VW Chassis Numbers

These charts will help you determine the ‘model year’ of your pre-1980 Volkswagen, and usually - but not always - when it was built.

Originally the VW ‘model year’ ran from 1 January to 31 December. On 31 July 1957 the Volkswagenwerk changed to the 1958 model year for Beetles, which meant that the new model year begins when the factory returned from the summer holidays. This also matched US practice. The Karmann Ghia and Transporter also moved to this arrangement the following year. The German factory has used the 1 August to 31 July model year to the present day.

From 1954 to 1959 Australian Volkswagens were assembled from German CKD parts. The components were made according to the German model year, but completion in Melbourne could often be up to six months later, due to the shipping time for the CKD crates to arrive in Melbourne, be railed to Clayton and unpacked, prepared, assembled and finished (joining with the various Australian-made components such as tyres, batteries, glass, paint, upholstery etc).

Full local manufacture ran from 1960 to 1968. The Australian factory did not use the German August-July production year. The Australian production year began in January or February, after the workers returned from their Xmas summer holidays, although this varied – the 1962 model year, for example, was delayed until July 1962 and was released as a ‘1962½’ model that carried into early 1963. Therefore while the chassis number of Australian models will indicate the German-style ‘model year’, they do not necessarily correspond with when the vehicle actually left the production line.

After 1968 all Australian VWs returned to German CKD assembly. Again the Australian factory was 3 to 6 months behind the German factory. All Australian VW assembly ended in March 1977, and all subsequent models have been fully imported.

All Volkswagens made after 1 August 1979 (that is, 1980 models onwards) use the Standardised International Vehicle Identification Numbering (VIN) system. Consult the VIN page for information on post-1980 Volkswagens.

 

Type 1 (Beetle etc)

VW Type 1 chassis numbers are located on the frame tunnel, underneath the rear seat. VW Beetles were not sold in Australia until 1954. Australian CKD assembled (1954-59, 1968-76) lag up to 6 months behind German-built models. Australian manufacture production year (1960-67) is generally February-January but can vary. From 1965, Beetle Cabriolets had a 15* prefix (these were not sold in Australia). Australian-manufactured Beetles from 1965-67 had a 19* prefix, indicating they were stamped in Clayton, but this practice was discontinued in 1968 when German CKD kit assembly resumed. The Australian-manufactured Country Buggy had a 1182* prefix (some 1183* cars may exist too).

 Year  From  To
 1940  1-00 001  1-01 000
 1941  1-01 001  1-05 656
 1942  1-05 657  1-014 383
 1943  1-014 384  1-032 302
 1944  1-032 303  1-051 999
 1945  1-052 000  1-053 814
 1946  1-053 815  1-063 796
 1947  1-063 797  1-072 743
 1948  1-072 744  1-091 921
 1949  1-091 922  1-138 554
 1950  1-138 555  1-220 471
 1951  1-220 472  1-313 829
 1952  1-313 830  1-428 156
 1953  1-428 157  1-575 415
 1954  1-575 416  1-781 884
 1955  1-781 885  1-1 060 929
Prefix ‘1-’ (for Type 1) now dropped
 1956  1 060 930  1 394 119
 1957  1 394 920  1 600 439  (to 31 July 1957)
German model year now 1 August to 31 July
Australian production year still February-January (generally)
 1958  1 600 440  2 020 302
 1959  2 020 303  2 538 667
 1960  2 528 668  3 192 506
 1961  3 192 507  4 010 994
 1962  4 010 995  4 846 835
 1963  4 846 836  5 677 118
 1964  5 677 119  6 502 399
New 9-digit numbering system used (from February 1965 in Australia)
 1965  195 000 001  195 999 000
 1966  196 000 001  196 999 000
 1967  197 000 001  197 999 000  
 1968  118 000 001   118 1016 100
 1969  119 000 001  119 1200 000
 1970  110 2000 001  110 3100 000
 1971  111 2000 001  111 3200 000
 1972  112 2000 001  112 3200 000
 1973  113 2000 001  113 3200 000
 1974  114 2000 001  114 2999 000
 1975  115 2000 001  115 2266 092
 1976  116 2000 001  116 2176 287
Beetle sales ended in Australia

