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Thread: Can anyone help decode my Caterham VIN?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    5

    Default Can anyone help decode my Caterham VIN?

    I recently purchased a 1992 Caterham HPC. Trying to find a little more about the car. Recently saw a Caterham VIN decoded on "Bring a Trailer" and it fascinated me. My VIN is: SDKADKCVXN0236300. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    That was me on BAT. I may be setting myself up to decode everyone's VIN from now on...

    SDKADKCVXN0236300

    SDK = Manufacturer prefix for Caterham

    A = Mistyped? Should be either L for LHD or R for RHD? A= ambidextrous?

    D = De Dion

    K = Kit built

    C = Clubman chassis type. While you would expect that "H" should appear here to be an HPC there are notes in the L7 Club website that this was not consistently applied. VIN coding is not your guarantee you have a HPC but it is a big clue. Car should have gold rocker cover and an LSD plus the seats were different in having more adjustability (supposedly). I have also been told that HPCs have an "HP" suffix to the chassis number stamped on to the frame. I am not that familiar with the HPC specifics so you would need to approach Caterham and see if their records have your car listed as a genuine HPC. Personally I don't think it matters today in value terms unless it was one of the BDR engined HPCs.

    VX = Vauxhall 2L with twin 45 DCOE carburetor. Standard lump was 175hp and there were upgrades up to 218, 225 and 235hp with Swindon Racing engines

    N = 1992 kit manufacture year - may have been built up later depending on kit purchaser.

    0236300 = chassis number
    Last edited by Croc; 01-17-2018 at 03:21 AM.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec

    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - awaiting new engine)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (restoration - awaiting engine rebuild)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (catching up on deferred maintenance)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth
    1991 Range Rover

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati
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    3,400

    Default

    Croc: Add a link to your secret Caterham VIN # decoder site and save yourself future work?
    Most of the info in the sequence seems logical, but not clear how "N" means 1992???
    Does the chassis # 0236300 mean Caterham has built a certain # of chassis total since day one(6300?)?
    '97 Caterham Super Sprint, 1700 Crossflow-sold
    '09 Birkin S3, Duratec-sold
    '03 Caterham Zetec track car

  4. #4
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    The page is behind a paywall on the Lotus 7 Club of UK site so cannot link it freely. Its not my information to copy in its entirety - so I respect that.

    To answer your questions:
    - I am not sure why they selected "N" there? Was it A in 1975?
    - The chassis numbers don't make sense to me and there are breaks in the sequence at times.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec

    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - awaiting new engine)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (restoration - awaiting engine rebuild)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (catching up on deferred maintenance)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth
    1991 Range Rover

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    5

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    Thanks CROC....I appreciate your help in decoding the VIN # on my car. The number I gave here with the "A" in the 4th position came off the State Of Arizona Title. I have quite a pile of records on the car dating back to when it was manufactured, delivered to the new owner and first put on the road. I noted that in 2005 the R became an A on the MOT Certificate. A later MOT certificate points out this discrepancy, but the subsequent MOT's continue to use A in the forth position. I don't have a copy of the importation documents, but the Ohio title also had A in the 4th position. Checking the VIN plate on the car it's definitely R....and the car is RHD. So, off I go the the DMV to try to explain this little fiasco and get a new title as well as updated insurance documents.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2017
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    Just a followup....State of AZ really doesn't have one ounce of common sense. This became a huge issue and the only way they would correct the title was to issue a "bonded title". Other than that they wanted to revoke the title and plates I had. Final result: had to send the car back to the seller and he gave me a full refund. What a shame! So now I'm looking for another Caterham again....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    philadelphiaish
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    sorry you had such a difficult experience.

    when i had questions about my car's VIN i joined the british 7 club. it ended up being money very well spent and i will probably renew my membership for the foreseeable future. the archivist for caterham is a member of the club and by asking very nicely i was able to get copies of the original order and build sheets for my car. additionally, although most of the BDR HPCs have gone to japan there is still a lot more knowledge about the cars on that side of the pond and they've been very helpful when i've had questions.

    you might want to try a different DMV if you run into similar problems in the future, sometimes a different clerk can work miracles.

    FWIW my chassis does not have "HP" stamped next to it's number and my build sheet says "HPC spec" so the stamp on the chassis is not necessarily diagnostic of an HPC car.
    '87 Caterham Cosworth BDR 1700 "HPC Spec"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    USA
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    Alternate source for decoding VIN: https://www.lotus7club.it/en/caterhamchassis
    Sean

  9. #9
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    USA
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    I’ll second what 1.08” says about joining L7 club. A very useful resource! I’m no longer a member, but had been from around 2003 until recently.
    Sean

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