1972 Chevelle Vehicle Identification Number Plate

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United States

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1972 VIN Breakdown

Do not confuse the Vehicle Identification Number plate information with that found on the Fisher Body Number plate (trim tag). The series depiction on the VIN  plate does NOT have the meaning as the Fisher Body Number plate.

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) has much the same information as the Trim Tag such as the model, year, and assembly plant. The big change is how that data are coded differently than earlier VIN plates. A single letter (B, C, D, or H) replaces the two character series number, the body style retains a two character number, and new for 1972 is a letter (D, F, H, J, U, or W) indicating the engine installed. In previous years only the base engine type (L6 or V8) was indicated by an odd or even number on the VIN. The sixth character is the model year followed by a letter for the final assembly plant and the sequence assembly number for that plant.

The VIN plate is located on the forward part of the dash so the VIN plate could easily been seen through the windshield of the car. The VIN plate was riveted to a special bracket with unique 'rosette' rivets.

See VIN plate examples here

A typical 1972 Chevelle VIN might read: 1D37U2L585744 meaning a Chevrolet (1), Malibu (D) 2-dr sport coupe (37) with a 402-4 (U) engine and assembled in Los Angeles, CA. (L).

First Character: Division of General Motors
1 ~ Chevrolet

Second Character: Series Designation *
B ~ Nomad station wagon (131/132xx Fisher Body Style)
C ~ Chevelle and Greenbrier station wagon (133/134xx Fisher Body Style)
D ~ Malibu and Concours, (135/136xx Fisher Body Style)
H ~ Concours Estate station wagon and Monte Carlo (138xx Fisher Body Style)

Third and Fourth Character: Body Style/Model
36 ~ 4-door station wagon, 2-seat
37 ~ 2-door sport coupe
39 ~ 4-door sport sedan
46 ~ 4-door station wagon, 3-seat
57 ~ Monte Carlo 2-door sport coupe
67 ~ 2-door convertible
69 ~ 4-door sedan
80 ~ 2-door sedan pickup

Fifth Character: Engine size/type
D ~ 250cid L-6 1-bbl (L22)
F ~ 307cid V8 2-bbl (L14)
H ~ 350cid V8 2-bbl (L65)
J ~ 350cid V8 4-bbl (L48)
U ~ 402cid V8 4-bbl (LS3)
W ~ 454cid V8 4-bbl (LS5)

Sixth Character: Year of Production
2 ~ 1972

Seventh Character: Final Assembly Plant
R ~ Arlington, Texas
B ~ Baltimore, Maryland
K ~ Kansas City, Missouri
L ~ Van Nuys, California
1 ~ Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Eighth through Thirteenth Characters: Sequential Production Number

The sequential starting number for the 1972 Chevelle was 500001 at all Chevelle assembly plants. Each assembly plant sequenced Chevelles of all series/models without regard to specific series/models. For example, if a series 13435 station wagon followed a 13667 Malibu convertible, the sequence number would be one unit higher for the wagon. It's also entirely possible to have the same sequence number from all four 1972 U.S. assembly plants (five if you include Oshawa, Ontario) with the only difference between the VINs being the plant code.

Production at the Arlington assembly plant exceeded 100,000 units in early June, the Baltimore plant exceeded 100,000 units in mid February, and the Kansas City plant exceeded 100,000 units sometime in late March, so the VIN sequence from those time frames to the end of production would be 6nnnnn for the Arlington, Baltimore, and Kansas City plants.

* The El Camino is not a separate series nameplate but rather a body style in both the base (33/34) and Malibu (35/36) series although it's often listed as such. The base (33/34) El Camino is a 2-dr sedan pickup body style with standard trim where the (35/36) El Camino Custom is a 2-dr sedan pickup body style with Malibu trim.

VIN plate location

Although these photos are of 1970 Chevelles, the location is the same for 1968 through 1972 VIN plates; 1965 through 1972 VIN plates used special rivets. Note the two different styles of riveting done.

1968 to 1972 VIN plate location
1968 to 1972 VIN plate location

1972 VIN Assembly Plant Codes

Letter Code Assembly Plant Series *
B Baltimore, Maryland 4 **, 6, 7
C Southgate, California 1
D Atlanta, Georgia (Doraville) 1
J Janesville, Wisconsin 1
K Kansas City, Missouri 4 **, 6, 7
L Los Angeles, California (Van Nuys) 3, 4 **, 6, 7
N Norwood, Ohio 5, 3 (after February)
R Arlington, Texas 4, 6
S St. Louis, Missouri 1, 2
T Tarrytown, New York 1
W Willow Run, Michigan 3
Y Wilmington, Delaware 1
1 Oshawa, Canada 1, 4 **, 6
* 1-Passenger; 2-Corvette; 3-Chevy II; 4-Chevelle; 5-Camaro; 6-Monte Carlo; 7-GMC Sprint
** Included El Camino

1972 Chevrolet VIN Sequence Numbers

Series Begin Sequence Plant
Passenger 100001 All
Corvette 500001 St. Louis
Chevy II 100001
300001 (February)
Los Angeles, Willow Run
Monte Carlo
500001 All
Camaro 100001 Norwood