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Interesting vin?


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14 hours ago, ClassDavid said:

Hey Guys, 


I just picked up another 2002 as one can't have too many! It is a 1971, originally colorado orange car. It has the shorty bumpers and the three piece dash. I am curious if there is any significance of the vin. 2570006. Would this mean it is the 6th 1971? Or is it just a vin?


Sorry: it's just a VIN.


As recently as a year ago, I would have tried to tell you that it was the 6th U.S. "Modell 71" car produced, and I would have guessed it was manufactured in April 1971, representing the changeover from short to long bumpers, short to long consoles, 6 fuses to 12 fuses, silver-dollar to black instrument faces, no knee trim to full knee trim, etc.  But I would have been wrong!


Thanks to this forum, we've learned a thing or two over the last year.


The U.S. 1971 model year began with a 167xxxx VIN, probably in September 1970.  BMW began using the 257xxxx VIN sequence in late January 1971, 3 months before the Modell 71 was introduced.  I estimate your car was manufactured in late January 1971.  BMW Archives will provide the specific manufacturing date if you email the VIN to them and request the car's history (info.grouparchiv@bmwgroup.com).


(My VIN cheat sheet shows VIN 1679357 being manufactured January 13, 1971 and VIN 2570065 being manufactured on January 27, 1971.  Clearly, the 257xxxx VIN sequence begins between these two dates.  And BOTH of those cars are short bumper, 6-fuse, etc cars, i.e., NOT Modell 71 cars.  Your car is likely very close to that January 27 date.)





Edited by Conserv
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Checking the factory parts book will show that all the distinctinve "modell 71" bits--long bumpers, 12 fuse electrical system, lower side moulding, black instruments, 2 piece dash and long console were phased in over several months.  


I suspect what happened is that BMW ran out of VINs for US spec cars (at 1680000) before they were ready to put all the changes that became the modell 71 car into production.  They couldn't continue the series with 1680001, because the 168 (and the 169) prefix was already in use for 2002ti cars.  And 165xxxx VINs were used on RHD 2002s.  So they began the 257xxxx VIN run early.  A careful perusal of the parts book would most likely reveal the beginning numbers for those modell 71 changes that we previously thought all occurred simultaneously at 2570001.


As an aside, I remember many years ago (late 80s) spotting a 2002 at the Tinker AFB OK base gas station.  As was my habit, I looked at the VIN and to my surprise it was 1680000.  Since BMW always begins its VIN runs with xxx0001, this was the last "early series" (166/167) car built, and the only US spec car with a 168xxxx VIN.  Wonder what happened to it...



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