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Mini Chassis/VIN Numbers 1959 to 1980

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It must be blurred to see so many Minis from first generation/MK1 to last generation Mini MK7. Here is the information to identify any Mini cars according to its VIN number. Thanks for Chuck Heleker who compiled the Mini chassis/VIN Numbers and Commission Numbers for car identification.

Please note that the Chassis (VIN) number and the Commission number are only one indication of the actual model and date of the car. The Chassis number plate is easily duplicated, especially on early cars, and it is not unusual for later cars not meeting US DOT and EPA standards to have earlier Chassis number plates attached to them to get them into the US illegally. Also, Chassis number plates have been known to be “faked” to turn a less valuable car into a more valuable one; e.g., a standard Saloon into a Cooper or Cooper S.

Here are the chassis/VIN Numbers for model year from 1959 to 1980. Click here to see Mini Chassis/VIN Numbers 1980 to 2000.

1959 Through September 1969 – English Built

The general format for these early cars is:
A-A2S7L-###A
First position (“A” in the above example):
A = Austin (other than Cooper and S)
C = Austin Cooper or Austin Cooper S
K = Morris Cooper or Cooper S
M =Morris
R = Riley
W = Wolseley
Second position (also “A” in the above example):
= A series engine. Any standard Mini engine for the period:
848cc
970cc Cooper S
997cc Cooper
998cc Cooper and non-Cooper
1071cc Cooper S
1275cc Cooper S
Third position(s) (“2S” in the above example):
= Body type:
2S = 2-door saloon/sedan. Caution: bureaucratic bungles often interpret this as 25 (twenty-five)
B = Moke (“Buckboard”!)
U = Pick-up. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.
V = Panel van. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.
W = Estate (with or without wood). Officially, “Dual-purpose”
Fourth position (“7” in the above example):
= Series of Austin, or Morris, etc.:
1 = Mk I Riley Elf, Wolseley Hornet, and Austin/Morris Moke
2 = Mk II Riley Elf or Wolseley Hornet
3 = Mk III Riley Elf or Wolseley Hornet
4 = Mk I Morris
6 = Mk II Morris
7 = Mk I Austin
B = Mk II Austin
Fifth position (“L” in the above example):
D = De-Luxe.
L = Left hand drive. Right hand drive was not designated
S = Super De-Luxe
Number positions (“###” in the above example):
= The sequential build number:

The first car at Longbridge was number 101, as was the first at Cowley. From then on, each factory continued with their own number sequence regardless of the model; e.g., Saloon, Van, etc. In other words, each model did not start at 101 and maintain its own sequence. Saloons and Vans, etc., are mixed in the number sequence along with the Cooper and Cooper S models.

The number sequence was into seven digits, #######, by the end of September 1969.
Last position (“A” in the above example):
= Assembly plant. Officially, “Internal Use Only”

This seems to be used inconsistently on English built cars and it is understood that the car was built at the “normal” factory if the letter is left off; e.g., an Austin, Riley or Wolseley at Longbridge may or may not have an A after the sequence number.

Yes, there were Austin Minis built at the Morris plant in Cowley and Morris Minis built at the Austin plant in Longbridge.

Note that all English built Cooper and Cooper S models (Austin and Morris) as well as Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet models were built at the Longbridge, Austin plant.
A = Longbridge
M = Cowley
Examples:
A-A2S7-123456 (or A-A2S7-123456A)
A right hand drive, Mk I, Austin Mini Saloon built at Longbridge
M-A2S6-1234567 (or M-A2S6-1234567M)
A right hand drive, Mk II, Morris Mini Saloon built at Cowley
C-A2S7L-123456
A left hand drive, Mk I, Austin Cooper or Cooper S
R-A2S2-123456
A right hand drive, Mk II, Riley Elf
A-AB1L-123456
A left hand drive, Austin Moke
M-AU4-123456
A right hand drive, Mk I Morris Pick-up

October 1969 to 1974 “Model Year” – English Built

During the previous months leading up to the cars in this time period, a Commission Number was introduced to go along with the Chassis Number/VIN. Both are helpful in identifying a car.
CHASSIS NUMBER/VINThe general format for the Chassis Number/VIN for these cars is:
X-A2S1N-XXX-A
VIN, First Position (“X” in the above example):
This is simply dismissed by the factory as “non significant”!
VIN, Second Position (“A” in the above example):
= Engine type
848cc
998
1275cc Cooper S and 1275 GT
VIN, Third Position (“2S” in the above example):
= Body type
2S = 2-door saloon/sedan. (Except Mk III Copper S and 1275GT) Caution: bureaucratic bungles often interpret this as 25 (twenty-five)
2W = Estate (“2 Door Dual Purpose”)
D = 2 door saloon (Mk III Cooper S and 1275GT only)
U = Pick-up. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.
V = Panel van. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.
VIN, Fourth Position (“1N” in the above example):
[Blank] = Mini 850. Produced only in the “round nose” style
1 = Round nose, traditional Mini body style. Includes: Mini 1000, Mk III Cooper S, Van, and Pick-up.
2 = Clubman, square nose style. Includes: Clubman saloon, Clubman Estate, and 1275GT.
VIN, Fifth Position (“N” in the above example):
N = Mini 1000
VIN, Number positions (“###” in the above example):
= The sequential build number:
Unlike the earlier cars, each “type” started with number 101; e.g., the first Mini 850 in this range started with 101 as did the first Mini 1000, the first Mk III Cooper S, etc.
VIN, Last position (“A” in the above example):
= Assembly plant. Officially, “Internal Use Only”
If used at all, this would be “A” for English built cars. All English built Minis were now being built at Longbridge.
A = Longbridge
Commission NumberThe general format for the Commission Number is:
N20S-XXX
Commission Number, First Positions (“N20S” in the above example):
= Car type
20U = Pick-up
20V = Van
20W = Clubman Estate
D20S = Mini 850
N20D = Mk III Cooper S
N20S = Mini 1000
S20D = 1275GT
S20S = Clubman
Commission Number positions (“###” in the above example):
Sequential number starting at 101 for each car type.

