Taking a 1973 Duster 340 decode as an example, here's what Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, can tell a potential buyer about this Mopar. It is followed by a breakdown of the codes on the metal fender tag that is found secured to the fender under the hood on most American muscle cars. You'll see that very detailed information is provided, right on the car itself.
These two pieces of information validate the integrity of the Duster as being a real, from-the-factory muscle car. This is must-know information for a muscle car buyer.
Fender Tag Break Down
|E55||340-4 Barrel 69-73|
|D21||Heavy Duty 4-Speed Manual Transmission|
|VS29||V = Plymouth Valiant / Duster, S = Special, 29 = 2 Door Sports Hardtop|
|H3B||H = 340 240HP(net) 1-4BBL 8 CYL, 3 = 1973, B = Dodge Main, Hamtramck, MI, USA|
|------||Sequence Number '------'|
|C6XW||Trim Grade/Style/Color, C = Charger, 6 = Vinyl Bucket Seats, X = Black|
|000||Upper Door Frame: Full Door Panel|
|208||Date Built: 2 / 08 / 1973|
|326133||Order Number: 326133|
|L25||Roof Type OR Color: Trunk Compartment Light|
|GK6||Dark Bronze Metallic|
|N76||Coolant Recovery System|
|GK6||Dark Bronze Metallic|
|U||Built to Specifications for USA Order|
|B41||Front Disc Brakes Some Yrs. Power|
|C56||Bucket Seats 1972 up|
|G37||Left Hand Remote, Right Hand Manual Chrome Mirrors|
|L31||Hood / Fender Mount Turn Signal|
|M21||Roof Drip Rail Moldings|
|M25||Wide Sill Molding|
|N41||Dual Exhaust w/o Tips|
|N42||Chrome Dual Exhaust Tips|
|R11||Music Master Radio AM|
|V6W||White Longitude Sports Stripe|
|V8W||Transverse Stripe - White|
|26||26 in. Radiator|
|EN2||End of Codes Assembly Line 2|
Different websites may provide slight variations in the decode so if
you are the obsessive type you can check your VIN and fender tags at
more than one site. If you didn't link to this page from the VIN decoder and validation page, click HERE to read more information. For example, we provide a source for Mustang vehicle decode information and other vehicle marques as well.
A sad but important note: dishonest muscle car sellers will replace the fender tag on a base model car with a fender tag from a high performance
muscle car in order to sell it at a higher price. In 1973 Plymouth
produced a large number of 6-cylinder models in the same body style.
Sometime in the last 30-40 years, a previous owner may have replaced the
factory 6-cylinder with a V8 from another car and re-painted it to
look like a 1973 Duster 340 high performance model.
As a general rule, there's no problem with this, as long as the modification is clearly stated by the seller and you know what you are buying. We replaced the original 318 in my 1972 Dart Swinger
with a 1969 340 that has more of what you buy a muscle car for. In the
future we will add bumble bee stripes and other cosmetic changes to get
just the look we want.
There are ways this can be identified, by checking matching codes on other components of the car for example, but most buyers won't have the expertise to do a proper verification. If it is important to you, and if you are paying a premium price for a rare muscle car, take the time to have the car appraised by an expert.
Feb 03, 17 04:58 PM
Here's the featured muscle car for sale, updated weekly from find-your-muscle-car's recommended sources of great muscle cars!
Feb 03, 17 04:23 PM
Here's what $20K buys you from muscle car dealers in various areas of the US. You don't have to spend a fortune to get what you want.
Jan 25, 17 03:38 PM
Muscle cars are too expensive. How about 300 horsepower for $10k? Get the muscle you want for a reasonable price!