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Mini Chassis/VIN Numbers and Commission Numbers Part 1: 1959 – 1969

Thanks to www.minimania.com for this informative article

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.

 

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

 

The FULL article can be read at www.minimania.com