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Help decoding a 1973 Electra VIN plate please

Guest Mike Renaut

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Guest Mike Renaut


Hope this question is in the correct part of the forum, I just joined so please forgive me if it isn't. Also please forgive me if this a topic that's previously been covered elsewhere, I did a quick search on the site and turned up 219 pages so I haven't managed to get through it all :D

My friend has this 1973 Electra 225 four door hardtop which he has owned for several years here in the UK and believes was exported from Ohio around 2009. It has been resprayed in a slightly different shade of green but is otherwise stock and unrestored as far as we know. Shows about 64,000 miles on the clock. Numbers matching too!


I thought it would be interesting to decode the VIN which is pictured below:


An online search through a couple of websites helped but some of the numbers and letters don't seem to correspond with what the VIN decoder sites suggest.

The VIN number is ST73 4CT39FLI

I'm assuming 73 - model year 1973

4 - Buick

C - ?

T - 455ci V8, single exhaust?

39 - Four door hardtop

F - Van Nuys California assembly plant?

L and I - ?

Does that sound correct?

Is there any way of telling the day/week/month of the build?

I wondered if '11C' on the third line might refer to third week in November of 1972. This would be especially useful since the car would then be road tax free in Britain if proved to be built before the end of January 1973: we have some weird laws here!

I'd also be interested in any options information that might be contained in the VIN or anything else you might like to tell me.

Hope someone can help.

Many thanks, Mike

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Guest Mike Renaut

Hi Adam

That's great, thank you. FL for Flint makes sense!

I've been told a speed control device was an option on these cars, does anyone have any info on this? Am assuming it's a form of cruise control?


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The VIN number is located on the driver side dash, what you are showing is the body tag located on the cowl.

ST = Style

73 = 1973 model year

4CT39 = Fisher body style number

4 = Buick

C = C-body platform

T = Electra 225

39 = 4-door hardtop sedan

FL1 = body built at Flint, MI

107182 = body sequence number unique to body (no relation to VIN)

TR = Trim

600= Green Cloth with Bench Front Seat

PNT = paint

44 = Willow Green Metallic

B = top code = Black vinyl roof

11C = body build date = November (11) 1972, third week ©

A52 = seat option code = Regular Bench Front Seat

The VIN from the dash should have the following format:


4 = Buick

T = Electra 225

39 = 4-door hardtop sedan

e = digit indicating engine type, should be either a T or a U

3 = last digit of model year (1973)

H = Flint, MI (Buick home plant)

XXXXXX = sequence number unique to car, range is 400,001 to 602,593 for Flint built B, C, and E bodies

Edited by sean1997 (see edit history)
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