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Mini Chassis/VIN Numbers and Commission Numbers 1959 - 1980

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Compiled by Chuck Heleker

(Revised April 29, 2004)

 

The information used to compile the following was taken from factory service parts lists and factory microfiche. Under close scrutiny, there appears to be some conflicts and mistakes in the factory number schemes, but, for the most part, the listings are accurate enough for car identification.

 

Please note that the Chassis (VIN) number and the Commission number are only one indication of the actual model and date of the car. The Chassis number plate is easily duplicated, especially on early cars, and it is not unusual for later cars not meeting US DOT and EPA standards to have earlier Chassis number plates attached to them to get them into the US illegally. Also, Chassis number plates have been known to be “faked” to turn a less valuable car into a more valuable one; e.g., a standard Saloon into a Cooper or Cooper S.

 

 

Part I: 1959 - 1980

 

1959 Through September 1969 – English Built

The general format for these early cars is:

A-A2S7L-###A

First position (“A” in the above example):

A = Austin (other than Cooper and S)

C = Austin Cooper or Austin Cooper S

K = Morris Cooper or Cooper S

M =Morris

R = Riley

W = Wolseley

Second position (also “A” in the above example):

= A series engine. Any standard Mini engine for the period:

848cc

970cc Cooper S

997cc Cooper

998cc Cooper and non-Cooper

1071cc Cooper S

1275cc Cooper S

Third position(s) (“2S” in the above example):

            = Body type:

2S = 2-door saloon/sedan. Caution: bureaucratic bungles often interpret this as 25 (twenty-five)

B = Moke (“Buckboard”!)

U = Pick-up. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.

V = Panel van. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.

W = Estate (with or without wood). Officially, “Dual-purpose”

Fourth position (“7” in the above example):

= Series of Austin, or Morris, etc.:

1 = Mk I Riley Elf, Wolseley Hornet, and Austin/Morris Moke

2 = Mk II Riley Elf or Wolseley Hornet

3 = Mk III Riley Elf or Wolseley Hornet

4 = Mk I Morris

6 = Mk II Morris

7 = Mk I Austin

B = Mk II Austin

Fifth position (“L” in the above example):

D = De-Luxe.

L = Left hand drive. Right hand drive was not designated

S = Super De-Luxe

Number positions (“###” in the above example):

= The sequential build number:

 

The first car at Longbridge was number 101, as was the first at Cowley. From then on, each factory continued with their own number sequence regardless of the model; e.g., Saloon, Van, etc. In other words, each model did not start at 101 and maintain its own sequence. Saloons and Vans, etc., are mixed in the number sequence along with the Cooper and Cooper S models.

 

The number sequence was into seven digits, #######, by the end of September 1969.

Last position (“A” in the above example):

= Assembly plant. Officially, “Internal Use Only”

 

This seems to be used inconsistently on English built cars and it is understood that the car was built at the “normal” factory if the letter is left off; e.g., an Austin, Riley or Wolseley at Longbridge may or may not have an A after the sequence number.

 

Yes, there were Austin Minis built at the Morris plant in Cowley and Morris Minis built at the Austin plant in Longbridge.

 

Note that all English built Cooper and Cooper S models (Austin and Morris) as well as Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet models were built at the Longbridge, Austin plant.

A = Longbridge

M = Cowley

Examples:

A-A2S7-123456 (or A-A2S7-123456A)

A right hand drive, Mk I, Austin Mini Saloon built at Longbridge

M-A2S6-1234567 (or M-A2S6-1234567M)

A right hand drive, Mk II, Morris Mini Saloon built at Cowley

C-A2S7L-123456

A left hand drive, Mk I, Austin Cooper or Cooper S

R-A2S2-123456

A right hand drive, Mk II, Riley Elf

A-AB1L-123456

A left hand drive, Austin Moke

M-AU4-123456

A right hand drive, Mk I Morris Pick-up

 

 

 

Back to Top

 

October 1969 to 1974 “Model Year” – English Built

During the previous months leading up to the cars in this time period, a Commission Number was introduced to go along with the Chassis Number/VIN. Both are helpful in identifying a car.

CHASSIS NUMBER/VIN

The general format for the Chassis Number/VIN for these cars is:

X-A2S1N-XXX-A

VIN, First Position (“X” in the above example):

            This is simply dismissed by the factory as “non significant”!

VIN, Second Position (“A” in the above example):

= Engine type

848cc

998

1275cc Cooper S and 1275 GT

VIN, Third Position (“2S” in the above example):

 = Body type

2S = 2-door saloon/sedan. (Except Mk III Copper S and 1275GT) Caution: bureaucratic bungles often interpret this as 25 (twenty-five)

2W = Estate (“2 Door Dual Purpose”)

D = 2 door saloon (Mk III Cooper S and 1275GT only)

U = Pick-up. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.

