VIN Decoding

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351MooseStang

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Apr 1, 2019
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Brookings, OR
MustangII.org has a handy decoder that you can use. I punched your numbers in and the first one comes back as a '77 302 equipped hatchback, the second a '76 302 equipped hatchback. If you punch your doorplate info into the decoder you can get the rest!
 
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IA_Dave

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Aug 17, 2014
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Mason City, IA
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Well, that's good to know. Thanks.

One of the two has has a driver's door swap, so I'll have to look to see if it has a buck tag.

The other one, I'm not sure about. I'll have to stop back out where it's sitting for the next month before I leave town this weekend.
 

LILCBRA

10 Year Member
Dec 6, 2005
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I must've missed this when it was posted originally! lol
Going from memory, the first number is the year, so #1 is 77, #2 is a 76. 5th digit is the engine code, F is a 302. I don't remember the other 2 offhand, I think the 4 cylinder is a Y? All I was ever concerned with was the F, so I never paid attention to that one!! :cool: And if memory serves, everything after the 5th digit is the consecutive number in production. I'd have to use a decoder for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th digits.....
 

IA_Dave

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Aug 17, 2014
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Mason City, IA
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Well, it's hard to say what updates I should go with.

The VIN that begins with the 6 is in a dash that isn't even bolted into the car.
The Buck Tag was on the car and it leads me to believe that the car is really a '78, rather than the '76 that the dash VIN decodes as.
I found an old paper insurance card with a VIN hand written on it that the sequence number matches that on the Buck Tag.
The split rear seat of the car also suggests that it is, in fact, a 1978.
So, the car is supposed to be a V6 4 spd, but is currently a cobbled together V8 auto.
I bought this car as a parts car, but after cleaning it up and tearing out the destroyed carpet, I can't do it.
The ONLY rust I've found (so far) is a small patch about the size of a 1/2 dollar in the passenger's side floor.
It's just too solid to ruin it. So, now I have to see about getting a bonded title or something.
I want to get this thing together and use it as a daily driver.

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The VIN that begins with the 7 is in a dash that was bare bolted in. 3 screws.
That VIN doesn't match the door tag or the Bug Tag.
The door VIN, Buck Tag, and the VIN tabs under the front fenders confirm the dash is wrong.
This car turned out to be a 1978 Cobra II. A billboard car. White with red interior.
Currently it has black interior. I was able to salvage many parts, but the body has had it.
It suffered a front end collision at one time so the driver's corner is crumpled up in the frame rail.
There is very significant rust through the entire floor, up into the firewall, and up into the door jams.
The hatch/spare tire area are pretty solid and the t-top roof is clean, so I'll save those.
It was a V6 auto car, but is now a V8 4 spd, so those will be saved.
The dash shell was completely unmolested (radio opening), so that will probably go into the other car.

Sadly, the billboard car is junk (as far as I'm concerned) and the car I wasn't even really interested in buying is a keeper.
The only reason I really bought it was because the guy said he was going to turn it into a demo derby car.
I wasn't going to let that happen. At the time, I thought there were too many good parts on it.
I was right. Really solid car.

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2Blue2

I partied with that dude!, um girl, um whatever...
Mar 5, 2019
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Good stuff
right on for the update


maybe you can sell leftovers to the rest of us

I personally want the 'ford' letters front and rear
Drivers side quarter window latch
maybe drivers window crank mech
no hurries no pressure though.
 

IA_Dave

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Aug 17, 2014
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maybe you can sell leftovers to the rest of us
Fully intended to. :)
I almost didn't buy the black one, but ended up having enough expendable cash, so I figured I'd save it from the demo derby that he had planned for it. The white one, I bought it just because I wanted the spoiler, side louvers, and hood scoop. The extra set of t-top glass was a bonus. Then when I popped the hood and found a full set of export braces... MAJOR BONUS. I'd been searching for a little while.

I personally want the 'ford' letters front and rear
Drivers side quarter window latch
maybe drivers window crank mech
no hurries no pressure though.
I'll have to check the condition of the door. If it's too rusty, I'll take it out, otherwise I'd like to keep it complete. But, I do have a spare door that I got with my actual project car. It's the original door that is supposed to be on the car, but the metal around the latch mechanism is trashed really bad. Looks like someone beat it to death with a hammer. I could pull the crank mechanism out of that one and not feel bad. :)

As for those other items... if all the letters are there, I'm sure I can pop them off. And I'll have to check to make sure that latch is good. I'm thinking one of them was broken, but I don't remember which side.

The project car.
5. Home.jpg


The original project car that became the parts donor.
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The white parts car. Right where I found her.
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The "parts car" that became a 2nd project. :)
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IA_Dave

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Aug 17, 2014
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Mason City, IA
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So I am on the road for work the last couple of days and I am traveling through Nebraska. I decide I'll stop in Lincoln and look for the courthouse and the DMV. Somebody there has got to be able to help me track down the last owner of the black Mustang II.

After 45 minutes of driving around downtown, attempting to locate a parking space that is acceptable for the large fan I drive for work, but isn't 17 blocks away from the courthouse, I'm finally able to walk two and a half blocks to find a DMV.

It only took me 15 minutes, one government form, and a dollar bill to get the name and address of the last registered owner. A White pages search online netted me a street address and a phone number.

I never know what kind of response I'm going to get when I call people out of the blue about something like this, but this guy was extremely pleasant. I explained the situation and told him what I was after and he was extremely helpful. He told me he was more than happy to help. He also told me that it had been a very long time ago since he sold that car.

So now I will fill out another piece of government paperwork and send it to this guy and wait for him to sign it and send it back. With any luck at all I will have a legal title in four to six weeks.
 

IA_Dave

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Aug 17, 2014
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Mason City, IA
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Just downloaded the application bfor a duplicate title. I figure I'll fill it out and take it to the old man's house next time in the area (probably next week). It needs to be signed in front of a notary before it can be sent in. I'll have to see how that will play out. I don't know if there is a notary in his town, still looking into that. And I don't know if there is a a DMV office in that town. That would make life easier, for sure.

If there is and I could get him to agree to go for a ride with me, I could end up with a signed title fairly quickly.
 
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IA_Dave

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Mason City, IA
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My luck just got a little bit better.
I ended up having to take a trip back to Nebraska today for work. I should be to my destination by about 9 tonight. The good news is, I will only be about an hour south of the previous owner of this car.

So in the morning, I will make my deliveries for work and then take the scenic route home and see about getting this old boy up to the courthouse in town to fill out the paperwork for a duplicate title.
 
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IA_Dave

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Aug 17, 2014
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Mason City, IA
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title.jpg


Update:
The next morning, I called Mr. Ulnes and explained what I had in mind. He said, "Well, see ya when ya get here then."

I picked him up and we drove to the local courthouse. I was expecting them to have to mail the title to him, but they printed off a new one right on the spot. He signed it over right on their counter.

I told him where I found it and what the guy that had it had planned for it. He didn't seem happy about that. Then I showed him a picture of what the car looks like now. He said he always did like that car, but "It looked better in red!" :D

When I got him back home, he wanted to show me what he had hiding in the garage... a 1966 Mustang coupe (project) in pretty damn good condition. Looks pretty solid, from what I could see of it. It's become a catch all for lots of stuff, so I couldn't open the hood or trunk. But the doors open smooth and the interior is pretty nice, considering it's age. If anyone is interested, I can get you his contact info. He wants to sell it. He'll be 90 in a week or so and knows he's never going to do anything with it now.

The next day I took the signed title to my local courthouse and had it transferred. It is officially, legally, my car. Now I have TWO project cars... just what I needed. :D