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1940 Chevrolet passenger car VIN numbers

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I am trying to find out how many letters, how many numbers, or total characteristics make up a 1940 Chevrolet passenger car VIN numbers. I have been told most 1940 passenger cars start with a number followed by a couple of letters with a hyphen and have a total of ten (10) characteristics. I recently bought a 1940 Chevy 2door sedan with a vin number starting with the letter A and having a total of seven characters. Is it possible for that to be a bona fide VIN number.

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Cars from the 40s did not have a VIN. They had serial numbers assigned by the manufacturer. They were not standardized as they are now, so you can expect just about anything. I would ask the Chev board.

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According to the 1935-'42 edition of the MoToR's shop manual, the serial numbers for 1940 Chevy were found "on right side of dash under cowl" ( I believe this is an aluminum plate screwed or rivetted to the cowl, on the engine side of the firewall; this is the case with Chevy trucks).

The serials ran in the following series:

Master Six: KB-1001 and up; solid front axle

Special De Luxe Six: KA-1001 and up; "knee-action" independent front suspension

Master De Luxe Six: KH-1001 and up; "knee-action" independent front suspension

The numeric portion of the serial number probably did not exceed 5 digits (99999)

Engine numbers are found stamped into a flat boss right behind the distributor; 1940 engine numbers ran from 2697268 to 3665902 ( and possibly had the KB/ KA/ KH model code preceeding the number).

Hope you find "the right number"...

It's almost useless to try to point out to motor vehicle administration clerks, but US cars & trucks made before 1970 do not have "V.I.N" numbers(the 14-digit number on the dash, in the lower -left corner of the windhsield)... they have a serial number; and some states used the engine number ( so if the engine was swapped-out, that can make for some fun).

Good luck !

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  • 12 years later...
4 hours ago, Edd Robinson said:

My 1940 Chevrolet Master Deluxe has the following serial number.  Could someone translate it for me? 21KH0213266   Thank you

Just ask the www and you might find it. Try here:


KH = 113" WB, Passenger (Master De Luxe) with Knee Action (open spring type). 21 is probably the plant at which it was manufactured.


That is all OK. There is more here: https://www.stovebolt.com/techtips/39_40specs.html#vin

21 = Janesville, WI

K = 1940, H = model;

02 = month built;

13266 = sequence number out of that plant.


Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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  • 2 months later...

Did you look for the serial number plate mounted on the floor just below the right front corner of the front seat and under the floor mat  just inside the door sill. 


That is where it is located on my 1933 Chevrolet and that is where the info I found on google showed it when I did an image search of "where is a 1940 Chevrolet serial number located"

Edited by Vila (see edit history)
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29 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

Wow. Some book!

I picked it up in a huge lot of service manuals- this one is a keeper.  I just looked it up on Amazon and after seeing the price there I'd say keep an eye out in used booked stores for a copy.  Great reference piece.  



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