V = Panel van. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.

VIN, Fourth Position (“1N” in the above example):

[Blank] = Mini 850. Produced only in the “round nose” style

1 = Round nose, traditional Mini body style. Includes: Mini 1000, Mk III Cooper S, Van, and Pick-up.

2 = Clubman, square nose style. Includes: Clubman saloon, Clubman Estate, and 1275GT.

VIN, Fifth Position (“N” in the above example):

N = Mini 1000

VIN, Number positions (“###” in the above example):

= The sequential build number:

Unlike the earlier cars, each “type” started with number 101; e.g., the first Mini 850 in this range started with 101 as did the first Mini 1000, the first Mk III Cooper S, etc.

VIN, Last position (“A” in the above example):

= Assembly plant. Officially, “Internal Use Only”

 If used at all, this would be “A” for English built cars. All English built Minis were now being built at Longbridge.

A = Longbridge

Commission Number

The general format for the Commission Number is:

N20S-XXX

Commission Number, First Positions (“N20S” in the above example):

            = Car type

20U = Pick-up

20V = Van

20W = Clubman Estate

D20S = Mini 850

N20D = Mk III Cooper S

N20S = Mini 1000

S20D = 1275GT

S20S = Clubman

Commission Number positions (“###” in the above example):

            Sequential number starting at 101 for each car type.

 

 

 

Back to Top

 

1974 “Model Year” To 1980 “Model Year” – English Built

 

VIN

The general format for the VIN for these cars is:

X-K2S1N-XXX-A

VIN, First Position (“X” in the above example):

            This is simply dismissed by the factory as “non significant”!

VIN, Second Position (“K” in the above example):

= Engine type

A = [Unknown if this was used. If so, it indicated any of the A series engines still in production at that time]

C = 1098cc

E = 1275cc

K = 848cc

L = 998cc

VIN, Third Position (“2S” in the above example):

= Body type

2D: The factory microfiche does not list a designator for the 1275GT. This would imply there wasn’t one; however, it  is likely the 2D designator was still used. The microfiche shows 2D used for the 1980 model year. If no designator is listed, the Commission number must be used to identify the 1275GT.

2S = 2-door saloon/sedan. (Except 1275GT) Caution: bureaucratic bungles often interpret this as 25 (twenty-five)

2W = Estate (“2 Door Dual Purpose”)

U = Pick-up. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.

V = Panel van. Caution: U and V can be mistaken one for the other.

VIN, Fourth Position (“1” in the above example):

1 = Round nose, traditional Mini body style. Includes: Mini 850, Mini 850 City, Mini 850 Special Deluxe, Mini 1000, Van (848cc and 998cc), Mini Special 1098cc, and Pick-up (850cc and 998cc).

2 = Clubman, square nose style. Includes: Clubman Saloon (998cc Automatic and 1098cc Manual), Clubman Estate (998cc Automatic and 1098cc Manual), and 1275GT.

VIN, Fifth Position (“N” in the above example):

N = Special Deluxe (Except for North America). Includes the Mini 850 Special Deluxe, the Mini 1000, and the Mini Special 1098cc.

North America:

A = 1970

B = 1971

C = 1972

D = 1973

E = 1974

F = 1975

G = 1976

H = 1977

J = 1978

L = 1979

VIN, Number positions (“###” in the above example):

= The sequential build number:

Each “type” of car (with one exception) started with number 101; e.g., the first Mini 850 in this range started with 101 as did the first Mini 1000, the first 1275GT, etc.

 

The factory records list one exception: the export Mini Special 1098cc. The starting number, for some reason, is listed as 1012011

VIN, Last position (“A” in the above example):

= Assembly plant. Officially, “Internal Use Only”

            If used at all, this would be “A” for English built cars.

A = Longbridge

COMMISSION NUMBER

The general format for the Commission Number is:

N20S-XXX

Commission Number, First Positions (“N20S” in the above example):

            = Car type

20U = Pick-up

20V = Van

20W = Clubman Estate

B20S = Mini City

D20S = Mini 850

J20S = Mini 1100 Special (UK only)

N20S = Mini 1000

S20D = 1275GT

S20S = Clubman

T20S = Mini 850 Super

Commission Number positions (“###” in the above example):

Starting numbers are as follows:

20U = 13205L

20V = 84679L

20W = 77031A

B20S = 101

D20S = 83622L

J20S = 101

N20S = 20531L and 230547A

S20D = 19416A

S20S = 104632A

T20S = 101

Note that there is no listed explanation for the “A” and “L” endings. If these are intended to be the same as used for VIN numbers, the “A” would be Longbridge. Literature has suggested that “L” = Morocco! This has not been confirmed from factory microfiche.

 

  

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