RE: [Chrysler300] Hiddin VIN's
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RE: [Chrysler300] Hiddin VIN's

Wow! I have been out of town picking up another old fin car for a couple
days and what a bunch of hubbub about rebodying and secret vins and
Here are a couple thoughts-factory's don't intend to hide vin numbers on
cars, that is a bunch of crap. It just happens that the various areas
that get vin stamped or sequential numbers are not always in plain
sight. Mostly they are in locations that are convenient for the stamp
machine on the assy line. The whole top secret thing is B.S. most
restorers or people who have done extensive restos know where the
numbers are just from experience. Many shop and or service manuals tell
you where the numbers are located. Not too tough to figure out. Keeping
the locations secret to newbies or amateurs or anyone is ridiculous. If
anything the locations should be well known to all so everyone will be
better informed about authenticating a car they might find or own. 
Now for the news that will freak everyone out. A clever person can fake
vin stamps on a body or make new tags without too much hassle. An
average dishonest person probably wouldn't go through all the trouble,
but a less common super creep could do so pretty easily if motivated
enough. It is not rocket science, just a little sheet metal work. I can
buy a fake rolex watch that looks perfect and works better than the
original for less than a hundred bucks, probably a tougher
accomplishment I would think.
  About the rebody thing, it has been done a lot, sometimes not very
well, sometimes no one will ever know. To me, rebody and extensive
restoration are very close partners. Both are essentially the same, one
has more factory seams and welds. When fixing a very rotten car, new
quarters, floors, trunk floors, frame patches here and there, cowl
replacement or major restructuring, etc the car has pretty much been
rebodied don't you think? And what do you do when the super secret
numbers rust away like on those Fs and Gs? You east coasters know what I
am talking about. Then you have a fixed rust bucket, a nice clean donor
shell starts to look pretty good when you think about it. After all, the
shell is just that, a shell until all the 300 stuff is assembled onto
 This has become more of an issue as the cars have become more valuable
financially. The historic and sentimental value of the 300s and the
musclecars has pretty much always been there, but now with dollar values
up high lots of rough cars that were considered parts cars are now
savable because their dollar value exceeds the cost of the extensive
restoration. I do think it is good to save more cars, I still get kinda
sad when I see a really rough cool car and always see ways of restoring
it. I am a sucker for a real hard case. I once owned a very tough 300F
coupe that was nothing but a rough body tub with a vin tag. Not one
single 300 part on it, nada. Stripped clean as a whistle. I just
happened to have every 300 part it was missing so it was a good fit for
my stuation. Is that any different than a rebody? Rather than replacing
the body tub shared by many models EVERY SINGLE 300 SPECIFIC PART had to
be replaced. Including all of the body panels other than the floor, roof
and cowl. Here is that word again-extensive restoration. 
  I think it is important to save as many as possible. Some may not be
perfect or have rosy history's but they will still be cool cars and it
will be nice to see them back on the road.
 To the big collectors these less than perfect cars will not matter one
bit. The big dollar cars will still be, as they always have been those
that are original unrestored cars, cars with all original panels, low
miles cars and cars with history and documentation. Documentation is the
big one these days. Example: a 1971 hemi dodge challenger is worth
$500,000 or so in restored condition with a build sheet and a fender
tag. Same exact car without tag and sheet is worth half that and will be
a much tougher sell.
One more thing to consider-Chrysler was the king of screw ups. It is not
that uncommon to have vin#s stamped wrong, misprinted or even missing
sometimes. I have owned cars with all of these issues. Just the way it
Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
Lee in San Diego

-----Original Message-----
From: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Rich Barber
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 2:26 PM
To: 'John Mc Adams'; Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Chrysler300] Hiddin VIN's

John McAdams:

I agree that it would be inappropriate to respond to the server.  I'm
curious as to when the hidden VIN's started appearing than where the
VIN's may be on my 1955. But, I remain curious about the many details of
car and believe that information should be available to buyers to help
achieve caveat emptor. 

One member responded with the information that the last four digits of
original engine S/N on '56 300-B's was stamped on the right front frame
horn.  That data could confirm that part of the frame was original.
Hertog's knowledge of hidden VIN locations is limited to the 1960-62

I Googled "hidden VIN" and got a lot of hits, mostly about using a VIN
search to find hidden defects.  One Oregon DMV form indicated an
officer might check the hidden VIN's when registering a car, so law
enforcement must have a secret code book.  I watched the CA DMV inspect
vehicles when I brought them into CA, but they mostly focused on the
emission control systems.  That did not take too long on my C-300.

