Do you just have to know everything there is to know about your personal piece of American muscle? Then you can and should go further than a VIN decode.
Build sheets, or broadcast sheets (as they are also called), provide the assembly instructions that were used at the factory when your car was built. These instructions follow the sales order received by the manufacturer from the dealer.
Depending on the manufacturer, the number hidden in a car can vary from two to five. They are in various locations, most typically under rear seat bottom or rear seat backs. Other typical places include under the front seat bottoms, behind cardboard on front seat backs, or behind the glove box liner.
Corvettes had this information affixed to the gas tank and this documentation is often referred to as a "tank sticker."
These thin pieces of paper are important because they can boost your muscle car value if
the information on the sheet proves that your car was originally built
with a specific trim level or option level such as Chevelle SS or GTO
There are lots of websites that can help you understand the codes on the build sheet. Just type in your model name + decode in google or yahoo and you'll find multiple sites that can help you.
By the way, there are many vendors that will create a build sheet for you based on your VIN. If you are going to put out the money for this I'd recommend using a manufacturer-sponsored historical record service such as those listed on the validation services page.
Some manufacturers provided warranty card information to vehicle purchasers in the mid- to late-60s. These were called Protect-o-Plates (General Motors) or Certi-cards (Chrysler). This metal card was affixed to a warranty booklet and provided such details as the VIN number, engine ID, purchaser's name, date of delivery of the car, the dealership where the car was purchased and more.
When the car went in for service or a warranty claim, the dealership would use the Protect-o-Plate, a multi-page carbon form and a flatbed credit card imprinter to document/track the work done on the vehicle.
These warranty cards and booklets are obviously a good historical record and, in conjunction with the broadcast sheet, can serve as an important validation of your muscle car.
Protect-o-Plates and Certi-cards can also be found for sale at car swap meets or on eBay.
As always, you should be sure to inform a future buyer about any documentation you purchased vs providing original manufacturer paperwork.
For more information on what you need to know before you buy, click HERE.