In 1969, Honda brought its very first cars to America, testing the statewide waters with 50 N600s that would pave the way for the manufacturer to live up to its slogan, the Power of Dreams. The N600 revolutionized American roads, reimagining the identity of automobiles and bringing new power to Honda VIN decoding. In stark contrast to the bulky, gas-guzzlers of the era, the N600 was fuel-efficient, nimble, and so tiny it could fit between the tires of full size American vehicles.
In 2016, the very first Honda to arrive on American shores was found, thanks to a Honda VIN decoder, and the vehicle is being restored by renowned Tim Mings, who has brought more than 1000 N600s back to life. With a VIN of 1000001, the aptly named Serial One is being featured as a monumental restoration documentary on all of Honda’s social channels and at serialone.com.
While decoding a Honda VIN of 1000001 from 1969 is straightforward, the VINs for today’s Hondas are more complex and give deeper insight into the specifications of each particular vehicle. In 1981, America federally mandated the Vehicle Identification Number system, which standardized VINs to be 17-digits across all manufacturers. Each digit is associated with a value that reveals much information about the vehicle.
The first three numbers comprise what is known as the World Manufacturer Identifier. The first digit corresponds with the nation of origin, which would be J for Japan, 2 for Canada, 3 for Mexico, or 1, 4, 5 for USA. The second position is the manufacturer, which in the case of Honda VIN decoding, would be H. The third position is the vehicle type, which could be, for example, 1 for a truck manufactured in Japan, M for a passenger car manufactured in Japan, L for a multi-purpose passenger vehicle manufactured in Japan, and other combinations. The fourth through sixth digits reveal the models, while the seventh digit indicates the body type and transmission. A Honda VIN decoder would interpret the eighth digit as the grade of vehicle, such as a Accord LX with ABS 2/4 door or a Civic CX with AC 3-door.
When it comes to decoding a Honda VIN’s ninth digit, this number is imperative for verifying the authenticity of the VIN. Considered a “check” digit, this is a secret number assigned by Honda and known only to the manufacturer and law enforcement. It is not released to the public, but instead used to verify that the VIN indeed is genuine.
The model year is found in the tenth digit, while the assembly plant is the eleventh digit.
The final six digits to decode a Honda VIN will give you the unique serial number assigned only to that particular vehicle. This is based upon the order which the car was produced on the assembly line for that model in the manufacturing plant that year.