Unit Numbers begin at 100001 at each Ford Motor Company assembly plant. This number represents the scheduled sequence order. When a car was ordered, it was immediately assigned a VIN with a Consecutive Unit Number. It was then assigned a scheduled production date based on availability of trim, parts, other components, and taking into account production workloads at the assembly plant.

A scheduled production date was very often out of sequence with the Consecutive Unit Number. And more often than not, the actual production date (the day the car rolled off the line) was earlier or later than what was originally planned. Therefore, a Thunderbird with a Consecutive Unit Number of 105678 may have actually been produced and ready for shipping before a Thunderbird with a Consecutive Unit Number of 105432.

 The three 1999 Thunderbird Concept Cars are technically Lincolns, which have Consecutive Unit Numbers that start at 600001. These three cars' numbers are 600566, 600567, and 600568. 



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The Thunderbird Registry is in partnership with The Lincoln Vault.