1974 VINs from Newark Assembly

Later Model C Bodies - "The Formal Years"

  1. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    Maybe this is well-known stuff, but I share it anyhow. Looking at 1974 ChryCo cars produced at the Newark Assembly, I noticed a sharp division between C bodies and A bodies:

    PH41K4F122500 Fury [SPD A16, MDH 102022]
    PP43M4F123015 Fury
    PP23M4F125877 Fury
    PP43M4F125933 Fury
    PP43M4F128891 Fury
    DH23N4F132133 Monaco [SPD B08]
    PH41M4F138478 Fury
    PH41M4F141135 Fury [SPD B15, MDH 112820]
    DH41M4F143716 Monaco
    DH41M4F144940 Monaco
    DP43M4F148094 Monaco [SPD B21]
    DH41M4F149528 Monaco [SPD C06]
    PH41K4F158253 Fury

    LH23C4F169339 Dart
    VH23C4F173965 Scamp [MDH 022014]
    VH23G4F174840 Scamp [MDH 021923]
    LH41G4F178209 Dart
    LH23C4F195277 Dart
    LH23G4F195425 Dart
    LH23C4F195473 Dart
    LH23C4F199728 Dart [MDH 040821]
    LH23C4F203197 Dart
    LH23G4F203282 Dart [MDH 041111]
    VH23C4F215864 Scamp
    VH23C4F218457 Scamp
    VL41C4F220352 Valiant
    VL41C4F229737 Valiant

    It looks like a) the six last digits in the VIN are linked to an assembly rather than to a car line and b) the Newark assembly retooled for A bodies somewhere between December 6, 1973 and February 19, 1974.

    I'd welcome examples that would narrow the gap between December and February. Counter examples to this whole idea are also welcome, of course.

    PS. I added some Newark-produced Monacos, just to drive my point home.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
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  2. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    Yep, well-known stuff.

    For the sequence number in the VIN being linked to an assembly, over at the A body site they say:

    "Last six digits are the sequence number (LA plant not gate) begins with 1 (place holder) and the next five numbers are plant year to date non-model specific total."

    And on the changeover from C bodies to A bodies at Newark the New York Times has this in its archives:

    "The Newark, Del., assembly plant will be converted from the production of full-size cars to the production of the Plymouth Valiant and Dodge Dart, both compacts. The plant will be closed from Dec. 22, the start of the Christmas-New Year's holiday, until next Jan. 16 so that the changeover may be completed. More than 5,000 workers are to be affected by a 14-day layoff."
     
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  3. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    Continuing this series of known facts, I compared 1974 Monaco and Fury VINs from Newark (19 VINs) and Belvidere (41 VINs) and submit to scrutiny some assumptions on the production specifics of these plants.

    Station wagons (three examples), police cars (DK41U/PK41U, five examples) and normal cars with police packages (PM41U, two examples) come from Belvidere only. Also normal DM/PM cars (three examples) come from Belvidere. Newark production seems to have been much more standardized and limited to normal DH/PH and DP/PP cars (and possibly normal DM/PM cars).

    One reason for this limitation could be engine availability (no T or U code 440-cid engines in Newark cars). My prediction is that Newark cars with T4F or U4F in their VINs do not exist. Every one who knows of a 1974 Monaco or Fury with the 440-cid engine should speak now, or forever hold his peace. And I'm pretty sure about station wagon production being concentrated at Belvidere. After all, also Chrysler station wagons were exclusively produced at that plant.

    I didn't find anything about DL/PL cars or taxis and only precious little for DM/PM cars. That may be down to lower production numbers, but also to the preservation rate after 45 years, higher for relatively expensive trim levels than for low-cost products. And who expects a taxi to survive after all these years?

    Apart from that the absolute number of examples is still low, so feel free to shoot down the whole idea. There are enough wrong statements on the internet already.
     
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  4. 69CoronetRT

    69CoronetRT Senior Member

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  5. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement!

    Checking through only prefixes I found two exceptions to my bold prediction, both presently located in Finland:

    DP23T4F
    DH41T4F

    My Finnish is zero, so I have no way to find out more about these cars. Possibly they were export cars (quite a lot of Formals were exported to Finland back then) and that fact could explain the combination: ship a 440 engine to Newark, assemble the car and ship the end product on to Europe.

    Maybe a Finnish member could help out in this matter?
     
  6. 69CoronetRT

    69CoronetRT Senior Member

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    Try the Babelfish on line translator.
     
  7. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    I already ran Google Translate on the Finnish webpage, but that didn't tell me what I need to know.