For a somewhat generic location guide see:

Text from another site (Pidgin English not edited):

Where can I find my car VIN number?

As the number of theft growing, manufacturer's put more and more VIN
stickers and engravement to many parts of the vehicle. With the new
tracking sytem such as Lo Jack, police can track a stolen vehicle within
hours, giving the thief no time to remove all the VIN number stickers
are in many places and hidden somewhere on the car parts.

The VIN number can be found by looking at the dashboard on the driver
of the vehicle. If the VIN# cannot be found, open the driver side door
look at the door post (where the door latches when it is closed). 

Common locations of the vehicle identification number (VIN) vary but the
following are places to look: 

Firewall of the vehicle 
Left hand inner wheel arch 
Steering column 
Radiator Support Bracket 
Dash by windshield 
Drivers door or post on passenger side 
Guarantee & Maintenance Book 
Vehicle documents 
Machined Pad on front of engine 
Component parts as listed above -eg- engine, frame, etc.

As regards 1955 Chrysler 300 convertibles, they must exist.  

See ebay 7021110166

Rich Barber
Brentwood, CA
1955 C-300 3N551098, engine: 3NE551198

-----Original Message-----
From: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Behalf Of John Mc Adams
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 10:23 AM
To: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; 'Rich Barber'
Subject: RE: [Chrysler300] Hiddin VIN's

Rich and all:

As our esteemed Mr. Hertog so eloquently explained, the location of the
Hidden, or Secret Numbers should remain a secret to make it more
for unscrupulous people to counterfeit a real letter car.

Please, let us try to uphold the dignity and decorum of the 300 Club
and LEAVE THESE NUMBER LOCATIONS SECRET for the very reason that the
deemed it necessary to add them in secret locations in the first place.

If you absolutely MUST know all the secrets in the World, send an
directly to Mr. John Hertog.

>For common sense reasons, we all prefer not to publish the location of
>"secret numbers", as we affectionately refer to them. No need giving<
>dishonest people more information than they already may have. This<
>information is available to any Club member on a private basis. <

>Please do not publish this information on this listserver. All
>e-mails are viewable by the general public, in various ways. Thanks
>your cooperation. <

>John Hertog<

Again, as John Hertog said, "THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION",

John Mc Adams
(In SoCal)

-----Original Message-----
From: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Behalf Of Rich Barber
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 9:22 AM
To: 'Gary Barker'; john_nowosacki@xxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Chrysler300] Hiddin VIN's

Does anyone know when the practice of hidden VIN's began?  And, if used
1955, where these numbers might be found?  
I recall this used to be a big secret used by law enforcement to track
recovered stolen and chopped cars but believe it may not have begun
the '60's.

Rich Barber
Brentwood, CA
1955 C-300 3N551198

-----Original Message-----
From: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Behalf Of Gary Barker
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 12:26 AM
To: john_nowosacki@xxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Chrysler300] Controversy

Many cars have I.D.numbers stamped in hidden places.  Sometimes on the 
radiator support,  under weather strips   behind accessories ,  on 
brackets and also on hidden places on there frames.    Gary Barker 

john_nowosacki@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

>Wow, I didn't know unibody cars had a stamping.  Why a separate piece
metal spot welded to a piece of metal that already was stamped?
>Where is this stamp usually located?  I'd like to try and find it on my
>If it is down low, like underneath a door sill plate or something like
that, then for the purposes of our discussion it is long-gone due to the
rust that is the whole reason for wanting to re-body in the first place.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Behalf Of Jess Miklas
>Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 1:31 PM
>To: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Subject: [Chrysler300] Controversy
>I am enjoying this discussion with an open mind!
>May I go one step further for my own satisfaction...
>Let's remember that the replacement unibody "cabin" (as it has been
referrred to) also has its  own stamped identifying numbers that
to the data plate/microfilm. Are we then talking about cutting out those
numbers as well and welding them into the "new" body? If you don't, then
will have a finished car that sports two different sets of identifying
>What about the case of the 300 C frame now? The owner saved the VIN tag
appearantly did not save the unibody stamped numbers. Such as then,
can NEVER BE a totally matching number body on that 300C frame.
>Sorry to add to the flames but I really would like get to the bottom of
this once and for all... although I believe in the past that Gil
eloquently and correctly put the matter to bed.
>Jeff Miklas

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