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. The Beetle ended local assembly in July 1976, and all remaining Australian VW assembly (Transporter, Golf, Passat) ended in March 1977 when Nissan took over the Melbourne factory. All subsequent VW 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 2 528 667
 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 (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