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Fraud - VIN (Serial Number) Tag

If you think you spotted a fraud because the letter "F" in the serial number is crooked in the image below, you'd be wrong. Such details are common on original tags, as well as letters poorly spaced and not well lined up. No, the fraud here is that 1968 Mustangs were never built with a W-code engine. A W-code engine decodes as the famous Ford 427 engine. While early sales brochures and pricing sheets for the 1968 model year do list a 427 available for the Mustang, the fact is, they were never produced.

This apparent "proof" from a sales brochure is one way that dishonest people take advantage of the unaware person. It sounds so good as a story: "Look at this rare car I have for sale! Here's a Ford document backing up my claim. You'll get a great deal here."

Always order a Marti report BEFORE you buy a 1967 or later Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury vehicle. It's cheap insurance, especially if you are going to put down serious money on a vehicle.

We get a lot of requests for reports for serial numbers that were never built. Sometimes the customer wants to insist that it is the database that is wrong. That person is setting himself up for failure.

You know the adage, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Walk away. Don't get burned.

More Information about VIN Tags


The 1967 and earlier vehicles did not have a dash mounted Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) tag. They used stampings located under the hood on the fender aprons, radiator core support or firewall depending on the model


Beginning with the 1968 model year, per United States government requirements, all Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury cars (not trucks) had an aluminum tag mounted at the leading edge of the dash pad on the passenger side of the vehicle. They were stamped with letters as shown in the example. The artwork that surrounded the tag included a Ford logo on either side of the serial number and a fancy scrollwork framing the serial number. However, this was not a durable ink and it is common for it to be badly faded, scratched, or gone.


The 1969 model year had a tag that appeared to be the same as the 1968 tag, but it was made from stainless steel. Also, it was relocated to the driver side of the leading edge of the dash (the same location that continues to be used to the present day). In late 1969, some models began to use a reverse stamped serial number. The scrollwork and Ford logos continued to surround the Ford serial number. As with the 1968 version, this ink commonly faded.


The 1970 tag consisted of a tag that was reverse stamped with a special type font that was assigned by the United States government. It has several unique characteristics. One of the most notable is that the number "8" has a flat top (which can be observed in the 1971 picture). Some models like Mustangs and Cougars had the tag attached to the metal support for the dash, but other models actually had the VIN tag attached directly to the dash pad. This would prove problematic for people who replaced their dash due to cracking.

1971 - 1978

Most 1971-1978 tags were attached to the dash pad. Be especially cautious of purchasing a vehicle in this year range as it is common for the dash pad to have been switched out. The VIN for the car winds up in the trash with the dash pad and another vehicle's tag takes its place. Quite problematic when trying to register the vehicle with the State Department of Motor Vehicles