We often refer to the alphanumeric string of letters and numbers stamped on the frame of our vintage trailers as a VIN, but I have recently learned that this string of letters and numbers is actually a serial number. The VIN in modern parlance refers to a 17 digit federally standardized system that was finally accepted by vehicle manufactures in 1981. The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) created a consistent, unified VIN system in 1981. Prior to 1981, vehicle manufacturers used their own numbering system to stamp cars with unique IDs.
The VIN system is made up of a combination of 17 characters, both numbers and letters. The 10th character in the 17-character VIN represents the vehicle model-year. This standard applies to vehicles built in or after 1981. Today, in 2023, it's just easy for many folks to refer to the serial number as a VIN.
"I get that queasy how in the hell will this thing ever go back together feeling.” - PT