 

 

Type 13 (Superbug)

VW Type 13 chassis numbers are located on the frame tunnel, underneath the rear seat. These models were called the Superbug S (1971-72) and Superbug L (1973-75) in Australia, and were similar to the European 1302S and 1303S models (names not used in Australia). From 1971, Super Beetle Cabriolets had a 15* prefix (not sold in Australia).

 Year  From  To
 1971  111 2000 001  111 3200 000
 1972  112 2000 001  112 3200 000
 1973  133 2000 001  133 3200 000
 1974  134 2000 001  134 2999 000
 1975  135 2000 001  135 2999 000

 

 

Type 14 (Karmann Ghia)

VW Type 14 chassis numbers are located on the frame tunnel, underneath the rear seat. These vehicles were only available in Australia from 1959 to 1968, fully imported from Germany. Only about 800 were sold in Australia due to their high cost. Since then numerous examples have been privately imported by enthusiasts.

 Year  From  To
 1956  929 746  1 394 118
 1957  1 394 119  1 600 439
 1958  1 600 440  1 774 680  (to 31 July 1958)
German production year now 1 July to 31 August
 1959  1 774 681  2 528 667
 1960  2 528 668  3 192 506
 1961  3 192 507  4 010 994
 1962  4 010 995  4 846 835
 1963  4 846 836  5 677 118
 1964  5 677 119  6 502 399
New 9-digit numbering system used
 1965  145 000 001   145 999 000
 1966  146 000 001   146 999 000
 1967  147 000 001   147 999 000
 1968  148 000 001   148 999 000
 1969  149 000 001   149 1200 000
 1970  140 2000 001  140 3100 000
 1971  141 2000 001  141 3200 000
 1972  142 2000 001  142 3200 000
 1973  143 2000 001  143 3200 000
 1974  144 2000 001  144 2999 000

 

 

Type 18 (Thing)

VW Type 181 chassis numbers are located on the frame tunnel, underneath the rear seat. These vehicles were never offered for sale in Australia.

 Year  From  To
 1970  180 2151 344  180 3100 000
 1971  181 2000 001  181 3200 000
 1972  182 2000 001  182 3200 000
 1973  183 2000 001  183 3200 000
 1974  184 2000 001  184 3200 000
 1975  185 2000 001  185 2818 972

 

 

Type 2 (Transporter)

VW Type 2 chassis numbers are located in the engine compartment. VW Transporters were first sold in Australia in 1954. Transporters were made in Australia from 1955 to 1976, then fully imported afterwards.

From 1965 onwards, the standard VW Type 2 chassis prefix was 21*. However this can be different, depending on the particular model type. Other possible prefixes are 22* (Microbus), 23* (Kombi), 26* (Pickups), 27* (Ambulance).

 Year  From  To
 1950  20-000 001   20-008 112
 1951  20-008 113  20-020 112
 1952  20-020 113  20-041 712
 1953  20-041 713  20-069 409
 1954  20-069 410  20-110 604
 1955  20-110 605  20-160 716
Prefix ’20-‘ (for Type 2) now dropped
 1956  160 717  223 217
 1957  223 218  315 209
 1958  315 210  374 810  (to 31 July 1958)
German model year now 1 August to 31 July
Australian production year still February-January
 1959  374 811  490 622
 1960  490 623  632 584
 1961  632 585  802 985
 1962  802 986  971 549
 1963  971 550  1 144 281
 1964  1 144 282  1 328 271
New 9-digit numbering system used
 1965  215 000 001  215 176 339
 1966  216 000 001  216 198 668
 1967  217 000 001  217 148 459
 1968  218 000 001  218 220 000
 1969  219 000 001  219 220 000
 1970  210 2000 001  210 2300 000
 1971  211 2000 001  211 2300 000
 1972  212 2000 001  212 2300 000
 1973  213 2000 001  213 2300 000
 1974  214 2000 001  214 2300 000
 1975  215 2000 001  215 2300 000
 1976  216 2000 001  216 2300 000
 1977  217 2000 001  217 2300 000
 1978  218 2000 001  218 2300 000
 1979  219 2000 001  219 2153 964
Introduction of Standardised International VIN System

