What is a Chassis Number and why does it matter?
Fundamentally, a VW chassis number is your Vehicle’s Identification Number. But, more important to a VW enthusiast is that knowing the number(s) of your vehicle will enable you to correctly identify the production year (and sometimes month) of your car which, in turn, enables you to deduce what parts, options, features, and modifications are appropriate for it. VW used to introduce improvements into their cars when they were ready, and didn’t wait until the next “model year” to implement them. For example, early 1973 Beetles and Supers had a generator and fuel pump (and pushrod) that was DIFFERENT from the mid 73′ and newer cars (alternator equipped).
The chassis number is typically located in more than one place on VWs, and those locations may change depending on the production year. One of the ways that Type 1 VW’s are unique
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The VW Part Numbering System Explained
Do VW part numbers like this “133-201-075 AD” look like Greek to you?
Well it might surprise you to learn that VW actually had a “plan” when they created their part numbering system. With a little background information, you too will be able to dissect a VW part number and have a good idea what vehicle the part is for and what the part’s application is.
What is a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?
The VIN number on your VW can help you to identify the origin of your VW and it may also give you clues regarding the stock parts that were used in your vehicle when it was built. Early VINs were not standardized between manufacturers, nor were they called “VIN”s yet! VW used a combination of two numbers: The Chassis Number, and the Engine Code to convey information about their vehicles.
A format for Vehicle Identification Numbers was “officially” outlined in February 1977, and shortly afterward, US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began requiring that all road vehicles contain a 17-character VIN. VIN numbers are comprised of only numbers (1-0) and capital letters (A – Z), however, the letters I, O and Q are never used in order to avoid confusion in reading. There are no signs or spaces are allowed in a VIN.
What’s Your Aircooled VW “TYPE”?
Start hanging around the VW scene and you will shortly be confused by all the references to “Type this” and “Type that”. In written form, you will become even more boggled by a variety of VW Type System abbreviations including terms like “T4″, “Type 4″, or “TIV”. A general understanding the VW Type System will both assist you in communicating with your fellow Aircooled VW enthusiasts, and in deciphering many of the numbers (including part numbers) associated with classic Volkswagens. (After reading this, be sure to read our article on the VW Part Numbering System and also on Chassis Numbers).