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Decodeing the VIN

Mr T

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Hi All

I have a need here in New Zealand, thanks to govenment buracracy, to be able to decode the full VIN# of my 1988 Avanti convertible, I hope that someboby can help. I know the basic's of the break down, what I rearly need is to fill in the missing facts. my VIN is 12AAV2232J1000239.

1 = North America O/K

2A = Manufacturer ?????

AV223 = unknown ?????

2 = check digit O/K

J = year O/k

1 = Asembly plant ?????

000239 = sequence number O/K

Thanks and regards

Mr T.

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If it helps any, here is the VIN to my 1989 Coupe, that was assembled in Youngstown, Ohio:

12AAV - Avanti Automobile

1 - Coupe

2 - Manual Restraint System

2 - 305 GM V8

2 - Check Digit

K - 1989

1 - Youngstown, Ohio

000488 - Production Number

The AOAI membership roster lists 1987 Avanti:

AAV0003 to AAV0234

1988 Avanti:

AAV0200 to AAV0377

1989 Avanti:

AAV0407 to AAV0530

There are numerous exceptions to these numbers!


Edited by Ernie
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Thanks Ernie for your prompt reply, what I am rearly in need of is a complete breakdown of the VIN, so I was hopping some one would know how to do this, as appently the breakdown give engine size place of manufacture and body style etc. I would also like, for the Govt. people proof the the Avanti factory is indeed closed for business. Any and all help much appreciated. MrT.

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Avanti never used the same standards in their VIN's that the rest of the automobile manufactures. They didn't go to the 17 digit VIN until they were forced by the government.

But, according to NATB (National Automobile Theft Bureau) here is the breakdown of the 1988 and 1989 Avanti VIN:

1 - Nation of Origin - "USA"

2A - Make - Avanti Motor Corporation

A - Series - Avanti "II"

V - Body Type - "2 Dd Sedan"

12 - Restraint System - "Seat Belts"

3 - Engine Type - "305 CID-V8"

1 - Check Digit

J - Model Year J-1988

1 - Assembly Plant "South Bend, Indiana"

000000 - Sequential Production Number

As you can tell, this information is not entirely accurate.

The 1990 NATB books shows:

12AAV - World Make Manufacture (Used for all Avanti Vehicles)

4 - Body Type (1-Coupe, 2-Convertible, 4-Four Door)

4 - Restraint System (2-Manual, 4-Automatic)

A - Engine Type - GM V8 305 cu 5.0 Liter F.I. "A"

4 - Check Digit

L - Model Year (L-1990, M-1991)

1 - Assembly Plant (1-Youngstown, OH)

001001 - Sequential Production Number

NOW, if we put the two of these together, YOUR Vin would be:

12AAV - World Make Manufacture (Used for all Avanti Vehicles)

2 - Body Type -Convertible

2 - Restraint System -Manual

3 - Engine Type - GM V8 305 cu 5.0 Liter F.I. "A"

2 - Check Digit

J - Model Year - 1989

1 - Assembly Plant - South Bend, Indiana

000239 - Sequential Production Number

NATB is now called the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and in Canada it is called the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

I hope this helps you, Mr T.

Edited by Ernie
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Just to confuse matters my '87 Avanti will not show up in the VIN decoders that I use in my business unless the ninth digit in changed from a 0 to a 3. The State Police had trouble with my VIN during the title search also until I showed them. 12AAV1230H1000108 becomes 12AAV1233H1000108.

Or find the orginal Chevrolet VIN stamped on the frame to really confuse them.

Jim Wood

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The Chevy VIN on my 1989, was inscribed on the inside of the top of the air cleaner. (Unscrew the wing-nut, lift off the top of the air cleaner, turn it over, and there is: 1G 1BN 51 E8 KR 126 678.

Since we are on a decoding mission - here is the breakdown.

1 - Nation of Origin (USA)

G - Manufacture's Symbol (General Motors - USA)

1 - Make (Chevrolet)

BN - Car Line/Series (Caprice Classic)

5 - Body Type (Sedan 4D)

1 - Restraint System (Manual Belts)

E - Engine Symbol (5.0 V8 FI)

8 - Check Digit

K - Model Year (1989)

R - Assembly Plant (Arlington, Texas)

126678 - Sequential Production Number (starting with 100001)

So my Avanti was the 26,677 Caprice manufactured in 1989. It was finished by The New Avanti Corporation in May of 1989.

I went to a Chevy dealer who ran this VIN in their computer, it shows: "No warranty, no recalls, shipped to other manufacture."


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Hi All

Thanks Ernie for all your great info, I now have an email from Pesident Mike with a breakdown of what the VIN might look like, and I am going to send this off to the licenseing people and hope that they see reason and allow the car to be registered. MrT

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Just to let you all know that my Avanti is now registered and insured and on thr road here in New Zealand, many thanks to eveyone who replyed especially you Ernie , great info, this forum has been a great help, and I'm sure it will continue to be. Mr T.

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