VIN Location

This page pertains mostly to Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles during the early 20th Century. Serial number locations for cars of the 1940s through 1970s can be found in more accessible areas including the firewall, door post and dashboard.

The location of serial numbers, VINs (Vehicle Identification Number) and data plates are important and vary on most Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles based on the period of manufacturing. Early year models provided shorter alphanumeric characters. As time progressed, serial numbers could be found in multiple locations including the engine and frame of the automobile. Interestingly, it was not until many years after when car collecting became popular that the phrase “numbers matching” became more significant to buyers and sellers alike. By 1981, Ford issued a 17 alphanumeric VIN which provided more information about the specifics of its models produced. These 17 alphanumeric characters remain the same today.

Below you will find some direction on where to locate a serial number for your classic Ford, Lincoln or Mercury automobile.

Ford 1908

Serial number was located on the dashboard near the steering column.

Ford 1909

Serial number was located on the sides of the engine, between each exhaust manifold.

Ford 1910 – 1911

Serial number was located behind the timing gear on the lower right side of the engine. Serial numbers, matching the engine numbers, were stamped on a plate by the front seat kick panel. Note other numbers may be found stamped on the body sills and elsewhere, but these are manufacturing numbers only – not an identifying number.

Ford 1912

Serial number was located behind the timing gear on the lower right side of the engine. However, numbers after 100,000 were located behind the water inlet on the left side of the engine. Note some models have shown the serial number above the water inlet. Some serial numbers were stamped on a plate located on the fire wall. Note serial numbers no longer coincided with the engine numbers.

Ford 1913 – 1927

Serial number was located above the water inlet on the left side of the engine.

Ford 1928 – 1931

Serial number was located on top side of the frame near the clutch pedal. Engine number was now repositioned centre of left side of block directly below the cylinder head. Most engine numbers started with two letters, (e.g.: A or AA) followed by its production number. A prefix letter ‘C’ denotes Canadian built. Note, the last Model A Ford was assembled in March 1932, but still designated a 1931 model.

Ford 1932 – 1933

Serial number was located on top side of the frame near the clutch pedal. Engine number was now repositioned centre of left side of block directly below the cylinder head. Most engine numbers started with two letters, (e.g.: A or AA) followed by its production number. A prefix letter ‘C’ denotes Canadian built.

Ford 1934

Serial number was located on top side of frame near the clutch pedal and left front pillar forward portion of left frame member transmission housing. Engine number was located on top of clutch housing.

Ford 1935 – 1940

Serial number was located on left side of frame near firewall. Note a prefix letter ‘C’ denotes Canadian built. Engine number was located on top of clutch housing.

Ford 1941 – 1942

Serial number was located on left frame directly behind front engine mount. Note a prefix letter ‘C’ denotes Canadian built. Engine number was located on top of clutch housing.

Lincoln 1921 – 1942

Serial number was located on the right side of the cowl, top of clutch housing and transmission case. Engine number was located on the left side of the crankcase between cylinders one and two.

Lincoln 1946 – 1949

Serial number was located the same as the engine number.

Mercury 1939

Serial number was located on the left frame member ahead of the cowl. Engine number was located on rear of engine atop clutch housing.

Mercury 1940

Serial number was located on the left frame member ahead of the cowl. Engine number was located on rear of engine atop clutch housing and left side of frame near left engine support.

Mercury 1941 – 1942

Serial number was located on the left frame member ahead of the cowl. Engine number was located on rear of engine atop clutch housing and left side of frame near left engine support. Engine number was the same as serial number.

Mercury 1946 – 1950

Engine number was the same as serial number.