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Crown Victoria VIN Decoder


How To Tell What Kind of Crown Vic You Have

In 1954, American automobile manufacturers began stamping vehicle identification numbers, commonly referred to as a 'VIN', on all vehicles. The purpose of the VIN was to give an accurate description of the vehicle. Early VINs, however, came in all sorts of configurations and variations, depending on the individual manufacturer. The only way to decipher these numbers today is with a VIN decoder (and there are a lot of them available over the Internet.

Beginning in 1981, the U.S. Department of Transportation required that all road-legal vehicles must be identified using a 17-character VIN. This finally established a fixed VIN format.

In 1985, the Department of Transportation issued the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard to try to reduce the number of motor vehicle thefts. This standard became effective beginning with model year 1987 vehicles and required that high-theft cars have 12 to 14 of its major component parts marked with the VIN. In 1994, the Theft Prevention Standard was amended to include multipurpose passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks. Also in 1994, NHTSA published the final rule amending the Theft Prevention Standard to also list the covered major component parts and replacement parts to be marked for each of the classes of vehicles: the engine, transmission, front and rear bumper, right and left front fender, hood, right and left front door, right and left rear door, sliding cargo door(s), right and left quarter panels, right and left side assembly, pickup box, and /or cargo box, rear doors, decklid or hatchback and tailgate. The effective model year for this amendment was 1997.

The numbers and letters that make up a VIN tend to stay fairly consistent throughout the run of a car model. However, changes in production techniques, engine availability, and manufacturers can result in changes to the VIN. In the case of Ford Police-Package Crown Victorias, there was a VIN definition change beginning in 1993. This was the first year that the Passenger Car - 71 (P71) code was used for police packages. Prior to 1993 they were designated as P72s.

So to make life easier on all of us, I have made this page to provide some insight into decoding your vehicle's VIN.

1981 and Later VIN Decoding

Post 1981 Ford VINs consist of 17 characters, with the first 11 being used to provide vehicle information and the last six designating the sequential number of the car. The first three characters of the VIN are used to denote the car's World Manufacturer Indetifier code. This code indicates where the vehicle was made, what company made the vehicle, and what type of vehicle it is. For all Crown Victorias, this code will be 2FA, which indicates a passenger car made by Ford Motor Company of Canada, LTD. All Crown Victorias are made in Canada. If your car was made in the U.S., it would have a code of 1FA. Other common codes are as follows:

1FM - U.S. Made MPV, Ford
1FT - U.S. Made Truck, Ford
1ME - U.S. Made Passenger Car, Mercury
2FM - Canada Made MPV, Ford
2FT - Canada Made Truck, Ford
2ME - Canada Made Passenger Car, Mercury

Generally speaking, the first character of this code will denote country of origin (1 or 4 for U.S., 2 for Canada, 3 for Mexico, 6 for Australia, and K for Korea.) The second character denotes the company (F for Ford, M for Mercury, and L for Lincoln.) And the third character denotes vehicle type such as:

A = Passenger Car, Ford
M = Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV), Ford
T = Truck, Ford
D = Incomplete Vehicle, Ford
F = Vehicle Minus Drivetrain, Ford
C = Basic, Stripped, Chassis, Ford
E = Passenger Car, Mercury
2 = Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV), Mercury
H = Incomplete Vehicle, Mercury
3 = Incomplete MPV, Mercury
4 = MPV, Complete Vehicle, Mercury
N = Passenger Car, Lincoln
J = Incomplete Vehicle, Lincoln
The fourth position of the VIN is used to indicate the vehicle's restraint type. These codes are:

B = Active Seatbelts, Front Only
C = Active Seatbelts, All Positions
L = Active Seatbelts All Positions and Driver and Passenger Airbags
F = Believe that this is for Active Seatbelts All Positions and Driver and Passenger, Front and Side, Airbags

The fifth VIN position indicates the type of car that you have. There are three codes that can apply:

P - Passenger Car, Ford North American Vehicles
M - Passenger Car, Lincoln/Mercury North Amercian Vehicles
T - Passenger Car, Association Vehicles (Mazda, Kia, etc.)
The sixth and seventh VIN positions indicate the vehicle's Line, Series, and Body Type. For Ford Crown Victorias there are five codes. They are:

71 - Crown Victoria, Police Interceptor, 4-Door Sedan (Body Type BA4)- This code only applies to 1993 and later Police Package equipped vehicles.