    Someone needs to talk to the owners to find out if these cars were exported new to Finland. A look at the fender tag wouldn't hurt either.

    We definitely need the Finns!
     
  8. HWYCRZR

    HWYCRZR Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I believe @ImpJay is from the area. And possibly could at least help with the translation?
     
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  9. ImpJay

    ImpJay The different young

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    If you´re thinking about NL-587, it´s highly likely made for export, since it was already here in the early ´80s. it has a 440, TF727 with a turbine from TCI and the original 9.25`` rear. If it´s imported here when new, it has a Sure-Grip, which is stated on the old for sale ad. The thread on OD was mostly telling that the car has been so much in a garage that it´s license plates are in a motorcycle, so they´ve been changed.

    NL-839 has a 383.

    From the Blues Bros site you can go to Nettiauto, where is listed one ´77 (MAI-78), which has been on the road 79k (approx. 49k miles) kilometers, it´s a museum car (definition on my thread) it has a 440, TF727 and the original 9.25´´ rear axle. This one is another import and it´s mechanically in a solid condition.
    ``If you ask about fuel consumption, ride a bicycle.``

    Basically all Monacos with license plates reading NL-XXX are imported when they were new cars and icense plates with a letter M are mostly museum cars.
     
  10. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    That's good news!

    So NL-587 would be a case in point, imported when new with a 440 engine. But here I'm not sure about the VIN, because I think the remark "Vin. alku on. DP23T4F..." (= Vin. the beginning is. DP23T4F ...) refers to NK-805. Were NK-XXX plated cars also imported when new?
     
  11. ImpJay

    ImpJay The different young

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    I guess that they were. If someone imports a car, it´ll receive plates with anything else than an N or M.
     
  12. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    Well, your 1973 Imperial was imported only in 1999 to be turned into a museum car in 2004 and the plate reads NZF-85.
     
  13. ImpJay

    ImpJay The different young

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    True, but there´s some years between ´99 and 2015-18. Now mostly RRJ-xxx and others like that are given to cars that aren´t museum registered.
     
  14. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    Could it be that generally Finnish plates starting with only two letters were assigned many years ago and three-letter plates are more recent?
     
  15. ImpJay

    ImpJay The different young

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    Yes, some people have been talking about that the 2-lettered plates have been used.
     
  16. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    A certain Olav from Norway has the answer:

    NX letter prefix =
    American size series 1972-80. 1972-2001 plate style (still issued on request). N = American size (1972-91).

    NXX letter prefix =
    American size series 1980-2013. 1972-2001 plate style (still issued on request). N = American size (1972-91).

    So two-letter plates starting with N were assigned to Formals that were imported when new. Only the "still issued on request" part worries me.
     
  17. ImpJay

    ImpJay The different young

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    That ``issued on request`` means that for a nice pile of money (like 1000 euros or so) you´ll get the plates what you want.
     
  18. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    So this would be a list of plate numbers for 1974 Dodge C-bodies that were imported when new:

    NK-805 VIN DP23T4Fxxxxxx
    NL-7
    NL-20
    NL-371
    NL-587
    NL-600

    If you ever happen to come across one of these cars, please have a chat with the owner and take a look at the fender tag. I'll send you something from Italy for it!
     
  19. ImpJay

    ImpJay The different young

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    I promise that! NL-600 rings some bells, which tell me that it is located in Porvoo, which is a city comparatively close to my home. There´ll cruise nights next summer, so I try to chatter with it´s owner. 371 and 587 might be close as well.
     
  20. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    After hunting down some more 1974 VINs in online newspaper archives I have to correct some statements made earlier on:

    Still true for pursuit cars (code U), but with other engine types they did assemble police cars in Newark:

    DK41N4F148822
    DK41N4F148823
    DK41N4F148824
    DK41N4F148825

    Sold to the public by Erie County, OH in 1975.

    Actually all trim levels were assembled in Newark:

    PL41K4F157783

    DM41K4F101622
    PM41K4F123799

    So 1974 Newark C-body production was more varied than I originally imagined. For now the limitation on pursuit cars and station wagons still holds, but I cannot amass meaningful numbers to back up these claims.

    Working with newspapers the regional distribution of Newark-assembled cars shows up nicely. Typically they pop up in the eastern states, with a high incidence in papers from Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Tampa. Newark cars for European export actually fit this geographical pattern.

    T4F has already been found on European export cars. If geography is the overriding criterium, T4F could also show up on cars for the eastern USA market. But it still takes a VIN to prove it.
     
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