Ford Mustang VIN Decoder

Ford Mustang VIN Decoder

Last Updated August 8, 2023 | C.J. Tragakis

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a legally-required unique identifier for passenger vehicles in the U.S. They’re used for tracking sales and maintenance records, but they can also help you figure out how your car was built and optioned.

The standard 17-digit VIN has been added to all Mustangs since the 1981 model year. Enter your Ford Mustang’s VIN into our decoder to find out more about your car’s engine, trim, and origin.

Mustang VIN Decoder

For 1981 to 2020 Years Only

Invalid VIN
  • World Manufacturer:
  • Model Year:
  • Make: Ford
  • Body Model: Mustang
  • Restraint System:
  • Engine:
  • Assembly Plant:
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Where Can You Find Your Mustang’s VIN?

The VIN can be located in various areas around the vehicle. You can almost always find it on the bottom of the driver’s side windshield area. You can also typically find it on the door tag attached to the driver's side door sill. Mismatching VINs in different areas likely indicate that the car has been rebuilt or the body has been replaced.

Where to Find the VIN on a Classic Mustang

Even though VIN numbers weren't standardized until 1981, you can still find a VIN number stamped on your 1964.5-1973 Mustang's apron. They don't follow the same standardized format as later year models, but you can still learn about the model year, body style, engine, and its origin. Watch the video below to learn where classic VIN numbers are located and how to decode them.

What Are the Parts of a VIN?

At first, a VIN might look like a series of randomly-generated digits. However, each place in the 17-digit identifier is used for a different purpose. The table below explains what information each digit contains.

Parts of a VIN
Digit Place Information
1-3 Manufacturer
4 Safety system (restraints and airbags)
5-7 Model
8 Engine
9 The mandatory “check digit” (see below)
10 Model year
11 Manufacturing plant
12-17 Serial number identifying the specific vehicle

Mustang VIN Decoder Example

Not all of the VIN information will be helpful to every enthusiast. However, checking your VIN is useful for ensuring you get the right parts for an accurate rebuild or restoration. Perhaps the car has lost a lot of parts over the years, or the previous owner restored some things incorrectly. Using the VIN number, you can ensure you’re getting the right parts for your project.

Meaning of Each VIN Digit

See below for an example of how a 1986 Ford Mustang’s VIN might help out an enthusiast working on restoring their car. The VIN is 1FABP2732GF171121, with the last five digits being made-up for the example.

Mustang VIN Example
Example Digits Information
1FA Manufacturer: Ford
B Safety system: Active manual safety belts
P27 Model of Mustang: Convertible LX
3 Engine: 3.8L 120hp V6
2 The mandatory “check digit” (see below)
G Model year: 1986
F Manufacturing plant: Dearborn, Michigan
171121 Serial number identifying the specific vehicle

Use Your VIN’s Check Digit to Make Sure It’s Legit

You may have noticed that the ninth digit of a VIN is what’s called a “check digit.” In ID numbers, check digits use mathematical formulas to make sure the entire number is legitimate. You can use our VIN check digit calculator to make sure your VIN is not falsified.

What About Classic and Early Mustangs?

For Mustangs made before 1981, there wasn’t an official VIN. Automakers had their own way of identifying vehicles prior to a nationwide mandate. Unfortunately, the accuracy and reliability of these identifiers were very inconsistent.

Still, you can often glean lots of information from the manufacturer data plates on these older models. Ford did a decent job of keeping attributes consistent back then. If you have a 1964.5-1982 Mustang, you can use our Mustang data plate decoder to get similar VIN information from your data plate.

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This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.