72 - Crown Victoria, Base-Fleet, 4-Door Sedan (Body Type BA4) - This was used to identify Police-Package cars from 1981 to 1992. This code also indentifies all non-Police Fleet vehicles (Taxis, Service Vehicles, Government, etc.) for years 1981 to present.

73 - Crown Victoria, Fleet, 4-Door Sedan (Body Type BA4) - This is the code for a base model civilian Crown Victoria.

74 - Crown Victoria, LX, 4-Door Sedan (Body Type LX4) - This is the code for a high-end civilian Crown Victoria with the luxury goodies.

79 - Crown Victoria, 4-door Station Wagon
The eigth VIN position indicates the type of engine in the car. For all post-1992 Crown Victorias this code will be "W", which indicates a SOHC 4.6L, 280 CID, 8-cylinder, gasoline, engine. Other engine codes for earlier cars are:

F - 5.0L EFI, 302 CID, 8-cylinder, gasoline engine
G - 5.8L 2 BBL OHV, 8-cylinder, gasoline engine
M - 5.0L EFI Hig Output, 302 CID, 8-cylinder, gasoline engine
The ninth VIN position is used as a check-sum number, and doesn't provide any vehicle information.
The tenth VIN position indicates the model year of the vehicle. These codes are as follows:

B - 1981
C - 1982
D - 1983
E - 1984
F - 1985
G - 1986
H - 1987
J - 1988
K - 1989
L - 1990
M - 1991
N - 1992
P - 1993
R - 1994
S - 1995
T - 1996
V - 1997
W - 1998
X - 1999
Y - 2000
The eleventh position indicates the plant that made the car. The codes are:

A - Atlanta
B - Oakville
D - Ohio
F - Dearborn
G - Chicago
H - Lorain
K - Kansas City
T - Edison
W - Wayne
X - St. Thomas, Canada (Crown Victorias)
Y - Wixom
R - Hermosillo, Mexico
U - Louisville
V - Jefferson County
8 - Broadmeadows, Australia
6 - Sohari, South Korea
5 - Flat Rock
The remaining VIN positions are used to indicate sequential production numbers. The only variants here are that Ford Division vehicles are numbered 100,001 through 600,000 and Lincoln/Mercury Division vehicles are numbered 600,001 through 999,999.


* The Police Interceptor (often referred to simply as CVPI) is the law enforcement version of the 1999 and later Ford Crown Victoria. Though the name has only been officially in use for the car starting in 1999, the current major design of the car has been the same since the year before, 1998. The 197991 full-size LTDs and LTD Crown Victorias and 1992 updated body style prior to 1993 used the P72 Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) code for both fleet/taxi and police models (only used for one model year for the newer style body in 1992). From 19931998, the police car models of Crown Victorias were officially known as Crown Victoria P71s. Starting in 1999, the Crown Victoria equipped with the P71 package has been given the official name of Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. It is one of the most widely-used automobiles in North American police departments, and due to the "heavy duty" nature of the vehicle, is also used by many taxi companies. Since Chevrolet dropped the rear-drive Caprice, Ford has had a near-monopoly on the market for police cruisers because of a preference for V8 powered rear-drive cars in North America.

Although the Police Interceptor is usually not sold to the general public, these cars are widely available in the used car market once they are no longer needed for law enforcement or fleet duty. In compliance with most state laws in the US and provincial laws in Canada, used Police Interceptors are normally stripped of any police decals, radio and computer equipment and emergency lights by law enforcement agencies before being sold or auctioned on the civilian markets in Canada and the United States.



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