 

 

Type 3

VW Type 3 chassis numbers are located on the frame tunnel, underneath the rear seat. VW Type 3 Sedans and Station Wagons were sold in Australia from February 1963, and apart from the first few months of sales, were Australian-made throughout. In 1965 the Fastback was introduced, fully imported from Germany. From 1968 the entire Type 3 range was locally assembled from German CKD kits. The Station Wagon had a ‘36*’ chassis prefix. The imported Type 34 Karmann Ghia was only available to Australians from 1965 to 1968, and then only by special order. Its chassis prefix begins with ‘34’, and the third digit is the year. Less than 20 were sold here.

 Year  From  To
 1962  000 001  064 915
 1963  064 916  211 974
 1964  211 975  483 592
New 9-digit numbering system used
 1965  315 000 001  315 220 883
 1966  316 000 001  316 140 226
 1967  317 000 001  317 233 853
 1968  318 000 001  318 500 000
 1969  319 000 001  319 500 000
 1970  310 2000 001  310 2500 000
 1971  311 2000 001  311 2500 000
 1972  312 2000 001  312 2500 000
 1973  313 2000 001  313 2500 000

 

 

Type 4

VW Type 4 chassis numbers are located underneath the rear seat, between the inner seat belt mounting points. The VW Type 4 was never sold in Australia.

 Year  From  To
 1969  419 000 001  419 100 000
 1970  410 2000 001  410 2100 000
 1971  411 2000 001  411 2100 000
 1972  412 2000 001  412 2100 000
 1973  413 2000 001  413 2100 000
 1974  414 2000 001  414 2100 000

 

 

K 70

VW K 70 chassis numbers are located in the engine bay. The VW K 70 was never sold in Australia.

 Year  From  To
 1971  481 2500 001  481 2590 000
 1972  482 2500 001  482 2590 000
 1973  483 2500 001  483 2590 000
 1974  484 2500 001  484 2590 000
 1975  485 2500 001  485 2504 000

 

 

Passat

VW Passat chassis numbers are located in the engine compartment on the front partition.  Passat sedans had a model prefix of ‘32’, while Variants (station wagons) used ‘33’. The chassis numbers below cover the range for both. The Passat was assembled in Australia from 1974-76 then fully imported from 1977-81.

 Year  From  To
 1974  324 2011 947  334 2500 000
 1975  325 2000 001  335 2500 000
 1976  326 2000 001  336 2500 000
 1977  327 2000 001  337 2500 000
 1978  328 2000 001  338 2500 000
 1979  329 2000 001  339 2500 000
 1980  32A 2000 001  33A 2500 000
Introduction of Standardised International VIN System

 

 

Golf

VW Golf (Type 17) chassis numbers are located in the engine bay, on the suspension strut mounting. The Golf was not sold in Australia until 1976 (locally assembled LS only). From 1977-81 only the imported German GLS/GLD was sold here. The GTI was not sold in Australia until the Golf 2 GTI in 1990.

 Year  From  To
 1974  174 2000 001  174 2500 000
 1975  175 2000 001  175 3500 000
 1976  176 2000 001  176 3500 000
 1977  177 2000 001  177 3500 000
 1978  178 2000 001  178 3500 000
 1979  179 2000 001  179 3500 000
 1980  17A 2000 001  17A 3500 000
Introduction of Standardised International VIN System