1974 “Model Year” To 1980 “Model Year” – English Built

VIN – The general format for the VIN for these cars is:
X-K2S1N-XXX-A
VIN, First Position (“X” in the above example):
This is simply dismissed by the factory as “non significant”!
VIN, Second Position (“K” in the above example):
= Engine type
A = [Unknown if this was used. If so, it indicated any of the A series engines still in production at that time]
C = 1098cc
E = 1275cc
K = 848cc
L = 998cc
VIN, Third Position (“2S” in the above example):
= Body type
2D: The factory microfiche does not list a designator for the 1275GT. This would imply there wasn’t one; however, it is likely the 2D designator was still used. The microfiche shows 2D used for the 1980 model year. If no designator is listed, the Commission number must be used to identify the 1275GT.
2S = 2-door saloon/sedan. (Except 1275GT) Caution: bureaucratic bungles often interpret this as 25 (twenty-five)
2W = Estate (“2 Door Dual Purpose”)
U = Pick-up. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.
V = Panel van. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.
VIN, Fourth Position (“1” in the above example):
1 = Round nose, traditional Mini body style. Includes: Mini 850, Mini 850 City, Mini 850 Special Deluxe, Mini 1000, Van (848cc and 998cc), Mini Special 1098cc, and Pick-up (850cc and 998cc).
2 = Clubman, square nose style. Includes: Clubman Saloon (998cc Automatic and 1098cc Manual), Clubman Estate (998cc Automatic and 1098cc Manual), and 1275GT.
VIN, Fifth Position (“N” in the above example):
N = Special Deluxe (Except for North America). Includes the Mini 850 Special Deluxe, the Mini 1000, and the Mini Special 1098cc.
North America:
A = 1970
B = 1971
C = 1972
D = 1973
E = 1974
F = 1975
G = 1976
H = 1977
J = 1978
L = 1979
VIN, Number positions (“###” in the above example):
= The sequential build number:
Each “type” of car (with one exception) started with number 101; e.g., the first Mini 850 in this range started with 101 as did the first Mini 1000, the first 1275GT, etc.

The factory records list one exception: the export Mini Special 1098cc. The starting number, for some reason, is listed as 1012011
VIN, Last position (“A” in the above example):
= Assembly plant. Officially, “Internal Use Only”
If used at all, this would be “A” for English built cars.
A = Longbridge
COMMISSION NUMBERThe general format for the Commission Number is:
N20S-XXX
Commission Number, First Positions (“N20S” in the above example):
= Car type
20U = Pick-up
20V = Van
20W = Clubman Estate
B20S = Mini City
D20S = Mini 850
J20S = Mini 1100 Special (UK only)
N20S = Mini 1000
S20D = 1275GT
S20S = Clubman
T20S = Mini 850 Super
Commission Number positions (“###” in the above example):
Starting numbers are as follows:
20U = 13205L
20V = 84679L
20W = 77031A
B20S = 101
D20S = 83622L
J20S = 101
N20S = 20531L and 230547A
S20D = 19416A
S20S = 104632A
T20S = 101
Note that there is no listed explanation for the “A” and “L” endings. If these are intended to be the same as used for VIN numbers, the “A” would be Longbridge. Literature has suggested that “L” = Morocco! This has not been confirmed from factory microfiche.

1980 “Model Year” – English Built

VIN
Note that the VIN plate for these cars is likely marked, “BL CARS LTD”
The general format for the VIN for these cars is:
X-K2S1N-XXX-A
VIN, First Position (“X” in the above example):
This is simply dismissed by the factory as “non significant”!
VIN, Second Position (“K” in the above example):
= Engine type
C = 1098cc
E = 1275cc
K = 848cc
L = 998cc
VIN, Third Position (“2S” in the above example):
= Body type
2D = 1275GT
2S = 2-door saloon/sedan. (Except 1275GT) Caution: bureaucratic bungles often interpret this as 25 (twenty-five)
2W = Estate (“2 Door Dual Purpose”)
U = Pick-up. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.
V = Panel van. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.
VIN, Fourth Position (“1” in the above example):
= Series of model
1 = Round nose, traditional Mini body style.
2 = Clubman, square nose style.
VIN, Fifth Position (“N” in the above example):
= Specification
N = Special Deluxe. The factory microfiche does not indicate that North American cars continued on with the dating
code used on previous cars; e.g., “M” = 1980.
VIN, Number positions (“###” in the above example):
= The sequential build number:
Build numbers are not listed. It is suspected that they carry on with the numbers from the previous series of cars; i.e.,
numbers were not started from 101, again.
VIN, Last position (“A” in the above example):
= Assembly plant. Officially, “Internal Use Only”
If used at all, this would be “A” for English built cars.
A = Longbridge

Here are the chassis/VIN Numbers for model year from 1959 to 1980. Click here to see Mini Chassis/VIN Numbers 1980 to 2000.

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