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How to Decode a Corvette VIN :: 1981-Present

Starting in 1981 GM added several characters to the Corvette VIN to bring the total up to 17 digits. Thankfully this new longer VIN helps standardize the decoding process and has remained mostly the same for almost 30 years now. Those extra characters also allowed GM to give more information about each car. Special options like the ZR1 are now easily verified by VIN, which can be a big help when researching Corvettes for sale.

1986 Corvette Example VIN - 17 digits

1st digit - Country of manufacture: 1 = United States

2nd digit - Manufacturer: G = General Motors

3rd digit - Make: 1 = Chevrolet

4th digit - Body Series: A or Y = Corvette ('A' used in 1981-1984, 'Y' used from 1985-present)

5th digit - Additional Info: Y in most cases, but Z for ZR-1 (1991-1995) and R for ZR1 (2009)

6th digit - Body Style:

7th digit - Restraint System:

8th digit - Engine: See below for list of engine codes by year

9th digit - Random Security Number: This number varies randomly from car to car

10th digit - Model Year: B = 1981, C = 1982, D = 1983, E = 1984, F = 1985, G = 1986, H = 1987, J = 1988, K = 1989, L = 1990, M = 1991, N = 1992, P = 1993, R = 1994, S = 1995, T = 1996, V = 1997, W = 1998, X = 1999, Y = 2000, 1 = 2001, 2 = 2002, 3 = 2003, 4 = 2004, 5 = 2005, 6 = 2006, 7 = 2007, 8 = 2008

11th digit - Assembly Plant: 5 = Bowling Green, S = St. Louis (used only on 1981 Corvettes which were made at both plants)

Engine VIN codes by year:

1981 -   6 = L81 (5.7L, 190 hp)
1982 -   8 = L83 (5.7L, 200 hp)
1983 - N/A
1984 -   8 = L83 (5.7L, 205 hp)
1985 -   8 = L98 (5.7L, 230 hp)
1986 -   8 = L98 (5.7L, 230 hp)
1987 -   8 = L98 (5.7L, 240 hp)
1988 -   8 = L98 (5.7L, 240 hp)
1989 -   8 = L98 (5.7L, 240 hp)
1990 -   8 = L98 (5.7L, 245 hp), J = LT5 (5.7L, 375 hp)
1991 -   8 = L98 (5.7L, 245 hp), J = LT5 (5.7L, 375 hp)
1992 -   P = LT1 (5.7L, 300 hp), J = LT5 (5.7L, 375 hp)
1993 -   P = LT1 (5.7L, 300 hp), J = LT5 (5.7L, 405 hp)
1994 -   P = LT1 (5.7L, 300 hp), J = LT5 (5.7L, 405 hp)
1995 -   P = LT1 (5.7L, 300 hp), J = LT5 (5.7L, 405 hp)
1996 -   P = LT1 (5.7L, 300 hp), 5 = LT4 (5.7L, 330 hp)
1997 -   G = LS1 (5.7L, 345 hp)
1998 -   G = LS1 (5.7L, 345 hp)
1999 -   G = LS1 (5.7L, 345 hp)
2000 -   G = LS1 (5.7L, 345 hp)
2001 -   G = LS1 (5.7L, 350 hp), S (Z06 only) = LS6 (5.7L, 385 hp)
2002 -   G = LS1 (5.7L, 350 hp), S (Z06 only) = LS6 (5.7L, 405 hp)
2003 -   G = LS1 (5.7L, 350 hp), S (Z06 only) = LS6 (5.7L, 405 hp)
2004 -   G = LS1 (5.7L, 350 hp), S (Z06 only) = LS6 (5.7L, 405 hp)